American Art: 17th-19th Centuries 58-313
Dr. Marie Frank


American Art image

Syllabus of Lectures


COURSE DESCRIPTION: The study of American painting, sculpture and architecture from the Colonial period to the end of the 19th Century seen in relation to European developments and American social and technological changes. Emphasis is placed on 19th Century paintings dealing with still-life and landscapes.

ORGANIZATION: Although class discussion is strongly encouraged, this is primarily a lecture course based upon the visual content of works of art presented by way of projected slides. Attendance is highly recommended for every class meeting. Students are responsible for the content of all lectures and assigned reading materials.

CLASS COMPORTMENT: Since this a professional presentation at the university level, you are not permitted to eat or drink during class lectures and discussion.

OFFICE HOURS: Monday-Wednesday 4:00-6:00 p.m., Friday 12:00-1:00 p.m. or by appointment. My office is in Dugan Hall, Room 218.

-Wayne Craven, American Art: History and Culture. NY: Brown & Benchmark, 1994.
-John McCoubrey, American Art: 1700-1960. NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1980.
-Barbara Novak, American Nature and Culture. New York: Praeger Pub., 1982.
-C. S. Rubinstein, American Women Artists. NY: Avon Publishers, 1990.
In addition to a series of articles some placed on the Reserve Section of the O'Leary Library and others to be found in the periodical section of the O'Leary Library.

-M. Baigell, Dictionary of American Art. New York: Harper & Row Publishers, 1979.
-Barbara Novak, American Paintings of the Nineteenth Century. New York: Oxford Publishers, 1980.
-L. M. Roth, A Concise History of American Architecture. New York: Harper and Row Publishers, 1980.
-Herbert Spencer, American Art: Readings from the Colonial Era to Present. New York: Scribner's and Sons, 1980.
-Milton Brown, et al. American Art. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1980.

EXAMINATIONS: There will be two quizzes; ten to fifteen minutes each; on October 6 and Nov. 10, plus a Mid-term exam on October 10, and a final exam (date to be announced). Examinations are based on specific material covered in class and on the required readings. Examinations missed without prior written excuse from the instructor or written excuse for medical or other emergencies cannot be made up. No electronic mail, fax, telephone, or voice mail is acceptable.

WRITTEN ASSIGNMENT: On Nov. 3rd notify me of your written assignment topic. The paper will be due on Dec 1. All late papers will be penalized. The paper should be approximately 10-15 pages long, double spaced and typed with illustrations. Suggested topics will be given at the beginning of the semester, along with a general instruction sheet for form of term papers. The computerized typing must be as follow: accepted fonts New York, Geneva, Courier, Palatino and Bookman; only 12 points in character; single space between paragraph, double space between lines; page margins one (1) inch all around. Papers written in any other format are not acceptable. The written assignment will be graded on form as well as content so that spelling, punctuation, grammar, and syntax are to be considered with some care. All work done outside of class must be type written or computer printed, double spaced. Suggested topics will be given at the beginning of the semester, along with a general instruction sheet for typing the paper.

NOTE ON PLAGIARISM: Be careful never to copy directly or directly adapt from another author without crediting the source. General sources must be listed in a bibliography; any direct quotation or paraphrase must be footnoted. Any unacknowledged copying will receive and F for the course.

HANDOUTS: A series of xeroxed materials will be given out throughout the course in order to help you with your reading and writing assignments.

EVALUATION/MUSEUM VISITS: Students are individually responsible for visiting the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (both in Boston), the Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge), the Worcester Art Museum (Worcester), Whistler House Museum (Lowell), the Philips Academy Museum (Andover), and the Curry Museum.

OPTIONAL MUSEUM VISITS: Probably during the semester the Art History Club will sponsor some field trips to the Boston Museums. Also, there will be schedules of one or two trips to New York City, Worcester and, New Haven and Hartford, CT., and Washington, D.C. in order to visit some major exhibitions or museums. You will be encouraged to attend, but not penalized for not participating in these trips.

(N.B. Subject to change with a week of prior notice)
Oct. 6 - QUIZ I. It consists of identifying visual material presented in class or included in your assigned readings. You will be required to identify the name of the artist (if known), the title of the art work, the style, the location (if architectural sculpture or architecture) and give an approximate date of art work.
Oct. 20 - EXAM I. The essay examination will be based on slide identification, slide comparisons, and attribution problem and essays selected from your class lectures and reading assignments.
Nov. 3 - Notify me of your paper topic selection. Complete the approval form.
Nov. 10 - QUIZ II. Same instruction and procedure as Quiz I.
Dec. 1 - PAPER DUE.
Dec. 15-22 - FINAL EXAMINATION PERIOD. Final Exam time will be announced. The final exam format will be the same as the First Examination. It will not be cumulative, that is to say, you will be tested on the new visual and reading material presented after the Second Examination, but you will be responsible for the assimilation of general concepts of American Art from the 17th to the 19th
Centuries in your essay section.

(N.B. Syllabus subject to change with prior notice)

Sept. 8 - Introduction: scope of the course, bibliography

Sept. 15 - Colonial Period
Early Colonial Architecture, Painting and Sculpture: 1700-76.
Carven, Chapters 1-3; Rubinstein, Chapter 1 passim; McCoubrey, Chapter 1.
Recommended: Brown, Chapters 1, 2; Novak, Chapter 1; Spencer, 3-21.

Sept. 22 - Colonial Period
Eighteenth Century Colonial Architecture, Painting & Sculpture.
Carven, Chapters 4-7; Rubinstein, Chapter 2 passim; McCoubrey, 35-40.
Recommended: Brown, Chapters 3 & 4; Spencer, 21-36;
Suggested: Roth, Chapter 2; Gowans, 115-243.

Sept. 29 - The Federal Period
Neoclassical Architecture, Painting & Sculpture - 1785-1830.
Craven, Chapters 8-12; Rubinstein, Chapter 3; McCoubrey, 40-63 & Chapter 3
Recommended: Brown, Chapters 5-7; Novak, Chapter 2; Spencer, 37-50.
Suggested: Baigell, Chapters 4-5.

Oct. 6 - QUIZ I

Oct. 13 - Columbus Day/No Class

Oct. 20 - EXAM I

Oct. 2 - The Romantic Period

Nov. 3-10 - The Age of Romanticism & Eclecticism, 1825-70
Architecture, Painting & Sculpture.
Carven, Chapters 13-19; Rubinstein, Chapter 3; McCoubrey, 126-132 & Chapter 4.
Recommended: Brown, Chapters 8-10; Novak, Chapters 3-5, 10 & 12; Spencer, 51-130.
Suggested: Roth, Chapters 3-4; Gowans, 243-87; Baigell, Chapters 6-7.

Nov. 10 - QUIZ II
Notify me of your paper topic. Complete Approval Form.

Nov. 17-24 - The American Renaissance
The Age of Capitalism, Imperialism, and High Society 1870-1900.
Architecture, Painting, Sculpture & Photography.
Carven, Chapters, 2-26; Rubinstein, Chapter 4;McCoubrey, 132-86.
Recommended: Brown, Chapters 11-14; Novak, Chapters 8-9, 13 & 11; Review 10; Spencer, 131-216.
Suggested: Roth, Chapters 5-7; Baigell, Chapter 7; Gowans, 316-396.

Dec. 1 - PAPER DUE

Dec. 1-8 - The Early Modern Period
First Generation of Modernism: 1900-94.
Architecture, Painting & Photography.
Carven, Chapters 27-32; Rubinstein, Chapter 5; McCoubrey, 173-186.
Recommended: Brown, Chapters 15-17; Novak, Chapter/Conclusion; Spencer, 217-288.
Suggested: Baigell, Chapter 8; Gowans, 366-421; Roth, Review Chapter 7.