Approved by Faculty Senate

University Studies Course Proposal: Arts And Sciences Core

HUMANITIES: ART 224 American Art

Requirements and learning activities that promote students' abilities to

A. Identify and understand specific elements and assumptions of Art History as a Humanistic discipline:

ART 224 is a broad survey of the visual arts of the United States, from their modest beginnings in the colonial and revolutionary eras through the Great Depression. It is intended for the general student, but may be used as an elective for the Art Major and is required for the Art History Minor.

The class provides a knowledge base in the History of American Art fostering an understanding of

1. art as a non-verbal means of communication (as a language of visual forms having its own vocabulary and structure);

2. the interaction between the content of a work and its visual style;

3. the processes of art-historical changes over time and across the space of the American cultural landscape;

hence students must be able

4. to identify period styles and works of individual artists and their styles

Performance in examinations determine the degree to which students have been able to understand this fundamental basis for the study of art in America.

B. Understand how historical context, cultural values, and gender influence perceptions and interpretations:

Students learn via lectures, videos, and their reading assignments, of the means by which these factors fundamentally affect the creation of art in the United States: how the visual arts serve as both individual and cultural expression informed by religious, political, social, and economic conditions, as well as artistic traditions; how the American artist perceives and processes his/her world at a given time and region of the country; the circumstances of patronage and audience response, of politics, art politics, and economics; the social purposes of a given work; the intentions of the artist; the impact of prevailing and changing art theories, etc.

 

 

More specifically, students in ART 224 are expected to demonstrate their understanding of

1. the expression of American culture and values through works of art

2. the influence of the natural and built environment in America as a factor in cultural expression;

3. the impact of European, especially British, traditions in art during the Colonial period and beyond;

4. the impact of European modernism during later 19th and early 20th centuries;

5. the efforts of American artists to forge a national identity in art; and

6. the role of women in American society and the contributions of women artists.

Performance in examinations determine the degree to which students have understood how contexts and values inform the creation and interpretation of works of art.

C. Understand the role of critical analysis in interpreting and evaluating works of art:

Iconographic and formal analyses of works of art in class and in the text, and reading assignments enable the student in ART 221 to critically evaluate works of art and architecture. To test their knowledge students are given a short paper assignment in which they engage in a stylistic analysis of a Winona building of historical significance or one in their home towns.

 

 

 

ART 224 American Art Syllabus

This course fulfills 3 credits of the Arts and Sciences Core Requirement in the Humanities area of the University Studies Program.

COURSE OBJECTIVES AND CONTENT

a. Identify and understand specific elements and assumptions of Art History as a Humanistic discipline:

ART 224 is a broad survey of the visual arts of the United States, from their modest beginnings in the colonial and revolutionary eras through the Great Depression. It is intended for the general student, but may be used as an elective for the Art Major and is required for the Art History Minor.

The class provides a knowledge base in the History of American Art fostering an understanding of

1. art as a non-verbal means of communication (as a language of visual forms having its own vocabulary and structure);

2. the interaction between the content of a work and its visual style;

3. the processes of art-historical changes over time and across the space of the American cultural landscape;

hence students must be able

4. to identify style periods and works of individual artists and their styles

Performance in examinations determine the degree to which students have been able to understand this fundamental basis for the study of art in America.

b. Understand how historical context, cultural values, and gender influence perceptions and interpretations of the world and human experience:

Students learn via lectures, videos, and their reading assignments, of the means by which these factors fundamentally affect the creation of art in the United States: how the visual arts serve as both individual and cultural expression informed by religious, political, social, and economic conditions, as well as artistic traditions; how the American artist perceives and processes his/her world at a given time and region of the country; the circumstances of patronage and audience response, of politics, art politics, and economics; the social purposes of a given work; the intentions of the artist; the impact of prevailing and changing art theories, etc.

 

 

More specifically, students in ART 224 are expected to demonstrate their understanding of

1. the expression of American culture and values through works of art

2. the influence of the natural and built environment in America as a factor in cultural expression;

3. the impact of European, especially British, traditions in art during the Colonial period and beyond;

4. the impact of European modernism during later 19th and early 20th centuries;

5. the efforts of American artists to forge a national identity in art; and

6. the role of women in American society and the contributions of women artists;

Performance in examinations determine the degree to which students have understood how contexts and values inform the creation and interpretation of works of art.

c. Understand the role of critical analysis in interpreting and evaluating works of art:

Iconographic and formal analyses of works of art in class and in the text, and reading assignments enable the student in ART 224 to critically evaluate works of art and architecture. To test their knowledge students are given a short paper assignment in which they engage in a stylistic analysis of a Winona building of historical significance or one in their home towns.

 

COURSE FORMAT

Lectures, discussion, and videos

 

TEXT

Wayne Craven, American Art: History and Culture

REQUIREMENTS

Two one-hour exams, a short paper, and a one-hour final that is not cumulative.

 

Exams (Purchase a Scan-Tron form 882 for each exam)

Sample exam questions are attached, p. 4. All questions are in the multiple choice format. They consist of:

A. Questions keyed to slides of works of art. They involve:

 

1. Identifying the artist (if known) and knowing the approximate date of the example (e.g. late 18th century, early 20th century)

2. Questions about works of art shown. Lists of text illustrations for the exams are attached, pp. 5-7.

B. Other questions not using slides, dealing either with style characteristics, meanings of works of art, definitions of art terms, information about artists, etc. Drawn from text and lectures.

 

NO MAKE-UPS GIVEN. If you have a legitimate reason for missing an exam, I may excuse you from the test, but this means your other marks will be weighted more heavily (see "Grading").

SHORT PAPER

Concerns an historic or period-style building or residence in the Winona area (or elsewhere), two-three pages; more information later.

GRADING

Exam I is worth 20%, Exam II and Final are each worth 25%; the Paper 20%; and attendance 10%.

 

 

 

 

ATTENDANCE

Roll will be taken each class day. Attendance grades will be given as follows:

 

A: 0-2 absences B: 3 C: 4 D: 5 F: 6+

COURSE SCHEDULE (Approximate)

The topics that follow embrace those activities and requirements, as stated on page 1, expected of Humanities courses in the University Studies Program. Such activities and requirements promote the abilities of ART 224 students to

A. Identify and understand the specific elements and assumptions of Art as a Humanistic discipline.

B. Understand how historical context, cultural values, and gender influence perceptions and interpretations.

C. Understand the role of critical analysis in interpreting and evaluating works of art.

*The Decorative Arts and Photography will not be covered. Omit that material from the assigned chapters.

Be sure to consult the glossary, pp. 641-45, for definitions of technical and style terms. Do not fail to examine (and understand) the architectural plans and the illustrations when they are referred to in the text.

Week Chapters*

1-3 Before the Revolution (1600s-1780)

The Colonial Era

Architecture, 1600s-1750 1, 2 (omit 35-39)

4 (omit 60-65)

Painting (Northeast), 1670s-1780 3 (omit 46-51)

5 (omit 74-78)

7 (omit 102-04)

Architecture (Eastern Seaboard), 1750-1780 6 (omit 86-89)

4-5 After the Revolution (1780s-1830)

The Federal Period

Architecture 8

—Painting 10

—Sculpture 12

EXAM I (date to be announced)

6-8 The Romantic Period (1830-1870)

The Age of Jackson through the Civil War

Architecture 13

—Painting 15

16 (omit 230-36)

Sculpture 18

9-11 The Post Civil War Era (1870-1900)

The "American Renaissance" or The Gilded Age

Architecture 20

—Painting 23

24 (omit 354-62)

Sculpture 26 (omit 255-60)

EXAM II (date to be announced)

[Papers Due, Nov. 11]

 

12-13 The Late 19th Century cont.

 

A New Spirit in Architecture

Technology and Skyscrapers 21

14-16 The Early Modern Period (1900-1940)

 

The Progressive Era through the Great Depression

Architecture 27

—Painting 29, 30

—Sculpture pp. 487-93

 

FINAL EXAM