Course Catalog

ART AND THE MARKET (AH2018)

Investigates economic and financial aspects of art over several historical periods. Examines painting, sculpture, drawing, and decorative arts as marketable products, analyzing them from the perspective of patrons, collectors, investors, and speculators. Studies artists as entrepreneurs. Assesses diverse functions and forms of influence exercised by art market specialists: critics, journalists, public officials, auctioneers, museum professionals, experts, and dealers.

INTRO TO MUSLIM CULTURES (AH2019)

This course focuses on the history of Muslim cultures through its religious architecture. Mosques, commemorative, and educational structures will be studied from the beginning of Islam in 7th-century Arabia to its developing into a world religion professed by one-sixth of humanity today. A close study of the buildings' architectural layout and decorum traces the ways in which Muslim dynasties have drawn on the aesthetic vocabulary of the ancient Byzantine and Sassanian civilizations, to articulate their own political legitimacy.

INTRO TO ISLAMIC ART & ARCHITECTURE (AH2024)

The aim of this course is to introduce students to the multifaceted and dynamic character of Islamic art by focusing on the highest achievements of the major dynasties. The time frame will span over one thousand years and, geographically, will cover lands from the western Mediterranean to the Indian subcontinent. Lectures will concentrate on the most representative monuments and works of art from each period. After examining the distinguishing features of the art and architecture of the principal dynasties, their salient characteristics and their greatest contributions to Islamic art as a whole, it should become evident that the field is both full of striking diversity and overall unity.

IMPRESSIONISM - POST-IMPRESSIONISM (AH3000)

Discusses the stylistic and thematic concerns of Manet, Monet, Degas, Pissarro, and Renoir, in the context of artistic theory and practice in mid-19th-century France. Analyzes the art of Gauguin, Van Gogh, CÈzanne, and Seurat as responses to impressionism. Classes at the Musee d'Orsay are scheduled regularly. AH 1020 is strongly recommended as a prerequisite.

THE GLORY OF ANCIENT ATHENS (AH3007)

Examines the glory of Athens, its political constitution, and its exceptional intellectual and artistic achievements, and the legacy to subsequent Western thought, society, and culture. Studies the period from the end of the Persian Wars to the death of Socrates (479-399 BC). Includes a study trip to Athens and the environs.

ISTANBUL, AN IMPERIAL PALIMPSEST (AH3014)

Covers Istanbul's history from its birth as a Greek city in the 7th century BCE to its transition, first, to Constantinople, a major capital of Christendom, then, to the seat of the Muslim Ottoman Empire. Examines the city's patronage and imperial prowess by concentrating on works of art, architecture and literature. Includes a study trip to Istanbul.

GERMANY & RUSSIA BETWEEN THE WARS (AH3016)

European film, photography and painting between the two World Wars shared common concerns in the domains of style, theme and theory. This course explores the parallel paths of painters, photographers and directors associated with German Expressionism and Soviet Constructivism to allow students to investigate the underlying affinities in artistic attitudes and approaches while scrutinizing the specific character of each medium.

HISTORY OF PHOTOGRAPHY (AH3017)

Introduces students to the evolution of photography, which is both closely related to modern painting and clearly distinct from it. Focuses on K60major figures such as Atget, Weston, Stieglitz, Steichen, Hine, Brassao, and Man Ray, in an effort to develop the visual skills necessary to understand photographs as specific forms of artistic vision and creation. AH 1020 is strongly recommended as a prerequisite.

UTILITY & SUBVERSION: THE OBJECT IN 20TH CENT. ART (AH3020)

From cubist assemblage to multimedia contemporary art installations, from Duchamp’s ready-made to the design departments in prominent art museums, the presence of objects –in the sense of things, everyday utensils–is pervasive in 20th century Art History. Mixing up high and low culture, aestheticizing the common and desacralizing the unique, the object in art has cast into question the traditional definition of art in Western Culture. This course will highlight the different implications of the object as the subject of art, as the material for art, as design product, as a trigger of spatial experience. We will explore how, in the context of a fast developing consumerism, the art revolving around the object, whether conciliating or critical, expresses and clarifies our relation to a complex and sometimes contradictory modern world. Major examples in art and design history from the end of the 19th to end of the 20th century will be discussed in class or during museum/workshop visits, in order to reach an understanding of our object-invested cultural and material environment.

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