This course provide students interested in principles of the contemporary art world with first-hand accounts of the market and industry from a wide range of professionals. It focuses specifically on trends in the visual arts market with a particular emphasis on contemporary art through sales in auction houses and galleries, as well as its genesis from living artists and its preservation in the homes of collectors and halls of fine art museums.
Each Arts in Context course is a multi-layered look at the Arts – both visual and performing – within multiple contexts in our society. This class will look at the local arts scene of both Grounds and in the Community.
This course explores techniques and rationales behind the giving and the raising of funds; and the closely related skills of leading and managing trustees, boards and volunteers. The course will examine these fields using both theory and practical applications. Both in-class discussions and distinguished guest speakers will be utilized.
Somebody once said, “Ut pictura poesis,” or, “Poetry is a speaking picture, painting a silent poetry.” But what does that mean, exactly, and how does it work? Humans have told stories about famous paintings, and painted famous stories, all in the attempt to figure out ourselves and our world. Co-taught by Art History and English professors, this course explores the relationships between key masterpieces of painting and prose.
The course examines the role of popular culture in art and art history. Within shifting conceptions of “popular”, we will interrogate how issues such as media, art collecting, technology and social, historical, and politcal shifts have informed the production of visual culture and art practice from the 16th century to the present.
Over the past three decades, Indigenous people have increasingly asserted themselves in the political, social and artistic domains. Rather than disappearing in the face of colonial oppression, Indigenous cultures today are as strong and diverse as ever. Art has been a central tool in the processes of cultural revitalization and the struggle for Indigenous rights. This course explores the role that art plays in contemporary Indigenous cultures, as well as the ways in which Indigenous artists have strategically used the art world to assert their identities in the modern world. Using the world-class holdings of the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection and the Fralin Museum of Art, it will use an object-based approach to consider the global significance of Indigenous art to our understanding of the world today.
Survey of Egyptian art and architecture (Predynastic-New Kingdom, 4000-1100 BC). The course introduces students to the great monuments and works of art, and to the beliefs that engendered them. While the focus is on pharaonic 'visual' culture, neglected 'others' (women, cross-gendered persons, foreigners, commoners) and their material/visual cultures are brought to attention to provide a nuanced understanding of Egyptian society and culture.
Following an overview of Etruscan art, the course examines the development of Roman architecture, urbanism, sculpture and painting from the Republic to Constantine. A focus is Rome itself, but other archaeological sites, such as Pompeii, in Italy and throughout the empire are also considered. Themes, such as succession, the achievements of the emperor, the political and social role of art, and the dissolution of classical art, are traced.
High Renaissance and Mannerist Art
Studies the painting, architecture, and sculpture or the sixteenth century, emphasizing the works of major artists, such as Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael, Giorgione, and Titian. Detailed discussion of the social, political, and cultural background of the arts.
The Age of Rubens and Rembrandt: Baroque Art in the Netherlands
A survey of the art of the Dutch and Flemish Golden Age, including such artists as Rubens, Rembrandt, van Dyck, Hals and Vermeer. The course examines innovations in style and new subjects like landscape, still life and daily-life genre in relation to major historical developments, including the revolt of the Netherlands, the rise of the Dutch Republic, and the Counter-Reformation. The course includes a survey of Dutch architecture.
Impressionism and Post Impressionism
Surveys modernist movements in European art during the second half of the nineteenth century. Major themes include the establishment of modernity as a cultural ideal, the development of the avant-garde, and the genesis of the concept of abstraction.
General survey of the photographic medium from 1839 to the present. Emphasizes the technical, aesthetic, and critical issues particular to the medium.
This course examines Africa's chief forms of visual art from prehistoric times to the present.
Arts of the Buddhist World- India to Japan
Surveys the Buddhist sculpture, architecture and painting of India, China and Japan. Considers aspects of history and religious doctrine.
The class is an overview of art made in the service of Islam in the Central Islamic Lands, Egypt, North Africa, Spain, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia, and South and Southeast Asia.
arth 3559/ittr 3559
Michelangelo’s name conjures genius and a nearly superhuman achievement in the arts. Contemporaries elevated him as the supreme sculptor, painter and architect of the age. His work offers a window on a deeply personal vision and rich artistic culture. Michelangelo’s creativity extends to many media—sculpture, painting, architecture, and writing in poetry and prose. This course focuses on all these pursuits. The course is not only about the extraordinary achievements of this Renaissance luminary but the ways in which we can analyze and compare visual and written works. To this end we will examine closely the artist’s poems and letters, contemporary assessments of his artistic achievements, and critical articles on his work. This course is intended to enhance students’ skills in analyzing visual and literary artefacts. This skill is crucial in our media age which relies increasingly on visual messages and the interplay of text and image.
arth 3559/enam 3559
Native American Literatures
What is American Indian/Native American literature? In this course we will examine that question, focusing primarily on what has been called the “Native American Literary Renaissance,” which began in the late 1960s and continues today.
This seminar explores the interaction between pagans and Christians in the Late Roman Empire (2nd- 6th c AD). We will study both pagan and Christian monuments and examine their role in the transformation of Late Roman cities, and in shifting sacred topographies. We will also focus on Christian attitudes towards pagan monuments to explore the impact of pagan art and architecture in the making of Christian masterpieces.
Photography from its inception has been an uncanny art: every photograph is a “double” of the object scene it pictures. This course plumbs the depths of photography’s uncanniness. We study the origins of the photographic negative, the Gothic, the optical uncanny, the Surreal, and evocations of the uncanny in twenty-first century Indigenous photography. The course draws extensively on aesthetic theory and meets the second writing requirement.
This course will focus on material and artistic evidence for conflict (military, political, cultural, etc.) in the Greco-Roman world.
Alexander Calder and the World of Modern Art
This lecture class will explore the professional and social context for one of the most successful modern sculptors in the twentieth century.
arth 3595/anth 3590
An introduction to art histories of indigenous North America and of collecting Native arts with close material analysis of objects in the Fralin museum collection.
The course is a survey of the major epochs of Chinese art from pre-historic to the modern period. The course intends to familiarize students with the important artistic traditions developed in China: ceramics, bronzes, funerary art and ritual, Buddhist art, painting, and garden architecture. It seeks to understand artistic form in relation to technology, political and religious beliefs, and social and historical contexts, with focus on the role of the state or individuals as patrons of the arts. It also introduces the major philosophic and religious traditions (Confucianism, Daoism, and Buddhism) that have shaped cultural and aesthetic ideals, Chinese art theories, and the writings of leading scholars.
This course introduces art history majors to the basic tools and methods of art historical research, and to the theoretical and historical questions of art historical interpretation. The course will survey a number of current approaches to the explanation and interpretation of works of art, and briefly address the history of art history. Prerequisite: Major or minor in art history.
The seminar focuses on the cultural politics involving antiquities with a variety of issues illuminated: nationalism and archaeology in the service of the state; sanctimony and stewardship of ancient sites; repatriation and restitution of art; the commodification of culture in contemporary society; art/artifacts as spoils of war; the ethics of connoisseurship and collecting; social and economic aspects of illicit antiquities trade etc.
Looking at, Talking about, and Writing about Art
This seminar is all about Looking, Talking, and Writing, and these critical activities are focused on art, architecture and urbanism. The goal is to enhance your skills in these three important areas (looking, talking, writing) because the ability to look carefully, speak coherently, and write effectively will serve you for a lifetime. Moreover, these are transferable skills. This course focuses on art, architecture and urbanism, but the skills in the title can be applied to forensic evidence, the law, diagnostic evidence in medicine, etc. Note that the goal of the seminar is the enhancement of certain skills. The ultimate goal is the looking, talking, writing. The course content is the means to get us there. The result of looking closely is that we will examine in depth aspects of art, architecture and urbanism.
What would you do if you could re-imagine interpretation at a historic site? James Monroe’s Highland (http://highland.org
) has the opportunity to answer this exact question as it plans and creates new exhibits that incorporate its recent research discoveries that were reported in the Washington Post and elsewhere.
Painting from Indian Shrines & Palaces
This class covers the history and the historiography of Indian painting, with primary emphasis on the early development of the Mughal style in the 16th century and the very beginnings of the schools of Rajasthan.
This seminar examines the artistic career of William Hogarth and his contribution to the cultural geography of London in the eighteenth century as Britain’s capital became the largest city in Europe. Major themes include the relation of fine art to popular culture, the politics of cultural space, the rise of print culture and caricature, and the place of art in the public sphere.
This seminar uses the collections of the Fralin Art Museum to explore fundamental issues of the history, connoisseurship, and care of prints and drawings. Each student researches four specific drawings or prints, which are presented as class reports and then submitted as five-to-seven-page essays.
arth 4591/anth 4590
Did Aboriginal Artists Invent Contemporary Art?
What does it mean to call Aboriginal art “contemporary”? Taking advantage of UVA’s world-class collection of Aboriginal Australian art, this course will introduce students to the key art historical, philosophical and anthropological approaches to Aboriginal art. The seminar will situate Aboriginal art within a global critical context, asking students to consider the specific challenges that the Aboriginal art movement poses to our understanding of contemporary art and culture. Students will have the opportunity to test these ideas through direct engagement with the collections of the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection at UVA.
Jacob Lawrence & American Modernisms
Explores the life and art of Jacob Lawrence, particularly his inventions in narrative art.
Patronage and Gift-Giving in Byzantium
This seminar explores the people behind iconic Byzantine masterpieces. What did the Byzantines hope to achieve with acts of patronage and gift-giving? Were these acts of piety or of self-promotion? We look at different types of patrons, from the Imperial family and elites to ordinary people, and consider how their personalities and social aspirations influenced some of the greatest Byzantine artworks.
Castles and Cathedrals of the High Middle Ages
Castles and Cathedrals are some of the most sought-after sites for visitors to modern-day Europe. However, certain of these monuments were pivotal in the advancement of building technology and new aesthetic design ideas. We will examine these structures and see how they exemplify changes in cultural and technological exchange in Europe in the period between 1050-1350.
arth 4591/arh 4591
What happens when a museum learns it must rewrite its history? Just this has occurred at the house museum, Highland, where archaeology has recently transformed our understanding of this site. Our seminar will use Highland as a case study for exploring how museums create and present their narratives. Through a series of field trips to local museums we will explore the current possibilities for museum interpretation as well as consider new ones.
This is a two-semester sequence of two three-credit courses. Students will do internships (lasting for an academic year) at either the Fralin Museum of Art or the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection. As interns, students will work approximately 100 hours each semester (7-8 hours per week) in the museum, under the close supervision of museum professionals, and will participate in three training sessions and three academic seminars. Space is limited. Application required: to apply please email instructors your transcript, resume, and a one-page essay indicating your interest in museum work and your experience (if any). Deadline May 1st.
Research for a thesis of approximately 50 written pages undertaken in the fall semester of the fourth year by art history majors who have been accepted into the department's Distinguished Majors Program.