History of Art Courses  

ARHS 1010 Art Survey I: Prehistory through the Middle Ages (3) 

Staff. An introduction to the history of painting, sculpture and architecture from the Old Stone Age through the ancient Mediterranean world to the end of the medieval period in Western Europe. Considers issues including technique, style, iconography, patronage, historical context, and art theory. Required for majors in the history of art.

ARHS 1020 Art Survey II: Renaissance to the Present (3)

Staff. An introduction to the history of Western European and American painting, sculpture and architecture from the Renaissance through the baroque, rococo, and early modern periods to the late 20th century. Considers issues including technique, style, iconography, patronage, historical context, and art theory. Required for majors in the history of art.

ARHS 2910 Special Topics in the History of Art (3) 

Staff. Special topics in the history of art. Subjects will vary and may not be available every semester. Individual topics will be listed in the Schedule of Classes.

ARHS 3200 Early Christian and Byzantine Art (3) 

Prof. Flora. A survey of art and architecture in the Mediterranean from the third through the fourteenth centuries, with a focus on the rise of Christian art in the late Roman world and the art of the Byzantine state.

ARHS 3210 Art and Experience in the Middle Ages (3)

Prof. Flora. A survey in which both modern and historical categories of experience are used to understand the art of the Middle ages, especially as it manifested itself in the most characteristic of all medieval forms, the church. Along a chronological and geographical trajectory from Early Christian Rome to Gothic Paris this course will move through topics such as memory, poetry, pilgrimage, the body, gesture, devotion, narrative and liturgy.

ARHS 3220 Romanesque & Gothic Art (3) 

Prof. Flora. This course will examine painting, sculpture, architecture, mosaics, tapestries, metalwork, ivories, and stained glass windows of the late Middle Ages in Europe.  Through weekly readings and discussions will also explore themes such as religion, women, the Classical tradition, and cross-cultural contact.  Various critical and theoretical approaches to art history will be considered.

ARHS 3360 Art & Desire in Renaissance Courts (3)

Prof. Dunlop.  This course focuses on the art and culture of European courts between about 1300 and the later sixteenth century.  At the heart of the course is the problem of desire - for people, things, experiences, power - that marked all aspects of court life and court art production.  Major themes include the depiction of the sovereign's body, courtly love and the representation of desire, the rise of pornography, the cult of chivalry and war, the position of the court artist, performance culture, and the theatrical nature of court life.

ARHS 3410 Theaters of the Baroque (3)

Prof. Porras.  Surveys the visual and material culture of the Baroque world, roughly the period 1575-1750, considering the diverse locales (Rome, London, Mexico City, Goa), styles and objects of Baroque artiststic production, as related to early modern notions of theatricality and performance.

ARHS 3420 Van Eyck to Bruegel (3)
Prof. Porras. This course explores the artistic production of the Low Countries, Germany and France in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, including painting, sculpture, manuscripts, metalwork, tapestries and printmaking. The course will focus on a range of topics, including: technical and iconographic innovations in artistic production, art’s devotional function, the changing market for art in this period as well as the early impact of the Reformation on the visual arts in the Low Countries and Germany.

ARHS 3430 Ruben to Rembrandt: Flemish and Dutch Art of the 17th Century (3)

Prof. Porras. Explores the artistic production of the early modern Spanish Netherlands and Dutch Republic, covering key artists (Peter Paul Rubens, Anthony van Dyck, Frans Hals, Rembrandt, Johannes Vermeer), as well as how art was bought, sold, defined and critically evaluated in the Low Countries.

ARHS 3510 From Rococo to Romanticism (3)

Prof. Foa.  In this course we will analyze art produced in Europe from the early 18th century through the mid-19th century.  We will consider the work, careers, and reputations of key artists such as Watteau, David, Goya, Friedrich, Turner, and Delacroix, among others, situating their work in relation to the political, socio-economic, and intellectual developments of the period.

ARHS 3540 Impressionism and Post-Impressionism (3) 

Prof. Foa. In this course we will analyze art produced in Europe from the mid-19th century through the early 20thcentury.  The class will focus primarily on French painting, but will also include art produced in Germany, Belgium, Norway, and Austria, and will explore the histories of photography, sculpture, print-making, and architecture as well.  We will consider the work and reputations of artists such as Manet, Seurat, Cézanne, Munch, and Rodin, situating their work in relation to the political, socio-economic, and intellectual developments of the period.

ARHS 3600 American Art 1750-1950 (3)

Prof. Plante.  Analysis of American painting and sculpture from the colonial period until the onset of World War II. Issues include the transformation of cultural forms from the Old World to the New in developments (such as the rise of American urbanism and the formation of a “national” iconography in America in the years following the Civil War) and the ways in which that art reflects the social, intellectual, and political life of the nation up to World War II.

ARHS 3620 Contemporary Art since 1950 (3) 

Prof. Plante. Explores the developments in the visual arts in the U.S. and Europe since 1950. Concentrates upon the social-historical formation of artistic development beginning with the aftermath of World War II, and continuing to the present. Emphasizes movements such as Pop, Minimalism, Earth art and Postmodernism. Issues surrounding the objects will include post-structuralism, postcolonialism as well as African-American, feminist, and gay and lesbian strategies for self representation.

ARHS 3650 Early Twentieth Century European Modernism (3) 

Prof. Plante. This course will explore the developments in the visual arts in Europe from 1890 to 1945.  We will concentrate upon the social-historical formations of artistic production beginning in the late-nineteenth century with Post-Impressionism and continuing into the first half of the twentieth century examining movements such as Fauvism, Cubism, Dada, Surrealism, Russian Suprematism.

ARHS 3700 Pre-Columbian Art (3)

Prof. Boone. An introduction to the art and architecture of Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica (Mexico and Central America) and the Andes (Peru, Bolivia). The course focuses on the historical, political, and religious contexts of the visual arts and addresses the function of these artworks as ideological statements.

ARHS 3710 Colonial Art of Latin America (3) 

Prof. Boone. Renaissance and baroque architecture, painting and sculpture of the metropolitan centers of the Spanish and Portuguese colonies from the 16th to the early 19th century with a major emphasis on Mexico.

ARHS 3871 Introduction to African American Art and Visual Culture, c.1700-1945 (3)

Prof. Bagneris. This course explores the production of visual and material culture related to the African American presence in what is now the United States from the eighteenth century through the mid-twentieth century.  The course investigates visual materials made by African American artists and artisans as well as materials by non-African Americans that feature African American subject matter (as well as considers the relationship between these two types of visual production). We will work to understand the images and objects featured in the course within both the specific context of the history of African American art and visual culture and the larger context of American art history in general.  Arranged roughly chronologically but more strongly guided by a thematic and topical approach, the course aims to communicate basic content information while providing students with an understanding of the kinds of dominant questions and concerns engaged by current African American art historical scholarship.

ARHS 3872 Art of the African Diaspora, c. 1925-Present (3)
Prof. Bagneris. Does it necessarily make sense to consider the work of artists of African descent together as a unit (In other words, should this course exist?)? What persistent themes, issues, and debates inform the work by African diaspora artists? What makes art “Black” (or  “African” or “African American”)? Can an artist of African descent legitimately claim to be an “artist who just happens to be black”? Do artists of African descent have a particular obligation to make art that advances a black cultural or political agenda?  Is not doing so in and of itself a political statement? How might a landscape or Abstract Expressionist work be racially charged (are they, in fact, ever, regardless of who makes them, racially neutral)?  How do vectors of identity other than race inform the work of African diaspora artists? How does the artwork studied in this course fit into the context of other art histories? How might we study this work outside the rubric of “African American/Diaspora” art history? Through these questions and others, this course explores the major themes and issues that have occupied artists of African descent as well as examines individual artists’ motivations and intentions.

ARHS 3910 Special Topics in the History of Art (3)

Staff.  Special topics in the history, criticism, or theory of art. The subjects will vary and may not be available every semester. Individual topics will be listed in the Schedule of Classes.

ARHS 4560, 4570 Internship Studies (1-3) 

Prof. Bartlett. The internship course is designed to give students the opportunity for hands-on experience in the arts fields.  Students commit eight-hours per week to an internship situation, supported by a weekly classroom component.  The classroom component is used to examine issues facing an arts professional, such as answerability to the community, the role of art in healing/preservation, ownership of culture, alternative voices, etc.  Class meetings include discussions of readings, guest lectures, field trips and/or site visits, in addition to student research and the presentation of student research papers.  The course is available as a service learning course.  As a result of their service learning activities, students will become engaged in, and provide service to, the community.

ARHS 4880 Writing Practicum (1) 

Staff. Prerequisite: successful completion of the First-Year Writing Requirement. Corequisite: three credit departmental course. Fulfills the college intensive-writing requirement.

ARHS 4910, 4920 Independent Studies (3, 3) 

Staff. Open to qualified juniors and seniors with approval of instructor and chair of department.

ARHS H4990-H5000 Honors Thesis (3, 4)

Staff. Open to qualified students with approval of department, instructor, and Honors Committee.

ARHS 6020 Capstone Seminar: Art and Belief in the Western Tradition (3) 

Prof. Flora.  This course will provide a capstone experience for undergraduate majors in art history via an examination of major monuments and works in the Western tradition in the context of systems of belief, such as mythology, philosophy, and religion.  The notion of belief will be the lens through which we approach selected case studies drawn from throughout the history of Western art.  We will examine instances where belief is thought to influence art and we will probe the problems and tensions that can arise when art and belief coincide. Integrating interdisciplinary readings with critical texts from the discipline of art history, the course will require students to actively recall and critically synthesize the works and methods learned in courses at the 100 and 300 levels.

ARHS 6040 Capstone Seminar: Spaces of Art (3)
Prof. Porras. This course will provide a capstone experience for undergraduate majors in art history, investigating the various spaces in which Western art has been made, exchanged and critically evaluated, from the late medieval period to today. Each week, students will consider a distinct space – for example, the studio, the academy, the auction house – its definition, history and conceptual impacts on the history of Western art. Students will analyze the material, social and intellectual culture of each of these spaces, utilizing key case studies drawn from the fifteenth to the twenty-first centuries. 

ARHS 6050 Capstone Seminar: Scandals of Modern Art (3)

Prof. Foa.  From the shock that greeted Manet's portrayal of a modern Parisian prostitute in his 1863 paintingOlympia, to Sally Mann's 1992 exhibition of disturbing photographs of her pre-adolescent children, the history of modern art is very much a history of scandal-of challenge to the artistic, social, and political orders.  The objective of this course is to examine key works of controversial modern art to shed light on changing social values and on the expectations and definitions of art at different points in the modern period, including the present time. Scandals we examine include those surrounding Matisse's Blue Nude, Marcel Duchamp’s Fountain, Constantin Brancusi’s Bird in Space, Richard Serra’s Tilted Arc, and Maya Lin’s Vietnam Veterans Memorial, among others.  Throughout the course, we will ask: What is the place and function of art in modern society? How should art represent the world to its audience?  How can we account for viewers' wildly divergent reactions to the same work? And, finally, who determines the meaning and value of a work of art-the artist, the general public, arts professionals, the courts, or the government?

ARHS 6060 Capstone Seminar: Gender, Race and Representations of the Body (3) 

Prof. Plante.  This course will examine the ways in which artists--painters, sculptors, filmmakers, writers, etc.--have constructed and organized representations of the body. We will examine the human body as a contested field, a site across which history, memory, and politics are played. We will be using a wide variety of methodologies as appropriate to certain artistic expressions such as phenomenological experiences of art and the body; the organizing principles of “visuality,” as interpreted through the psychoanalytic writings of Freud and Lacan; and both the political and subjective uses of the body as it is deployed in culture through methodologies as diverse as social history, feminist theory, queer theory, and post-colonial theory.

ARHS 6090 Capstone Seminar: The Intersections of Art and Science (3)

Prof. Foa.  The objective of this course is to explore key moments in the relationship between art and science in Europe and the United States from the Renaissance to the 20th century.  Over the course of the semester, we will examine the many ways that artists have drawn on scientific methods and practices to inform their work, and analyze how scientists have employed visual images to advance their investigations.  We will focus on a series of topics that span time and place, such as Leonardo da Vinci’s anatomical drawings and interest in optics, Enlightenment theories of perception, Impressionist and Neo-Impressionist painting, and abstraction in the 20thcentury, among other topics.

ARHS 6210 Medieval Pilgrimages:  Saints, Bones and Art (3) 

Prof. Flora.  This course will examine some of the most popular medieval Christian pilgrimage centers of Europe. We will focus mostly on Santiago de Compostela and Rome, with brief looks at other pilgrimage centers such as Jerusalem, Assisi, and Canterbury. Topics to be covered include the cult of the saints, the pilgrimage roads, architectural settings and their decoration, as well as reliquary shrines and related works of art, images and their use in imaginary or mental pilgrimage.

ARHS 6220 Women and Gender in Medieval Art (3)

Prof. Flora.  This seminar will focus on the relationships between gender and the production and reception of medieval European art and architecture.  Topics to be explored include images of women, works of art commissioned by women, images made for women, architectural spaces designed for women and/or men specifically (i.e. monastic architecture), women as artists, etc. Comparative material known to have been made for/by men specifically will also be explored as we consider the meaning of the concept of “gender”.  Feminist theory and various contemporary critical approaches to gender and medieval art will enhance our exploration of specific works.

ARHS 6230 Art and Architecture of Medieval Italy (3)

Prof. Flora.  This course will examine the art and architecture of the late Middle Ages in Italy from approximately 1200 to 1350 A.D./C.E. We will focus particularly on the rise of the mendicant orders in the thirteenth century and their impact on art and the narrative (the introduction of "naturalism" into art of the late medieval period).  Topics include civic architecture and the city-states, the development of the tradition of panel painting, and the impact of Byzantine art on art of the Italian peninsula.

ARHS 6410 Amsterdam and the Global Dutch Golden Age (3)

Prof. Porras. This course examines the visual and material culture of the Dutch Golden Age, centered in Amsterdam, as the product of global forces. Rather than solely tracing the domestic consumption of international goods or the ways in which Dutch demands shaped artistic production in Batavia (Indonesia), Brazil, South Asia and North America, this seminar critically examines concepts of influence, exoticism and cross-cultural exchange. We will focus on objects and art works produced in, imported and exported through Amsterdam. By investigating the economic realities that enabled the flourishing of Amsterdam as cultural center, this course seeks to complicate readings of seventeenth-century Dutch visual culture (particularly genre scenes and still-lifes) as culturally introspective.

ARHS 6540 Paris: Capital of the 19th Century (3)

Prof. Foa.  In this seminar, we will explore the transformation of Paris during the second half of the nineteenth century into a great modern metropolis.  Beginning with the formation of the Second Empire in 1851, we will analyze the ways that the architecture, painting, photography, literature, urban planning, and popular and visual culture of the era both reflected and shaped experiences and perceptions of this modern city.  During the semester, we will explore such developments as the controversial reconstruction of the city by Baron Haussmann, the poetry and prose of Charles Baudelaire, Impressionist painting, the construction of the Eiffel Tower, the rise of photography, and new spaces and modes of leisure, entertainment, and consumerism in the city.  Throughout the course, we will investigate the complex relationship between urban modernity and modernist art, situating the artistic and cultural production of the period in its rich historical context.

ARHS 6550 The Work and Mythology of Vincent Van Gogh (3)

Prof. Foa. In this seminar, we will explore the brief but productive career of Vincent van Gogh and the mythology that developed around him during and after his lifetime.  We will look closely at Van Gogh's paintings, drawings, and writings, studying them in the context of such issues as his attitudes towards modernity and his relationship to the art market.  We will also undertake a critical examination of the myth surrounding Van Gogh's life and work, discussing such themes as the modern artist as mad genius and the quest for originality and immediacy in modern art.

ARHS 6620 Reading Abstract Expressionism (3)

Prof. Plante. Examines the ways in which Abstract Expressionism has been interpreted, both from the view of American critics and historians and their European counterparts. Emphasizes the extent to which formalist criticism evolved around Abstract Expressionism, and that only recently have scholars challenged those apolitical reading of this art, considering the political and economic factors which contributed to its international predominance on the global stage. Artists will include De Kooning, Frankenthaler, Hofmann, Krasner, Newman, Pollock, and Still.

ARHS 6630 Revising the 1960’s (3)

Prof. Plante. Charts the development of American, and some European, art during the 1960’s, away from the international dominance of Abstract Expressionist style toward a more diverse range of styles such as Color Field painting, Pop art, Minimalism and Post-Minimalism, and Performance art.  Attention will be paid to the development of artistic and cultural criticism during this period (Greenberg, Sontag, Barthes), and the arguments about the role of culture in American society, the status of so-called “high” and “low” art. Artists studied will include Frankenthaler, Hesse, Judd, Lichtenstein, Morris, Smithson, and Warhol.

ARHS 6650 Postmodern Formations: Art Since 1980 (3)

Prof. Plante. Examines both European and American conceptions of postmodernism, as it originated in post-structural and psychoanalytic theory. Emphasis will be place upon artists working since 1980, including Basquiat, Jenny Holzer, Barbara Kruger, Mapplethorpe, Cindy Sherman, Warhol and the politically-based art project of Gran Fury, the Guerrilla Girls and the Names Project. Interpretive strategies will be taken from readings in European literary theory, with emphasis place upon the shift in criticism in art-making, away from Europe, toward an ideology formed around the issues of racial, sexual, and gender performance of identity.

ARHS 6720 Seminar on Aztec Arts (3)

Prof. Boone. Prerequisite: ARHS 370 or approval of instructor. Intensive investigation of Aztec arts as fundamental manifestations of Aztec imperial ideology (especially political and religious). The course concentrates on the urban iconographic programs developed in sculpture and architecture and considers the role of ritual and performance within these programs. It also reviews the sixteenth century sources (pictorial and alphabetic) that are used to understand Aztec culture.

ARHS 6510, 6520, 6560, 6570, 6580, 6810 6820, 6830, 6850 Seminars in the History of Art (3 each)

Staff, Prof. Boone, Prof. Flora, Prof. Foa, Prof. Plante. Advanced topics in the history, criticism, or theory of art. The subjects of the seminars vary according to the needs of the students and the scholarly interests of the individual instructor. Specialized topics are listed in the Schedule of Classes.

ARHS 6860 Capstone Seminar: Interracial Themes in Western Art from the Queen of Sheba to Barrack Obama (3)

Prof. Bagneris. This course investigates the depiction of interracial contact and the mixed-race body in Western art, starting in 1182 and continuing through the present.  Throughout this investigation, four primary sets of questions will guide our study: 1) What makes an image “interracial”? 2) What kinds of ideological and historical catalysts inform the production of images with interracial themes? 3) What major trends or themes can we identify in images of interracial contact or mixed-race bodies?  How do these remain consistent and how do they change over time and across cultures? 4) How is “race” related to visuality (and how is it not)? How do images of ambiguously raced bodies trouble the idea of “race” in general? In other words, what are the epistemological and ontological implications of the fact that, in American society, one can look white yet be black, that race as a concept is at once inextricably rooted in visual knowledge yet unable to be sustained by it?

ARHS 6870 Capstone Seminar: Race and National Mythologies in American Art and Visual Culture (3)

Prof. Bagneris. How does American art and visual culture implicitly and explicitly reify notions of America as a "white" nation, and how has this changed over time?  How have images shaped and been shaped by historic moments of racially-implicated upheaval or conflict (e.g.  Westward Expansion; the abolitionist movement, the Civil War & Emancipation; periods of mass immigration)? How has the idea of what it means to be "American" been defined against the racialized images of American "Others"? Can contemporary artists of color successfully appropriate and re-deploy racist imagery? This seminar considers these and other questions in investigating constructions and representations of race in American art and visual culture from the 16th century to the present.  We will explore the ways in which these images are implicated as both products and producers of fundamental mythologies about the United States as a nation and about what it means to be "an American" (and who gets to be one).

ARHS 6880 Writing Practicum (1)

Staff. Prerequisite: successful completion of the First-Year Writing Requirement. Corequisite: three credit departmental course. Fulfills the college intensive-writing requirement.

Classics Department Offerings Counting Toward the Art History Degree

CLAS 3120 Etruscans and Early Rome (3)

Prof. Lusnia. A survey of the cultures of pre-Roman Italy from the Bronze Age to the fall of Veii. The course focuses on the material cultures of Etruscan and Latin Settlements from ca. 900 to 300 B.C.E. Topics include: Etruscan language, economy and trade, sculpture, painting, and Etruscan religion, as well as major social and historical developments in Etruria, Latium, and archaic Rome.  

CLAS 3160 Aegean Bronze Age (3) 

Prof. Carter. The cultures of the Cycladic Islands, Crete, and the Greek mainland during the Bronze Age (ca. 3200-1150 B.C.E.). Emphasis is on the major and minor arts of the Minoans and Mycenaeans and how this material can be used to reconstruct the societies, cultures, and religions of the Aegean Bronze Age.  

CLAS 3170 Greek Art & Archaeology (3) 

Prof. Carter. Greek arts (architecture, sculpture, and painting) and material culture in the light of social, intellectual, and historical developments from the end of the Bronze Age (ca. 1200 B.C.E.) to the end of the Hellenistic period (31 B.C.E.).  

CLAS 3180 Roman Art & Archaeology (3) 

Prof. Lusnia. Architecture, sculpture, and painting in Rome and the Roman Empire, their sources, and their history from the Etruscan period (ca. 900 BCE) through the 4th century C.E.

CLAS 3190 Pompeii (3) 

Prof. Lusnia. A survey of Roman culture through the study of the town destroyed by Mt. Vesuvius in 79 C.E. The focus is on the society, politics, religion, domestic life, entertainment, economy, and art of Pompeii and the surrounding region in the early imperial period.  

CLAS 4130 Egypt under the Pharaohs (3) 

Prof. Carter. The culture of ancient Egypt from the pre-dynastic period through the end of the New Kingdom. The course emphasizes the sculpture, architecture, and painting of the pharaonic periods. Other areas covered are: Egyptian literary and historical documents, Egyptian religion, and major social developments.  

CLAS 4190 Seminar in Aegean and Greek Archaeology (3)

Prof. Carter. Topics include: Problems in Aegean Archaeology; Major Monuments in Greek Sculpture; Greek Vase-Painting; The Athenian Acropolis. 

CLAS 4200 Seminar in Roman Art and Archaeology (3) 

Prof. Lusnia. Topics include: Ancient Painting and Mosaics; Building the City of Rome; Roman Sculpture in Context. 

CLAS 6190 Seminar in Aegean and Greek Archaeology (3) 

Prof. Carter. Topics include: Problems in Aegean Archaeology; Major Monuments in Greek Sculpture; Greek Vase-Painting; The Athenian Acropolis.  

CLAS 6200 Seminar in Roman Art and Archaeology (3)

Prof. Lusnia. Topics include: Ancient Painting and Mosaics; Building the City of Rome; Roman Sculpture in Context.


Tulane University, Newcomb Art Dept., 202 Woldenberg Art Center, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5327