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Course Listings

Course Listings

For the days and times that the following classes meet, please refer to the Schedule of Classes at:!input.action

Detailed information as to how these courses apply towards requirements for the History of Art major or minor

Note that courses are arranged by Subject Area : Introductory survey courses and Freshman Seminars, 1000W courses, then courses in Non-Western, Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque, and Modern Art, followed by Elective courses and Advanced Seminars.

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Effective Fall 2015, Vanderbilt University has introduced a new course catalog numbering scheme. For assistance with the translation between the new (4-digit) and old (3-digit) numbers, please consult the  Course Renumbering Lookup Tool.


HART 2625: French Art in the Age of Impressionism (taught on Vanderbilt campus). French painting, sculpture, and drawing in its social, political, aesthetic, academic, and spiritual context from 1848 to 1886. The Social Realism of Daumier and Courbet; Manet and Aesthetic Realism; Monet, Renoir, Pissarro, Degas, Morisot, and Impressionism; and the rise of Neo- and Post-Impressionism with Seurat and van Gogh. No credit for students who have earned credit for HART 1500W. This course will count toward the “Modern” area requirement for the HART major; HART Minor. [3] Murphy (AXLE: INT).

HART 2722: Modern Art and Architecture in Paris (taught on location in Paris). Paris was the center of western modern art movements throughout the 19th century and until the mid-20th century. It became the exemplary modern city in Western Europe, and developed an extensive infrastructure of cultural institutions such as art academies, private galleries, and vast museums. The major movements of this period were represented by artists such as David, Ingres, Delacroix, Courbet, Manet, Monet and the other Impressionists; the post-Impressionists Cézanne, Van Gogh, Gauguin and Seurat; and the Cubists Picasso and Braque. This list includes members of the Dada and Surrealist groups, leading into more international movements of radical abstraction, performance art, conceptual art, and post-modernism by the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Class periods will be spent touring sites in Paris, including the Eiffel Tower, the Musée d'Orsay, the Musée Picasso, two opera houses, a major department store, public parks, and the Centre Pompidou. This course will count toward the “Modern” area requirement for the HART major; HART Minor, ARCH Minor. [3] Folgarait (AXLE: HCA).


FALL: 2017

HART 1105: History of Western Art: Renaissance to Modern Art. 
An introductory survey of Western art history from the Renaissance to the Modern period, considering primarily painting, sculpture, and architecture. Please note that the chronological and thematic range of material covered will vary somewhat depending on the instructor. HART 1105 is intended to provide a historical understanding of the major artistic movements within the Western visual tradition, and to encourage students to develop a literate and critical eye. Attention is given to works of specific artists, as well as cultural factors that affect the visual arts from production to reception. Counts toward HART Major, Minor, and ARCH Minor. [3] Shaneyfelt. (AXLE: HCA). 

HART 1205: Arts of South and Southeast Asia.  This survey course provides an introduction to the arts of South and Southeast Asia from the second millennium BCE to the present, including countries such as India, Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Burma, and Malaysia.  We will look at selective artifacts and sites from these regions to understand the development of artistic traditions in response to cultural exchange and political dynamics.  We will also explore the formation of political and social identities as reflected in the artistic production of South and Southeast Asia. The main goals of the course are two-fold: 1) to learn the basic vocabulary and concepts for discussing different artistic traditions of South and Southeast Asia, and 2) to develop skills in analyzing Asian arts critically, using vocabulary and concepts acquired throughout the course.  Counts toward HART Major, Minor, and ARCH Minor as a 1000-level course.  (Note: the “Non-Western” requirement for the HART major requires a 2000-level course or above, see below in course listings). [3] Staff. (AXLE: INT).

HART 1111-05: Impressionism in its Historical Context. Freshman Seminar. While Impressionist paintings by artists and their contemporaries are so popular in exhibitions, publications, and museum gift shops, the radical origins of the movement and its contested history are often overlooked. We will focus on nineteenth-century Impressionist artists such as Monet, Manet, Renoir, and Degas. We will ask questions beyond defining Impressionism as a style: What does it mean? Why did the Impressionists turn to landscape as their subject matter? What were the artists' attitudes toward industrialization, urbanization, and suburbanization? We will employ different critical strategies as we seek to answer these questions and raise new ones. Will count toward the HART Major or Minor as an elective with departmental permission. [3] Fryd. (AXLE: HCA). 

HART 1111-07: The Meaning of Modern Art in its Political Context. Freshman Seminar. This course will present art of the modern period, the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and ask of that art what it means, and how and why that meaning was produced. Why is modern art so difficult to understand? Why does it look so unrealistic, and why is its meaning so hidden? This course will approach these questions seriously. To understand modern art and why it looks as it does, we must study modern history and society, especially its politics. Will count toward the HART Major or Minor as an elective with departmental permission. [3] Folgarait. (AXLE: HCA).  

HART 1111-16: Aesthetics of Blackness in Twentieth-Century American Film. Freshman Seminar. Investigation of African American stereotypes and representations in 20th-century narrative films, analyzing how the films reflected national sentiments at different historical junctures. In doing so, we explore the way in which films participate in the construction of racial identity and engage with popular debates concerning Blackness. Themes addressed include 1) the early historical relationship between African Americans and film; 2) the transition from silent to sound and the rise of the black musical; 3) the emergence of the Blaxploitation genre; 4) representations of urban blackness; and 5) constructions of the Black family. Will count toward the HART Major or Minor as an elective with departmental permission. [3] VanDiver. (AXLE: P).  

HART 1210W: Art and Ritual in Asia. This course explores the arts of Asia through the lens of their ritual function across time. We will ask the questions: How has art-making developed in response to social and religious rituals over the course of centuries? In what ways have diverse social formations and religious traditions shaped rituals to suit their needs, and what are the different roles that the arts have played in them? What characteristics unite, as well as distinguish, the arts of the different Asian sub-regions? Finally, in the age of globalization, how have various cultures preserved their artistic traditions and rituals? Class time will be divided between lecture and discussions of both Asian art—in China, Japan, Korea, India, and elsewhere—and the craft of writing itself. The collections of the Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery will provide prompts for some writing activities. Will count toward the HART Major or Minor as an elective with departmental permission. (Note: the “Non-Western” requirement for the HART major requires a 2000-level course or above, see below in course listings). [3] Staff. (AXLE: INT).   

HART 2150: East Asian Architecture and Gardens.
This course provides an overview of the major architectural traditions of East Asia including China, Korea, and Japan. In order to gain an understanding of the major issues in this field, we will examine the form and cultural context of religious, vernacular, and garden architecture from the 2nd century BCE to the present. We will explore the ways in which the built environment has been used to serve spiritual and political ends, not only through the initial construction of monumental buildings and complexes but also through modern interpretations of their pre-modern significance. This course will count toward the "Non-Western" area requirement for the HART Major; HART Minor, ARCH Minor. [3] Miller. (AXLE: HCA). 

HART 3140: Healing and Art in East Asia. Because the physical environment(s) of healing, as well as the appearance of healing specialists, medicines, and the tools to consume them, all impact the effectiveness of healing outcomes, much about a society’s conception of health and beauty can be explored through examining objects for curing and healing. In this course we will look at the influence of early healing practices on the development of the arts of East Asia. Topics to be examined include: magical healing texts, talismans, and tattoos; diagraming the body and the landscape; the art of the Buddha of Medicine, gardens and growing transformative herbs, and tea as medicine and art. This course will count toward the “Non-Western” area requirement for the HART Major; HART Minor, ARCH minor. [3] Miller. (AXLE: HCA). 

HART 3320: Early Renaissance Florence. Major masters and works from Early Renaissance Florence during the Quattrocento, i.e., the Fifteenth Century, ca. 1400-1500. We will primarily consider works of painting and sculpture that are part of larger decorative programs, with the inclusion of architectural principles and monuments when appropriate to our topic of discussion. Key masters to be considered during the semester, time permitting, will include Giotto di Bondone, Lorenzo Ghiberti, Donatello, Filippo Brunelleschi, Leonbattista Alberti, Masaccio, Fra Angelico, Andrea del Verrocchio and the young Leonardo da Vinci, Sandro Botticelli, Domenico del Ghirlandaio and the young Michelangelo Buonarroti. In class lecture and discussion, there will be particular emphasis upon stylistic progression and connoisseurship, iconographic interpretation and meaning, the role of patronage and audience, original physical and cultural context, and the Italian Renaissance workshop tradition. This course will count toward the "Renaissance and Baroque" area requirement for the HART Major; HART Minor. [3] Shaneyfelt. (AXLE: HCA). 

HART 2710: Twentieth-Century European Art. 
A survey of major movements and artists, with examples from painting, architecture, prints, sculpture, performance and conceptual art, music, and cinema. Emphasis is placed on a close examination of the stylistic elements of the artworks, with that analysis contextualized within the social, political, and economic dynamics of the time in which they were made. Instruction places a heavy emphasis on the ideological nature of art and on its role as a major indicator of its time and place. This course will count toward the "Modern" area requirement for the HART Major; HART Minor. [3] Folgarait. (AXLE: HCA).   

HART 2755: Women in Art since 1850. Historical survey of European and American women artists and their artistic contributions from 1850 to the present. Arranged chronologically and thematically, we will consider how gender identity influenced the circumstances under which women artists work and examine the forms their art took. We will begin by learning about second-wave feminism in the 1970s and the concurrent development of feminist art history. Building on this theoretical foundation we will examine how employing a feminist lens alters the way we look at art produced throughout history and even challenges dominant notions of art itself. A priority is placed upon the visual analysis of specific art objects and an attentive, critical engagement with key texts. This course will count toward the “Modern” area requirement for the HART Major; HART Minor. [3] VanDiver. (AXLE: P). 

HART 2760: Early American Modernism, 1865-1945. This course will focus on art produced in the United States from the end of the Civil War to the end of WWII, and will coordinate with the upcoming exhibition World War I and American Art at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts. During this period, Modernism developed through the influence of the Europeans, especially the Impressionists, Cubists, Futurists, Fauves, and Dada artists, but they also created their own unique modes of expression. These artists responded by way of figurative and abstract art to the increasingly modern, industrialized and urban age of tumultuous change and innovation. Artists such as Mary Cassatt, Winslow Homer, Marcel Duchamp, Edward Hopper and Georgia O’Keeffe will be discussed within a cultural and historical context. This course will count toward the “Modern” area requirement for the HART Major; HART Minor. [3] Fryd. (AXLE: US). 

HART 3240W: Ancient Landscapes. Greco-Roman attitudes toward nature. Exploitation and stewardship of resources. Country-house and garden design. Representations of mythological and sacred landscapes in painting and poetry. This course will count toward the "Ancient" area requirement for the HART Major or as an “Advanced Seminar” for the HART Major (but cannot count for both requirements); HART Minor, ARCH Minor. [3] Robinson (AXLE: HCA). 

HART 3725W: The Skyscraper: Modern Urban Icon. This course will focus on the most important contribution of the US to world architecture: the skyscraper. Nearly every substantial American city has its iconic skyscraper. In New York there is the Woolworth Building, the Empire State Building, the Seagram’s Building, and more. Chicago has the Reliance Building, the Monadnock Building, the Chicago Tribune Tower, the Sears Tower, and others. Boston has its John Hancock Building and Prudential Center. Oakland, California boasts the Cathedral Building. The City Hall in Atlanta is a skyscraper, and the most prominent element of Nashville’s skyline is its “Batman” or AT&T Building. We will consider skyscrapers broadly, from urban social, political, and other perspectives. The course will make use of the extensive collection of drawings for the Woolworth Building (1913) in New York City, by the office of Cass Gilbert, architect, in the collection of the Vanderbilt Fine Arts Gallery. Will count toward the HART Major as an Advanced Seminar; HART Minor, ARCH Minor. [3] Murphy (AXLE: HCA).