ARHS - Art History


Effective 1 June 2022 through 31 May 2023

Please see the Undergraduate Catalog Archives for PDF versions of past catalogs.

Course Descriptions

Global Citizenship Program
Knowledge Areas
ARTS Arts Appreciation
GLBL Global Understanding
PNW Physical & Natural World
QL Quantitative Literacy
ROC Roots of Cultures
SSHB Social Systems & Human Behavior
Global Citizenship Program
Skill Areas
CRI Critical Thinking
ETH Ethical Reasoning
INTC Intercultural Competence
OCOM Oral Communication
WCOM Written Communication
** Course fulfills two skill areas


ARHS 1050 Art Appreciation (3)

An introductory course for non-art majors. Students examine a variety of visual forms, including art from the past and contemporary currents. Emphasis is on expanded awareness, enhanced understanding, and refined insight of creation influences and meanings in the visual arts. Students gain experience with active and responsive talking and writing about art. GCP Coding: (ARTS) (CRI).

ARHS 2000 Art Forum (1-3)

Introduces a structure for the development of discourse and critical inquiry. The Friday Forum lecture series and immediately current topics in art will be the basic focus of the class. Additionally, students enrolled in art survey and creative strategies courses especially will find this discussion format a supplement to those courses. May be repeated once for credit.

ARHS 2200 Current Art (3)

Surveys many of the dominant styles and theories of contemporary art. As there cannot be an accepted "received history" of the art of our own time, the content of the course will be organized along both a lineal and thematic approach, with special attention to the political and social constructs implicit in the creation of recent "avant-garde" art. Students will be introduced to the nature of the "art world," current trends in art, and the dialogues taking place both in and around its creation. GCP Coding: (ROC) (CRI).

ARHS 2210 Intercultural History of Art (3)

Covers the history of art and design from the prehistoric to the early twentieth century by looking at moments of intersection between cultures. Covers periods and styles of art history, while touching on techniques and mediums, and form and content, as an introduction to the principles of art history. Students learn about multiple cultures and how they develop through an examination of the artworks, objects, and artifacts of those cultures. Considers questions such as: how do artworks tell us about culture or engage with it? How are artworks created by culture and work to create it in turn? GCP Coding: (ROC) (WCOM).

ARHS 2320 Introduction to Asian Art (3)

Continues the art history sequence: introduces the arts of Asia. Offered periodically. GCP Coding: (GLBL) (INTC).

ARHS 2350 Introductory Topics in Art History (3)

Introduces basic themes and topics in art history and criticism. Topics will include various approaches and issues relating to the study of art history, the curating and collecting of art, artists' biographies, introduction to art movement, and art in corporate settings. May be repeated for credit if content differs. Prerequisite: ARHS 2210.

ARHS 2400 Indigenous Arts of the World (3)

Surveys the arts of non-Western cultures; topics may include the arts of Africa, Oceania, or the pre-Columbian Americas. Offered periodically. May be repeated for credit if content varies.

ARHS 2700 Introduction to Curatorial Studies (3)

This course examines what it means to be a "curator" and the topics that are influencing current curatorial strategies. Emphasis will be placed on the study of active professionals referencing local, national, and international exhibitions. Field trips to art institutions will encourage developing links with gallery and museum curators; managers and directors; writers and critics. Required for the certificate in curatorial studies. Offered periodically. 

ARHS 3010 Greek and Roman Art (3)

Surveys the art and architecture of ancient Greece and the Roman Empire. Offered periodically.

ARHS 3099 Independent Study (1–6)

Independent study involves research work on a specialized subject or project, or artistic work. The emphasis in an independent study is usually on individual pursuit of a specific content area. May be repeated for credit if content differs.

ARHS 3110 Early Renaissance Art (3)

Follows the development of Renaissance art in Italy, from the late Medieval period through the fifteenth century. Topics include the rise of humanism, theories of vision, the introduction of printmaking, and the growth of artistic status and identity. Offered alternating years.

ARHS 3120 High and Late Renaissance Art (3)

Explores the arts of Italy, from the High Renaissance of Leonardo, Michelangelo, and Raphael, to the Mannerism of the mid-sixteenth century. Topics include the artist as intellectual, theory in art, and the rise of art history. Offered alternating years.

ARHS 3130 Northern Renaissance Art (3)

Explores the art of the Lowlands, France, and the German States from 1350–1550. Artists such as Van Eyck, Durer, Bosch, and Bruegel will be seen in the context of religious turmoil and discovery that brought Europe from the Middle Ages to the early modern world. Offered alternating years.

ARHS 3150 Baroque Art (3)

Surveys the art of the seventeenth century in Europe, with a focus on its international nature and as a response to intellectual and cultural forces such as the Counter-Reformation and the Scientific Revolution. Topics include the Academy, the artist as reformist/conformist, and the power of art. Offered alternating years. 

ARHS 3210 Nineteenth-Century Art (3)

Tracing intellectual and cultural currents from the Enlightenment to the fin de siècle, this course will encompass Romanticism, Realism, Symbolism, and early Modernism in art. While the European viewpoint is dominant, we will also look at the contributions of American landscape painters in the nineteenth century. Offered alternating years.

ARHS 3250 Modern Art (3)

This course surveys European High Modern art and other Modernities of the early twentieth century through post-WWII developments to the neo-avant-garde. Concentrating on art as related to the important political forces of the time, the Russian Revolution, World Wars, the Great Depression, and Cold War policies, topics will include German Expressionism, Cubo-Futurism, Constructivism, Abstract Expressionism, Formalism, etc. Offered alternating years. 

ARHS 3270 Contemporary Art I: Late-Twentieth-Century Art (3)

Focuses on mid- to late-twentieth-century art practices. Topics include theories of contemporary art, post-modernism, post-coloniality, Global art, art as activism, and immediately new genres. Offered alternating years. 

ARHS 3280 Contemporary Art II: Twenty-First-Century Art (3)

Continues course content from ARHS 3270.

ARHS 4600 Topics in Art History (3)

In-depth study of particular issues in the history and criticism/theory of art. Topics vary from semester to semester: e.g., performance art; history of prints; Renaissance visions of nature; Chinese landscape painting; the Japanese garden; Mughal architecture; art in the current decade. Offered periodically. May be repeated for credit if content differs. Prerequisites: ARHS 2200 and ARHS 2210.

ARHS 4610 Reading Course (1-4)

May be repeated for credit. Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor and filing of official form.

ARHS 4700 Cultural Organizations: Structure and Theory (3)

Studies the environment, principles, and practices of cultural organizations. Considers cultural policy issues and introduces the history and structure of museums, collecting, and curation. Students will formulate a theoretical rationale and "found" their own organizations. 

ARHS 4730 Art Theory and Criticism (3)

Art theory provides the terminology and theoretical basis necessary for the scholarly investigation and elucidation of specific works of art. This course considers the theoretical issues and related historical framework that come together in the critical interpretation of art. Contemporary approaches to art criticism are a major focus. Prerequisites: ARHS 2200 and ARHS 2210.

ARHS 4920 Senior Thesis (3)

A student, under the direction of a faculty mentor, researches, writes, and presents to the department a substantial project demonstrating the competencies acquired in the history of art. Normally offered in the spring semester. Required for graduation. Prerequisites: Senior standing and permission of the department.