Art History

The art history program offers both broad and specialized courses in the study of the visual arts. An appreciation of the importance of the visual arts within cultures is fundamental to the understanding of the meaning of works of art. The development of analytical skills, critical judgment, and personal expression acquired in the study of art history prepares a student for professional and further scholarly pursuits.

The art history program of study involves lecture/discussion, seminar, and studio courses, providing the student with the opportunity to develop creativity and analytical skills, thus combining the educational goals of the liberal and fine arts.

The student learning outcomes for the major in Art History are:

I. a broad knowledge of major stylistic and aesthetic developments in areas of art history around the world;
II. a familiarity with the lives and work of numerous artists, including women and underrepresented groups;
III. an understanding of the relationship of art to life, professions and cultures; and
IV. the language, visual, and research skills necessary for critical evaluation and judgment of works of art.
 

Major Requirements: Art History. A major in art history requires 45 hours of course work from the following:

I. Core Requirements (9 hours)
ART 106 Understanding Images 3 hours
or ART 110 Creativity: Art/Design from Nature 3 hours
ART 108 Concepts in Sculpture 3 hours
ARH 126 The Critical Eye 3 hours
 
II. Intermediate Course Requirements (9 hours)
ARH 216 Art of the Spirit 3 hours
ARH 230 Masterpiece 3 hours
ARH 235 Outside the Mainstream 3 hours
 
III. Advanced Course Requirements (12 hours)
ARH 325 Greek and Roman Art 3 hours
ARH 326 Art of the Middle Ages 3 hours
ARH 327 Renaissance Art 3 hours
ARH 354 Women's Issues in Contemporary Art (cross-listed with WST 354) 3 hours
 
IV. Professional Development (3 hours)
ARH 452 Field Study 3 hours
 
V. Senior Capstone / Integrative Experience (3 hours )
ARH 405 Senior Art History Seminar 3 hours
 
VI. Cognates (9 hours)
Required: Three courses from the Business, Scholarly, or Visual Studies Track
 
A. The Business Track is for students who are interested in further study and careers in museum and gallery administration, reproductions and retailing, art sales, antiques dealing, art appraisal, and auction house work.
Choose three courses:
ACC 201 Financial Accounting 3 hours
ART 225 Graphic Design 3 hours
BUS 303 Principles of Marketing 3 hours
BUS 315 Principles of Management 3 hours
COM 202 Public Speaking 3 hours
Also recommended: SPA 211, 212
 
B. The Scholarly Track is for students interested in advanced study and careers in museum curatorship and education, publishing, art librarianship, historic preservation, government agencies (such as National Endowment for the Humanities or National Endowment for the Arts), aesthetics and criticism.
Choose three courses:
ART 275 Digital Photography 3 hours
BUS 315 Principles of Management 3 hours
COM 300 Gender and Communication (cross-listed as WST 300) 3 hours
HIS 210 The West in the Classical Age 3 hours
POL 330 State and Local Politics and Policy 3 hours
REL 225 Exploring the World's Religions 3 hours
Strongly recommended: FRN 211, 212 or SPA 211, 212.

C. The Visual Studies Track is for students interested in advanced study and careers in teaching, art conservation, museum and gallery work.
Required:
BUS 303 Principles of Marketing 3 hours
Choose one 200-level and one 300-level course in the same studio area: 6 hours
ART 221 Painting and ART 350 Intermediate Painting
ART 241 Sculpture and ART 318 Intermediate 3D studio
ART 250 Traditional and Digital Printmaking and ART 338 Intermediate Printmaking
ART 275 Digital Photography and ART 360 Documentary Photography
Strongly recommended: SPA 211, 212.


In addition, students are required to attend lectures, exhibition openings, and workshops provided by the art department as an essential part of the educational experience.

A recommended sequence of courses for the student majoring in art history is shown below:

First Year: ART 106 or 110; ART 108; ARH 126
Second Year: ARH 216, 230, 235
Third Year: Three courses from ARH 325, 326, 327, 354, 452
Fourth Year: ARH 405; Two course from ARH 325, 326, 327, 354, 452
Second, Third or Fourth Year: 9 hours from the chosen cognate area.


Integrative Experience. The integrative experience is achieved in the studio art major through ARH 405 Senior Art History Seminar.

Professional Development. Throughout her Wesleyan education each student is given opportunities to explore professional and career choices, and to develop and demonstrate the knowledge and skills essential for professional success. Each student will complete a PDE 400 Professional Development Experience and submit a PDE 401 Professional ePortfolio prior to graduation. The Professional Development requirement is met in the ARH 452 Internship or Field Study.

Minor Requirements: Art History. A minor in art history requires 18 hours of course work from the following:

1. Core Requirement: ARH 126;
2. Intermediate Requirements: Two courses from ARH 216, 230, 235; and
3. Advanced Requirements: Three courses from ARH 325, 326, 327, 354.
 

Art History (ARH) Gen. Ed. Course Descriptions

126: The Critical Eye.
Goal: To look critically at famous and fascinating works of art. To develop skills in the analysis, comparison, connoisseurship, iconography, and critical judgment of art. To improve writing skills.
Content : Monuments of art and architecture to 1600. Methods of analysis and structures of writing.
Taught : Annually.
Gen. Ed. Category : Developing; writing; (FA).
Prerequisite: Satisfactory completion of College writing proficiency requirement.
Credit: 3 hours.
 
216: Art of the Spirit.
Goal: To study the traditional and contemporary arts of Asia and Africa. To develop analytical, writing, research, and speaking skills by working on art historical problems and cultural topics and presenting the results in class.
Content : The arts of Asia and Africa, critical methodology of art history. The theme of the course, "Art of the Spirit," refers to the freedom of mind and soul expressed in the arts of these continents.
Taught: Alternate years.
Gen. Ed. Category : Expanding; Diverse & Interdependent World; (FA).
Credit : 3 hours.
 
230: Masterpiece.
Goal: To study monuments of European art. To develop analytical, writing, research, and speaking skills by working on art historical problems and presenting the results in class. To improve writing skills.
Content: Monuments of European art from 1600 to 1900, critical methodology of art history. Methods of analysis and structures of writing.
Taught: Alternate years.
Prerequisite: Satisfactory completion of College writing proficiency requirement.
Gen. Ed. Category : Developing; Writing Competency; (FA).
Credit: 3 hours.
 
235: Outside the Mainstream.
Goal: To celebrate the diversity of American art from an unusual point of view and to focus on artists working outside the mainstream. To develop analytical, critical, research, writing, and speaking skills.
Content: Topics range from Native American art to the Harlem Renaissance, from feminist art to outsider art; art historical methodology.
Taught : Alternate years.
Gen. Ed. Category: Exploring; Historical Events and Phenomena; (FA).
Credit: 3 hours.

325: Greek and Roman Art.
Goal: To acquire a knowledge of the artists, monuments and works of art of the civilizations of Greece and Rome. To gain an understanding of the patterns of stylistic development, of the historical and cultural significance of major monuments and political sources of iconography, and to acquire the ability to discuss and analyze works of architecture, statuary, relief sculpture, vase painting, mosaic, metal work, and wall painting from both periods.
Content: Study of art and architecture from the rise of Greek civilization to the fall of the Roman Empire.
Taught: Alternate years.
Gen. Ed. Category: Synthesizing; (FA).
Credit: 3 hours.
 
327: Renaissance Art.
Goal: To acquire an understanding of the aims and achievements of the Italian Renaissance and the relationship to contemporary developments beyond the Alps. To relate art to the major political, economic, theological, cultural and social events of the time. To approach the study of art from different perspectives.
Content: Study of art and architecture in the Italian and Northern Renaissances. Study of the social, political, and intellectual contexts of the Renaissance.
Taught: Annually.
Gen. Ed. Category : Synthesizing; (FA).
Credit: 3 hours.
 
354: Women's Issues in Contemporary Art.
Goal: To acquire an in-depth understanding of the art of our own time from the beginning of the twentieth century to the present through the eyes and hands of women artists. To acquire a familiarity with contemporary issues facing women in the 20 th and 21 st centuries through the study of art. To interpret the art of women as a revelation of the soul and expression of deep feelings as well as a commentary on feminist issues.
Content: Study of the global art of women in the 20 th and 21 st centuries.
Taught: Annually.
Gen. Ed. Category : Expanding; Women's Experiences; (FA).
Credit: 3 hours; cross-listed as WST 354.
 

Art History (ARH) Other Course Descriptions

291: Directed Independent Study.
Goal: To provide an opportunity for intermediate-level independent study.
Content: Independent work of interest to the student and approved by the instructor and program director.
Taught: Fall, Spring.
Prerequisites: Permission of instructor and program director.
Credit: 1-6 hours.
 

326: Art of the Middle Ages.
Goal: To acquire an understanding of the characteristics of the art historical style periods between the fall of the Roman Empire and the emergence of the Renaissance. To gain the ability to recognize and trace the influence of the classical tradition and the break with that tradition. To gain a knowledge of the role of the church and liturgy in the development of religious monuments and decoration, including monastery and church buildings, sculpture, illuminated manuscripts, painted icons, mosaics, wall paintings, church furnishings, and stained glass.
Content: Study of art and architecture from the rise of the Early Christian and Byzantine, through the Early Medieval, Romanesque, and Gothic periods.
Taught: Alternate years.
Credit: 3 hours.

396: Special Topics in Art.
Goal: To offer the student opportunities to pursue fields of study outside traditionally offered courses.
Content: An in-depth examination of a special area of art. Topics offered vary from time to time.
Taught: Offered occasionally.
Prerequisite: Depends on course content.
Credit: 3 hours. A student may take a maximum of six to eight semester hours (two courses) of special topics in any one field.
 
405: Senior Art History Seminar.
Goal: Concentration on art historical issues on an individual basis.
Content: The student develops a thesis paper, usually about 25 pages in length, which contains illustrations, is bound, and a copy is placed in the library. The topic is of the student's own choosing, and is based on a specific issue or problem in art history. Additionally, students in the seminar take field trips to museums and galleries, and work on a secondary project, also of their choosing.
Taught: Spring.
Prerequisite: Completion of all courses through the junior level.
Credit: 3 hours.
 
451: Directed Independent Study.
Goal: To allow the student to explore a field of study not covered in the regular course structure. To allow a concentrated course of study for the serious and independent student.
Content: Independent work in any of the specialized art history or studio art areas.
Taught: Offered occasionally.
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor and program director.
Credit: 1-6 hours.
 
452/199: Field Study.
Goal: To offer the student the opportunity to explore real-life training with local businesses.
Content: Student-initiated field studies in any of the specialized art history or art areas.
Taught: Offered occasionally.
Prerequisite: Permission of the faculty sponsor and art faculty.
Credit: 1-12 hours.


499: Honors Thesis. (Fee required)

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