Develop a combination of object-based analytical skills and an understanding of historical and contemporary artistic practices.
The art history minor is offered through the liberal arts department. Students gain an expanded knowledge of the research and methods used in the discipline of art history, skills of visual interpretation that are transferable to a wide variety of creative and scholarly practices.
AH 1701 Introduction to Art and Design History 1 3
The objective of this course is to familiarize students with the major stylistic, thematic, and historical trends in Western art history from prehistoric times through the nineteenth century. This course is designed to encourage a critical understanding of the meaning and function of art objects, architecture, and design artifacts within their original historical contexts. The final section of this course deals with the emergence of modernity in art. Class sessions consist primarily of lecture with some discussion. Students will take in-class examinations and complete short essay assignments.
AH 1702 Introduction to Art and Design History 2 3
This course introduces students to issues in contemporary cultural theory, popular culture, and contemporary art and design. Topics include anti-aesthetic challenges to modernist aesthetics, the rise of consumerism, the proliferation of the designed object, and the transition from source-oriented media to user oriented media, among others. The course is a roughly equal mix of lecture and discussion. Students will produce short writing assignments and will complete written exams consisting of identification and essay questions.
AH 3913 Art History Theories and Methods 3
This course introduces students to the theories and methodologies of art history, and familiarizes students with key concepts that inform past as well as contemporary criticism in the visual arts. In addition, the class focuses on the manner in which cultural definitions of art shift from one historical moment to the next, and how various methodologies in art historical research help make these transformations explicit, understandable, and, in some cases, predictable. In completing this course,students will gain familiarity with the historical and theoretical frameworks within which to place art and artistic practice.
History Course 3 Select one of the following: AH 3658 History of Advertising 3
The goal of this course is to establish the historical beginnings of advertising communications, and relate those beginnings to the present day. Lecture will focus primarily on the United States, illustrating that history in detail and placing those examples in context with cultural, social, political and technological changes throughout the United States and the world. The course consists primarily of lecture with some class discussions. Students complete exams consisting of essay and short-answer questions, as well as produce short but polished writing assignments.
AH 3365 History of Animation 3
The course begins with a survey of primarily American character animation traditions followed by a history of the medium explored through various methods and techniques, as well as through shared themes from various countries and filmmaking traditions. Central topics include: propaganda, personal filmmaking, abstraction, politics and social protest. Connections between animation and editorial caricature, the fine arts, the avant-garde, illustration and media other than film are made throughout. Written assignments involve character analysis, screening notes, and a proposal for an imaginary animated film; there are two exams.
AH 3657 History of Comic Art 3
Although comic art now includes a vast collection of different articulations of image and text, their shared history reflects an evolution from strictly pulp publications on cheap paper created by assembly line artists, to complex stories with exquisite images. This course will follow the history of comic art from the Yellow Kid to the latest issues. While the course is primarily lecture-driven, students are encouraged to share their own insights during class discussions about this truly American art form. There will be two written assignments in the course, as well as a final exam. Weekly online assignments are also required.
AH 3660 History of Drawing and Painting 3
In this course, painters who draw, drawers who paint, modern artists who draw and paint on same surface appear center stage. The course will focus not only “Old Masters,” but also on movements such as Impressionism, Expressionism, and Surrealism. In addition, students will examine the work of the Bauhaus, as well as the School of Paris and the New York School. Contemporary developments in drawing and painting will be addressed by focusing on Neoexpressionism and beyond. Sessions consist primarily of lecture with some discussion. Students will be required to take meticulous notes and to complete in-class exams.
AH 3600 History of Filmmaking 3
This course explores the ways in which film styles, meanings and uses developed over time, from the medium's earliest efforts to the present. Through screenings of features, shorts, and excerpts, students will see the many different choices made by filmmakers in many countries. The goal is to appreciate and understand the differences and to not expect a history of progress in the art form. Class sessions consist of lectures with some discussion. Content includes narrative films as well as the avant-garde; assignments include quizzes, short in-class exercises, and short papers.
AH 3412 History of Furniture Design 3
This course will trace the history of furniture as it follows the story of human history. Students will examine furniture as part of an evolving human culture of habit, convenience, and status. Although centering on western patterns and use, the course will also touch on the evolution of Asian and African furniture. Attention will be given to various movements and styles within the history of furniture. The course will consist mostly of lecture with some discussions and field trips. Students will complete short papers as well as in-class examinations.
AH 3659 History of Graphic Design 3
The field of graphic design has altered and been altered by technological advances. And these changes continue today. This course will study the history of the discipline of graphic design from its early history to the present, emphasizing in particular the ways in which the Internet has allowed for design to impact the culture at large. The course is primarily lecture-based. There will be a take-home midterm and an in-class final. Students will also complete short writing assignments.
AH 3377 History of Illustration 3
This course celebrates artists as storytellers and illustrators. We will examine the history of American visual communication from 1800 to the present day, and course material will combine a chronological overview with surveys of selected genres. Readings, discussions and research projects will concentrate on the results (styles, trends, and subject matter) of changing technology, historical events, contemporary art trends, cross-cultural influences, and changing reader expectations. Discussions will focus on American illustration and ephemera in the Golden Age, Howard Pyle and The Rise of American Illustration. Students will complete in-class examinations as well as short writing assignments.
AH 3610 History of Photography 3
Since its invention in 1839, photography has grown from an exotic technology to the most widespread representational form in current use. Photography has been at the center of many of the important art movements of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, including Pictorialism, Modernism, Surrealism, Pop Art, and Postmodernism, and digital media. This course will consider photography as a commercial medium, an important tool for social change, and a fine art. Particular attention will be paid to individual photographers, whose work will be examined within changing technological, economic, institutional, and aesthetic contexts. Course consists of lectures and discussions. Students will write online reviews and create a historical timetable.
AH 3367 History of Print Paper Book 3
Print revolutionized the world, making information accessible to the public and advancing the cause of democracy across the globe. It also made possible unique art forms. This course focuses on the history of making unique images and objects, from the Renaissance to present, by focusing on various techniques and media. Emphasis is placed on class lectures and discussions on the exploration, innovation, and technical virtuosity demonstrated by various artists and movements. Classes are primarily lecture with some discussion. Students will be required to complete in-class examinations as well as a research essay.
AH 3568 History of Sculpture 3
Sculpture as an art form has its own language and grammar, and understanding this language and grammar yields seminal insight into the history of art in general. This course will begin by examining the sculpture of the Greeks and continue through to the present day. Special attention will be given to the contexts of artistic production, the examination of materials and techniques, as well as the context in which sculptures are viewed. Class sessions are primarily lecture with some discussion. Requirements may include a sketchbook of ideas, notes and vocabulary, critiques, a short essay, a midterm exam, and a final exam.
AH 3378 History of Web and Multimedia 3
This course examines the artistic and technical evolution of electronic and digital media. The course will focus on various media technologies in their current state, as well as key events and people along the evolutionary way. Students examine how digital and electronic media emerge, as well as how artistic and technical practice merge. Students will develop in-depth knowledge of web and multimedia themes through focused engagements with key artists, inventions, events, and experiments. Overall, this survey course provides select examples and histories of electronic and digital media, and the effect these media have had on art, technology and daily life. Class sessions are primarily lecture-based, but will involve some discussion as well. Students may complete short writing assignments, online postings, and in-class examinations.
Readings Course 3 Select one of the following: AH/HS 3867 Readings in Contemporary Art 3
Since the 1960s, new paradigms for art, its presentation, and its discussion have emerged. In this course students will consider major issues in contemporary art through reading key critical texts and engaging with a selection of museum and gallery exhibitions. Not a historical survey, this course will address issues as articulated through critical texts and exhibitions. Class sessions will consist of both seminar-style discussions and museum visits. Students will produce a number of written projects including short essays and an exhibition review.
AH/HS 3868 Readings in Contemporary Design 3
In this course students will consider major issues in contemporary design through a select, focused group of essays and other written forms. Not a historical survey, this course will address issues as articulated through critical texts and contemporary developments. The course examines contemporary design theory along with related work and processes, and focuses on significant graphic designers' philosophies and problem solving strategies. Class sessions consist of seminar-style discussions and site-specific visits. Students complete in-class exams, short writing assignments, and a final research essay.
AH/HS 3875 Readings in the Graphic Novel 3
The graphic novel is an art form that offers the best of both worlds. While gaining legitimacy as a literary/art form, it retains the excitement and unique properties of reading a comic book. Students will read, discuss, and analyze five graphic novels, as well as engage extensively critical scholarship on and about the graphic novel form. Looking at graphic novels in the genres of mystery, superhero, manga, memoir, and works beyond categorization, students will examine how these stories are structured: the forms of novel, novella, and short story will help differentiate and explain the subtleties of these forms. The class will focus on social, structural, and thematic issues of these specific texts and explore the possibilities of the form itself.
Humanities and Sciences Course 3 Select one course cross-listed as AH/HS and take as HS: AH/HS 3325 Native American Art 3
Most Native American tribes do not have a word in their languages for the artist, yet the arts are a pervasive part of both daily and ceremonial life. Using selected tribes, artists and art forms, we will look at Native American art, architecture and aesthetics. Emphasis will be on the nineteenth through the twenty-first centuries. The impact of outside forces on continuities and changes in traditional forms will be explored. Class sessions are a mixture of lecture and discussion. Students will complete two exams as well as several short writing assignments.
AH/HS 3434 Cross-Cultural Aesthetics 3
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But every beholder wears cultural glasses. What individuals see and how they see an object as beautiful, or not, is part of their cultural beliefs and value systems. This course will explore differing cultural aesthetics and their settings, ranging from Africa to New Guinea, from museums to roadside attractions. Class sessions are a mix of lecture and discussion. Each student will explore a particular cultural or sub-cultural aesthetic through a library or an ethnographic research project of his/her own choosing.
AH/HS 3500 Linear Perspectives 3
Linear perspective is a mathematical system for creating the illusion of space and distance on a flat surface. It is a seminal event in art history in which the position of the individual observer became an engine for the development of Modernity. This course focuses on the historical development of linear perspective and its impact on contemporary conceptions of space and time. Specific attention is given to recent work in topology, a non-metric mathematics that is interested in relations between things rather than quantitative values or numbers. Class sessions will be an equal mix of lecture and discussion. Students may complete short essay assignments as well as take in-class examinations.
AH/HS 3606 World Film: Art Film and Independents 3
For the last half-century, the look, language and subject matter of film have been blown wide-open. This change is the work of dedicated and curious cinematic visionaries from every continent, and this course will explore several of them, beginning with the 1950s and advancing to the present day. The ultimate goal will be to see how these artists have challenged expectations of classical form or appropriate themes and how a truly global film culture has developed. Works by great masters will be shown and compared to lesser-known but equally vital and influential works in the narrative and avant-garde forms, from several continents. Coursework involves screening notes, quizzes and presentation papers. Students will be expected to see and write about at least one film on their own outside of class.
AH/HS 3607 Great American Directors 3
This course will examine US film directors from the dawn of the talkies to the present day, and explore what made these particular individuals “great” filmmakers. Each week students in the class will study the work of a US director from seminal decades in filmmaking, from the emergence of the old studio system to its breakdown, from the new generation of filmmakers that emerged after the studio system to the leaders in the current transformations in the film industry. Directors’ works will be studied technically, structurally, thematically, and as cultural artifacts of the times in which they were made. The course may focus on directors from particular eras—the 1980s to the present, for example—or on particular genres—such as the Western or the Musical. Class sessions are primarily lecture based with some discussion. Students will take a midterm and a final exam, and also complete a fifteen-page research paper.
AH/HS 3624 Gender, Art, and Society 3
This course focuses on the idea of gender and its impact on the production, consumption, and analysis of art. Course topics may include gender and gender ambiguity in art and visual culture, the shifting definition of the artist in history, institutions that shape artists' outlooks, and feminist and postmodern theories of gender. The relationships among gender, art, and society are examined by focusing on particular topics, such as fetishism and fashion, and these topics are analyzed from a number of perspectives: historically, theoretically and culturally. This course includes lectures, discussions of required readings, and student presentations. Assignments may include exams as well as short essays and longer research papers.
AH/HS 3665 Art in the Cities 3
This course focuses on art works currently on display in Twin Cities galleries and museums. Aside from looking at works of art and discussing key critical issues raised by contemporary art, students will cultivate critical writing skills by regularly writing reviews of the exhibitions visited by the class. Topics to be addressed include: postmodernism, the "death of the author," the politics of museum display, the history of art criticism. This course will meet throughout the semester, but some weeks will be devoted to activities outside of the traditional classroom such as exhibition visits and online discussion board activities (e.g., discussing exhibitions, sharing drafts of reviews in progress). Class sessions are discussion-based, and students will complete several writing assignments.
AH/HS 3839 The Body in Art and Visual Culture 3
In this course students critically examine the cultural meanings of representations of the body in Western art and visual culture. Organized in roughly chronological order, the course is comprised of a series of case studies in the history of representation of the body in art, science, and popular culture. Some of the topics addressed are: the classical nude found in Greek sculpture, female saints‚ mystical visions of the body, photographic pornography and fetish fashion designs, aesthetic dismemberment of the body in modern and contemporary art, the transgendered body, and cyber bodies. Sessions include a mix of lecture and discussion. Students complete in-class examinations and a research paper.