This course surveys the major trends and functions of imaging and
picturing, as well as its societal impact as it becomes a pervasive
cultural and aesthetic entity since the invention of photograph, film
and video. The lectures will trace the chronological development of the
medium; analyze images within the context of 19th and 20th century art
and culture; and, integrate discussions pertaining to the role of
imaging as it affects the process of visual information as well as how
imaging and picturing can affirm existing cultural structures or shape
the course of new aesthetic images and ideas.
COURSE OBJECTIVES: The aim of any art history course is to increase
the student's ability to perceive and interpret the visual content
presented in the lectures and required readings. In conjunction with
this goal, art history courses seek to stimulate and strengthen
independent analytical thinking and observation, critical reading,
aesthetic awareness, and the preparation of written presentations.
This course in particular aims at the following:
--To help students understand the history of picturing and imaging
in its social and cultural contexts
--To examine the relationships between the development of style in
picturing and the invention of technical processes
--To study the contributions of individual artists to the history of
picturing and to examine contemporary trends in imaging
--To familiarize student with art historical research methods and
bibliographic material, including photographic, filmic and video
journals and art magazines
--To encourage student to develop critical thinking about works of
art and express their ideas through writing about art
--To familiarize students with cultural institutions in the Boston
area that collect and exhibit art
--To give students experience with solving problems and preparing
reports through a collaborative process
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
strongly recommended for every class meeting. Students are responsible
for the content of all lectures and assigned reading materials.
REQUIRED READINGS: TBA
-Naomi Rosenblum, A World History of Photography (New York:
-Naomi Rosenblum, A History of Women Photographer (New York:
Abbeville, 1994) (Recommended)
-Vicki Goldberg, Photography in Print (Albuquerque: University of
New Mexico Press, 1988)
Additional readings are on reserve in the Library. See also the attached
bibliography on the History of Photography.
EXAMINATIONS: There will be three slide identification and short
answer quizzes - ten to fifteen minutes each - on February 5, March 25,
April 22 (20% of your final grade) plus an examination on February 26
(20% of your final grade), Journal Entries, reading and written
responses (40% of your final grade), and a final exam (date to be
announced) (20% of your final grade). Examinations are based on specific
material covered in class and on the required readings. Examinations
missed without prior excuse from the instructor or excuse for medical or
other emergencies obtained from the Dean of Students cannot be made up.
JOURNAL ENTRIES: The questions that are listed with each reading
assignment are provided to help guide you to the central issue of each
reading and to focus your journal response to that reading. Please do
not feel limited by these questions. Comment on any additional aspect of
the reading that relates to your own intellectual interests or artwork.
Journal entries should average two to three paragraphs in length; please
number each entry, write them on paper with a three-hole punch, and keep
them together in a binder that will allow collection of a few at time.
There is not need to type journal entries as they should be informal and
immediate responses to the readings.
PAPER: There will be one research written assignment due May 2. All
late assignments will penalized. Suggested topics will be given at the
beginning of the semester, along with a general instruction sheet for
form of term papers.
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; and direct quotation or paraphrase
must be footnoted. Any unacknowledged copying will receive an F for the
HANDOUTS: A series of xeroxed materials will be given out throughout
the course in order to help you with your reading and writing
EVALUATION: The final exam will count 25% of your final semester
grade. The written assignment will also count 25% of your final semester
grade, and the two quizzes with the examinations will count 50% of your
final semester grade.
MUSEUM VISITS: Students are individually responsible for visiting
the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Public Library the Isabella
Stewart Gardner Museum (all in Boston), the Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge),
Wellesley College Museum (Wellesley) and Worcester Art Museum
(Worcester). In addition students are strongly encouraged to look at as
much original material in local collections as possible. The newsletter
produced by the Photographic Resource Center is a key source for
information about local exhibitions and public lectures.
OPTIONAL MUSEUM VISITS: Probably during the semester the Art History
Club will sponsor some field trips to the Boston Museums. Also, there
will be scheduled one or two trips to New York City, Worcester and
Hartford, Connecticut, in order to visit some major exhibitions or
museums. You will not be penalized for not participating in these trips.
OFFICE HOURS: Monday 3:00-6:00 P.M. Also, other times by
appointment. My office is in Coburn Hall, Room 201.
TIME TABLE FOR EXAMINATIONS:
(N.B. Changes in assignments can be altered without previous
Feb. 5 - 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 the art work. Including short answers on readings.
Feb. 26 - Exam I. The essay examination will be based on slide
identification, slide comparisons, an attribution problem and essays.
March 25 - Quiz II. Same instructions and procedure as February
April 8 - Notify me of your paper topic/selection. Complete
Apr. 22 - Quiz III Same instruction and procedure as February 5.
May 2 - PAPER DUE.
May 10-17 Final Examination period. Final exam time will be
announced. The final exam format will be the same as the first and
second examinations. It will not be cumulative, that is to say, you will
be tested on the new visual and reading material presented after the