Survey of Western Art


Professor: Dr. Perette Michelli, Ext 3098, .
Class: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 2.00-2.50 p.m., Flaten Hall lecture room
Office Hours: Prof Michelli By appointment;
Katie Elliott 3.00-5.00 pm Wed, Studio
Required set book: M Stokstad, Art History, Prentice Hall, Abrams, 1995

Home Syllabus

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, but you do have to learn how to analyse and "read" art. There will be TWO terminology and analysis tests during the semester, and the Final. What you are trying to do is track the main changes in the way people thought about art over the ages: whether they approached it as an intellectual or emotional medium, how the composition of an image or building contributes to its meaning and affects our reactions, how many different ways there are of expressing "truth" (e.g. illusionistically, schematically, evocatively), how art and architecture can come together to create impossible, magical effects, and how the most ordinary realism can be used to challenge orthodoxy. We will track most of this through prepared readings and class discussions. Come prepared to use your imagination and to think on your feet, and come prepared to talk.



Average of three tests = 90% of course grade
Attendance = 5% of course grade
Participation = 5% of course grade

Home Syllabus