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University Bulletin
Undergraduate Degree Programs

These course descriptions are not being updated as of August 1, 2016. Current course descriptions are maintained in LionPATH.

Art History (ART H)

ART H 307 (GA;US) (AM ST 307) American Art (3) History of art in the English colonies and the United States from the seventeenth century to the present.

ART H (AM ST) 307 American Art (3)
(GA;US)

(BA) This course meets the Bachelor of Arts degree requirements.

American art, from the colonial period to the present, is examined through paintings, sculpture, buildings, prints and photographs, as well as exhibitions and national/world fairs. The class places special emphasis upon the predicament of national identity by examining the ways in which the very notion of the "American" has historically been highly contested. Special points of emphasis include: negotiations between indigenous, colonial and European artistic styles, representations of and by displaced populations (colonial subjects, Native Americans, African Americans), myths of the American landscape, the cult of domesticity and the gendering of American citizenry, later transatlantic experiences of expatriate artists, conflicts between urban and rural conceptualizations of the "typical" American experience, the role of the American avant-garde after World War II, and debates over federal funding for the arts. The course is designed to meet two principal goals. The first is to increase students' powers of visual analysis and help them build a critical vocabulary for discussing an art object's medium, composition, style, and iconography. The second is to foster an understanding of the deep implication of the visual arts in their social and cultural contexts. The course therefore involves significant material relating to political, economic and religious issues. It investigates problems in patronage, function, reception and censorship. It considers such intra- and cross-cultural issues as representations of gender. Requirements include essay exams and at least one paper. As a general education course in the arts, this course provides an introduction to American art to a student of any major. This course has no prerequisite and presumes no prior exposure to fine art. Students majoring in Art History will learn both the common vocabulary of the field and the outlines of the field that form the foundation for the future study.


General Education: GA
Diversity: US
Bachelor of Arts: Arts
Effective: Spring 2008

Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.

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