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ART H 380 A: Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Art

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Meeting Time: 
MWF 8:30am - 9:50am
ART 003
Kolya Rice
Kolya Rice

Syllabus Description:



Winter 2018

AH 380a: Survey of 19th and 20th Century Western Art

Instructor: Kolya Rice

Office hours: W 9:50-10:50 and by appointment

302 Art,


This course surveys the major trends and key figures in Western painting, sculpture and alternative art forms from c.1780 to the present.  Designed to impart to students a familiarity with the canonical works, styles and persistent themes in 19th and 20th century Western art, this course will emphasize understanding the art of this period as a product of its rich socio-cultural context.  Further, this class will introduce some of the fundamental methods and strategies involved in Art Historical interpretations, so that students may continue to employ and develop their engagement with art and visual culture beyond the classroom environment. Although the class is anchored by lectures, numerous in-class discussions of rich reserve readings will punctuate the course.



  1. TEXT: H.H. Arnason and Marla F. Prather, History of Modern Art: Painting,

Sculpture, Architecture, Photography, 7th ed. (New Jersey: Prentice Hall: 2013).

  1. Reading Packet (Purchase at RAM Copy Center, 4144 University Way)


To help you prepare for exams images of the major works may be found on our Canvas website.




  Course Requirements:

  1. Active participation in all meetings. Please note, active participation assumes that you thoroughly read and think about course materials in advance of class meetings, that you meaningfully contribute to discussions, and that you complete any informal exercises assigned.
  2. Midterm Exam
  3. 4-5 page interpretive essay
  4. Final Exam

Note: make-up exams will not be given without legitimate documentation of severe illness, family emergencies, etc. Extensions for written work will be granted only under similar conditions. Late papers will not be accepted. All course requirements must be completed for credit to be awarded.




Midterm Exam (35%)

Final Exam (40%)

Interpretive essay (15%)

Participation (10%)


Key dates to remember:

2/9             Midterm Exam

3/9              Interpretive essay due

3/13                        Final Exam 8:30-10:20





Course Outline and Reading Assignments

(Please have these assignments read by the date listed below.)


1/3    Introduction to the Course


1/5    Introduction to Art History, Aesthetics and the Tradition of Classicism

Handout:            Excerpts from Poussin and Reynolds on Academic aesthetics.

Text:                   Chapter 1.


1/8       Neoclassicism and Grand Manner Painting and Sculpture

            Packet:           •Canaday, “Revolution,” Mainstreams of Modern Art (1981): 3-23.

  • Canaday, “Early Classicism and Romanticism: England, Germany and America,” Mainstreams of Modern Art (1981): 24-44.


1/10-    From Ingres to Romanticism: Framing the Female Nude/Body

1/12     Packet:           Canaday, “The Flowering of Romanticism,”Mainstreams of Modern Art

                                    (1981): 52-65.

  • Canaday, “Delacroix,”Mainstreams of Modern Art (1981): 66-75.
  • Berger, “Chapter 3,” Ways of Seeing (1972): 45-64.
  • Nochlin, “Women, Art and Power,” Women, Art and Power and other Essays

(1988): 1-36.


1/15     MLK Holiday--NO CLASS


1/17     Representing 19thC America: The Landscape, the West, and the Other

Packet:  •Hughes, excerpts from “The Wilderness and the West,” American Visions

(1997): 137-151, 157-167, 175-205.

Optional: Truettner, William, “Ideology and Image: Justifying Westward

Expansion,” The West as America: Reinterpreting Images of the American Frontier (1991): 27-51.


1/19     Naturalism and Realism

Text:                   Chapter 2.

Packet:   • Eisenman, “The Rhetoric of Realism: Courbet and the Origins of the Avant-

                                    Garde,” Nineteenth-Century Art: A Critical Anthology (1992): 238-54.


1/22-    Manet and Impressionism

1/24     Packet:           •Eisenman, “Manet and the Impressionists,” Nineteenth-Century Art: A

                                    Critical Anthology (1992): 238-54.

  • Shiff, “Defining ‘Impressionism’ and the ‘Impression,’” Art in Modern Culture: An Anthology of Critical Texts (1992): 181-88.

Optional: Clark, “Introduction,” from Painting of Modern Life (1985): 2-22.


1/26  The Rise of Modern Art in England: The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and Whistler

Packet Canaday, “Romatic Revolt in England: The Pre-Raphaelites,” Mainstreams

 of Modern Art (1981): 90-103.

1/29     Post-Impressionism

         Text:                   Chapter 3.

Packet:        •Van Gogh, “Excerpts from the Letters,” from Theories of Modern Art (1968): 29-47.

1/31  Catch-up and discussion. Each student must bring 3 questions to class.


2/2    The Rise of Modern Sculpture

         Text:                   Chapters 6 & 9.


2/5    Fauvism and Expressionism

         Text:                   Chapters 7 & 8.

         Packet:   •Kandinsky, “The Effect of Color,” from Theories of Modern Art (1968): 152-


                       Optional: Kandinsky, “The Problem of Form,” from Theories of Modern Art                         (1968): 155-70.

                                     Optional: Duncan, “The Aesthetics of Power in Modern Erotic Art,” Feminist                      Art Criticism: An Anthology (1988): 59-69.


2/7    Discussion and Review for Midterm. Each student must bring 3 questions to class.


2/9    Midterm Exam


2/12  Cubism and Its Legacies

         Text:                   Chapter 10.

         Packet:   •Bell, “The Aesthetic Hypothesis,” from Modern Art and Modernism: A

                                    Critical Anthology (1982): 67-74.


2/14-    The Historical Avant-Garde: Futurism, Dada and Surrealism

2/16  Text: Chapters 11, 13 and 15.

Packet:        •Marinetti, “The Founding Manifesto of Futurism,” from Art in Theory 1900-2000: An Anthology of Changing Ideas (2003): 146-149.

  • Breton, “First Manifesto of Surrealism,” from Art in Theory 1900-2000: An Anthology of Changing Ideas (2003): 447-453.

                                     Optional: Freud, “On Dreams,” from Art in Theory 1900-2000 (2003): 21-28.


2/19 President’s Day Holiday—NO CLASS


2/21     Early 20th Century American Painting

         Text:                   Chapter 18.

         Packet:   •Davis, “On Abstract Art,” from Abstract Painting in America (1935): 122-23.


2/23  Abstract Expressionism: Artists and Critics

         Text:                   Chapter 19.

         Packet:   •Greenberg, “Modernist Painting,” The New Art (1966): 100-110.

Optional: Greenberg, “Avant-Garde and Kitsch,” from Clement Greenberg: The Collected Essays, vol. I (1986): 5-22.


2/26-    Reactions to Abstract Expressionism

2/28  Text:                   Chapters 21 and 22 (focus on Post-Painterly Abstraction).

Packet:        •Sandler, “The Duchamp-Cage Aesthetic,” The New York School (1978): 163-173.

3/2    Feminist Art Practices

         Text:                   Skim chapters 24 & 25.

Packet:        •Broude and Garrard, “Introduction: Feminist Art in the Twentieth Century,” The Power of Feminist Art (1994): 10-29.

3/5       Sculpture in an Expanded Field

            Text:   pp.543-560, 605-625.


3/7       Catch Up Day


3/9       Review for Final. Each student must bring 3 questions to class.

            Interpretive essays due in class and upload to Canvas     


3/13     Final Exam 8:30-10:20

Catalog Description: 
Arts and architecture of Europe and America from Romanticism to the present.
GE Requirements: 
Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA)
Last updated: 
October 17, 2018 - 9:02pm