SURVEY OF WESTERN ART
Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 2.00 - 2.50 p.m.
- Required set book:
- Hugh Honour and John Fleming, The Visual Arts: A History, Prentice
Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 4th ed, 1995
BRING THIS BOOK TO CLASS
- Two 500 word papers with full scholarly apparatus, three 300-word
reviews of peers' papers exchanged in class, two prepared discussions, two
terminology tests. Check web-site and e-mail for details.
This course covers Western art from the year dot to the middle/late Gothic
period. It may be the only Art History course you ever take. Or it may
be the foundation of your major. Either way, you want to leave it with a
good grasp of the range of ideas, styles and periods, and a personal
"take" on the field. If it turns out to be the foundation of your major,
you really want to keep it all from slipping out of your mind. This
course is intended to achieve that.
Survey courses can be a grind because of the sheer quantity of material to
be learned. This course is different: you do not have to learn any
identifications, and there will be only one test during the semester. But
there is a lot of work. This course involves nearly three hours in the
classroom each week. You should therefore expect to put in at least seven
hours of your own time, outside class (10 hours is quarter of a normal
working week). This is for reading the text, learning the terminology,
and doing the assignments. You will remember the stuff you understand
(terminology) and the stuff do and think for yourself (assignments, class
discussion) infinitely better than anything you merely read or hear.
You are encouraged to exploit the Web. To help you, I have put the course
materials on my teaching site: http://www.ariadne.org/studio/michelli/, and
you will notice a link to "what you should be doing now". This will keep
you up to date with current requirements. There is also a page of links
to interesting sites which show galleries, prehistoric caves, individual
artists, medieval manuscripts, architecture etc. Do visit that page
(click on "Art History Browser"), and let me know if you discover other
interesting links. The web is growing all the time and, as it grows, it
slows down. So make a point of using the web in the MORNINGS when it is
at its fastest.
Course Grade Break-Down
- Attendance at every class. If you have to miss a class, FOR ANY
REASON, submit a 500 word summary of the assigned reading for each missed
day. This should be word processed and is due on the day you return to
class. This way, you will stay on top of the course, even if you have to
miss some classes.
- Two papers (500 words, 3 illustrations, bibliography, and check
requirements). Topics assigned one week before due dates. Check web-site
and e-mail for details. Work on the papers in the Library. Note that
there are 40-60 students in this class, so DO NOT CHECK OUT THE BOOKS.
Library xerox machines are adequate for your requirements. You do not
need colour, and you do not need exquisite clarity.
- Three peer reviews (300 words, and check requirements).
- Two prepared discussions. One will be just before Mid Term; the
second will be in lieu of part of the Final Exam. Study questions will be
supplied, check the web-site and e-mail for these. Use the internet and
- Learn the terminology of art history. Learn ALL the words you
personally don't understand, either in the text or in class. Ask me for
clarification at any time in class or later. Terminology will be tested
regularly in class. Learn it as you go. Terminology will also be tested
in the final exam.
- Class contribution is required. It is tracked and graded through
name tags: one tag per contribution, whether this is a question, a
comment, or an answer. Apart from terminology, which you are expected to
learn and to use accurately, there are few "facts" and many opinions in
this field. Be prepared to speculate, and to have (courteous!)
disagreements with other students and with the professor. If there are
40 students in the class, think in terms of speaking at least once per
class. If there are more than 40 students in the class, students will be
assigned to two groups who will dominate the discussion on alternate
days. In that case, think in terms of speaking at least once on each of
- Prepare for class discussion by reading the text. In class you will
be asked to (a) DESCRIBE the work shown, (b) EXPLAIN what the book had to
say about it, (c) ANALYSE the artist's approach, (d) DEFINE any terms.
||100 points each
||500 points total|
|Two written tests
||50 points each
||100 points total|
||0.5 points each
||20 points total|
students, every day
students, alternate days
|4.5 points each
9 points each
|180 points total|
||800 points total|
Final course grades are evaluated as follows:
|A 765-800 points
B 744-747 points
C 525-706 points