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Course Descriptions

SUMMER 2014 Course Offerings

FALL 2014 Course Offerings

Art History faculty members teach a variety of courses that range from broad surveys to in-depth topical seminars.  Students must take certain courses to meet major requirements, but beyond those classes students may choose to concentrate within a particular area or period or simply explore art history through a diversity of subjects.

ARHY 100 - Understanding Art
This course is an introduction to the theories of art and to the roles of art in society. Students are exposed to compositional principles, thematic content, the vocabulary of art, techniques and media, and the historical context of artistic styles. Formal analysis, iconographic content, and an interdisciplinary perspective of the arts are covered.
Theme Area: Creative Arts

ARHY 100C - Understanding Art (Learning Community only)
This course is an introduction to the theories of art and to the roles of art in society. Students are exposed to compositional principles, thematic content, the vocabulary of art, techniques and media, and the historical context of artistic styles. Formal analysis, iconographic content, and an interdisciplinary perspective of the arts are covered.
Theme Area: Creative Arts

ARHY 102 - Intro to Modern Art
A survey of Western art from the middle of the 19th century to the end of the 20th century. Topics include Impressionism, Cubism, Surrealism, Pop Art and Postmodernism.

ARHY 105 - Design Theory and Practice
A course with a hands on component, in which students study design theory and history, and the role of design and designers in contemporary life.

ARHY 111 - Art History: Ancient to Medieval World
A chronologically oriented, detailed presentation of the history of Western art. This survey deals with Near Easton, Greek, Roman, Early Christian and Medieval art.
Theme Area: Creative Arts

ARHY 111C - Art History: Ancient to Medieval World
A chronologically oriented, detailed presentation of the history of Western art. This survey deals with Near Easton, Greek, Roman, Early Christian and Medieval art. Can be elected to fulfill the history/literature requirement.
Theme Area: Creative Arts

ARHY 112 - Art History: Renaissance to Modern World
A continuation of ARHY 111. Surveys Renaissance, Baroque and Modern art in Western Europe. Can be elected to fulfill the history/literature requirements.
Theme Area: Creative Arts

ARHY 161 - Arts and the Human Experience
This course will expose students to artistic expression that is timeless yet immediate, universal while individual, complex but accessible. Students will learn that the arts demand responses--emotional, intellectual, mystical, positive or negative. Through this dialogue we are reminded that we are human, and that we are not alone.
Theme Area: Creative Arts

ARHY 175 - Intro to Asian Art
A survey of the art and archaeology of China, Japan, Korea and India with an emphasis on the art's historical and social context.
Theme Area: Global Diversity

ARHY 205 - Christian Art & Architecture of Rome (Italian Campus only)
This study of the major stylistic forms of Christian art as evidenced in the art and architecture of Rome is offered at the Italian campus. Beginning with the adaptive forms of Early Christian art at the time of the late Roman Empire in the third and fourth centuries, this course will study, largely through on-site visits, the Early Christian, Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque stylistic periods and monuments. The course will include the architecture of the church, as well as sculpture, mosaic, and painting.
Theme Area: Creative Arts

ARHY 210 - American Art
An overview of American architecture, painting, sculpture and decorative arts intended to acquaint the student with the major trends and contributions of American art from colonial to modern times.
Theme Area: Creative Arts

ARHY 217 - Religion, Reason, & Visual Culture
This class examines the relationship between religion and visual culture, with particular emphasis on Western art and popular culture.
Theme Area: Faith and Reason

ARHY 217C - Religon, Reason, & Visual Culture (Learning Community Only)
This class examines the relationship between religion and visual culture, with particular emphasis on Western art and popular culture. Only students in Learning Communities may take this course. 
Theme Area: Faith and Reason 

ARHY 220 - History of Photography
A survey of photographic developments from the early 19th C. to the present. Emphasis is upon the United States and upon the interaction of and confrontation between artists and photographers.

ARHY 224 - History of Things
This is an introductory survey in the field of material culture (the physical objects created and used by societies). Students will examine both everyday consumer items and special museum artifacts to learn how to read objects and their contexts to understand and create larger historical stories. 

ARHY 226 - The American Home
This course selectively surveys domestic architecture in the United States from colonial times to the present. Students will study important aesthetic, social, cultural, and economic factors that have influenced the forms of housing in the United States. In addition to examining the history of both popular and innovative styles, students will look at interior design to discover how the layout and decoration of homes changed over time to reflect different needs and aspirations. The course will use the rich and diverse housing architecture of the Pittsburgh region as a field school for visits and study, and there will be hands-on practice in methods related to historical research and historic preservation.
Theme Area: Creative Arts

ARHY 230 - History of Western Architecture
A survey of Western Architecture, focusing on the forms and functions of the built environment in Europe and the U.S., with emphasis on architecture with public purposes.

ARHY 275 - Intro to Asian Art
A survey of the art and archaeology of China, Japan, Korea and India with an emphasis on the art's historical and social context.

ARHY 285 - Issues of Social Justice in Visual Culture
This course examines how visual culture reflects and influences issues of social justice, whether as commentaries, historical records, or as visual rhetorical arguments. Visual culture resources from a variety of sources and cultures are used, and students engage in analyzing visual culture from an informed and critical perspective.
Theme Area: Social Justice

ARHY 290 - Non-Western Art
This course is an introductory survey of masterpieces of visual art and architecture from ancient and traditional non-Western cultures. Course material is divided into four sections. Unit I surveys the art of the world's earliest civilizations in Egypt, Mesopotamia and the Indus River Valley in Pakistan and India. Study of these cultures establishes early models of civilizations, each distinguished by their art, architecture, urban planning and social organization. Units II and III focus on development of Far Eastern and Islamic cultures with special emphasis on the art and architecture associated with Eastern philosophy and religions. These two units examine cultural links in Asia through cross-pollination of religious ideologies that produce affiliate, though, distinct aesthetics traditions. Unit IV surveys some of the early cultures of the Americans and a selection of traditional African societies. This final unit also takes note of cross-cultural links while examining the rich diversity and panoramic elaboration of fundamental forms of artistic expression.
Theme Area: Global Diversity AND Creative Arts

ARHY 305 - Roman Art & Architecture (Italian Campus only)
"Baroque" is the term given to the stylistic period of the seventeenth century, and is a style that was created in the city of Rome. Today, the Rome we see is a Baroque city. This course will examine the major art and architecture of the city of Rome, including St. Peter's, the Baroque piazzas and fountains, and some of the notable painters such as Caravaggio. This course is offered through the Italian campus and will meet largely onsite in the city of Rome.

ARHY 311W - Writing History
Required for all Art History majors. In this seminar course students sharpen the skills necessary to the practice of history. Students will work on increasing their proficiency in analyzing and interpreting both primary and secondary sources, developing their research skills, and improving their writing.

ARHY 314 - Introduction to Archaeology
This is a new course out of Classics and will be cross-listed with the Art History Program. Description forthcoming.

ARHY 315W - Archaelogical History: Greek World
A survey of the archaeology of Greece from prehistory to the Roman period.

ARHY 316W - Archaeological History: Athens
The gods provided a major focus for the Greeks in every aspect of their lives, from politics to sports, theater, and daily routine. In this course we will study the sanctuaries of the Greeks as we examine religious architecture and sculpture, votive offerings, and the sacred precincts themselves in order to achieve a better understanding of the ancient Greeks and their culture.

ARHY 317W - Archaeological History: Ancient Roman World
This course is on the movements and organizations that developed to save, protect, and present historical sites. It introduces preservation law and procedures established to survey and list buildings and sites as national, state, and local treasures. Examination of the archaeology and art of the ancient Roman world-as well as its literature, epigraphy, and later sources-enables us to reconstruct the history and culture of these people and their predecessors. In this course, in addition to studying archaeological techniques and the history of archaeology, we will examine Roman history and culture through its artifacts, art and architecture. We will also discuss such central issues as archaeological ethics and legality, collections, and public display in order to have better understanding of archaeology as a discipline.

ARHY 318W - Archaeological History: Ancient Rome
An investigation of the topography and monuments of Rome from prehistory through Constantine.

ARHY 321W - 15th C. Renaissance Art
An investigation of the Renaissance spirit of the 15th century. Concentration is upon comparisons of Northern and Southern attitudes of man, nature, and social structure, and to materials, techniques, pictorial representation, and iconography.

ARHY 331 - Impressionism & Post Impressionism (Spring Break Away course)
An assessment of the major movements of the nineteenth century in Europe and America with special emphasis on the social political and economic aspects that determined Modernism in Europe from 1789 to 1890. The course also addresses the changing role of the avant-garde artist and the formation of the new patronage, the art market, museum institutions, and exhibitions.This course will participate in the Spring Break Away program. Students will spend Spring Break in Paris, France.
Theme Area: Creative Arts

ARHY 332W - Art of the 20th Century
Examination of the major American and European artists and movements of the early twentieth century. Beginning with the work of Cezanne and his impact on the formation of Cubism and Futurism, the contradictions and parallels in the various avant-garde practices from 1905-1945 are assessed and evaluated. The changing affiliations of artists, such as their political and aesthetic associations, are a major emphasis.

ARHY 340 - Art of India and Southeast Asia
This course examines the art of India and South East Asia, paying particular attention to the developments in religious art over time. Art of the modern period in these cultures is also addressed.

ARHY 341 - Arts of China and Japan
This course examines the art of China and Japan, paying particular attention to the developments in religious art over time. Art of the modern period in these cultures is also addressed.

ARHY 349 - Modern Art in Rome
(Course description forthcoming!)

ARHY 360 - German Art- 20th Century
This course examines the development, decline and resurgence of German Art in the twentieth century, which spans periods of political ferment and two wars, increased industrialization, urbanization, and tremendous social transitions. The course also addresses the changing role of artists and their public, and the roles of collectors, museums, exhibitions, and Nazi censorship.

ARHY 361 - Michelangelo-Caravagio-Bernini
This course will study the art and personalities of three great superstars of Italy's golden age of art-The Renaissance and Baroque periods. Internationally famous and influential, patronized by popes and princes, at times irascible, opinionated, or even violent, these artists defined the artistic styles of these periods, and transformed how the world saw art and artists.

ARHY 363 - Modern Art & Science
This course will explore how scientific discoveries, ideas and concepts have impacted artists and their works. Focusing on art created from the Renaissance through the present, this class will examine the links between art and science in various media, including painting, sculpture, photography, architecture, installation art and multimedia works.

ARHY 367 - High Renaissance Art in Rome
A study of the period of culmination in Renaissance art, as found in the art and monuments of Rome created during the late 15th and early 16th centuries. Artists like Michelangelo, Raphael, and Bramante will be the focus.

ARHY 368W - Surrealism
This course will examine the origins, artists, and history of the twentieth-century art movements Dada and Surrealism. Responding to war, its aftermath, and social conditions, Dadists and Surrealists challenged traditional conceptions of art and aesthetics. This course will provide a historical frame for understanding the investigations and experiments of these artists, which later influenced Abstract Expressionism, Pop Art, Happenings, Performance, and Conceptual art.
Theme Area: Creative Arts

ARHY 374W - Michelangelo: His Art and His World
This course examines the genius of Michelangelo in the context of the artistic and cultural forces which combined to create the Renaissance.

ARHY 376 - Pop Art to the Present
A study of neo-avant-garde from 1945 to the present in the major international art centers and in America. The reception of the various modernist movements of contemporary art are examined in the context of social and cultural changes in the twentieth century. Major movements included are Abstract Expressionism, Realism, Pop Art, Minimalism, Happenings, Performance Art, Conceptual Art, and the New Art of the Eighties.
Theme Area: Creative Arts

ARHY 379 - Origins of Renaissance Art
This course will focus on the art of Tuscany at the beginning of the stylistic period known as the Renaissance. Through an examination of the works of Trecento (1300's) and early Quattrocento (1400's) artists, students will learn about the new ideas, intentions and conventions that formed what we call the "Renaissance style." Particular attention will be paid to the three great innovators of the early Renaissance: Brunelleschi, Donatello and Masaccio. The course will explore the ways in which artists in the early 1400's in Florence responded to the influences of both classical antiquity and the middle ages, to the role of patrons in forming and supporting the new style, and to the intellectual and cultural milieu that gave rise to the new illusionism, innovation and naturalism that identify the Renaissance. When offered as a part of the Spring Break Away program, an integral part of the course will be a one-week site visit to Florence.
Theme Area: Creative Arts

ARHY 381W - Art And Politics
This course will focus on the concentrations between art and politics from the French Revolution through the present. In addition to examining works of art in various media, this course will explore the socio-historical contexts that prompted each work and how social and political issues and controversies impact the art world.
Theme Area: Social Justice

ARHY 385 - Baroque Painting & Sculpture
A survey of Baroque Art of the 17th century, with particular emphasis on the art of Italy, France and the Netherlands.

ARHY 390W - Women And Art
This course examines women artists and also art about women. Through a variety of methodologies, it discusses the marginalization of and cultural attitudes toward women throughout history, the institutional obstacles they faced, and recent research that explores critical and cultural evalutions and re-evaluations of their work.

ARHY 396 - Public History: Peoples' Pasts
This course is about preserving, interpreting, and presenting history outside of academe. In looking at representations of the past beyond the classroom, students learn why and how peoples, in this case the American public, look at history the way that they do. Is public history supposed to be a matter of celebration, commemoration, or something else? While examining such issues, students will also survey various specializations across the field of Public History, including current museum, archival, archaeological, and historical preservation theories and practices. Students will also assist a community partner in a history project. (This qualifies as a service-learning course.)

ARHY 398W - Art & Society
This course explores the ways that social and political conditions and demands affect artists' aesthetic choices. Although many of the examples discussed in class are drawn from the visual arts, other art forms such as literature, drama, music and dance are included as appropriate. The class will examine thematic topics through history such as art and social protest, art in the service of governments, and commercial art. It also looks at issues of controversy in contemporary art worlds as they affect artistic production.

ARHY 400 - Art Histy Capstone Tutorial (1 credit)
Working with their mentor in their final semester, art history majors will review their cumulative portfolio and evaluate their learning and achievements in the discipline.

ARHY 411 - Museum Roles & Practices
This course studies the roles art museums have played and continue to play in culture. Students will be introduced to the theoretical, curatorial, and educational principles of current museum practices, and also to the practical considerations faced by cultural institutions. Museum visits and field trips are required of all students.

ARHY 420 - Identity & Representation
In this class we will study the roles of representation in women's lives, with particular attention to the places of Muslim women in American visual culture. Students will use multimedia tools to analyze their roles as both consumers and producers of images. We will begin by examining how aspects of identity are expressed and reinforced through various forms, including film, television, photography, graphic design and the Internet, as well as fine art. Readings will examine gender roles in American visual culture and their counterparts in selected Islamic societies. Collaborative projects with volunteers from the Islamic Center of Pittsburgh will allow students personal engagement with the experiences of Muslim women in our city.

ARHY 429W - Historic Preservation
This course is on the movements and organizations that developed to save, protect, and present historical sites. It introduces preservation law and procedures established to survey and list buildings and sites as national, state, and local treasures.

ARHY 431 - Selected Readings-Various Topics in Fine Art
Selected Readings consists of a tutorial in which a student reads extensively and prepares reports on a topic chosen in consultation with a faculty advisor and mentor.

ARHY 441W - American Paint & Sculpture
Selected topics in 18th, 19th, and early 20th century American Art History are examined in the context of social, political, cultural and economic issues. Topic examples include: The Changing American Landscapes in the 19th Century; American Portraiture; American Impressionism; American Women Artists; The Rise of American Art Academies; Art Criticism and Patronage, Exhibitions, and Museum Institutions.

ARHY 442W - American Architecture
This course studies construction, style, building types, and concepts of city planning in American architecture from the 17th century to the present. The social and political forces affecting style are emphasized. The course also includes an introduction to the theory and practice of historic preservation.

ARHY 443W - American Decorative Arts
Decorative arts from the Pilgrims to the Bauhaus influence are examined in context: historical, formal, technological, and cultural. Field trips to area collections are scheduled.

ARHY 478 - Art - Internship
Practical experience in art related areas introduces the student to the many opportunities in the art field. Permission of the art history faculty required.