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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 1001: Commons Seminar-The City as a Work of Art. Open to Freshmen only.

This seminar will focus on the process of researching the built environment, which is the concern of several disciplines, including architectural history, urban planning, and sociology. Our particular focus will be on urban plans and the buildings that fill them out. We will consider how to analyze visually the elements of the city and then complement that investigation by exploring sources for finding how the built environment developed. General Elective credit only. [1] Murphy. (No AXLE credit).


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] VanDiver. (AXLE: HCA).


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] Shin. (AXLE: INT).


HART 1330W: Sacred Sites in World History. This course explores how human beings throughout history and across the world have created extraordinary places that connect them to the divine. Why are temples and tombs consistently the most grandiose creations of human societies? How do cultures design spaces that will enable them to reach beyond ordinary realities? What do these spaces share in common across time and space, and how do they differ? Each week we will explore several monuments or great works of architecture that illustrate a particular aspect of sacred buildings, such as the Pyramids, the Parthenon, Stonehenge, Romanesque cathedrals, Hagia Sophia, and Angkor Wat. In addition to gaining insight into the nature of religious architecture, students will also gain an overview of great works of architectural history, and of ancient civilizations across the world. Will count toward the HART Major, HART or ARCH Minor as an elective with departmental permission. [3] Guengerich. (AXLE: SBS).


HART 1750W: African American Arts.  Blackness and black culture as subject and context for African American visual arts from the 20th and 21st centuries. Emphasis on arts derived from African American cultural perspectives. No credit for students who have earned credit for HART 2750 due to overlap in content. Will count toward the HART Major or Minor as an Elective with departmental permission. [3] VanDiver. (AXLE: P).


HART 2175: Modern and Contemporary Indian Architecture. From nineteenth-century British colonial rule to the present. Built environment of Indian subcontinent in local and global contexts. Eighteenth-century Jaipur and urban planning, the British Raj, Calcutta, Allahabad, and Edwin Lutyens' New Delhi. Le Corbusier, Louis Kahn, the Neo-Gothic of Bombay, and contemporary architecture. This course will count toward the “Non-Western” area requirement for the HART Major; HART Minor, ARCH Minor. [3] Shin. (AXLE: INT).


HART 2320W: The Italian Renaissance Workshop. A consideration of Italian Renaissance artists' workshops and the collaborative artistic process, covering material from the 14th into the 16th century, but with a focus on the fifteenth-century in Florence. We will study the organization, structure, and production of shops, painting and sculpture techniques, and the role of artists in society. Case studies will include artists such as Lorenzo Ghiberti, Fra Angelico, Andrea del Verrocchio and the young Leonardo da Vinci, and Sandro Botticelli. A focus of the course will be the firsthand study of paintings in the Kress Collection at Vanderbilt, which originate primarily from Central and Northern Italy. This course will count toward the "Renaissance and Baroque" area requirement for the HART Major; HART Minor. [3] Shaneyfelt. (AXLE: HCA).


HART 2362: Fifteenth-Century Northern European Art.  A survey of the major developments in the painting and sculpture of Northern Europe, including the Netherlands and France, from the mid- to late fourteenth through the fifteenth century. Our focus will be on Netherlandish Painting, and key artists to be considered include the Limbourg Brothers, Claus Sluter, Jan van Eyck, Robert Campin (the Master of Flémalle), Rogier van der Weyden, Dieric Bouts, Petrus Christus, Hugo van der Goes, Geertgen tot sint Jans, Hans Memling, Gerard David, and Hieronymus Bosch. Our analysis of the period will progress roughly chronologically, as we consider specific artists and regional schools. In class lecture and discussion, there will be particular emphasis upon stylistic progression, iconographic interpretation and meaning, the role of patronage and audience, original physical and cultural context, the workshop tradition, and scientific analysis. This course will count toward the “Renaissance and Baroque” area requirement for the HART Major; HART Minor. [3] Shaneyfelt. (AXLE: HCA).


HART 2622: Neoclassicism and Romanticism.  A survey of major artists and monuments of visual culture considered in their political, social, economic, spiritual, and aesthetic contexts from 1760 to 1840. Artists to be studied include the painters Batoni, Piranesi, David, Canova, Ingres, Géricault, Delacroix, Gainsborough, Reynolds, Constable, Turner, Goya and Friedrich.  Particular attention will be paid to the connections between art and politics, the transformation of traditional patterns of art patronage, art’s role in state propaganda in time of war, the rise of landscape painting as a major genre of art, and the origins of the conflict between progressive and academic art.  A major theme of the course will be the connections between Neoclassicism and Romanticism, rather than considering them as discreet movements. This course will count toward the "Modern" area requirement for the HART Major; HART Minor. [3] Johns. (AXLE: HCA).


HART 2650: Nineteenth-Century Architecture: Theory and Practice. This course will survey architectural theory and production in Europe and North America from the French Revolution to the First World War. We will consider design issues, as well as the relationships between architecture and technology, between architectural practice and political regimes, between architecture and social formations, and between architectural design and conceptions of history. Some of the specific topics to be discussed include Neoclassicism, the École des Beaux-Arts, the Gothic Revival in France and England, Paris in the Second Empire, the Arts-and-Crafts Movement, and Commercial Architecture and the Art Nouveau. This course will count toward the “Modern” area requirement for the HART Major; HART Minor, ARCH Minor. [3] Murphy. (AXLE: HCA).


HART 2680: British Art: Tudor to Victorian. A survey of art and visual culture in the British Isles from the reign of Henry VIII to Queen Victoria, ca. 1500-1900. Major emphasis will be placed on portraiture and landscape painting, the relationship between art and empire, the rise of the Royal Academy, and patterns of patronage. The primary artists to be considered include Holbein, Lely, Hogarth, Gainsborough, Reynolds, Lawrence, Turner and the pre-Raphaelites. Emphasis in course lectures will be on artists, art production, and the social, political, and intellectual British context. Major issues covered in the course include: art as propaganda, the changing institutional values of the court and academy, the effects of travel and colonialism, the role of patrons and collectors from art dealers to auction houses, and the shifting status of artists. This course will count as an Elective for the HART Major; HART Minor. [3] Johns. (AXLE: HCA).


HART 2780: History of Western Urbanism.  This class will approach the city “as a work of art,” across ancient Greece and the Roman Empire, papal Rome, modern Europe, and the US, including Nashville. While urban planning was developed in antiquity partly to foster equality, realities were often different. Behind impressive facades, increasingly grim conditions developed in early modern cities, inspiring progressive beautification and renewal movements. Twentieth-century planners devised, and sometimes built, schemes to glorify regimes and control subjects. Just as any city’s significance is greater than the sum of its parts, a city’s destruction carries symbolic meanings beyond practical purposes. Urban form reflects important societal values. How are cities ordered? By whom? To what extent does architecture present a unified “facade”? How do resources and technology shape cities?  How are places experienced by residents of different means, and by visitors, friend or foe? What do “new cities” reveal in colonial and postcolonial contexts? Finally, how does urban history inform current policies and future plans? This course will count as an Elective for the HART Major; HART Minor, ARCH Minor. [3] Robinson. (AXLE: P).


HART 3164W: Art of Buddhist Relic and Reliquary.  This course analyzes the veneration of Buddhist relics and the construction of reliquaries from a visual perspective. The overarching focus of the course will be on the art, ritual, and devotion to relics and reliquaries as manifested in the material and visual cultures of Asia. Connections will be drawn between the varying forms and functions of relic worship and reliquary construction across India, China, Korea, Japan, and Southeast Asia. This course will count as an Advanced Seminar or toward the “Non-Western” area requirement for the HART Major; will also count as an Elective for the HART Major or HART Minor. [3] Miller. (AXLE: INT).


HART 3810W: Exhibiting Historical Art: Digital Approaches to Ancient Greek Ceramics. In this course, students will compose a new exhibition of the ancient Greek artifacts from the permanent collection of the Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery. Students will learn about the history of ancient Greek pottery and apply a selection of digital humanities approaches – including 3D modelling and printing, virtual and augmented reality, and network and spatial analysis – to objects from the Gallery. The exhibition will recontextualize the ancient Greek works for Gallery visitors and showcase students’ critical engagement with contemporary methods of art historical and archaeological analysis. This course will count as an Advanced Seminar, or as an Ancient, or as an Elective for the History of Art Major and Minor. [3] Ikeshoji-Orlati. (AXLE: HCA).



HART 2325: Great Masters of the Italian Renaissance. A roughly chronological introductory survey of the major masters and developments in Italian Art, including painting, sculpture, and architecture, from the early 14th into the 16th century, circa 1300-1520. This course is designed to provide a broad overview of Central Italian art, focusing primarily on Florence, Siena, and Rome. Early Sienese masters such as Duccio and the Lorenzetti; Giotto, Masaccio, Donatello, Fra Angelico, Botticelli, and Leonardo in Florence; and Michelangelo and Raphael in Rome. In class discussion, there will be particular emphasis upon stylistic progression, iconographic interpretation and meaning, the role of patronage and audience, and original physical and cultural context. This course will count toward the "Renaissance and Baroque" area requirement for the HART Major; HART Minor. [3] Shaneyfelt (AXLE: INT).


Updated 11/27/2017