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ART H 201 A: Survey Of Western Art-Ancient

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Meeting Time: 
MWF 1:30pm - 2:50pm
ART 003
Sarah Levin-Richardson

Syllabus Description:

Art History 201: Survey of Western Art-Ancient

Fall 2015

MWF 1:30-2:50pm

ART 003


Prof. Sarah Levin-Richardson

315 Condon Hall

Office Hours: MF 10-11am, and by appointment



This course surveys major achievements in architecture, sculpture, painting, and other arts in Europe, the Near East, and North Africa from prehistoric times to the reign of Constantine. There are no prerequisites.


Learning Objectives:

  • Be able to identify and discuss major works of ancient art
  • Be able to identify and discuss major concepts and vocabulary related to ancient art
  • Be able to situate ancient art within its geographic and cultural context
  • Be able to analyze how ancient visual representations both reflect and impact wider cultural trends
  • Explore the ways in which ancient art influences, and is influenced by, modern cultures


Learning Support:

If you know of something that might impact your learning (travel schedule with UW teams, health or personal crisis, disability) please contact me as soon as possible, ideally at the beginning of the quarter, so that I can make appropriate accommodations. Below you can find further resources:

  • Disability Resources for Students:

    • If you have already established accommodations with Disability Resources for Students (DRS), please communicate your approved accommodations to me at your earliest convenience so we can discuss your needs in this course.
    • If you have not yet established services through DRS, but have a temporary health condition or permanent disability that requires accommodations (conditions include but not limited to; mental health, attention-related, learning, vision, hearing, physical or health impacts), you are welcome to contact DRS at 206-543-8924 or or DRS offers resources and coordinates reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities and/or temporary health conditions.  Reasonable accommodations are established through an interactive process between you, your instructor(s) and DRS.  It is the policy and practice of the University of Washington to create inclusive and accessible learning environments consistent with federal and state law.
  • UW Academic Support:
  • UW Counseling Center:



Required Readings:

The required text for this class is listed below and can be found in the U bookstore, as well as on and other sites. Please be sure to get the right edition of this textbook (check the ISBN numbers on what you purchase to make sure it matches those listed below). Other required readings can be found on the course website. Each meeting in the schedule below has one or more readings to be read for that class session. On the second day of class, for example, please come to class having read pages 14-29 of the course textbook (which I refer to as Kleiner on the schedule). These readings are a starting point for in-class lecture and discussion, which often will expand upon the assigned readings and/or present new material. Thus, I strongly recommend careful reading of the assigned material as well as attending class.


Kleiner, Fred S. Gardner’s Art through the Ages: The Western Perspective, Volume I. 14th Edition. Wadsworth, 2013. [ISBN-10: 1133954812 ; ISBN-13: 978-1133954811]



  • Exam 1 (October 26 during class time; covers readings and lectures from September 30 through October 21): 30%
  • Exam 2 (November 20 during class time; covers readings and lectures from October 28 through November 18): 30%
  • Exam 3 (December 14 2:30-4:20pm; covers all readings and lectures, with an emphasis on material from November 23 through December 11): 40%


Exams will cover material both from the assigned readings and from class; as such, it is very important to do the readings and to come to class. Exams will consist of map IDs; slide IDs and comparison/contrast; term IDs; and essay questions.


Your final course grade is calculated from these three exams in the proportions given. Please prepare carefully for these exams, and please come see me in advance if you have any questions about how to best prepare. There will be no extra credit.


The grading scale used in this class is as follows:




Percentage Earned 

Grade-Point Equivalent




































































0.7 [lowest passing grade]

59 and x < 59





Further Expectations:

  • In class

    • In order to maximize your learning potential and prevent distraction to others, I ask that you do not use cellphones in class, and use laptops only for note-taking purposes.
    • You are responsible for all materials assigned in the readings and covered in lectures. If you miss a class, it is your responsibility to get notes from a classmate.
      • The University of Washington prohibits the selling of notes online or through any other channels.
    • No audio or visual recording of class is permitted without my written authorization. If you are struggling with the pace of lectures, please stop by office hours to chat with me.
    • No posting of course materials of any kind is permitted without my written authorization.
  • Getting in touch with each other
    • Please check your uw email daily; this is how I will communicate with you about pertinent information (such as when study guides are posted, or if class needs to be cancelled for some reason). You are responsible for all information disseminated over email and through the course website.
    • I hold office hours twice a week to be there for you! I am happy to chat with you about class (including any concerns you may have), study abroad opportunities, how to follow your interest in ancient art, etc. If you are anxious about exams, please come to office hours and we can discuss study strategies one-on-one. If you would like to chat but can’t make it to scheduled office hours, just email me and we can find a time to meet.
    • I am happy to answer questions over email, but please check the syllabus first to see whether the answer is there.
    • I will respond to emails by the end of the next working day (which means that if you email me on Friday afternoon, I may not respond until Monday afternoon).
  • Grading
    • Students are expected to adhere to ethical behavior in their work, including following guidelines posted for each exam concerning group work and plagiarism/cheating.
    • Make-up exams will be given only in the case of documented illness or emergency, or for university-approved events (athletics, etc.), that are cleared with me in advance.
    • I’d be happy to discuss any of your graded work with you, but I ask that you wait twenty-four hours after receiving your exam back in order to begin to process my feedback. After the twenty-four-hour period, please feel free to email me to set up a time to meet. Unfortunately, I cannot discuss grades over email.


Schedule of Topics and Required Readings:


Week 1: Introduction

Sept 30: Introduction

Oct 2: Paleolithic and Neolithic

  • Kleiner 14-29


Part I. The Eastern Mediterranean


Week 2: Mesopotamia [divided by region]

Oct 5: Sumer and Akkad

  • Kleiner 30-43 [beginning of chapter 2 through "Third Dynasty of Ur"; stop before section on "Babylon"]

Oct 7: Babylon and Assyria

  • Kleiner 43-49
  • Harmanşah, Ömür. 2015. “ISIS, Heritage, and the Spectacles of Destruction in the Global Media.” Near Eastern Archaeology 78: 170-177. [read only pp. 173-the end, starting with the section “ISIS and the Spectacles of Destruction”]

Oct 9: Persia

  • Kleiner 48-53


Week 3: Egypt [divided by time period]

Oct 12: Pre-dynastic and Old Kingdom Period

  • Kleiner 54-63

Oct 14: Old and Middle Kingdom Period

  • Kleiner 63-68

Oct 16: New Kingdom Period

  • Kleiner 69-80


Week 4: Aegean [divided by civilization]

Oct 19: Minoans

  • Kleiner 84-95

Oct 21: Mycenaeans

  • Kleiner 95-103

Oct 23: In-class review session for Exam 1


Part II. Greece


Week 5: Greece [divided by time period, and then by medium or location]

Oct 26: Exam 1 [covers readings and lectures from September 30 through October 21]

Oct 28: Geometric and “Orientalizing” Period; Archaic Period: Statuary

  • Kleiner 104-115

Oct 30: Whose Past?

  • Bernal, M. 1987. Black Athena: The Afroasiatic Roots of Classical Civilization. London: Free Association Books. [read Introduction, pp. 1-10]
  • Lefkowitz, Marilyn. 1996. Author's Response to M. Bernal's Review of M. Lefkowitz. 1996. Not out of Africa: How Afrocentrism became an Excuse to Teach Myth as History. New York: Basic Books. BMCR 96.04.19 Accessed through


Week 6: Greece

Nov 2: Archaic Period: Architecture and Sanctuaries; Painting

  • Kleiner 115-123

Nov 4: Transition to Classical Period: Architecture

  • Kleiner 123-128

Nov 6: Classical Period: The Acropolis

  • Kleiner 133-141


Week 7: Greece

Nov 9: Classical Period: Sculpture and Painting

  • Kleiner 128-133, 142-144
  • Arafat, K.W. 1997. “State of the Art-Art of the State: Sexual violence and politics in late Archaic and early Classical vase-painting” in Rape in Antiquity: Sexual violence in the Greek and Roman worlds. 97-121. [read only “The Eurymedon Oinochoe” (101-104); “The Pursuit of Aegina” (110-115)]


Nov 13: Late Classical Period

  • Kleiner 144-153 [skip “Alexander the Great and Macedonian Court Art”, pp. 148-top of 151]


Week 8: Greece

Nov 16: The legacy of female nudity

  • Salomon, Nanette. 1997. “Making a World of Difference: Gender, Asymmetry, and the Greek Nude” in Naked Truths: Women, Sexuality and Gender in Classical Art and Archaeology. 197-219.

Nov 18: Hellenistic Period

  • Kleiner 153-161 [do not read "Hellenistic Art under Roman Patronage"]

Nov 20: Exam 2 [covers readings and lectures from October 28 through November 18]


Part III. Rome


Week 9: Rome [by time period and then by dynasty or location]

Nov 23: Monarchy

  • Kleiner 164-177

Nov 25: Republican Period

  • 178-187



Week 10: Rome

Nov 30: Republican and Early Imperial Period: Pompeii and the Cities around Vesuvius

  • Kleiner 188-197

Dec 2: Early Imperial Period: Augustus and Julio-Claudians

  • Kleiner 197-202

Dec 4: Early Imperial Period (The Flavians) and High Empire (Trajan)

  • Kleiner 203-209


Week 11: Rome

Dec 7: High Empire: Hadrian and the Antonines

  • Kleiner: 210-218

Dec 9: Late Empire: Severans through Constantine

  • Kleiner: 219-231

Dec 11: Drop-in office hours in Condon 315


Final Exam: Monday December 14, 2015, 2:30-4:20pm, ART 003 [covers all readings and lectures; with an emphasis on material from November 23 through December 11]

Catalog Description: 
Major achievements in painting, sculpture, architecture, and the decorative arts in Europe, the Near East, and North Africa, from prehistoric times to the beginnings of Christianity.
GE Requirements: 
Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA)
Last updated: 
October 5, 2016 - 9:01pm