This is the launch edition of the 2019-20 VCU Bulletin. This version includes all programs and courses approved by the publication deadline; however we may receive notification of additional program approvals after the launch. The final edition and full PDF version will include these updates and will be available in August prior to the beginning of the fall semester. (See the Archives page for bulletins for 2018-19.)

Charles F. Bleick, Ph.D.
Associate professor and interim chair

arts.vcu.edu/arthistory

The Department of Art History offers programs that acquaint students with the humanistic discipline of art historical inquiry. While providing students with the opportunity for a broad education drawing on the liberal arts and humanities, the department also emphasizes a close bond with the studio and performing arts and enjoys a close relationship with the other departments in the School of the Arts.

The department offers a broad-based education in the humanistic discipline of art history at the baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral levels.

Overseas studies are available through university-sponsored programs abroad in Europe and Asia. Graduate assistantships and fellowships are available to full-time graduate students.

ARTH 103. Survey of Art I. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Introductory survey of art from the prehistoric era through the 13th century, including examples from selected regions of Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas. Illustrated lectures demonstrate visual analysis and other art historical methods while also identifying key monuments and artists’ work in relationship to historical contexts.

ARTH 104. Survey of Art II. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Introductory survey of art from the 14th century through 21st century, including examples from selected regions of Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas. Illustrated lectures demonstrate visual analysis and other art historical methods while also identifying key monuments and artists’ work in relationship to historical contexts.

ARTH 207. Global Art History. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Art will be presented as an integral aspect of each culture from the areas of China, Japan, Africa, Oceania, Native America, and pre-Columbian Central and South America. Aesthetic appreciation will be enhanced through a presentation of various philosophies, customs and values. Illustrated lectures and analytical practices will be supported by the student visiting local museums and galleries to examine selected works of art.

ARTH 245. Survey of Asian Art. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Introductory survey of South Asian, Himalayan, Southeast Asian and East Asian art. Illustrated lectures provide a survey of Asian art and architecture.

ARTH 260. Islamic Art Survey. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3, 3 credits. Prerequisites: ARTH 103 or ARTF 105 or 115 and ARTH 104 or ARTF 106 or 116. First semester: seventh century to 13th century. Second semester: 14th century to the present. Illustrated lectures provide a survey of Islamic art and architecture. Students will visit local museums and galleries to examine selected works of art.

ARTH 261. Islamic Art Survey. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3, 3 credits. Prerequisites: ARTH 103 or ARTF 105 or 115 and ARTH 104 or ARTF 106 or 116. First semester: seventh century to 13th century. Second semester: 14th century to the present. Illustrated lectures provide a survey of Islamic art and architecture. Students will visit local museums and galleries to examine selected works of art.

ARTH 270. History of the Motion Picture I. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. The history of development of the motion picture from the early 1800s to the mid-20th century, with both technical and aesthetic consideration. Students engage in analysis and discussion after viewing selected films.

ARTH 271. History of the Motion Picture II. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. The history of development of the motion picture from post-WWII to the present, with both technical and aesthetic consideration. Students engage in analysis and discussion after viewing selected films.

ARTH 291. Special Topics. 1-3 Hours.

Semester course; 1-3 variable hours. 1-3 credits. May be repeated with different topics for a maximum of 9 credits. An in-depth study of a selected topic in art history not included in the curriculum. See the Schedule of Classes for specific topics to be offered each semester.

ARTH 292. Writing for Art History. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: UNIV 200 or HONR 200. Enrollment is restricted to art history majors. Students hone their writing skills in a variety of contexts relevant to the field of art history through writing assignments that emphasize argumentation, creativity and research, writing for a specific audience, responsible use of sources, paragraph and sentence mechanics, and developing an individual voice as an author.

ARTH 300. Prehistoric and Ancient Art and Architecture. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. A survey of the artistic expressions of the major prehistoric and ancient cultures of Europe, the Near East, Egypt and the Aegean.

ARTH 302. Introduction to Museums. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. A survey of contemporary theories, issues and practices in the museum environment. Topics include museum identity and function, administration, museum ethics, collections maintenance and management, curatorial and exhibition issues, and education and public interaction.

ARTH 303. History of Art Museums. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Course surveys the history of museums, from their origins in early modern Europe to the present day. This course explores the development of museums not just as preservers of culture, but also as active agents in shaping the perception of and access to cultural objects.

ARTH 304. Art of Ancient African Cultures and Kingdoms. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. An in-depth examination of the visual arts of ancient African cultures and kingdoms from prehistoric times to the 18th century and analysis of the historical, cultural and economic forces that shaped them.

ARTH 305. Classical Art and Architecture. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. A survey of the development of Greek, Etruscan and Roman architecture, sculpture, painting and the minor arts from their beginnings to the early fourth century A.D.

ARTH 310. Medieval Art and Architecture. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Survey of Western art and architecture between A.D. 300 and 1400.

ARTH 311. Islamic Art and the West Before 1200. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: ARTH 260 and 261. Explores the early development of Islamic and Christian artistic traditions with an emphasis on artistic contact and exchange.

ARTH 312. Islamic Art and the West From 1200 to 1600. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: ARTH 260 and 261. Explores the artistic dynamics of the Renaissance with an emphasis on interactions between the Christian and Islamic worlds.

ARTH 315. Renaissance Art and Architecture. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. An examination of the Renaissance in Italy and Northern Europe. Painting, sculpture and architecture of the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries.

ARTH 320. Baroque and Rococo Art and Architecture. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. The art and architecture of Italy and northern Europe between 1600 and 1750.

ARTH 321. Islamic Art and the West From 1600 to 1800. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: ARTH 260 and 261. Explores the Counter-Reformation in light of the Ottoman expansion in Europe and the development of artistic forms that reflect the status quo of the Roman Catholic Church.

ARTH 324. 18th-century Art in Europe. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Study of European art between 1688-1789.

ARTH 325. 19th-century Art in Europe. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Study of European art between 1770 and 1900.

ARTH 333. Modern Architecture. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Thematic survey of 19th- and 20th-century architecture. Provides a foundational introduction to the sequence of styles and design principles as well as key materials and techniques. Considers the relationship between form and function and the expression of cultural meaning through architecture.

ARTH 335. Pre-Columbian Art and Architecture. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. A study of the major artistic traditions of ancient America (i.e., Maya, Aztec and Inca). The course concentrates on Meso-America and the Andean Region.

ARTH 338. Colonial Art and Architecture of Latin America. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. A study of the major artistic traditions in Latin America from the 16th to the end of the 18th century.

ARTH 339. Modern and Contemporary Art and Architecture of Latin America. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. A study of 19th- and 20th-century art in Latin America focusing on the major movements and artists of Mexico, the Caribbean, Central and South America.

ARTH 342. African-American Art. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. A study of the art forms produced by Americans of African origin from the 17th century to the present with an emphasis on contemporary trends in black art. Crosslisted as: AFAM 342.

ARTH 344. American Art History. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Survey of American art from early encounters between Native Americans and Europeans to discourses of multiculturalism in recent decades. Course explores themes of nationhood, race, gender, sexuality, class and ethnicity in art of the United States.

ARTH 347. Studies in Asian Art. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. May be repeated with different topics for a maximum of nine credits. Explores the development of Asian artistic traditions in a particular geographic region or specified period. Topics may be an art form or medium, a geographical area, a theme, a function, or a context. May focus on artistic contact and cultural interconnection within a global context. See the Schedule of Classes for specific topics to be offered each semester.

ARTH 348. Art of the African Diaspora. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Course uses visual culture as means to explore the history and impact of the global spread of African peoples from slavery until the present day. Course examines a range of artistic practices from the visual culture of street festivals and Afro-Caribbean religions to the work of studio-trained artists of international repute.

ARTH 349. Body Adornment, Masks and Masking in Africa. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. An in-depth examination of the body in Africa with regard to its ontological, biological and cultural significance; its embellishment for aesthetic and other purposes; and its partial or total concealment (through masking) to mediate between the spiritual and physical world.

ARTH 351. Oceanic Art and Architecture. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Study of the indigenous arts of Oceania from prehistoric times to the present.

ARTH 357. Women, Art and Society. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: ARTH 103, ARTH 104, and UNIV 200 or HONR 200. Enrollment is restricted to School of the Arts majors. A re-examination of a variety of issues concerning women, art and society: the position assigned women within the history of art as it relates to historical place and the aesthetic values of the canon, the gendering of style, patronage, audience, and gaze. Through a survey of images of and by women, as well as through an analysis of art historical and critical texts, this course addresses the question: "How are the processes of sexual differentiation played out across the representations of art and art history?" Crosslisted as: GSWS 457.

ARTH 358. African Art and Architecture. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. A study of African art and architecture from prehistoric times to the present. Special emphasis is placed on form, content, function and meaning, as well as the impact of African art on modern and African-American art. Crosslisted as: AFAM 358.

ARTH 359. Studies in Aesthetics, Theory and Criticism of Art. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. May be repeated with a different topic for a maximum of nine credits. An in-depth examination of selected topics. See the Schedule of Classes for specific topics to be offered each semester.

ARTH 361. The Human Condition: An Arts Perspective. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Considers both the commonality of the human condition and differentiation among sociological and cultural experiences represented in selected artworks in the permanent collection of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

ARTH 365. Modern Art. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. An in-depth examination of art, theory and criticism from 1900-50.

ARTH 366. Contemporary Art. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. An in-depth examination of art, theory and criticism from 1950 to the present.

ARTH 367. German Expressionism. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Course examines “expressionism” as a generative concept that produced -- and continues to produce -- ways of organizing and understanding the words and pictures that circulated in the rapidly changing, socially and culturally turbulent Germany of the early 20th century.

ARTH 368. Pop Art. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Course examines pop art from its beginnings in 1950s England through its heyday in 1960s New York and Los Angeles. Course explores the movement’s wider effects in a variety of international contexts through analysis of early critical reception as well as contemporary theories of mass media, consumption and representation.

ARTH 369. Studies in Museum Methods. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. May be repeated with a different topic for a maximum of six credits. An in-depth examination of selected topics. Topics include museum administration, museum ethics, collections maintenance and management, curatorial and exhibition issues, and education. See the Schedule of Classes for specific topics to be offered each semester.

ARTH 370. History of Animated Film. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. The history of animation as an art form, from early experimental to popular culture to independent animation. Design, structure and technique are considered.

ARTH 372. History of Photography. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Examines the history of photography from its invention in the early 19th century to the present. Provides a foundational introduction to processes and materials from analog to digital. Surveys principal artists and movements and examines the nature and cultural meanings of photographic representation through lecture and discussion.

ARTH 374. Studies in Film. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. May be repeated with a different topic for a maximum of six credits. An in-depth examination of selected topics in film. See the Schedule of Classes for specific topics to be offered each semester.

ARTH 390. Art Historical Methods. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: ARTH 292 with minimum grade of C. Enrollment is restricted to art history majors. Course further develops critical thinking and writing skills specific to art history through several short written assignments and a final extended written project.

ARTH 391. Special Topics. 1-3 Hours.

Semester course; 1-3 lecture hours. 1-3 credits. May be repeated with different topics for a maximum of nine credits. An in-depth study of a selected topic in art history not included in the curriculum. See the Schedule of Classes for specific topics to be offered each semester.

ARTH 439. Studies in 20th-century Art. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. May be repeated with a different topic for a maximum of six credits. Prerequisite: ARTH 300, ARTH 302, ARTH 303, ARTH 304, ARTH 305, ARTH 310, ARTH 315, ARTH 320, ARTH 324, ARTH 325, ARTH 333, ARTH 335, ARTH 338, ARTH 339, ARTH 342, ARTH 344, ARTH 347, ARTH 348, ARTH 349, ARTH 351, ARTH 357, ARTH 358, ARTH 359, ARTH 361, ARTH 365, ARTH 366, ARTH 367, ARTH 368, ARTH 369, ARTH 370, ARTH 372, ARTH 374, ARTH 390 or ARTH 391. An in-depth examination of selected art and issues of the period. See the Schedule of Classes for specific topics to be offered each semester.

ARTH 440. Modern and Contemporary Art and Architecture of Africa. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: ARTH 300, ARTH 302, ARTH 303, ARTH 304, ARTH 305, ARTH 310, ARTH 315, ARTH 320, ARTH 324, ARTH 325, ARTH 333, ARTH 335, ARTH 338, ARTH 339, ARTH 342, ARTH 344, ARTH 347, ARTH 348, ARTH 349, ARTH 351, ARTH 357, ARTH 358, ARTH 359, ARTH 361, ARTH 365, ARTH 366, ARTH 367, ARTH 368, ARTH 369, ARTH 370, ARTH 372, ARTH 374, ARTH 390 or ARTH 391. A study of the impact on African art and architecture of Colonialism, urbanization and modernization. Special emphasis is placed on the search for a new identity by contemporary African artists. Crosslisted as: AFAM 440.

ARTH 444. Studies in the Art of the United States. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. May be repeated with a different topic for a maximum of six credits. Prerequisite: ARTH 300, ARTH 302, ARTH 303, ARTH 304, ARTH 305, ARTH 310, ARTH 315, ARTH 320, ARTH 324, ARTH 325, ARTH 333, ARTH 335, ARTH 338, ARTH 339, ARTH 342, ARTH 344, ARTH 347, ARTH 348, ARTH 349, ARTH 351, ARTH 357, ARTH 358, ARTH 359, ARTH 361, ARTH 365, ARTH 366, ARTH 367, ARTH 368, ARTH 369, ARTH 370, ARTH 372, ARTH 374, ARTH 390 or ARTH 391. An in-depth examination of selected art and issues of the period. See the Schedule of Classes for specific topics to be offered each semester.

ARTH 449. Studies in Asian Art. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. May be repeated with a different topic for a maximum of six credits. Prerequisite: ARTH 300, ARTH 302, ARTH 303, ARTH 304, ARTH 305, ARTH 310, ARTH 315, ARTH 320, ARTH 324, ARTH 325, ARTH 333, ARTH 335, ARTH 338, ARTH 339, ARTH 342, ARTH 344, ARTH 347, ARTH 348, ARTH 349, ARTH 351, ARTH 357, ARTH 358, ARTH 359, ARTH 361, ARTH 365, ARTH 366, ARTH 367, ARTH 368, ARTH 369, ARTH 370, ARTH 372, ARTH 374, ARTH 390 or ARTH 391. An in-depth examination of selected art and issues of the period. See the Schedule of Classes for specific topics to be offered each semester.

ARTH 452. Studies in Pre-Columbian Art and Architecture. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. May be repeated with a different topic for a maximum of six credits. Prerequisite: ARTH 300, ARTH 302, ARTH 303, ARTH 304, ARTH 305, ARTH 310, ARTH 315, ARTH 320, ARTH 324, ARTH 325, ARTH 333, ARTH 335, ARTH 338, ARTH 339, ARTH 342, ARTH 344, ARTH 347, ARTH 348, ARTH 349, ARTH 351, ARTH 357, ARTH 358, ARTH 359, ARTH 361, ARTH 365, ARTH 366, ARTH 367, ARTH 368, ARTH 369, ARTH 370, ARTH 372, ARTH 374, ARTH 390 or ARTH 391. An in-depth examination of selected art and issues of the period. See the Schedule of Classes for specific topics to be offered each semester.

ARTH 454. Studies in African Art. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. May be repeated with a different topic for a maximum of six credits. Prerequisite: ARTH 300, ARTH 302, ARTH 303, ARTH 304, ARTH 305, ARTH 310, ARTH 315, ARTH 320, ARTH 324, ARTH 325, ARTH 333, ARTH 335, ARTH 338, ARTH 339, ARTH 342, ARTH 344, ARTH 347, ARTH 348, ARTH 349, ARTH 351, ARTH 357, ARTH 358, ARTH 359, ARTH 361, ARTH 365, ARTH 366, ARTH 367, ARTH 368, ARTH 369, ARTH 370, ARTH 372, ARTH 374, ARTH 390 or ARTH 391. An in-depth examination of selected art and issues of the period. See the Schedule of Classes for specific topics to be offered each semester.

ARTH 465. Islamic Art and the West From 1800 to 1900. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: ARTH 260, ARTH 261 and ARTH 390. Examines the art and architecture of the Islamic world during the age of European colonialism.

ARTH 466. Modern and Contemporary Art in the Middle East. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: ARTH 260, ARTH 261 and ARTH 390. Focuses on art and architecture in the Middle East in the 20th and 21st centuries. Issues considered include the lives and work of selected artists, architects and designers; artistic media and themes; collecting; and the art market.

ARTH 489. Topics in Advanced Art History. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. May be repeated with a different topic for a maximum of nine credits. Prerequisite: ARTH 300, ARTH 302, ARTH 303, ARTH 304, ARTH 305, ARTH 310, ARTH 315, ARTH 320, ARTH 324, ARTH 325, ARTH 333, ARTH 335, ARTH 338, ARTH 339, ARTH 342, ARTH 344, ARTH 347, ARTH 348, ARTH 349, ARTH 351, ARTH 357, ARTH 358, ARTH 359, ARTH 361, ARTH 365, ARTH 366, ARTH 367, ARTH 368, ARTH 369, ARTH 370, ARTH 372, ARTH 374, ARTH 390 or ARTH 391. An in-depth study of a selected topic in art history not included in the curriculum. See the Schedule of Classes for specific topics to be offered each semester.

ARTH 490. Senior Seminar in Art History. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: ARTH 390 with a minimum grade of C. A study of a specific topic, artist, movement or style in a seminar format. Students will produce an extended research project to fulfill the seminar requirements.

ARTH 493. Museum Internship. 3-6 Hours.

Semester course; 9 to 18 studio hours. 3 to 6 credits. May be repeated with different topics for a maximum of 12 credits. Prerequisites: ARTH 302 and 390, both with a minimum grade of C. Restricted to art history majors only. Fieldwork in a local or regional museum. Topics inlcude museum administration, museum ethics, collections maintenance and management, curatorial and exhibition issues, and education.

ARTH 497. Directed Research Project. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 credits. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credits. Prerequisite: ARTH 390 with a minimum grade of C. Advanced individual work on a subject to be formulated in writing by the student and the instructor.