Art and Art History
ARTX145Survey of Art I: 1100-1600This course examines major monuments and movements from 12th through 17th century Europe and Asia, focusing on painting, sculpture, textiles, prints, and architecture. We will take a comparative, topics-based approach to examine how artists working in different cultural contexts expressed and responded to the world around them.
ARTX150Survey of Art Ii: 1600-1945Artistic revolutions from the 17th through the 20th centuries in the East and West caused radical visual and institutional transformation. This course surveys the development of modern art from a global perspective, tracing the influence of East and West upon one another from the Rococo to the Neoclassical, from Romanticism to Realism, to Cubism, Expressionism, and Postmodernism. We will examine how artists interpret the world around them and how these interpretations change over time.
ARTX/SEMN/RELG205Religious Art/Material CultureThis course explores the relationship between religion and art. The arts, whether in the form of painting, sculpture, architecture or kitsch, are often vehicles for religious devotion and expression. At the same time, devotion to a divine figure has inspired some of the world's most beautiful pieces of art. Religion and art form a symbiotic relationship which can simultaneously be in tension and/or cohesive. Looking at various primary and secondary sources from a variety of religious traditions, we explore this tension and cohesion, which can be a window into larger societal and cultural issues. Given that we live in a mechanical age, special attention will be paid to the material production of religious kitsch and the place of religious art in the market. This course is a Shared Passages Sophomore Seminar.Prerequisite: Sophomores Only
ARTX/CLAS208Introduction to Greek Art and ArchaeologyThis introduction to the multidisciplinary field of Greek archaeology examines the art and architecture of the Greek world from a contextual perspective. The course traces Greek material culture from Bronze Age origins through Hellenistic transformations. (This is a designated Greek literature or culture course in Classics.)
ARTX/CLAS209Introduction to Roman Art and ArchaeologyThis introduction to the multidisciplinary field of Roman archaeology examines the art and architecture of the Roman world from a contextual perspective. The course traces Roman material culture from Iron Age and Etruscan origins through Early Christian transformations. (This is a designated Roman literature or culture course in Classics.)
ARTX215A History of PhotographyPhotography was invented at two different geographic locations more or less simultaneously, which coincided with the rise of the modern political state and the industrial revolution in Western Europe. This course is a survey of that medium, and its cultural implications, from the beginning in France and England in the early 19th century, through the modern era of the 20th century, to touch upon conceptual, postmodern, and contemporary trends.
ARTX221Renaissance Art IIn late medieval Italy, new approaches to depicting the natural world by Giotto and others led to the 15th-century Renaissance, whose artists and architects both revived classical forms and created innovations such as one-point perspective. The cultural context as well as style and meaning of works by artists, primarily in Florence, will be closely examined, ending with Leonardo.
ARTX222Renaissance Art IIA strong papacy and its patronage in 16th-century Rome brought Michelangelo, Raphael, and many others from Florence and other cities to work there. They established an idealized classical style that was soon transformed into elegant, anti-classical Mannerism in much of Italy. At the same time, Venetian painters developed a distinctive style, less classical but more sensual.
ARTX223The Long 19th Century ArtEric Hobswam coined the period of time from the French Revolution to the end of WWI as "The Long 19th Century." This course takes a selective, topics-based approach to exploring this period of rapid change in the visual arts. We will explore how the creation and distribution of art from both the metropole and the periphery led to a visual revolution, creating many of the conditions for the modern visual world we exist in today.
ARTX224Art Since 1945Painting, sculpture, architecture, and photography from approximately 1945 to the present day. The emphasis will be on examining the visual arts of this period from both a formal and socio-historical standpoint, using primary texts such as artist manifestos and the writings of critics to help guide an understanding of the visual. In the process, we will seek to better understand how the terms "modern," "postmodern," and "global," were expressed, evaluated, defined and shaped in the visual arts during the latter half of the 20th century.
ARTX227Seeing and Perceiving in the Modern Art MuseumThe modern art museum is not just a repository of the past, but an institution with the ability to shape and create meaning. Its version of history can be simultaneously inclusionary and exclusionary, simply by the manner in which it displays its artists, artworks, and art movements. This course explores the role of the museum from the 19th century to the present, considering a diverse range of issues, including the transition from the private interior to the public space; the politics of exhibiting and viewing; and the shaping of personal, national, and global identities through the museum site.
ARTX260Baroque ArtIn 17th-century Europe, exploration and scientific discovery expanded the world. Similarly, beginning in Rome, artists such as Caravaggio and Bernini both expanded and modified Renaissance innovations. Artists from all over Europe flocked to Rome, and Flemish, Spanish, French, and even some Dutch painters were transformed there, but political, religious, and cultural differences modified the styles they practiced when they returned, and those of other painters who had never left.
ARTX290Art and GenderThis is a discussion-based seminar that draws upon primary texts and images (both historical and contemporary) to situate the terrain of gender and its intersection with the visual arts. Topics to be discussed include challenges to the masculine myth of the artist; artistic agency and subjectivity; the gaze, the voyeur, and desire; and the gendered body in visual art.
ARTX395Michelangelo's RenaissanceIn spite of his portrayal as a troubled and socially difficult character, Michelangelo has exemplified for many generations the ideal-the divine and total (sculptor, painter, and architect)-artist. His artworks, amongst which the celebrated David and the frescoes in the Sistine Chapel, represent landmarks of the narrative on Renaissance art and cultural theory due both to his visual explorations and to his tapping into the philosophical and theological concepts of the day. Taking Michelangelo's poems as a guidebook, this seminar explores the artist's creativity within the Renaissance context, especially in the late fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Florence and Rome. Due to the interdisciplinary nature of this subject, this course may be of particular interest to students in Music, English, Theatre, and Religion.Prerequisite: 300-level course recommended
ARTX430Ways of Seeing: Methods in Visual AnalysisThis course begins with a basic but fundamental question: how do we describe what we see? We will explore how philosophers, artists, and critics have grappled with this issue throughout history, seeking to understand the critical issues that can arise when communicating vision in verbal form. Because the practice of art history rests upon translating the expressive content of the visual world into words, a significant component of this class will focus on methodology, writing, and the critical analysis of classic theoretical texts that have formed the approach and structure of the discipline. Art and art history majors should plan to take this course during the spring of their sophomore or junior year. Offered Fall.Prerequisite: Two Art History courses and Senior Standing
ARTX593Senior Individualized ProjectEach program or department sets its own requirements for Senior Individualized Projects done in that department, including the range of acceptable projects, the required background of students doing projects, the format of the SIP, and the expected scope and depth of projects. See the Kalamazoo Curriculum (Curriculum Details and Policies) section of the Academic Catalog for more details.Prerequisite: Permission of department and SIP supervisor required.