Courses

The following information is from the Vassar College Catalogue.

I. Introductory

105a. Introduction to the History of Art (1)

Art 105-106 provide a yearlong introduction to the history of art and architecture. Presented chronologically, with members of the department lecturing in their fields of expertise, the course begins with the monuments of the ancient world and ends with a global survey of today’s video. Students see how the language of form changes over time, how it continually expresses cultural values and addresses individual existential questions. Art history is, by its nature, transdisciplinary—drawing on pure history, literature, music, anthropology, religion, linguistics, science, psychology and philosophy. The course, therefore, furnishes many points of entry into the entire spectrum of human creativity. Weekly discussion sections make extensive use of the Vassar College collection in the Loeb Art Center. The department.

Yearlong course 105-106.

Art 106 may be taken in a later year but must be completed in order to receive credit for Art 105.

NRO available for juniors and seniors.

Open to all classes. Enrollment limited by class.

Three 50-minute periods and one 50-minute conference period.

106b. Introduction to the History of Art (1)

Art 105-106 provide a yearlong introduction to the history of art and architecture. Presented chronologically, with members of the department lecturing in their fields of expertise, the course begins with the monuments of the ancient world and ends with a global survey of today’s video. Students see how the language of form changes over time, how it continually expresses cultural values and addresses individual existential questions. Art history is, by its nature, transdisciplinary—drawing on pure history, literature, music, anthropology, religion, linguistics, science, psychology and philosophy. The course, therefore, furnishes many points of entry into the entire spectrum of human creativity. Weekly discussion sections make extensive use of the Vassar College collection in the Loeb Art Center. The department.

Yearlong course 105-106.

Art 106 may be taken in a later year but must be completed in order to receive credit for Art 105.

NRO available for juniors and seniors.

Open to all classes. Enrollment limited by class.

Three 50-minute periods and one 50-minute conference period.

160a. Politics of Art/Art of Politics (1)

(Same as American Studies 160) In this first-year seminar, we examine the relationships between visual culture and social movements in the United States. Focusing on the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, we explore connections between art, politics, and society. Ms. Collins.

Two 75-minute periods.

Fulfills the Freshman Writing Seminar Requirement.

170. Introduction to Architectural History (1)

(Same as Urban Studies 170) An overview of the history of western architecture from the pyramids to the present. The course is organized in modules to highlight the methods by which architects have articulated the basic problem of covering space and adapting it to human needs. Mr. Adams.

Two 75-minute periods.

Not offered in 2013/14.

II. Intermediate

210a. Art, Myth, and Society in the Ancient Aegean (1)

(Same as Greek and Roman Studies 210) Art, Myth, and Society in the Ancient Aegean. How did the ancient Greeks, in reality a loose group of small city-states constantly at war, produce an ideal artistic culture? The Parthenon, marble statues that seemed to breathe, and cities that Alexander the Great built in his march to Afghanistan have come to define Western notions of beauty and civilization. At what cost did they achieve all this? The Greeks' gifts-- mythology and Athenian democracy--inspired the art and architecture of civic institutions in the polis, as well as the other, dark side: ecstatic states of divine possession depicted in sacred rites. The course covers the period from 800-150 BC. Ms. D'Ambra.

Prerequisite: Art 105-106 or coursework in Greek & Roman Studies, or permission of the instructor.

Two 75-minute periods.

211. Roman Art and Architecture (1)

(Same as Greek and Roman Studies 211) Sculpture, painting, and architecture in the Roman Republic and Empire. Topics include: the appeal of Greek styles, the spread of artistic and architectural forms throughout the vast empire and its provinces, the role of art as political propaganda for state and as status symbols for private patrons. Ms. D'Ambra.

Prerequisite: Art 105-106 or Greek and Roman Studies 216 or 217, or permission of the instructor.

Two 75-minute periods.

Not offered in 2013/14.

215b. The Art and Archaeology of Ancient Egypt (1)

(Same as Greek and Roman Studies 215) Ancient Egypt has long fascinated the public with its pyramids, mummies, and golden divine rulers. This course provides a survey of the archaeology, art, and architecture of ancient Egypt from the prehistoric cultures of the Nile Valley through the period of Cleopatra's rule and Roman domination. Topics to be studied include the art of the funerary cult and the afterlife, technology and social organization, and court rituals of the pharaohs, along with aspects of everyday life. Ms. D'Ambra.

Prerequisites: Art 105-106 or Greek and Roman Studies 216 or 217, or permission of the instructor.

Two 75-minute periods.

218a. The Museum in History, Theory, and Practice (1)

This course surveys the long evolution of the art museum, beginning with private wonder rooms and cabinets of curiosity in the Renaissance and ending with the plethora of contemporary museums dedicated to broad public outreach. As we explore philosophies of both private and institutional collecting (including that of the college and university art museum) we use the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center as our first point of reference for considering a range of topics, such as the museum’s role in furthering art historical scholarship and public education, its acquisition procedures, and challenges to the security, quality or integrity of its collections posed by theft, by the traffic in fakes and forgeries, or the current movement to repatriate antiquities to their country of origin. Assignments include readings and group discussions, individual research projects, and at least three one-day field trips to museums in our area (including Manhattan) to allow us to examine the many different approaches to museum architecture and installation. Ms. Kuretsky.

Prerequisites: Art 105-106, or permission of the instructor.

Two 75-minute periods.

220a. Medieval Architecture (1)

A survey of the greatest moments in Western, Byzantine and Islamic architecture from the reign of Constantine to the late middle ages and the visual, symbolic and structural language developed by the masters and patrons responsible for them. Particular attention is paid to issues of representation: the challenge of bringing a medieval building into the classroom, that of translating our impressions of these buildings into words and images, and the ways in which other students and scholars have done so. Mr. Tallon.

Prerequisite: Art 105-106, coursework in Medieval Studies, or permission of instructor.

Two 75-minute periods.

221b. The Sacred Arts of the Middle Ages (1)

A selective chronological exploration of the art of western Europe from early Christian Rome to the late Gothic North, with excursions into the lands of Byzantium and Islam. Works of differing scale and media, from monumental and devotional sculpture, manuscript illumination, metalwork, to stained glass, painting and mosaic, are considered formally and iconographicallly, but also in terms of their reception. Students work directly with medieval objects held in the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center and with manuscripts in the Special Collections of the Vassar Library. Mr. Tallon.

Prerequisites: Art 105-106, or coursework in Medieval Studies, or permission of the instructor.

Two 75-minute periods.

230. Art in the Age of Van Eyck, Dürer and Bruegel (1)

Early Netherlandish and German painting and printmaking from Campin and van Eyck to Bruegel, Holbein, and Dürer. The course examines northern European attitudes toward nature, devotional art and portraiture that developed in the early fifteenth century and their evolution up to and through the Protestant Reformation of the sixteenth century. Ms. Kuretsky.

Prerequisite: Art 105-106 or permission of the instructor.

Two 75-minute periods.

Not offered in 2013/14.

231b. The Golden Age of Rubens, Rembrandt and Vermeer (1)

An exploration of the new forms of secular and religious art that developed during the Golden Age of the Netherlands in the works of Rubens, Rembrandt, Vermeer and their contemporaries. The course examines the impact of differing religions on Flanders and the Dutch Republic, while exploring how political, economic and scientific factors encouraged the formation of seventeenth century Netherlandish art. Ms. Kuretsky.

Prerequisite: Art 105-106 or permission of the instructor.

Two 75-minute periods.

235. The Rise of the Artist, from Giotto to Leonardo da Vinci (1)

A survey of Italian art c. 1300 - c.1500, when major cultural shifts led to a redefinition of art, and the artist emerged as a new creative and intellectual power. The course considers painting, sculpture and decorative arts by artists including Giotto, Donatello, Botticelli, and Leonardo. Our study of artworks and primary texts reveals how a predominantly Christian society embraced the revival of ancient pagan culture, elements of atheist philosophy, and Islamic science. We also discuss art in the context of nascent multiculturalism and consumerism in the new city-states; the importance of new communications systems, such as print; and artistic exchange with northern Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean centers of Baghdad and Constantinople. Other topics include art theory and criticism; techniques and materials of painting and sculpture; experiments with multimedia and mass production; developments in perspective and illusionism; ritual and ceremonial; and art that called into question notions of sexuality and gender roles. Ms. Elet.

Prerequisite: Art 105-106, or permission of the instructor.

Two 75-minute periods.

236b. Art in the Age of Leonardo, Raphael, and Michelangelo (1)

An exploration of the works of these three masters and their contemporaries in Renaissance Italy, c. 1485 - c. 1565. The primary focus is on painting and sculpture, but the course also considers drawings, prints, landscape, gardens, and decorative arts, emphasizing artists’ increasing tendency to work in multiple media. We trace changing ideas about the role of the artist and the nature of artistic creativity; and consider how these Renaissance masters laid foundations for art, and its history, theory and criticism for centuries to come. Other topics include artists' workshops; interactions between artists and patrons; the role of the spectator; ritual and ceremonial; and Renaissance ideas about beauty, sexuality and gender. Ms. Elet.

Prerequisite: Art 105-106, or permission of the instructor.

Two 75-minute periods.

250a. Encounter and Exchange: American Art from 1565 to 1865 (1)

This course examines American art from European contact in the 16th century through the Civil War. It emphasizes the formative role of the international encounter and cross-cultural exchange to this art. The focus is on painting, photography, and prints, though a range of objects types including sculpture, architecture, moving panoramas, and wampum belts will also be explored. Ms. Ikemoto.

Prerequisite: Art 105-106, or permission of the instructor.

Two 75-minute periods.

251b. Modern America: Visual Culture from the Civil War to WWII (1)

(Same as American Studies 251) This course examines American visual culture as it developed in the years between the Civil War and World War II. Attention is paid to the intersections among diverse media and to such issues as consumerism, abstraction, primitivism, femininity, and mechanized reproduction. Artists studied include Thomas Eakins, Timothy O’Sullivan, James McNeill Whistler, Georgia O’Keeffe, Edward Hopper, Winslow Homer, Edward Weston, and Aaron Douglas. Ms. Ikemoto.

Prerequisite: Art 105-106 or a 100-level American Studies course or permission of the instructor.

Two 75-minute periods.

254b. The Arts of Eastern, Southern, Central and Western Africa (1)

(Same as Africana Studies 254) This course is organized thematically and examines the ways in which sculpture, painting, photography, textiles, and film and video function both historically and currently in relationship to broader cultural issues. Within this context, this course explores performance and masquerade in relationship to gender, social, and political power. We also consider the connections between the visual arts and cosmology, identity, ideas of diaspora, colonialism and post-colonialism, as well as the representation of the "Self," and the "Other." Mr. Leers.

The Non-Recorded Option is available to non-majors.

Prerequisites: Art 105-106, one course in Africana Studies, or permission of the instructor.

Two 75-minute periods.

256a. The Arts of China (1)

(Same as Asian Studies 256) Topic for 2013/14a: Art and Empire: Conformity and Resistance in the Visual Arts of China. This course examines the arts of China from the first Chinese empire (221 BCE-206 BCE) to the present, with particular focus on the role that the state played in artistic production. Among the mediums to consider are: painting, sculpture, architecture, calligraphy, and ceramics. Ms. Hwang.

Prerequisite: Art 105-106, one Asian Studies course, or permission of the instructor.

Two 75-minute periods.

258. The Art of Zen in Japan (1)

(Same as Asian Studies 258) This course surveys the arts of Japanese Buddhism, ranging from sculpture, painting, architecture, gardens, ceramics, and woodblock prints. We will consider various socioeconomic, political and religious circumstances that led monks, warriors, artists, and women of diverse social ranks to collectively foster an aesthetic that would, in turn, influence modern artists of Europe and North America. Ms. Hwang.

Art 105-106 or a 100-level Asian Studies course, or permission of the instructor.

Two 75-minute periods.

Not offered in 2013/14.

259b. Art, Politics and Cultural Identity in East Asia (1)

(Same as Asian Studies 259) This course surveys East Asian art in a broad range of media, including ceramics, sculpture, calligraphy, painting, architecture, and woodblock prints. Particular attention is paid to the ways in which China, Korea, and Japan have negotiated a shared "East Asian" cultural experience. The works to be examined invite discussions about appropriation, reception, and inflection of images and concepts as they traversed East Asia. Ms. Hwang.

Prerequisites: Art 105-106 or one 100-level Asian Studies course, or permission of the instructor.

Two 75-minute periods.

262. Art and Revolution in Europe, 1789-1848 (1)

A survey of major movements and figures in European art, 1789-1848, focusing on such issues as the contemporaneity of antiquity in revolutionary history painting, the eclipse of mythological and religious art by an art of social observation and political commentary, the romantic cult of genius, imagination, and creative self-definition, and the emergence of landscape painting in an industrializing culture. Mr. Lukacher.

Prerequisite: Art 105-106, or permission of the instructor.

Two 75-minute periods.

Not offered in 2013/14.

263b. Painters of Modern Life: Realism, Impressionism, Symbolism (1)

A survey of major movements and figures in European art, 1848-1900, examining the realist, impressionist, and symbolist challenges to the dominant art institutions, aesthetic assumptions, and social values of the period; also addressing how a critique of modernity and a sociology of aesthetics can be seen developing through these phases of artistic experimentation. Mr. Lukacher.

Prerequisite: Art 105-106, or permission of the instructor.

Two 75-minute periods.

264. The Nature of Change: the Avant-Gardes (1)

(Same as Media Studies 264) ) Radical prototypes of self-organization were forged by the new groups of artists, writers, filmmakers and architects that emerged in the early twentieth century as they sought to define the future. The course studies the avant-gardes’ different and often competing efforts to meet the changing conditions that industrialization was bringing to culture, societies and economies between 1889 and 1929, when works of art, design, and film entered the city, the press, the everyday lives and the wars that beset them all. Ms. Nesbit.

Prerequisite: Art 105-106, or permission of the instructor.

Two 75-minute periods and one weekly film screening.

265. Modern Art and the Mass Media, 1929-1968 (1)

(Same as Media Studies 265) The history of modern painting and sculpture in Europe and America from the onset of the Great Depression to the events of 1968, together with their contemporary developments in film, photography, and the mass media. Special attention is paid to the criticism, theory, and politics of the image as part of the newly divided modern culture of abstractions, generalities, human rights and identities. Weekly screenings supplement the lectures. Ms. Nesbit.

Prerequisite: Art 105-106.

Two 75-minute periods and one weekly film screening.

Not offered in 2013/14.

266a. African-American Arts and Artifacts (1)

(Same as Africana Studies and American Studies 266) An exploration of the artistic and material production of African Americans in the U.S. from the colonial period to the present day. We examine multiple influences on (African, European, American, diasporic, etc.) and uses for black creative expression. Working with an expansive conception of art, we pay close attention to the work of formally and non-formally trained artists in relation to their social, cultural, aesthetic, and historical contexts. Ms. Collins.

Prerequisite: Art 105-106, or permission of the instructor.

Two 75-minute periods.

268. The Activation of Art, 1968 - now (1)

(Same as Media Studies 268) This course studies the visual arts of the last thirty years, here and abroad, together with the collective and philosophical discussions that emerged and motivated them. The traditional fine arts as well as the new media, performance, film architecture and installation are included. Still and moving images, which come with new theatres of action, experiment and intellectual quest, are studied as they interact with the historical forces still shaping our time into time zones, world pictures, narratives and futures. Weekly screenings supplement the lectures. Ms. Nesbit.

Prerequisite: Art 105-106.

Two 75-minute periods and one weekly screening.

Not offered in 2013/14.

270a. Renaissance Architecture (1)

European architecture and city building from 1300-1500; focus on Italian architecture and Italian architects; encounters between Italian and other cultures throughout Europe and the Mediterranean. Mr. Adams.

Prerequisite: Art 105-106, or 170 or permission of the instructor.

Two 75-minute periods.

Not offered in 2013/14.

272. Buildings and Cities after the Industrial Revolution (1)

(Same as Urban Studies 272) Architecture and urbanism were utterly changed by the subversive forces of the industrial revolution. Changes in materials (iron and steel), building type (train stations, skyscrapers), building practice (the rise of professional societies and large corporate firms), and newly remade cities (London, Paris, Vienna) provided a setting for “modern life.” The course begins with the liberation of the architectural imagination around 1750 and terminates with the rise of modernism at the beginning of the twentieth century (Gropius, Le Corbusier). Mr. Adams.

Prerequisite: Art 105-106 or permission of the instructor.

Two 75-minute periods.

Not offered in 2013/14.

273a. Modern Architecture and Beyond (1)

(Same as Urban Studies 273) European and American architecture and city building (1920 to the present); examination of the diffusion of modernism and its reinterpretation by corporate America and Soviet Russia. Discussion of subsequent critiques of modernism (postmodernism, deconstruction, new urbanism) and their limitations. Issues in contemporary architecture. Mr. Adams.

Prerequisite: Art 105-106, or 170, or permission of the instructor.

Two 75-minute periods.

275b. Rome: Architecture and Urbanism (1)

(Same as Urban Studies 275) The Eternal City has been transformed many times since its legendary founding by Romulus and Remus. This course presents an overview of the history of the city of Rome in antiquity, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, the Baroque period, and modern times. The course examines the ways that site, architecture, urbanism, and politics have interacted to produce one of the world’s densest urban fabrics. The course focuses on Rome’s major architectural and urban monuments over time (e.g., Pantheon, St. Peters, the Capitoline hill) as well as discussions of the dynamic forms of Roman power and religion. Literature, music and film also will be included as appropriate. Mr. Adams.

Art 105-106, or 170 or permission of the instructor.

Two 75-minute periods.

290a or b. Field Work (1/2 or 1)

Projects undertaken in cooperation with approved galleries, archives, collections, or other agencies concerned with the visual arts, including architecture. The department.

May be taken either semester or in the summer.

Open by permission of a supervising instructor. Not included in the minimum requirements for the major.

Prerequisites: Art 105-106 and one 200-level course.

298a or b. Independent Work (1/2 or 1)

Open by permission of the instructor with the concurrence of the adviser in the field of concentration. Not included in the minimum for the major.

III. Advanced

300a or b. Senior Essay Preparation (1/2)

Optional. Regular meetings with a faculty member to prepare an annotated bibliography and thesis statement for the senior essay. Course must be scheduled in the semester prior to the writing of the senior essay. Credit given only upon completion of the senior essay. Ungraded.

Prerequisite: permission of the chair of the department.

301a or b. Senior Project (1)

Supervised independent research culminating in a written essay or a supervised independent project in studio art.

310b. Seminar in Ancient Art (1)

(Same as Greek and Roman Studies 310) Topic for 2013/14b: Pompeii: The Life and Death of a Roman Town. A study of the urban development of a Roman town with public buildings and centers of entertainment that gave shape to political life and civic pride. The houses, villas, and gardens of private citizens demonstrate intense social competition, as well as peculiarly Roman attitudes toward privacy, domesticity, and nature. Ms. D’Ambra.

Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

One 2-hour period.

320b. Seminar in Medieval Art (1)

Topic for 2013/14b: Chartres Cathedral. The cathedral of Chartres has long been viewed as the Gothic building par excellence, a position secured by the likes of Henry Adams, Otto von Simson, and the legendary guide Malcolm Miller. A focal point for medieval pilgrims and modern tourists alike, Chartres is also at the heart of the story of Gothic as traditionally told in the English language-the moment at which the structural, symbolic and aesthetic challenges of this new and daring architecture were finally resolved. Students are invited to reconsider Chartres not only as a construction of stone and glass but as one of words, to test the validity of its near-mythical status in light of recent scholarship. Mr.Tallon.

Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

One 2-hour period.

331a. Seminar in Northern Art (1)

Topic for 2013/14a: Bruegel’s World Pieter Bruegel, the elder (c. 1525/9 – 1569), known in his time as “the second Bosch,” worked in the Netherlandish area of Europe during a period of explosive religious, political and intellectual change which apparently stimulated his extraordinary creativity. Scholars and later artists have responded in kind. The seminar reviews the extensive recent scholarship on the artist and his period and the evolution of art historical assessments of Bruegel’s style and subject matter. Through group discussions and individual research projects we explore a wide range of topics such as the artist’s innovative contributions to landscape and genre painting, his subversive prints and paintings, his use of both proverbs and textual sources, and his impact on later painters, poets, novelists and filmmakers. Ms. Kuretsky.

Prerequisite: permission of the instructor

One 2-hour period.

332b. Seminar in Italian Renaissance Art (1)

Reconsidering Raphael. Raphael devised new modes of designing and making art that changed the course of western visual culture. He has long been known as “the prince of painters,” but this label ignores the astonishing range of his activities: Raphael was also an accomplished architect, landscape designer, archeologist, draftsman, and designer of prints and tapestries. And despite his reputation as a cool classicist, he actually worked in an astonishing variety of styles and modes. This seminar reconsiders Raphael’s extraordinary career, taking a comprehensive view of his varied projects. We also examine his writings and his close collaborations with literary figures including Baldassare Castiglione, addressing the relation of text and image in Renaissance creative processes. This holistic approach allows a new appreciation of Raphael’s brilliance and originality, and the reasons his works served as models for artists down to modernism. Ms. Elet.

Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

One 3-hour period.

333. The Art of the Garden in Renaissance and Baroque Italy (1)

Changing attitudes toward the relationship between art and nature were played out in the decoration of villas and gardens, c. 1450- c. 1650. These extensive estates by top artists and patrons featured paintings, sculptures, fountains, grottoes, and plantings that blurred distinctions between indoors and outdoors, and between nature and artifice. We examine sites from Florence, Rome, the Veneto, and Naples to France, considering the inheritance of ancient Roman, medieval, and Islamic gardens. We explore the influx of new flora and fauna during the exploration of “new” worlds, and changing patterns of collecting and display. Readings explore villa ideology, the relation between city and country life, utopian conceptions of garden and landscape, and human dominion over nature. On a field trip, we experience the role of the ambulatory spectator, and consider the reception of the Italian garden in America. Ms. Elet.

Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

One 3-hour period.

Not offered in 2013/14.

358a. Seminar in Asian Art (1)

(Same as Asian Studies 358) Topic for 2013/14a: Word and Image: Pictorial Narratives of East Asia. This seminar examines the ways in which some of the most widely told East Asian narratives have been translated into the pictorial field - on cave murals, handscrolls, screens, sliding doors and woodblock prints. Works to be discussed include parables from the Lotus Sutra, the most important Buddhist text, and the Tale of Genji, a famous eleventh-century Japanese novel. Ms. Hwang.

Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

One 2-hour period.

362. Philosophical Landscape: Poussin/Turner/Cézanne (1)

Philosophical Landscape: Poussin/Turner/Cézanne. This seminar explores the philosophical ambitions of European landscape painting by focusing on the case studies of Poussin’s mythological vision of nature, Turner’s cataclysmic and historical conception of nature, and Cézanne’s dualistic (at once introspective and phenomenological) grasp of sensation and landscape. Changing ideas about the temporality, historicity, and sublimity of esthetic experience and the natural world are considered. Problems of painting style and technique are studied in close relation to the semiotic and symbolic connotations of landscape art. Mr. Lukacher.

Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

One 2-hour period.

Not offered in 2013/14.

364a. Seminar in Twentieth Century and Contemporary Art (1)

(Same as Media Studies 364) The Moving Image: Between Video and Experimental Curating. Already by 1930 experimental film had tested the boundaries for the exhibition of works of art; when video built on that foundation thirty years later, the borders were again expanded. Moving image and radical exhibition formats would continue to evolve in tandem, becoming a succession of inspirations and experiments. The seminar studies these as theoretical, practical and perceptual questions posed in fact since the invention of cinema; case studies from past and present are compared; the seminar plans and executes curatorial experiments of its own. Ms. Nesbit.

Prerequisite: permission of the instructor

One 2-hour period.

366. Art and Activism in the United States (1)

(Same as Africana Studies, American Studies, and Women's Studies 366)Vision and Critique in the Black Arts and Women's Art Movements in the United States. Focusing on the relationships between visual culture and social movements in the U.S., this seminar examines the arts, institutions, and ideas of the Black Arts movement and Women's Art movement of the 1960s and 1970s. Analyzing paintings, photographs, posters, quilts, collages, murals, manifestos, mixed-media works, installations, films, performances, and various systems of creation, collaboration, and display, we explore connections between art, politics, and society. Ms. Collins.

Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

One 2-hour period.

Not offered in 2013/14.

367. Artists' Books from the Women's Studio Workshop (1)

(Same as American Studies and Women's Studies 367) In this interdisciplinary seminar, we explore the limited edition artists' books created through the Women's Studio Workshop in Rosendale, New York. Founded in 1974, the Women's Studio Workshop encourages the voice and vision of individual women artists, and women artists associated with the workshop have, since 1979, created over 180 hand-printed books using a variety of media, including hand-made paper, letterpress, silkscreen, photography, intaglio, and ceramics. Vassar College recently became an official repository for this vibrant collection which, in the words of the workshop's co-founder, documents "the artistic activities of the longest continually operating women's workspace in the country." Working directly with the artists' books, this seminar will meet in Vassar Library's Special Collections and closely investigate the range of media, subject matter, and aesthetic sensibilities of the rare books, as well as their contexts and meanings. We will also travel to the Women's Studio Workshop to experience firsthand the artistic process in an alternative space. Ms. Collins.

Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

One 2-hour period.

Not offered in 2013/14.

370b. Scandinavian Modernism (1)

(Same as Urban Studies 370) An examination of the progressive architectural and social movements in Scandinavia. The course will focus on modernism’s breakthrough in 1930s with emphasis on the most important Scandinavian architects (Gunnar Asplund, Alvar Aalto, Sigurd Lewerentz, and Arne Jacobsen). Firms like KF Arkitektkontor (the Cooperative Society Architects in Stockholm) that operated on flat organizational principles will interest us, as will architects such as Sven Markelius and Uno Åhren who were especially interested in housing and town planning. Furniture, tableware, glassware, and other issues of domestic design were of special concern of many architects and designers. Mr. Adams.

Prerequisite: one 200-level course in architectural history, or permission of the instructor

One 2-hour period.

382a. Belle Ribicoff Seminar (1/2)

Topic for 2013/14a: TBA.Theories of Photography in East Asia: from West to East? This seminar, taught by Christopher Phillips, will explore the distinctive theories and practices of photography that have taken shape in East Asia from the mid-19th century to the present. While concentrating primarily on developments in Japan and China, it will also pay attention to important currents in Korea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, in an effort to situate photography within an East Asian visual culture that embraces ink painting, oil painting, printmaking, photobooks, and cinema. Among the artists whose works will serve as springboards for discussion in the seminar are such figures as Moriyama Daido, Tomatsu Shomei, Ishiuchi Miyako, Yanagi Miwa, Zhang Huan, Ai Weiwei, Wang Qingsong, and Lin Tianmiao.

Enrollment limited to 12 students.

Admission by Chair's permission only.

First 6-week course. Meetings will be held on six Fridays during the first half of the term, 1:00-3:00 p.m. The first class will meet at Vassar; the following will take place in New York City. Transportation will be provided.

385b. Darkness and Disorder: Gothic American Art (1)

(Same as American Studies 385) What is the gothic? What did it mean to American art? While the United States was founded on Enlightenment principles of order and reason, American art has long exploited the disorder and unreason, darkness and mystery, of the gothic. The seminar explores the gothic through the work of such artists as Thomas Cole, John Quidor, Raphaelle Peale, Elihu Vedder, Albert Pinkham Ryder, Andrew Wyeth, and Edward Hopper, as well as popular culture and film. Ms. Ikemoto.

Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

One 2-hour period.

391a and b. Advanced Fieldwork in Art Education at Dia: Beacon (1/2)

The Dia: Beacon-Vassar College program offers a yearlong, immersive fieldwork experience for the study of the Dia collection in the context of the philosophical mission of Dia Art Foundation and its public programming. In the first term, interns focus on the ideas, work, and histories of the individual Dia artists, who were and continue to be some of the most ambitious and pioneering artists of the late 1960s through to the present day. Interns also study the latest advances in museum education: constructivist learning theories vis-à-vis the work of Jean Piaget, Lev Vygotsky, and John Dewey; their practical application in art museums; the research being done at other institutions, for example, Harvard University’s Project Zero. In the second term, interns draw from these perspectives in order to design and give tours to school groups, primarily from the Dutchess County public schools. Admission by special permission and limited to no more than 6 students with advanced coursework in contemporary art or education. Students must commit to working 6 hours each week at Dia on either Thursdays or Fridays from 10am – 4pm, with a lunch break, and occasional weekends in both the fall and spring terms. Interns report to the Dia:Beacon Arts Education Associate. Ms. Nesbit.

Prerequisite: students with advanced coursework in contemporary art or education.

Six hours each week at Dia on either Thursdays or Fridays, 10:00 am - 4:00 pm.

399a or b. Senior Independent Work (1/2 or 1)

Open by permission of the instructor with the concurrence of the department adviser in the field of concentration. Not included in the minimum for the major.

Studio Work in Design, Drawing, Painting, Sculpture, Photography, and Video

I. Introductory

102a. Drawing I: Visual Language (1)

Development of visual ideas through a range of approaches to drawing. Emphasis is placed on perceptual drawing from life through subjects including landscape, interior, still life, and the human figure. In the second semester, figure drawing is the primary focus. Throughout the year, students work in a range of black and white media, as the elements of drawing (line, shape, value, form, space and texture) are investigated through specific problems. This course is suitable for both beginners and students with drawing experience. Mr. Charlap, Ms. Newman, Mr. Roseman, Ms. Ruggeri, Mr. William.

Yearlong course 102-103.

Open to all classes.

Two 2-hour periods.

103b. Drawing I: Visual Language (1)

Development of visual ideas through a range of approaches to drawing. Emphasis is placed on perceptual drawing from life, through subjects including landscape, interior, still life, and the human figure. In the second semester, figure drawing is the primary focus. Throughout the year, students work in a range of black and white media, as the elements of drawing (line, shape, value, form, space and texture) are investigated through specific problems. Mr. Charlap, Ms. Newman, Mr. Roseman, Ms. Ruggeri, Mr. William.

Yearlong course 102-103.

Open to all classes.

Two 2-hour periods.

108a. Color (1)

To develop students' understanding of color as a phenomenon and its role in art. Color theories are discussed and students solve problems to investigate color interactions using collage and paint. Ms. Newman.

Open to all classes.

II. Intermediate

202a. Painting I (1)

An introductory course in the fundamentals of painting, designed to develop seeing as well as formulating visual ideas. Working primarily from landscape and still life, the language of painting is studied through a series of specific exercises that involve working from observation. Activities and projects that address a variety of visual media and their relationship to painting are also explored. Mr. Charlap.

Prerequisite: Art 102-103.

Yearlong course 202-203.

Two 2-hour periods.

203b. Painting I (1)

A variety of painting strategies are explored, working primarily from the human figure, including representation, metaphor, narrative, pictorial space, memory, and identity. Instructor: Mr. Charlap.

Prerequisite: Art 102-103.

Yearlong course 202-203.

Two 2-hour periods.

204a. Sculpture I (1)

Introduction to the language of three-dimensional form through a sequence of specific problems which involve the use of various materials. Mr. Roseman.

Yearlong course 204-205.

Two 2-hour periods.

205b. Sculpture I (1)

Introduction to the language of three-dimensional form through a sequence of specific problems which involve the use of various materials. Mr. Roseman.

Yearlong course 204-205.

Two 2-hour periods.

206a. Drawing II (1)

The course explores contemporary drawing strategies. Students take an interpretative approach to assignments, and work from a variety of subjects including the human figure, found objects, landscape, and images. Mr. Roseman.

Prerequisite: Art 102 or other studio course.

Two 2-hour periods.

207. Drawing II (1)

The course explores contemporary drawing strategies. Students take an interpretative approach to assignments, and work from a variety of subjects including the human figure, found objects, landscape, and images. Mr. Charlap, Ms. Ruggeri.

Prerequisite: Art 102 or other studio course.

Two 2-hour periods.

Not offered in 2013/14.

208a. Printmaking: Introduction (1)

This course is designed to explore the fundamentals of printmaking focusing primarily on relief printing techniques including linocut, woodcut, wood engraving, monotype, and collagraph. Mr. William.

Corequisite: Art 102.

Two 2-hour periods.

209b. Printmaking: Intaglio (1)

This course is designed to explore the fundamentals of printmaking focusing on primarily on Intaglio techniques including, drypoint, etching, aquatint, mezzotint, engraving, embossing, and stippling. Instructor: Mr. William.

Prerequisite: Art 102.

Two 2-hour periods.

Alternate years.

212a. Photography (1)

An investigation of the visual language of black and white photography. The technical and expressive aspects of exposing film, developing negatives, and printing in the darkroom are explored. No previous photographic experience is necessary. Students are required to provide their own camera, film and photographic paper. Ms Linn.

Prerequisites: Art 102-103.

One 4-hour period.

213b. Photography II (1)

This course explores the development of an individual photographic language. Technical aspects of exposure, developing and printing are taught as integral to the formation of a personal visual esthetic. All students are required to supply their own camera, film, and photographic paper. Ms Linn.

Prerequisite:Art 102-103 and/or permission of the instructor.

One 4-hour period.

214a. Color Digital Photography (1)

This course examines how color in light delineates space and form. The goal of this class is to record this phenomenon as accurately as possible. Scanning traditional silver gelatin film and digital capture systems are utilized. Digital color prints are produced using Photoshop and inkjet printing. Some of the topics covered are the documentary value of color information, the ability of the computer program to idealize our experience of reality, and the demise of the latent image. Ms. Linn.

Prerequisite: Art 212 or 213 and/or permission of the instructor.

Two 2-hour periods.

217b. Video Art (1)

(Same as Film 217) Video Art has for some time been an important medium for visual artists. It has taken its place along with and often in tandem with all of the major categories of art production. The students are expected to learn how to "speak" using Video technology. This course is an exploration of the scope and possibilities of this important medium. The students learn the technical expertise necessary to be able to produce work in this medium. Student work is periodically screened and discussed by the class and the teacher, so that relationships between video and how it is implemented to best serve the visual, conceptual and narrative aspects of the work is better understood. Regular screenings of videos and films provide students with a context of historical and contemporary practices in which to consider their own production.

Mr. McElnea.

Prerequisite: permission of the instructor; please see Liliana Aguis in the Department Office, T219.

Two 2-hour periods.

III. Advanced

302a. Painting II (1)

This course investigates painting through a series of assigned open-ended projects. Because it is intended to help students develop a context in which to make independent choices, it explores a wide range of conceptual and formal approaches to painting. The first semester of the course explores various models through which painting can be considered, such as painting as a window, a map, or an object. Ms. Newman.

Prerequisite: Art 202-203, two units in 200-level printmaking, or two units in 200-level drawing.

Two 2-hour periods.

303b. Painting II (1)

This course investigates painting through a series of assigned open-ended projects. Because it is intended to help students develop a context in which to make independent choices, it explores a wide range of conceptual and formal approaches to painting. The second semester of the class examines the idea of painting as an ongoing development of thought; its projects are organized around the question, “How do you make the next painting?” Mr. Charlap.

Prerequisite: Art 202-203, two units in 200-level printmaking, or two units in 200-level drawing.

Two 2-hour periods.

304. Sculpture II (1)

Art 304 is devoted to the study of perception and depiction. This is done through an intensive study of the human figure, still life, landscape, and interior space. Meaning is explored through a dialectic setup between subject and the means by which it is visually explored and presented. Within this discussion relationships between three-dimensional space and varying degrees of compressed space are also explored. In Art 305 we concentrate on the realization of conceptual constructs as a way to approach sculpture. The discussions and assignments in both semesters revolve around ways in which sculpture holds ideas and symbolic meanings in the uses of visual language. Mr. Roseman.

Prerequisite: Art 204-205 or permission of the instructor.

Two 2-hour periods.

Not offered in 2013/14.

305b. Sculpture II (1)

Art 305 is devoted to the study of perception and depiction. This is done through an intensive study of the human figure, still life, landscape, and interior space. Meaning is explored through a dialectic setup between subject and the means by which it is visually explored and presented. Within this discussion relationships between three-dimensional space and varying degrees of compressed space are also explored. In Art 305 we concentrate on the realization of conceptual constructs as a way to approach sculpture. The discussions and assignments in both semesters revolve around ways in which sculpture holds ideas and symbolic meanings in the uses of visual language. Mr. Roseman.

Prerequisite: Art 204-205, or permission of the instructor at haroseman@vassar.edu.

Two 2-hour periods.

379. Computer Animation: Art, Science and Criticism (1)

(Same as Computer Science, Film, and Media Studies 379) An interdisciplinary course in Computer Animation aimed at students with previous experience in Computer Science, Studio Art, or Media Studies. The course introduces students to mathematical and computational principles and techniques for describing the shape, motion and shading of three-dimensional figures in Computer Animation. It introduces students to artistic principles and techniques used in drawing, painting and sculpture, as they are translated into the context of Computer Animation. It also encourages students to critically examine Computer Animation as a medium of communication. Finally, the course exposes students to issues that arise when people from different scholarly cultures attempt to collaborate on a project of mutual interest. The course is structured as a series of animation projects interleaved with screenings and classroom discussions. Mr. Ellman, Mr. Roseman.

Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

Offered alternate years.

Two 2-hour periods.

Not offered in 2013/14.

Architectural Design

I. Introductory

176. Architectural Design I (1)

A studio-based class introduction to architectural design through a series of short projects. Employing a combination of drawing, modeling and collage techniques (both by hand and using digital technology) students begin to record, analyze and create architectural space and form. Mr. Armborst.

Prerequisite: Art 102-103, corequisite: one of the following: Art 220, 270, 272 or 273, or permission of the instructor.

Two 2-hour periods.

Not offered in 2013/14.

II. Intermediate

276b. Architectural Design II (1)

A studio-based course aimed at further developing architectural drawing and design skills. Employing a variety of digital and non-digital techniques students record, analyze and create architectural space and form in a series of design exercises. Mr. Armborst.

Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

Two 2-hour periods.

III. Advanced

375. Architectural Design III (1)

Visual Constructs. An examination of a number of visual constructs, analyzing the ways architects and urbanists have employed maps, models and projections to construct particular, partial views of the physical world. Using a series of mapping, drawing and diagramming exercises, students analyze these constructs and then appropriate, expand upon, or hybridize established visualization techniques. Mr. Armborst.

Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

Two 2-hour periods.

Not offered in 2013/14.

Department of Art at Vassar College . 124 Raymond Ave. Box 702 . Poughkeepsie, NY 12604 . 845.437.5220 . Contact
Department office located in Taylor Hall
Academic Departments and Programs . Admissions . © Vassar College | Make a Gift