Art Humanities: Masterpieces of Western Art - arthumanities

ART HUMANITIES: GREAT masterpieces of
western art
Art Humanities
Spring 2012 W1121
608 or 604 Schermerhorn Hall
Instructor: Dr. Ellen Hoobler
Email:[email protected]
Office Hours: Wed, 10:30-12:30 and by appointment,
925 Schermerhorn,
Mailbox in Art History Department office, 821 Schermerhorn, which is open from
9 AM to 5 pm ONLY. My mailbox is the one UNDER my name.
Art Humanities: Masterpieces of Western Art is intended to teach you how to
look at and evaluate art, so that you can more effectively think, talk, and write
about it. During the semester we will look at some of the great monuments of
western art and architecture, and study the visual language developed by the
masters who created them. Along with this new way of seeing, we will learn a new
vocabulary to be able to accurately and confidently put what we see into words.
Therefore, well-prepared class discussions will be the heart of the Art
Humanities experience. However, while the course will rely heavily on its website
(see below), it is also focused on using the resources of New York City, one of the
greatest cities in the world for art.
This course should help you:
--Be exposed to some of the great masters of Western art, fascinating characters
who produced thought-provoking works.
--relate to earlier peoples and ages through art.
--Learn to facilitate discussion about abstract issues.
--Look at new ways to engage with art through technology as well as discussion
and writing.
---------------I. Requirements
A. Attendance and classroom behavior: Students are expected to attend all
scheduled class meetings, to be punctual, to be prepared and to contribute
actively to class discussions. Unavoidable absences, due to illness,
religious observance, or emergency must be reported to the
Instructor (preferably BEFORE the scheduled class in question) and
recurrent absences may need to be verified by a third party (i.e. Health Services
*It is common courtesy to turn off cell phones and pagers BEFORE
*Please try to keep trips out of the classroom to a minimum during
*I prefer that you not use computers in the class, as it distracts other
students. Please take notes if needed in a notebook. If you have
special notetaking needs that require a computer, please let me know
as soon as possible.
*You may not eat in class, but you may bring drinks in covered containers.
Official Core Office Student Attendance policy: The Core-wide policy is
that there are no unexcused absences. Absences resulting from religious
observance, illness, or family emergency are to be excused; the instructor,
however, may strongly encourage (though may not require) that students
complete additional assignments to help make up for lost class participation
resulting from such absences.
Cliffnotes version: You get one unexcused absence without consequences.
After two absences without a doctor or coach’s note, or prior warning for religious
holiday or similar, your grade will be lowered by each additional absence.
Students who miss class more than once without the instructor’s
permission should expect to have their grade lowered.
B. Preparation for class includes doing assigned readings (as listed in the
syllabus as well as possibly a few assigned in class), regular study of images and
visual resources on the Art Humanities website. Unless otherwise noted, all
reading assignments will be available on the Art Humanities website or the
Courseworks website, or will be handed out in class.
C. Mandatory field trips to New York-area museums and buildings, to be
scheduled outside of regular class meetings. These trips will include the
Metropolitan Museum of Art, the MoMA, and the Hispanic Society of America, as
well as an in-class trip to the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. Please plan to
attend at least 2 visits.
D. Midterm and final examinations: both consisting of slide identifications,
slide comparisons and essay questions. A few short quizzes may be scheduled
intermittently throughout the semester. The date of the examinations cannot be
changed under any circumstances (barring medical emergency). Failure to
attend an examination will result in failure of the class.
E. Written assignments:
--There will be periodic required short reading responses (1/2 - 1 page long max)
that are mandatory for all students.
--You will be required to complete 2 short assignments in formal analysis (about
5 pages total) and 2 longer assignments (about 3-5 pages each pages, usually
based on museum trips) during the semester.
--If you MUST miss class on the day an essay is due, please make sure that your
assignment is in my mailbox in the Art History Department office, Schermerhorn
821, by noon on that day. My mailbox is the one UNDER my name.
--Not all assignments will require outside research. However, when they do,
you must cite all sources in all assignments. Failure to do so will be
taken very seriously, and may constitute plagiarism. Instructors are
asked to notify the Core Office of any suspected cases of academic dishonesty,
even before speaking with the student. Please cite sources, even in the case of
museum walltext, assigned class readings etc.
There is a new Columbia College website devoted to academic integrity – please
look over or contact the instructor whenever you have any doubts about what
constitutes plagiarism:
II. Grading and Major assignments:
Students will be evaluated on the requirements of the course according to the
rubrics of each assignment. The final grade will be determined in approximately
the following proportion:
--Attendance, participation and field trips: 25%
--Written assignments: 45% ---Reading responses 10%
--“mini” formal analysis – 5% -- 2/13
--Formal analysis – 10% -- 3/5
--Exhibition review – 10% -- 4/4
--Collection assignment – 15% -- 4/18
--Midterm and Final exams: 25% -- Mar 21 and TBD
--Group presentation and discussion facilitation: 5%
Apart from our own Courseworks website, some readings will be available on the
official Art Humanities website. You will need to login, go to the section
corresponding to the artist we are looking at, and download the reading to find
the part(s) indicated.
Art Humanities Website
Address: http:
User name: ahar
Password: 826sch
Images will also be available on the Wikispaces website for the class. Once the
class roster has been set, you will be invited to the Wiki.
Key: Wiki means Wikispaces website
AHW means Art Hum website
January 18 – Introduction 1-What is art? What is a masterpiece? Why do we care, anyway?
Assignment 1 (Mandatory for all): Prepare your art autobiography. Tell me
about a significant experience you have had with a specific work of art, citing
its author, title and date (and including an image of it if not available in books
or on the internet.) (~1 page)
Also – Read the Foucault reading on the Wikispaces/Courseworks website.
January 23 – Further discussion of the goals of the class
--Reading for next time:
--Art Hum website (AHW): Thucydides, “Funeral Oration of Pericles” Portions
42, 43 only.
--Alain de Botton, “On Architecture” – on Wiki
January 25 – Parthenon
Major theme: Memory and art
--Reading: Wiki readings on Elgin Marbles. We will debate the issue of
whether the British Museum should return these statues to Greece.
January 30 – Parthenon II – Cultural Property and the Elgin
For next time:
--Reading/Preparation: Play with the “Animated Glossary” at the bottom of the
Gothic section in the Art Hum website
--Gregory the Great, “On the Proper Use of Images” – AHW
--Selections from “The Year 1000” – on Wiki
--Bring in a reading response (1/2 – 1 p.) explaining what was most surprising
to you about the Gregory the Great and “The Year 1000” readings.
February 1 – Amiens Cathedral –
Major Theme: Religion and art
February 6 -- Cathedrals –
Visit to St. John the Divine (during class)
February 8 – Amiens Cathedral – Sculpture, Narrative, Catholic
For next time: Vasari on Raphael (AHW)
--Stokstad “all you need to know about Catholic iconography” – Wiki
--West, Shearer. “What is a Portrait?” From Portraiture (2004). -- Wiki
February 13 – Raphael I – Mimesis, Perspective, the Renaissance
For next time:
--Contracts for the Pietà and David. Also Deliberations on the Installation of the
– AHW under Michelangelo
--Mini formal analysis due (about 1 page)
February 15– Raphael II
For next time:
--Vasari, “Life of Michelangelo Buonarroti” – AHW
--“Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?” – Article on Wiki
February 20 – Michelangelo – Sculpture, innovation, patronage,
February 22 – Michelangelo – The Body in Art, Portraits
For next time: Van Mander “Pieter Bruegel of Bruegel” --AHW
--Ovid, “Fall of Icarus” – AHW
For next time: By Mon the 27th at midnight, put a one-slide PPT which
illustrates a proverb into the website dropbox.
February 27–The Northern Renaissance as compared to Italy
February 29 -- Bruegel I – Morality and art
--For next time: Svetlana Alpers – Bruegel’s Festive Peasants – Wiki
March 5 – Bruegel II – Social Criticism and art
--Formal Analysis 1 due in class
For next time: Ovid, “Daphne and Apollo” -- AHW
--Baldinucci, from “The Life of Cavaliere Lorenzo Bernini” – AHW
March 7 -- Bernini – the Baroque period in general, sculpture,
Review for midterm
NO CLASSES MARCH 12 & 14 – Spring Break
March 19 -- Bernini continued
Review for midterm
For next time: Review Shearer West’s – “Portraiture” and read “Selfportraiture” – Wiki
March 26 -- Rembrandt – Portraiture, Self-portraiture
For next time: Alpers and other article, Wiki
March 28 – Rembrandt II – Printmaking, authenticity
For next time: Advertisement for Los Caprichos -- AHW
--Eisenman reading on Goya –Wiki
April 2 – Goya – Art & Social criticism II; Art and War
April 4 – Goya II – Shock and awe
**Exhibition review due in class
For next time: Leroy, L. “Exhibition of the Impressionists” -- AHW
--LaForgue, “Impressionism”
April 9 – Monet I – Impressionism, Modernism, Art and time.
--For next time : Duranty, Duret, Leroy excerpts from AHW.
--Renoir notebook excerpt (pp. 14-15 in AHW)
April 11 – Monet II
For next time: Kahnweiler, D-H, Excerpt from The Way of Cubism - AHW
--Chave article – Wiki
--Look at the painting known as Les Demoiselles d'Avignon on the AHW/
Google Images/at the MoMA
April 16 – Picasso I – Cubism. Tradition and rupture in art, West
and/vs. non-West in art.
April 18 – Picasso II
**Collection paper due in class
For next time: Articles on Pollock – Wiki
April 23 – Jackson Pollock – Post Modernism
Reading on Warhol -- Wiki
April 25 – Andy Warhol
April 30 – Wrap up, Course Review
***Final exam date : to be announced by Registrar