Course Offerings | Art

Division of Humanities

Sheldon Tapley (chair), Jon Capps, Judith Jia, William Levin, Stephen Powell, Zoe Strecker, Phllip Wiggs; students: Louisa Kleinert, Mary Katherine Starr



The visual arts have an impact upon each of us every day of our lives. The houses we live in and the buildings where we work are designed to accommodate us and satisfy our needs. Pictures hang on walls and sculptures rest on tables or floors to decorate those buildings, and perhaps to explain and elaborate upon the uses to which the buildings are put. Members of the Art Program believe that an understanding of various forms of the visual arts—both traditional and innovative—enhances our experience and enjoyment of our surroundings, especially its aesthetic aspects, and that art can provide greater meaning to the lives of those seeking to come to terms with it.

The Art Program offers instruction in both studio practice and art history, with major and minor concentrations available in both areas. All classes are held in the new Jones Visual Arts Center, at the western edge of campus. Media taught include drawing, oil painting, printmaking, ceramics, and hot glass. Courses in art history cover the entire chronological range of the Western tradition, examining artworks from stylistic, historical, and iconographical points of view. The major in studio art culminates in an exhibition held in the gallery of the Visual Arts Center at the end of the student’s senior year, while an individual concentrating in art history presents a written thesis and public lecture likewise at the end of the senior year. Majors and minors may choose to continue their education in the visual arts in graduate school as preparation for careers as artists, educators, or staff members in museums, galleries, and other collection venues. But virtually every course in the Art Program also enrolls students from a broad variety of other disciplines. They come in search of parallels among the visual arts to other forms of human expression—historical, anthropological, literary, musical, and dramatic—both past and present, or merely with a wish to complement their other undergraduate experiences in the liberal arts by grasping more fully the bases of aesthetic meaning and judgment. Whatever motivation might bring a student into the Visual Arts Center, however, an appreciation for the enduring values of art provides solid support for the life of any educated and inquisitive person.


Requirements for the Major

Emphasis in Studio Art
ART 110 or FRS 119;
ART 210;
Two of: ART 220, ART 230 or FRS Ceramics or ART 251, ART 240;
ART 260 and 261;
Two of: ART 310, 320, ART 330, ART 340;
One course from ART 450-459;
ART 499;
One art history course at the 300-level or higher.

Emphasis in Art History
ART 110 or FRS 119;
ART 260 and 261;
Three of ART 360-379;
One additional ART 360-379 course or one ART 480-489 course;
One additional art history or studio course at or above the 200-level or an FRS studio art course or PHI 160;
One of CLA 220, FRE 220, GER 220, SPA 220, or equivalent;
ART 500.

Requirements for the Minor

Emphasis in Studio Art
One of: ART 110 or FRS 119;
Two of: ART 220, ART 230 or FRS Ceramics or ART 251, ART 240;
Two of: ART 210, ART 320, ART 330, ART 340;
One additional studio art course at the 300-level or higher, excluding ART 499.

Emphasis in Art History
ART 260 and 261;
Two of ART 360-379;
One additional ART 360-379 course or one ART 480-489 course.


Art Courses

ART 110 Drawing-I
An introductory course, requiring no previous instruction in art. The course emphasizes charcoal drawing and teaches the skills needed to draw still life, landscape, and the human figure. In addition to studio work, students learn the fundamentals of design by studying and copying from master drawings. Periodic class discussions and written assignments help students learn visual analysis and a general approach to the criticism of art.

ART 210 Drawing-II
Continued study and practice of drawing principles and skills. Prerequisite: ART 110 or FRS Drawing or ART 250.

ART 220 Painting-I
An introduction to oil painting. The course teaches both traditional and modern methods. Students are introduced to historical and contemporary painters as they learn both technical and creative approaches to the major genres: still life, interior views, landscape, the human figure, and abstraction. Prerequisite: ART 110 or FRS Drawing or ART 250.

ART 230 Ceramics-I
An initial studio experience in ceramic techniques which includes art theory and ceramic history. Processing, forming, and firing are studied in concert with an aesthetic consideration of the articulation of form and surface decoration.

ART 240 Hot Glass-I
From traditional vessels to sculptural forms, students learn the fundamental techniques of glass blowing and casting. Attention is given to the history of glass and to the formulation of a personal expression through the creation of glass objects. Prerequisite: One previous art course (studio or art history).

ART 251 Ceramics Intensive Workshop

ART 252/452 Venetian Glass Techniques
A study of Venetian glass blowing techniques. Venetian glass is known for it's elegant, well crafted shapes that exploit intricate colored canes in their surface decoration. Students spend a part of each day in the hot glass studio practicing Venetian techniques. We will study many of the Venetian glass artists and factories that have made the island of Murano so famous. The class will focus on Venetian glass of the 16th century and trace it's development all the way to contemporary times. This class will be an even mix of theory and practice. No prerequisite for ART 252; ART 240 or 252 required for 452.

ART 260, 261 Survey of Western Art-I, II
An introduction to the language and processes of art history. Focus is placed on the understanding of historical periods—their social, political, and aesthetic values—through the interpretation of the visual arts. ART 260 emphasizes the arts of the West from prehistory through the High Middle Ages. ART 261 emphasizes the arts of the West from the end of the Middle Ages through the 20th century.

ART 310 Drawing-III
This course offers the experienced drawing student a chance to continue building life-drawing skills. Life drawing constitutes about half the studio work of the term. The other half of the portfolio will be a series of drawings (in any of several media) that explore one idea or genre in depth. Prerequisite: ART 210.

ART 320 Painting-II
Continued study and practice in painting. Prerequisite: ART 220.

ART 321 Painting-III
Advanced study in oil painting. Prerequisite: ART 320

ART 330 Ceramics-II
Refinement of building methods and artistic intent. Further technical exploration of glazes and firing methods. Prerequisite: ART 230 or ART 251.

ART 331 Ceramics-III
Students work in conjunction with the instructor to plan and create a series of coherent and resolved works while continuing technical experiments. Prerequisites: ART 330.

ART 340 Hot Glass-II
Refinement of techniques and artistic intent. Prerequisite: ART 240 or ART 252.

ART 341 Hot Glass-III
An advanced study of glass. Students focus on one long-term project that culminates in a series of highly resolved works. Prerequisite: ART 340.

ART 360 Classical Art
A survey of the artistic heritage of Classical Antiquity, placing primary emphasis on Ancient Greece. Prerequisite: ART 260 or permission of the instructor.

ART 361 Medieval Art
A survey of sculpture, architecture, and the two-dimensional art forms from the decline of the Roman Empire to approximately the year 1150. Emphasis is placed on the changes caused by the shift from pagan to Christian culture, the impact of non-Classical societies on art forms, and the crystallization of Church art in the Byzantine and Romanesque cathedrals. Prerequisite: ART 260 or permission of the instructor.

ART 362 Northern Gothic and Renaissance Art
An examination of North European manuscript illumination, panel painting, and sculpture of the 12th through the 15th centuries in its historical setting, with emphasis placed on France, the Low Countries, and Germany. Prerequisite: ART 261 or permission of the instructor.

ART 363 Italian Gothic and Renaissance Art
An examination of the painting and sculpture of Central Italy from the revival of panel painting and church sculpture during the 12th century and continuing through the 15th century, emphasizing the work of masters such as Giotto, Masaccio, and Donatello. Prerequisite: ART 261 or permission of the instructor.

ART 364 Northern Mannerist and Baroque Art
An examination of painting and sculpture in Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Germany, and England from the early 16th through the 17th centuries, focusing on such major artists as Rubens, Vermeer, Rembrandt, Poussin, and Cranach. Prerequisite: ART 261 or permission of the instructor.

ART 365 Southern Mannerist and Baroque Art
A survey of Italian and Spanish painting and sculpture from the early 16th through the 17th centuries, with special attention paid to such masters as Caravaggio, Bernini, El Greco, and Velazquez. Prerequisite: ART 261 or permission of the instructor.

ART 367 Modern Art
An overview of artistic developments from the middle of the 19th century to the mid-20th century. Artistic movements such as Realism, Impressionism, Cubism, Fauvism, Expressionism, Surrealism, and Abstract Expressionism are considered. Prerequisite: ART 261 or permission of the instructor.


ART 370 North European Art from the Early Christian Period to the Renaissance
The course begins with the fourth-century Early Christian era, covers the Gothic period, and ends with the early years of the Northern Renaissance in the 16th century. Students study a wide variety of paintings (including mosaics, illuminated manuscripts, tapestries, and stained glass), sculpture (Viking wood carvings, Celtic goldsmithwork, and French and German church statuary), and architecture (Early Christian basilicas, Romanesque churches, and Gothic cathedrals). (Offered at Strasbourg.)

ART 410 Drawing-IV
Advanced study, in which students meet with the Drawing-II and -III classes to take advantage of on-site drawing trips and life drawing sessions. Students do significant independent work in consultation with the instructor. A wide variety of media may be used. Prerequisite: ART 310.

ART 420 Painting-IV
Continuation of ART 321. Prerequisite: ART 321.

ART 430 Ceramics-IV
Continuation of ART 331, culminating in a coherent and resolved body of work. Prerequisite: ART 331.

ART 440 Hot Glass-IV
Continuation of ART 341. Prerequisite: ART 341.

ART 450 Advanced Drawing Workshop
Prerequisite: ART 110 or FRS 119.

ART 451 Advanced Ceramics Workshop
see ART 251

ART 453 Advanced Hot Glass Workshop
see ART 253

ART 455 The Art of Porcelain
Students learn to create with this demanding clay through a series of projects designed to explore porcelain's properties of whiteness and translucency. Students model, mold, carve, and glaze porcelain. A visiting artist will demonstrate techniques of using porcelain. Prerequisite: ART 230 or 251.

ART 499 Senior Exhibition
Directed studio work in consultation with a faculty member. The term culminates in an exhibition of a coherent series of original creative works, usually in one medium. Prerequisite: Senior studio art major.

ART 500 Senior Thesis in Art History
In consultation with the instructor, students write a substantial research paper on a topic of their choice and present a public reading of the paper at the end of the term. Prerequisite: Senior art history major.


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