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Courses

The art history curriculum focuses on the history of human artistic expression and the ways in which that history has been written and interpreted. Since many students have never taken an art history course prior to entering the University of Richmond, it's fairly typical for students to discover the subject for the first time in an introductory course that spans pre-Western or Western civilization. Introductory courses are typically broad in nature and primarily lecture based that encourage student questions and discussions.

Intermediate courses focus on narrower time periods, perhaps emphasizing a particular century or artistic period, such as 19th century American art or the Renaissance court artist. Advanced classes are often presented in seminar format, and adopt very specific focuses with the professor and students spending the entire semester discussing a particular artist or movement, such as Michelangelo or Surrealism. These courses prepare students to undertake successfully undergraduate research on a similarly in-depth topic.

Art History
ARTH 121 Survey I: Prehistory through the Middle Ages
Units: 1
Fulfills General Education Requirement (FSHT)
Description
Survey of Western art, with some attention given to non-Western art, from prehistoric times through the Middle Ages. Intended as introductory course for general student as well as art majors and minors. 121 and 122 may be taken independently and in any sequence.

ARTH 122 Survey II: Renaissance to the Present
Units: 1
Fulfills General Education Requirement (FSHT)
Description
Survey of Western art from the Renaissance in the 15th century to the late 20th century. Introduces basic historical and formal methodologies for general student and art major.

ARTH 209 Medieval African Art
Units: 1
Description
Examines the art, architecture, and archaeological remains of medieval Africa (ca. 300-1700 CE). Uses writings of medieval adventurers (e.g., Ibn Battuta), recent scholarly publications, and film excerpts to study of Africas medieval history, social structures, and cultural diversity.

ARTH 210 Late Antique Art
Units: 1
Description
Surveys artistic developments in the Mediterranean basin from the first to eighth centuries. Concerned with continuities as well as changes and innovations in visual culture associated with the rise of Christianity in the Roman Empire.

ARTH 211 Islamic Art
Units: 1
Description
Examines Islamic art from approximately 700 to 1700 CE. Includes the Mediterranean region, Western Africa, and the Indian subcontinent. Discussion of what makes Islamic art, both religious and secular, Islamic.

ARTH 212 Medieval Art in Western Europe, 8th-15th Centuries
Units: 1
Description
Surveys the rich and varied production of visual culture in Western Europe from early Middle Ages to beginning of the Renaissance. Considers the changing visual experiences associated with the Early Medieval, Carolingian, Ottonian, Romanesque, and Gothic periods.

ARTH 213 American Art, 1700-1900
Units: 1
Description
Examines the production of art and architecture from the eighteenth through the nineteenth centuries. Considers city plans, buildings, paintings, sculpture and other objects as works created under specific historical, social and cultural conditions.

ARTH 215 Art of the Italian Renaissance
Units: 1
Description
A survey of Italian painting, sculpture, and architecture between 1250 and 1500, with emphasis on the historical context of particular objects or monuments. Students will examine primary sources whenever possible and consider issues related to the systems of patronage, spirituality, intellectual life, and art criticism of the period.

ARTH 216 Art in the Age of Reform
Units: 1
Description
Beginning with the Italian High Renaissance and ending with baroque art in 17th-century Europe, this course considers artistic production during a period of religious, political, and cultural crisis. Lectures, readings, and discussions evaluate the agents, ideas, and circumstances that brought about the practical and theoretical developments in the art of the period.

ARTH 217 Nineteenth-Century Art in Europe
Units: 1
Description
Overview of the major artistic developments of the period, yet allows for closer study of particular issues. For example, how does a work of art become politically charged? How does a landscape painting become a religious painting? Why are the most famous artists male?

ARTH 218 Modern Art, 1900-1960
Units: 1
Description
Major movements and developments of modern art in Europe and America. Examination of theoretical bases of modern art, concepts of avant-garde, and consideration of public's relationship to modern art.

ARTH 219 Contemporary Art, 1945-Present
Units: 1
Description
Surveys major questions that have engaged art and its historians since World War II, exploring how ideas rooted in the postwar period shaped artistic practice through the turn of the twenty-first century. Focuses primarily on European and American art histories, while highlighting the global turn in art theory and exhibition in order to address the vexed relationship between globalization and attempts to challenge historical margins and centers. Critically examines changing ideas about when and where the contemporary is found in art.

ARTH 220 Public Art: From Monuments to the Internet
Units: 1
Description
Focuses primarily on the United States. Explores the many forms public art has taken since the turn of the twentieth century, tracing its development from monumental statuary to the internet. Study of how art addresses questions of publicness in relation to space, access, and the environment; mourning, memorialization, and history; speech, privacy, and activism; and identity and social relationships. Develops an understanding of how our definitions of public art have changed over time and also what art can tell us about our changing experiences of public life.

ARTH 223 Studies in the History of Photography
Units: 1
Description
Combines a chronological survey of the developments in photography since its invention in 1839 with an examination of issues dealing with how photography has informed modern attitudes and perspectives. It carefully considers certain claims made on behalf of photography, such as its objectivity, truthfulness, and ability to be an agent of social change.

ARTH 225 Art and Asia
Units: 1
Fulfills General Education Requirement (FSHT)
Description
Art, architecture, and material cultures of South, Southeast, and East Asiapremodern and modern. Provides an overview of the vast artifactual record of this segment of the world, aims to engender a series of fundamental art-historical skills such as description, compare-and-contrast, critical viewing, slow looking, and close reading. Calls into question the Euro-centrism of art and its histories. No prior coursework or experience is necessary.

ARTH 226 Art and Culture of Japan
Units: 1
Fulfills General Education Requirement (FSVP)
Description
A chronological introduction to the art and culture of Japan beginning with the prehistoric period, moving through the introduction to Buddhism and varieties of Buddhist art, the influence of China and Korea, the art of the court, the art of samurai, the art of townsmen (such as Japanese prints), and finally a look at contemporary trends in Japanese culture. Social and historical elements will be integrated with specific studies of visual arts, and literature will also be examined in context. Assignments will include creative work.

ARTH 227 Gender and the Arts of Japan
Units: 1
Fulfills General Education Requirement (FSHT)
Description
Representation, construction, and politics of gender in the visual and performing arts of Japan. Topics include medieval stories of gender transformation, genders relationship to Buddhist salvation, the patronage and artistic practice of women, the gendering of script and clothing, the inter-war visual culture of hyper-masculinity, and the theatricality of gender performance in kabuki. Address the gendering of abstract conceptsespecially that of the nation statein modern discourse. Concludes with a look at the stakes of gender in postwar and contemporary Japanese art. No previous experience with Japan, art, feminist theory, or gender theory is necessary.

ARTH 228 Graphic Arts of Japan
Units: 1
Description
Addresses the long history of image-making in two dimensions in Japan--a field of inquiry that includes calligraphy, painting, rubbing, print-making, book-making, manga, photography, film, and new media. Intersections of words and images (i.e., depicting and inscribing) in Japanese visual culture. Begins in the Heian court and end in postmodernity. No prior coursework or experience is necessary.

ARTH 229 Women Artists, Agents, and Influencers in Early Modern Europe
Units: 1
Description
Examines the ways in which gender affected and informed theories of creativity, artistic style, critical reception, patronage, collecting and training in early modern Europe and its colonies. Focuses on specific women, whose work or influence substantially affected the developing canon of western European art: artists such as Artemisia Gentileschi (1593-c. 1654) or Queen Mary of Hungary, whose collection of paintings by Titian surpassed her Habsburg male relatives.

ARTH 230 Power and Desire: A History of Collecting and Museums
Units: 1
Description
Examines the history and theory of collecting, from Renaissance studios and curiosity cabinets in Europe to international contemporary museums, focusing on the collection of art and other forms of cultural and scientific interest and marvel. Why works of art and natural objects were and are collected and displayed, what was and is worthy of display and study and how these objects were and are displayed, organized and accessed constitute the basic questions considered in this seminar. Controversies related to cultural patrimony, repatriation, race and contemporary calls to de-colonize museums inform investigations of collecting practices during the modern period and class discussions.

ARTH 279 Selected Topics
Units: 1
Description
Examples include African art, history of architecture, and other specialized topics. May be repeated for credit if topics differ.

ARTH 309 Image and Icon in Medieval Art
Units: 1
Description
Focuses on role of the panel painted image in Medieval world. Explores the conventions, aesthetics, and ideology of Medieval images, as well as their production, use and restoration. Provides introduction to techniques of medieval panel painting, and asks students to try their hand at the creative process.

ARTH 319 Advanced Seminar
Units: 1
Description
Highly focused in-depth studies on topics of art history related to departmental course offerings. Topics to be chosen by instructor. Representative topics: Zen art, Surrealism, Artists Biographies and Art Criticism in early modern Europe. May be repeated for credit if topic differs.

ARTH 322 Museum Studies
Units: 1
Description
History, philosophy, functions, and future of museums; collection research, evaluation, publications, and museum procedures and education.

ARTH 324 Art Histories
Units: 1
Description
Courses in areas of art history at a 300-level not covered in regular departmental offerings. May be repeated for credit if topic differs.

ARTH 345 Philanthropy in the Arts
Units: 1
Description
(See Music 345; same as Theatre 345.)

ARTH 365 Art Theories and Methodologies
Units: 1
Description
Study of theoretical approaches and methods used in discipline of art history. Required for art history majors, recommended before the senior year.

ARTH 378 Topics in Asian Art
Units: 1
Description
In depth examination of a single topic in the arts of Asia. Possible themes include Japanese prints, ceramics and the tea ceremony, Chinese literati art, the relationship of calligraphy to painting, narrative art, Buddhist art, etc. May be repeated for credit if the topic differs.

ARTH 383 East Asian Painting, Poetry and Calligraphy
Units: 1
Description
In East Asian painting, poetry and calligraphy are often referred to as the `three jewels` for the high respect that they are given, and the way that they interact. A poet, using brush and ink on paper, may add a design to his words, and in that moment the three arts become one. Students will have the opportunity to try their own hand at these arts, so historical study will be balanced by creative work.

ARTH 388 Individual Internship
Units: 1.5
Description
Supervised work experience at approved museum, gallery or other art institutions. May be repeated for credit at a different institution. No more than 1.5 units of internship in any one department and 3.5 units of internship overall may be counted toward required degree units.

ARTH 395 Independent Study
Units: 0.25-1
Description
Individually designed program under faculty supervision. Independent studies cannot be substituted for required courses in the art history major.

ARTH 406 Summer Undergraduate Research
Units: 0
Description
Documentation of the work of students who receive summer fellowships to conduct research [or produce a creative arts project] in the summer. The work must take place over a minimum of 8 weeks, the student must engage in the project full-time (at least 40 hours per week) during this period, and the student must be the recipient of a fellowship through the university. Graded S/U.

ARTH 465 Thesis Research Seminar
Units: 1
Description
The first half of a one-year capstone experience for the senior major in art history. Serves to strengthen those research and critical thinking skills introduced in First Year Seminars and further developed upper-level seminars in art history. Assignments center on identifying, evaluating and presenting primary and secondary sources for the senior thesis proposed during the preceeding spring term. Completion of thesis research, production of annotated bibliography and beginning of thesis draft for the spring semester seminar, ART 466.

ARTH 466 Thesis Research Project
Units: 1
Description
Required for art history majors in their senior year.