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Art History Courses

AH 101
Introduction to Art History
This course is a thematic study of art produced in global cultures from antiquity to the present day. Emphasis is placed on exploring the relationship between art and its historical and cultural background, with close attention to art as a means of human expression. Fall. Group: I, Arts Literature Thematic Area.

AH 105
Space, Place and Experience
This is an architectural history course that focuses on the spaces and places in our built environment and our experiences that are shaped by them. Students explore the following questions: How and why are spaces and places conceived and planned? How do people experience spaces and places? How do individuals interact with others in spaces and places? How is individual and group identity defined by spaces and places? What do spaces and places reveal about our personal and broader cultural values? Spaces and places will be viewed in their historical contexts (ancient through post-modern) through the lenses of architectural/urban history, anthropology, sociology, and psychology. Group 1; Arts Literature Signature course

AH 210
Italian Renaissance Art
This course investigates the Italian Renaissance from its origins through the late 16th century. Emphasis is placed on artists’ styles; the structure of patronage; philosophical and political thought within humanism; and the role of symbolism. Donatello, Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Raphael are some of the artists covered. Spring.  Group: I.

AH 213
Introduction to African and African American Art
Concentrates on the study of African and African-American art and their cultural settings. Classes focus on the reception and modification in the western hemisphere of African visual culture and philosophical traditions, e.g., in the United States, Cuba, Haiti, Brazil, and Trinidad. Lectures and discussions are supplemented by group and individual trips to Boston-area museums, including the Museum of the National Center of Afro-American Artists.  Group: I.

AH 230
Baroque Art
The style and historical context of art and architecture during the Baroque period (late 16th to early 18th centuries) is examined. Connections are made between the art and architecture and the philosophical, political, and scientific developments throughout this period. Artists such as Caravaggio, Bernini, Rubens, and Rembrandt are studied. Fall. Group: I.

AH 235
Latin-American Art (S-L)*
This course is a survey of Latin-American Art from the 19th century to the present, with primary focus on the 20th century. Painting, sculpture, and related objects from a variety of visual cultures throughout Central and South America are studied. These works, along with objects from popular culture, are examined within the social, political, and economic context of Latin America. Ethnic, gender, and class relations form an important part of this study. Connections between visual culture and music and literature are also explored in this course.   Group: I.   *Designated as a Service-Learning course. See the Service Learning course section.  Arts Literature SIGNATURE course

AH 245
American Painting and Sculpture
The development of American painting and sculpture from its beginning in the 17th century to the late 20th century. Students debate the relationship between American and European styles and subjects matter. Also, explores regional qualities and the increasing diversity of American artists in the 19th and 20th centuries. Group: I.

AH 260
Art of the Harlem Renaissance
Students will explore the work of African-American painters, sculptors, and photographers during the 1920s and 1930s. Centered in Harlem, these artists formed part of the first significant African-American cultural movement. Issues of cultural and racial identity as well as the stylistic features of works of art will be examined in this course. The artists covered will also be studied as part of the broader cultural phenomenon of the Harlem Renaissance, which included the work of philosophers, writers, performers, and political activists. Fall.
Group: I; Arts Literature Thematic Area Course.

AH 270
The Art of China

Introduces the origins and evolution of Chinese art from the Neolithic period through the nineteenth century. Investigates diverse art forms such as the bronzes and jades of the Shang and Chou dynasties, the tombs of the Han, landscape painting and the art of calligraphy and pottery.
No prerequisite.

AH 271
The Art of Japan

Introduces the origins and development of Japanese art from the Neolithic period to the nineteenth century. Study of the influences of Shinto and Buddhism, as well as foreign influences on architecture, painting, sculpture, printmaking and decorative arts using Boston’s rich collections of Oriental art. No prerequisite.

AH 288/388

Picasso: The Artist and Modernism

This course focuses on the dynamic life and artistic career of Pablo Picasso. Picasso’s art (painting, drawing, printmaking, and sculpture) is studied within the broader context of late nineteenth- and twentieth-century Modern art. Picasso’s relationship to his contemporaries, including artists, writers, and other intellectuals, is also examined. Throughout the course Picasso’s life and personal relationships serves as an important backdrop for understanding his art. Students have the option of enrolling in the 200-level of this course (no prerequisite) or 300-level of this course (with prerequisite); both levels run concurrently in the same course.  Prerequisite (388 only): AH 101 or VA 103 or permission. Group: I.

AH 290

Creating Their Own Image: African-American Women Artists
Examines themes and traditions in the history of African-American women artists by exploring the ways black women traditionally use art to challenge social norms and raise the issues of gender and identity in their roles as writers, artists, and activists from the Colonial period to the present. Drawing on the works of artists Edmonia Lewis, Meta Warrick Fuller, Elizabeth Catlett, Betye Saar, Alison Saar, Zora Neal Hurston, Alice Walker and a cadre of other participants, the course will feature those who consciously imbued their work with a social and political agenda to create an alternative vision and commentary of how women of color are represented in American culture on a canvas of one’s own making. Fall. Group: I.

AH 303
Gender, Myth, and Power in Greek and Roman Art
Course is a thematic and comparative study of the art and architecture of ancient Greece and Rome. Focus is placed on comparing issues of gender, mythology, and political power as expressed in Greek and Roman visual cultures. Offered selectively.
Prerequisite: AH 101 or permission. Group: I.

AH 344
American Architecture
Investigates the development of American architecture and its European influences from the Colonial period to the present. Close study of architectural interiors reveals how space was designed, decorated, and used. Illustrates how changing styles reflected the political, social, and cultural pressures of the time. Offered selectively. Prerequisite: AH 101 or permission. Group: I.

AH 373
Art Exhibition Seminar
Provides students with the opportunity to organize, mount, and publicize a real exhibition in the Hess Gallery. Working with artists in the Boston area, students take an active role in choosing the exhibition’s theme and works of art. They also write a catalog and plan an opening as the final project for the course. Offered selectively. Prerequisite: AH 101 or permission. Group: I.