Art & Art History

Program Description

The department of Art & Art History has the following mission: 

  • to promote the creation and study of visual arts as a vital aspect of a liberal arts education
  • to study how and why works of art are made, and why art has played such a significant role in cultures and societies across time and space
  • to prepare majors as future artists or scholars in the fields of Studio Art or Art History as well as to position them to enhance any professional endeavor with intellectual curiosity and creativity

The department offers a flexible program of study in interrelated studio and art history courses, with potential majors in two areas, art history and studio art. The department encourages students from other disciplines than art to select courses from both areas.

Program Requirements

Students interested in a major or minor in art history or studio art should contact the department for a current check sheet.

To complete a major in art history students are required to complete eleven courses:

  • ARTH 125
  • Methods Course ARTH 214 (May include ARTH 120 or 115 if taken prior to Spring 2013)
  • One course in ancient or medieval fields (ARTH 201 or 202)
  • One course in Renaissance or Baroque fields (ARTH 205, 284, 303, 306, 307, 308 or FYS 197)
  • Two courses in 19th century or modern fields (ARTH 206, 210, 217, 221, 318, 322)
  • One course in a non-western field (ARTH 131, 234, 235, 236)
  • One additional course in art history or theory (May include approved Internships and Independent Studies)
  • Two Studio Courses
  • Major Capstone course (ARTH 400)

May use no more than two transfer or off-campus study courses toward the minimum requirements for the major. Courses used in the Art History major may not be used in the Studio Art major with the exception of ARTH 120 and ARTS 141.

To complete a major in studio art students are required to take the following courses:

  • ARTS 141
  • Four Core Studio classes (ARTS 251, 255, 261 or 146, and 263)
  • Two upper level studio classes (may include ARTS 145 or second level drawing)
  • One elective Studio (may use approved media or internship)
  • Three courses in theory and history (Must include one entry-level survey in art history (ARTH 111, 112, 120) and one modern art history (ARTH 318). Third course may include FYS 188, 197, PHIL 334 or any other art history course.)
  • Major Capstone course ARTS 401

May use no more than two transfer or off-campus study courses toward the minimum requirements for the major. May not double count courses toward art history major or minor except for ARTS 141 and one entry-level art history survey.

To complete a minor in art history students are required to take the following courses.

  • ARTH 214 (may include ARTH 120 or 115 if taken prior to Spring 2013 with permission of department chair) or substitute at the discretion of the department chair
  • Three Three 200-400 level Art History or Theory courses
  • One course in a non-western field (ARTH 131, 234, 235, 236)
  • One studio course

Please note that no more than two 100-level courses are acceptable to fulfill the
requirements for the minor. The art history courses used in a Studio Art major may not count in the Art History minor.

To complete a minor in studio art students are required to take the following courses

  • ARTS 141
  • Must take two of the following:
    -Introduction to Painting (ARTS 251)
    -Introduction to Printmaking (ARTS 255)
    -Introduction to Sculpture (ARTS 261)
    -Introduction to Ceramics (ARTS 263)
  • Must take one second-level of the core you chose above. May include second-level drawing here as well.
  • Must include one entry-level survey in art history, and one other art history

The minor must include 6 courses; no more than two of which shall be 100-level courses. May use no more than two transfer or off-campus study courses toward the minimum requirements for the minor. May not double count courses toward art history major or minor except for ARTS 141 and one entry-level art history survey.

Course Listing

Course level:
100 | 200 | 300 | 400
ARTS-141 Introduction to Drawing
Drawing from models and controlled studio problems. Intended to promote coordination of the hand and the eye to achieve a degree of technical mastery over a variety of drawing tools. Emphasis is placed on line quality, techniques of shading, negative-positive relationships, figure-ground relationships, form, structure, and an awareness of the total field. Offered fall semester only. Prerequisite: First-year students and sophomores only.


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ARTS-251 Introduction to Painting
Development of a series of paintings according to a thematic image. Assigned problems are designed to introduce a variety of conceptual, procedural, and experimental possibilities. Prerequisite: VAS 141 or permission of instructor. Recommended course: VAH 322. Offered once a year. Offered once a year.


ARTS-252 Intermediate Painting
Development of unique and experimental techniques, procedures, images, presentations, and textural applications. Series of paintings is developed. Alternative concepts and methodology are discussed. Students are referred to works by artists who have related aesthetic interests. Prerequisites: VAS 141, 251, or permission of instructor. Offered once a year.


ARTS-255 Introduction to Printmaking
Creative process as conditioned and disciplined by intaglio techniques. Discussion of past and contemporary methods, and the study of original prints. Prerequisites: VAS 141 or permission of instructor. Offered once a year.


ARTS-256 Intermediate Printmaking
Introductory course in experimental work, with a primary concentration on cameo techniques. Lithography and seriography are often introduced in alternate semesters. Prerequisite: VAS 255. Offered once a year.


ARTS-261 Introduction to Sculpture
Introduction to fundamentals of three-dimensional forms and modes of expression involving creative problems in the organization of space, mass, volume, line, and color. Correlated lectures and demonstrations are used to acquaint students with those aspects of sculptural history and theory relevant to studio projects. Course is intended for both general students, and art majors. Prerequisite: VAS 146 or permission of instructor. Recommended course: VAS 335. Offered once a year.


ARTS-262 Intermediate Sculpture
Program of studio projects (arranged by instructor and student) concerned with developing an individual approach to three-dimensional form, using fabrication and construction techniques involving a series of experiments in spatial organization. Prerequisite: VAS 261. Offered once a year.


ARTS-263 Introduction to Ceramics
Introduction to clay as a medium for personal three-dimensional expression. Material is approached in a utilitarian and sculptural way. Both wheel and hand-building will be practiced. Introduction to kilns and glaze techniques. Offered once a year.


ARTS-265 Introduction to Photography
Introductory course with a concentration on camera usage, design theory, and darkroom techniques in the black-and-white creative process. Additional emphasis on origins, evolution, and relationship of the photographic image to contemporary materials and methods. Prerequisite: VAS 141, 145, or permission of instructor. Offered once a year.


ARTS-267 Special Topics in Studio
Focuses on materials, techniques, and compositional parameters not systematically covered in the regular curriculum. Topics are chosen by individual studio faculty members and may include cast metal sculpture, welded sculpture, calligraphy, computer graphics, color photography, figurative drawing, watercolor painting, assemblages, installations and earthworks. Not offered every year.


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ARTS-341 Advanced Drawing
Emphasis on individual concepts as developed in a series of interrelated drawing problems, materials, and techniques. Prerequisites: VAS 141 or permission of instructor. Offered infrequently.


ARTS-351 Advanced Painting
Emphasis on advanced painting concepts and the development of individual student concerns in a series. Prerequisites: VAS 251 and 252. Offered infrequently.


ARTS-361 Advanced Sculpture
Exploration of individual three-dimensional concerns, with concentration in one media and technique. Prerequisites: VAS 261, 262. Offered infrequently.


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ARTS-401 Senior Portfolio
Creation of a cohesive, individualized body of work for inclusion in the Senior Show, accompanied by portfolio presentation and faculty review. Emphasis is placed on extending unique student interests and strengths in an exploration of media, imagery, and technique, which result in mature, high quality aesthetic conclusions. Students participate in all aspects of offering the public a provocative, thoughtful series of well-crafted work that is displayed professionally. Offered every spring semester.


ARTS-450 Individualized Study-Tutorial
Individualized tutorial counting toward the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded A-F


ARTS-451 Individualized Study-Tutorial
Individualized tutorial counting toward the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded S/U


ARTS-452 Individualized Study-Tutorial
Individualized tutorial not counting in the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded A-F


ARTS-453 Individualized Study-Tutorial
Individualized tutorial not counting in the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded S/U


ARTS-460 Individualized Study-Research
Individualized research counting toward the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded A-F


ARTS-461 Individualized Study-Research
Individualized research counting toward the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded S/U


ARTS-462 Individualized Study-Research
Individualized research not counting in the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded A-F


ARTS-463 Individualized Study-Research
Individualized research not counting in the minimum requirements in a major or minor graded S/U


ARTS-470 Individualized Study-Intern
Internship counting toward the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded A-F


ARTS-471 Individualized Study-Intern
Internship counting toward the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded S/U


ARTS-472 Individualized Study-Internship
Internship not counting in the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded A-F


ARTS-473 Individualized Study-Internship
Internship not counting in the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded S/U


ARTS-474 Summer Internship
Summer Internship graded A-F, counting in the minimum requirements for a major or minor only with written permission filed in the Registrar's Office.


ARTS-475 Summer Internship
Summer Internship graded S/U, counting in the minimum requirements for a major or minor only with written permission filed in the Registrar's Office


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Course level: 100 | 200 | 300 | 400
ARTH-111 History of Western Art, part 1
Introductory study of the visual arts from prehistoric times to about 1300. Course examines reasons for changes in the content, form, and function of two-dimensional and three-dimensional art. Exercises in visual analysis of individual works develop critical methods. Prerequisite: Juniors and seniors require permission of instructor. Offered every Fall semester.


ARTH-112 History of Western Art, part 2
Introductory study of the visual arts from about 1300 to 1900. Course examines reasons for changes in the content, form, and function of two-dimensional and three-dimensional art. Exercises in visual analysis of individual works develop critical methods. Prerequisite: Juniors and seniors require permission of instructor. Offered every Spring semester.


ARTH-115 Comparing World Art & Culture
This course covers different art forms primarily painting, sculpture and architecture mainly from European and Asian cultural traditions. Within each period the arts are not only analyzed visually and stylistically, but are examined in their cultural, social and political contexts.


ARTH-120 Theory of the Visual Arts
Course gives a basic approach to visual experience by examining factors that relate to the making of art, functions of art, and viewer relationships with art, including methods of analysis. In addition to class lectures and discussions, hands-on sessions assist students in understanding the processes of making visual imagery. Prerequisite: Juniors and seniors require permission of instructor. Offered once a year.


ARTH-125 Survey of Western Art
An introduction to Western art from about 25,000 BC to the 21st century. Students learn some of the many relationships of visual art to various environmental contexts and some of the ways humans have employed art as a means to respond to life's experiences and also to influence those experiences. Additionally, students learn various methodologies of approaching art, such as formalist, feminist, Marxist. Through practice, students learn techniques of visual analysis and build skills to evaluate visual images.


ARTH-131 Introduction to Asian Art
A survey of the Arts of Asia from Neolithic period to Modern times. Three general topics, including Ancient Civilization, Asian Religion and Art, Traditional China and Japan will be discussed. The course covers different art forms primarily painting, sculpture and architecture from several regions: India, China, Japan, Central Asia and Southeast Asia. The works of art are important in their own contexts and we want to learn what they reveal about their parent cultures. Offered every semester.


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ARTH-201 Arts of Ancient Greece and Rome
Introductory survey of the art and architecture of Ancient Greece and Rome, beginning with the Bronze Age in the Aegean to the reign of emperor Constantine. The course covers the history, culture and social context of major works produced by these civilizations and analyzes developments in style, taste and use of materials. Recommended VAH 111 or 115. Offered once a year.


ARTH-202 Medieval Art
Survey of the arts of the Middle Ages and their development from the Roman catacomb through the high Gothic cathedral. Analysis of art as a reflection of changing political and social conditions in Europe, with particular emphasis on liturgical arts in the Middle Ages. Recommended prior course: VAH 111 or 201.


ARTH-203 Danish Design



ARTH-206 European Painting 1700-1900
Introduction to eighteenth-century painters in Italy, France, and England and their relationship to the Enlightenment. Major emphasis on the evolution of painting in France during the nineteenth century in relation to the changing social, political, and philosophical climate. Alternate years. Prerequisite: any 100-level VAH, VAH 201, or permission of instructor.


ARTH-210 20th Century European Painting
Study of the schools and critical writings surrounding the major figures in the first half of the 20th century. Such movements as Art Nouveau, Nabis, Fauvism, Cubism, Futurism, German Expressionism, De Stijl, Dada, and Surrealism are examined. Recommended prior courses: VAH 111, 112, or 120.


ARTH-214 Methods in Art History
An introduction to the history of the art historical discipline and its research and interpretive methods. A broad goal of the course is to have students build a foundation of knowledge and methodology from which to approach works of art with understanding and critical appreciation. Through lectures and class discussions students will develop a thorough familiarity with various art-historical methodologies and be able to evaluate their applicability to the analysis of individual works of art.


ARTH-221 18th & 19th Cent Amer Painting
Survey of American painting from the Colonial Period to 1900, studied in relationship to developments in Europe, and with emphasis on the response of art to the changing social and technological environment in America. Alternate years.


ARTH-225 History and Theory of Photography
"History and Theory of Photography" explores critical issues in photography from its invention in 1839 through the present. The course examines the following themes: the photograph as document, landscape photography in the American West, the relationship between photography and painting, the practice of street photography, and postmodern photography.


ARTH-234 Arts of China
An introduction to a world of visual and intellectual richness of Chinese art. The course will provide a base for the students to understand how the Chinese have viewed themselves and the world through time and how this has been expressed in the visual arts. Various art forms will be discussed chronologically. Within each period the arts are not only analyzed visually and stylistically, but are examined in their cultural, social and political contexts. Offered once a year.


ARTH-235 Chinese Painting and Aesthetics
A study of Chinese painting and the art forms that have long held prestige positions in Chinese art. This course is intended to introduce the students to artistic practices created by both professional artists and scholar-painters. Class lecture and discussion focus on painting, the history of collections, theories on connoisseurship and aesthetics from the 3rd c to modern times. The interplays between painting and poetry, philosophy and politics are emphasized. Ink and brushworks is also analyzed and demonstrated in class.


ARTH-267 Topics in Visual Arts History
Focuses on specific aspects of the history and theory of art and architecture not usually covered in the regular curriculum. Topics are chosen by individual faculty members; not offered every year. Pre-requisite: VAH 111.


ARTH-284 Wonders of Nature and Artifice: The Renaissance Quest for Knowledge
Examination of Renaissance collections and the social context of their development. The course explores the quest for knowledge by Renaissance naturalists and collectors, whose wonders of nature and artifice were displayed in curiosity cabinets, gardens, and writings. The interaction of art and science and the role of economics, politics and culture are explored. Students engage in hands-on work, analyzing a Renaissance chamber of wonders at the Walters Art Museum and putting together their own "cabinet" in the Schmucker Art Gallery.


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ARTH-303 Art of the Italian Renaissance
Survey of the art and architecture of the Italian Renaissance from the thirteenth to the beginning of the sixteenth century. Course explores the characteristics of this important historical period, traditionally defined as a time of rebirth. Class material introduces students to primary sources and biographies of prominent artists, including Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and Raphael, as well as the broader historical context of patronage, politics and social customs. Prerequisite: ARTH 115, or 125, or 201, 202; or permission of the instructor. Offered once a year.


ARTH-306 Michelangelo and the Age of Mannerism
Seminar-style course on the late work of Michelangelo Buonarroti, including the Last Judgment, the San Lorenzo projects, and the later Pietas, and his influence on art and architecture in sixteenth-century Italy. The class will study various aspects of his life and working conditions and explore the Age of Mannerism, the 'stylish style', and how artists such as Pontormo, Rosso Fiorentino, Bronzino, Cellini and Vasari reinterpreted Michelangelo's style and celebrated his achievements as part of their own legacy. Readings will include Michelangelo's poetry and biographies by Vasari and Cellini. Prerequisite: ARTH 115, or 125, or any 200-level art history course, or permission of the instructor. Offered alternate years.


ARTH-307 Baroque Art in Europe
Art Study of painting, sculpture, and architecture in Europe, from the first decades after the Reformation through their transformation under the impact of the Counter Reformation. Artistic developments in Italy are discussed, as well as allied approaches in northern Europe and Spain. Works of some of the world's best known artists are examined, including Bernini, Caravaggio, Rubens, Rembrandt, Vermeer, El Greco, Velasquez, and Poussin. Prerequisite: ARTH 115, or 125, or any 200-level art history course; or permission of the instructor. Alternate years.


ARTH-318 Art After 1945
Critical examination of the art forms and issues that identify the current post-modern phase of twentieth-century art. Past and current usages of the terms 'modern' and 'avant-garde' are explored in the context of contemporary modes of visual expression, art criticism, communications technology, and cultural pluralism. Prerequisite: two courses in art history and/or theory or permission of the instructor.


ARTH-322 Painting in America, 1900 to 1960
Since 1900 Survey of twentieth-century painting. Course concentrates on two basic themes: the changing social role of painting as America's needs and self-image change, and the on-going eclectic process in which American painters extend and deepen their familiarity with world art.


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ARTH-400 Seminar in Art History
Discussion of methods, approaches and professional practices of Art History alongside the development of individual research projects and the organization of an academic symposium. Topics for critical discussion include formalism, iconography, social history, feminism and gender, high and low culture, challenging the canon and postmodernism. Students define and carry out an advanced research topic, the results of which will be written as a scholarly paper and delivered as a professional presentation with images in an Art History Symposium open to the public. Prerequisites: Senior Art History majors only. Offered in Spring semester.


ARTH-450 Individualized Study-Tutorial
Individualized tutorial counting toward the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded A-F


ARTH-451 Individualized Study-Tutorial
Individualized tutorial counting toward the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded S/U


ARTH-452 Individualized Study-Tutorial
Individualized tutorial not counting in the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded A-F


ARTH-453 Individualized Study-Tutorial
Individualized tutorial not counting in the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded S/U


ARTH-460 Individualized Study-Research
Individualized research counting toward the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded A-F


ARTH-461 Individualized Study-Research
Individualized research counting toward the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded S/U


ARTH-462 Individualized Study-Research
Individualized research not counting in the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded A-F


ARTH-463 Individualized Study-Research
Individualized research not counting in the minimum requirements in a major or minor graded S/U


ARTH-470 Individualized Study-Intern
Internship counting toward the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded A-F


ARTH-471 Individualized Study-Intern
Internship counting toward the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded S/U


ARTH-472 Individualized Study-Internship
Internship not counting in the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded A-F


ARTH-473 Individualized Study-Internship
Internship not counting in the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded S/U


ARTH-474 Summer Internship
Summer Internship graded A-F, counting in the minimum requirements for a major or minor only with written permission filed in the Registrar's Office.


ARTH-475 Summer Internship
Summer Internship graded S/U, counting in the minimum requirements for a major or minor only with written permission filed in the Registrar's Office


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