Art Appreciation 58.101/201
Dr. John X. Christ, Dr. Marie Frank


Art Appreciation image

Syllabus of Lectures


COURSE DESCRIPTION: An analysis of the visual elements, principles of design, and techniques in architecture, sculpture and painting, and how these visual aspects convey meaning in different historical contexts.

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

-Joshua Taylor, Learning to Look, Chicago, 1981 ed.
-Stella Russell, Art in the World.

ATTENDANCE: Class attendance is required. Exams are based on class lectures and discussion of visual and historical material.

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.

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
Oct. 10 - Midterm Exam
Nov. 10 - Quiz II
TBA - Final Exam

(N.B. Subject to change with a week of prior notice)

Sep. 4-6 - The Roles of Art & the Artist in History
Russell, 3-25.

Sep. 9-13 - Theme & Content in the Work of Art
Russell, 25-35.

Sep. 16-20 - The Visual Elements of Form: Shape, Line, Tone, Color, Space
Taylor, 51-96; Russell, 35-62.

Sep. 18-23 - Principles of Design
Taylor, 149-158; Russell, 62-69.

Sep. 25-30 - Introduction to Painting, Drawing and Prints
Taylor, 97-123.

Oct. 2-14 Introduction to Sculpture
Taylor, 123-129; Russell, 150-170.

Oct. 5 - TRIP TO Boston MFA (Tentative date)

Oct. 16 - EXAM I

Oct. 18-30 - Introduction to Architecture
Taylor, 129-138; Russell, 188-207.

Oct. 21-23 Greek Art & the Foundations of Western Culture
Russell 223-229; 237-247.

Oct. 25 - Technology & Metaphysics in the Middle Ages
Russell, 257-258.

Oct. 28-30 - God, Science & Nature in the Italian Renaissance
Russell, 276-284.


Nov. 4 - Wolfflin's Theory of Renaissance and Baroque

Nov. 6-13 The Individual & the Cosmos in Baroque Art
Russell, 291-296; 298-300; 321-322.

Nov. 15 - EXAM II

Nov. 18-22 - Photography & the Crisis of Realism
Russell, 106-116.

Nov. 25-27 - Impressionism: Science & Visual Perception
Russell, 322-326.

Dec. 2-6 - Towards Objective Abstraction: Cubism
Russell, 327-28; 338-342.

Dec. 9 - Towards Subjective Abstraction: Expressionism
Russell, 328-332; 342-346; 376-380.

Dec. 11 - Fantastic Art & Surrealism
Russell, 346-354.