ART HUMANITIES: GREAT masterpieces of western art

Art Humanities
Spring 2012 W1121
608 or 604 Schermerhorn Hall

Instructor: Dr. Ellen Hoobler
Office Hours: Wed, 10:30-12:30 and by appointment,
925 Schermerhorn,
Mailbox in Art History Department office, 821 Schermerhorn, which is open from 9 AM to 5 pm ONLY. My mailbox is the one UNDER my name.

Art Humanities: Masterpieces of Western Art is intended to teach you how to look at and evaluate art, so that you can more effectively think, talk, and write about it. During the semester we will look at some of the great monuments of western art and architecture, and study the visual language developed by the masters who created them. Along with this new way of seeing, we will learn a new vocabulary to be able to accurately and confidently put what we see into words. Therefore, well-prepared class discussions will be the heart of the Art Humanities experience. However, while the course will rely heavily on its website (see below), it is also focused on using the resources of New York City, one of the greatest cities in the world for art.
This course should help you:
--Be exposed to some of the great masters of Western art, fascinating characters who produced thought-provoking works.
--relate to earlier peoples and ages through art.
--Learn to facilitate discussion about abstract issues.
--Look at new ways to engage with art through technology as well as discussion and writing.

I. Requirements

A. Attendance and classroom behavior: Students are expected to attend all scheduled class meetings, to be punctual, to be prepared and to contribute actively to class discussions. Unavoidable absences, due to illness, religious observance, or emergency must be reported to the Instructor (preferably BEFORE the scheduled class in question) and recurrent absences may need to be verified by a third party (i.e. Health Services physician).
*It is common courtesy to turn off cell phones and pagers BEFORE class.
*Please try to keep trips out of the classroom to a minimum during class.
*I prefer that you not use computers in the class, as it distracts other students. Please take notes if needed in a notebook. If you have special notetaking needs that require a computer, please let me know as soon as possible.
*You may not eat in class, but you may bring drinks in covered containers.
Official Core Office Student Attendance policy: The Core-wide policy is that there are no unexcused absences. Absences resulting from religious observance, illness, or family emergency are to be excused; the instructor, however, may strongly encourage (though may not require) that students complete additional assignments to help make up for lost class participation resulting from such absences.
Cliffnotes version: You get one unexcused absence without consequences. After two absences without a doctor or coach’s note, or prior warning for religious holiday or similar, your grade will be lowered by each additional absence. Students who miss class more than once without the instructor’s permission should expect to have their grade lowered.

B. Preparation for class includes doing assigned readings (as listed in the syllabus as well as possibly a few assigned in class), regular study of images and visual resources on the Art Humanities website. Unless otherwise noted, all reading assignments will be available on the Art Humanities website or the Courseworks website, or will be handed out in class.

C. Mandatory field trips to New York-area museums and buildings, to be scheduled outside of regular class meetings. These trips will include the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the MoMA, and the Hispanic Society of America, as well as an in-class trip to the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. Please plan to attend at least 2 visits.

D. Midterm and final examinations: both consisting of slide identifications, slide comparisons and essay questions. A few short quizzes may be scheduled intermittently throughout the semester. The date of the examinations cannot be changed under any circumstances (barring medical emergency). Failure to attend an examination will result in failure of the class.

E. Written assignments:
--There will be periodic required short reading responses (1/2 - 1 page long max) that are mandatory for all students.
--You will be required to complete 2 short assignments in formal analysis (about 5 pages total) and 2 longer assignments (about 3-5 pages each pages, usually based on museum trips) during the semester.
--If you MUST miss class on the day an essay is due, please make sure that your assignment is in my mailbox in the Art History Department office, Schermerhorn 821, by noon on that day. My mailbox is the one UNDER my name.
--Not all assignments will require outside research. However, when they do, you must cite all sources in all assignments. Failure to do so will be taken very seriously, and may constitute plagiarism. Instructors are asked to notify the Core Office of any suspected cases of academic dishonesty, even before speaking with the student. Please cite sources, even in the case of museum walltext, assigned class readings etc.
There is a new Columbia College website devoted to academic integrity – please look over or contact the instructor whenever you have any doubts about what constitutes plagiarism:

II. Grading and Major assignments:
Students will be evaluated on the requirements of the course according to the rubrics of each assignment. The final grade will be determined in approximately the following proportion:
--Attendance, participation and field trips: 25%
--Written assignments: 45% --
--Reading responses 10%
--“mini” formal analysis – 5% -- 2/13
--Formal analysis – 10% -- 3/5
--Exhibition review – 10% -- 4/4
--Collection assignment – 15% -- 04/18 -- includes group presentation
--Midterm and Final exams: 25% -- Mar 21 and TBD

Apart from our own Courseworks website, some readings will be available on the official Art Humanities website. You will need to login, go to the section corresponding to the artist we are looking at, and download the reading to find the part(s) indicated.
Art Humanities Website
Address: http:
User name: ahar
Password: 826sch

Images will also be available on the Wikispaces website for the class. Once the class roster has been set, you will be invited to the Wiki.
Key: Wiki means Wikispaces website
AHW means Art Hum website

January 18 – Introduction 1--
What is art? What is a masterpiece? Why do we care, anyway?

Assignment 1 (Mandatory for all): Prepare your art autobiography. Tell me about a significant experience you have had with a specific work of art, citing its author, title and date (and including an image of it if not available in books or on the internet.) (~1 page)

Also – Read the Foucault reading on the Wikispaces/Courseworks website.

January 23 – Further discussion of the goals of the class
--Reading for next time: Wiki : general intro on Parthenon.
--Art Hum website (AHW): Thucydides, “Funeral Oration of Pericles” Portions 42, 43 only.
--Alain de Botton, “On Architecture” – on Wiki

January 25 – Parthenon
Major theme: Memory and art
--Reading: Wiki readings on Elgin Marbles. We will debate the issue of whether the British Museum should return these statues to Greece.

January 30 – Parthenon II – Cultural Property and the Elgin marbles
For next time:
--Reading/Preparation: Play with the “Animated Glossary” at the bottom of the Gothic section in the Art Hum website
--Gregory the Great, “On the Proper Use of Images” – AHW
--Selections from “The Year 1000” – on Wiki
--Bring in a reading response (1/2 – 1 p.) explaining what was most surprising to you about the Gregory the Great and “The Year 1000” readings.

February 1 – Amiens Cathedral
Major Theme: Religion and art

February 6 -- Cathedrals
Visit to St. John the Divine (during class)

February 8 – Amiens Cathedral – Sculpture, Narrative, Catholic iconography
For next time: Vasari on Raphael (AHW)
--Stokstad “all you need to know about Catholic iconography” – Wiki
--West, Shearer. “What is a Portrait?” From Portraiture (2004). -- Wiki

February 13 – Raphael I – Mimesis, Perspective, the Renaissance
For next time:
--Contracts for the Pietà and David. Also Deliberations on the Installation of the David
– AHW under Michelangelo
--Mini formal analysis due (about 1 page)

February 15– Raphael II
For next time:
--Vasari, “Life of Michelangelo Buonarroti” – AHW
--“Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?” – Article on Wiki

February 20 – Michelangelo – Sculpture, innovation, patronage, women

February 22 – Michelangelo – The Body in Art, Portraits
For next time: Van Mander “Pieter Bruegel of Bruegel” --AHW
--Ovid, “Fall of Icarus” – AHW
For next time: By Mon the 27th at midnight, put a one-slide PPT which illustrates a proverb into the website dropbox.

February 27–The Northern Renaissance as compared to Italy

February 29 -- Bruegel I – Morality and art
--For next time: Svetlana Alpers – Bruegel’s Festive Peasants – Wiki

March 5 – Bruegel II – Social Criticism and art
--Formal Analysis 1 due in class
For next time: Ovid, “Daphne and Apollo” -- AHW
--Baldinucci, from “The Life of Cavaliere Lorenzo Bernini” – AHW

March 7 -- Bernini – the Baroque period in general, sculpture, hyperreality
Review for midterm

NO CLASSES MARCH 12 & 14 – Spring Break

March 19 -- Bernini continued
Review for midterm

For next time: Review Shearer West’s – “Portraiture” and read “Self-portraiture” – Wiki

March 26 -- Rembrandt – Portraiture, Self-portraiture
For next time: Alpers and other article, Wiki

March 28 – Rembrandt II – Printmaking, authenticity
For next time: Advertisement for Los Caprichos -- AHW
--Eisenman reading on Goya –Wiki

April 2 – Goya – Art & Social criticism II; Art and War

April 4 – Goya II – Shock and awe
*Exhibition review due in class
For next time: Leroy, L. “Exhibition of the Impressionists” -- AHW
--LaForgue, “Impressionism”

April 9 – Monet I – Impressionism, Modernism, Art and time.
--For next time : Duranty, Duret, Leroy excerpts from AHW.
--Renoir notebook excerpt (pp. 14-15 in AHW)

April 11 – Monet II
For next time: Kahnweiler, D-H, Excerpt from The Way of Cubism - AHW
--Chave article – Wiki
--Look at the painting known as Les Demoiselles d’Avignon// on Courseworks or the AHW.

April 16 – Picasso I – Cubism. Tradition and rupture in art, West and/vs. non-West in art.

April 18 – Picasso II
*Collection paper due in class
For next time: Articles on Pollock – Wiki

April 23 – Jackson Pollock – Post Modernism
Reading on Warhol -- Wiki

April 25 – Andy Warhol

April 30 – Wrap up, Course Review

Final exam date : to de announced by Registrar