Approved by Faculty Senate.

University Studies Course Proposal: The Writing Flag

ART 438 Early 20th Century Art

To merit the Writing Flag, students in ART 438 will write an art-historical research paper, as explained below. The paper is intended to promote students’ abilities to:

a. practice the processes and procedures for creating and completing successful writing

The parameters of the paper are explained to students in the attached syllabus.

b. understand the main features and uses of writing in art and art history

To this end, students are required to purchase and read a copy of Sylvan Barnet, A Short Guide to Writing about Art. While there are many kinds and types of art writing, the art-historical research paper involves specialized features, which are explained further to students below.

c. adapt your writing to the general expectations of readers of art history and criticism

This assignment primarily involves formal analysis in combination with an exploration of the content—aesthetic, expressive, intellectual, etc.—that may be comprised in the work(s) under investigation. Students will avoid the "appreciation." Rather, they will assess the artist’s achievement or contribution and keep in mind some of the central questions of art-historical research: What is the artist trying to convey by way of form and meaning? What is the role of the subject matter? How do both form and meaning work together to create a coherent expression? What are the art-historical and cultural contexts surrounding the works? Once these questions are addressed, others will suggest themselves, and students will investigate those as well.

Writers will be sensitive to the artist's associations, the influences acting upon him/her (no style is self-generated), and they will try to discover what led to the particular forms present in the work(s). The artist him/herself may throw light on this, as will his/her contemporaries, and recent writers, all of which may be found in during the research process.

d. make use of the technologies commonly used for research and writing in the field of art history

The technology necessary to art-historical research is very rudimentary: typewriters, word processors, copy machines, etc. in addition to the use of computerized catalogs, PALS, as well as the judicious use of the Internet.

e. learn the conventions of evidence, format, usage, and documentation in art-historical writing

Students are instructed (aided by the Barnet text) to strive for a clear and coherent organization, and how to present evidence. The final page of the course syllabus gives students further advice as to effective organization, the matter of drawing conclusions, format, and proper documentation. They are also informed that their papers will be evaluated on the basis of good writing, in addition to content.

A preliminary draft of the paper will be submitted to the instructor for evaluation (10% of course grade) during the eighth week of classes (a specific date will be designated). The final draft (15% of grade) is due during the 13th week of classes (again a specific date will be designated). The final version of the paper will respond to the instructor’s critique and incorporate appropriate changes.

 

 

 

Art 438 Early Twentieth-Century Art Syllabus

Dr. Ricciotti: 204 D, Watkins

This 3 credit class carries a Writing Flag, a component of the University Studies Program. A total of six credits in flagged writing courses are required for graduation.

COURSE CONTENT

The course covers the climactic phase of modernism in Europe and America, extending from the turn of the century in France, and continuing with its spread and further development elsewhere up to the outbreak of World War II. Major art movements including anti-Modernist styles, as well as significant artists outside these movements, are covered in some detail.

TEXT

Hunter and Jacobus, Modern Art, Third Edition.

Sylvan Barnet, A Short Guide to Writing About Art

REQUIREMENTS

Two one-hour exams, research paper, and a one-hour final exam.

EXAMS

Each will consist of two parts to be graded separately:

Part I. A. Slide Identifications involving a group of works of art drawn from your text to be

identified as to artist, style, nationality, rough date (decade) and sometimes subject matter.

B. Other Identifications will consist of terms, names, and titles.

Part II. Essays built around pairs of slides stressing stylistic analysis, interpretation of content, etc.

No make-ups given except in rare circumstances when a legitimate excuse is provided, usually in advance of the exam. Each case considered on an individual basis. Any make-up given will be entirely essay.

The final will emphasize material from the last third of the course with possibly some review material covered in the essays only.

 

RESEARCH PAPER

For further instructions for the paper, and how it fulfills the Writing Flag criteria, see p. 4 of this syllabus.

A preliminary draft will be submitted to the instructor for evaluation (10% of course grade) during the eighth week of classes [a specific date will be inserted here]. The final draft (15% of grade) is due during the 13th week of classes [a specific date will be inserted]. The final version of the paper will respond to the instructor’s critique and incorporate appropriate changes. No late papers accepted.

Topics should concern an artist active between 1900 and 1940 and the present. Do not attempt to cover the entire careers of long-lived artists like Picasso, Kandinsky, or O’Keeffe. Instead concentrate on a specific period in careers or on an aspect of their work. Avoid topics covering broad styles or movements such as Cubism or Surrealism. Other possible topics may include thematic studies.

Research Paper cont.

Assess your writing skills honestly. If you need help, and there is no shame in seeking it, by all means take advantage of the English Department's Writing Center.), which sends this message:

The Writing Center, located in Minne 340, offers WSU students free, individualized instruction in writing. Students may visit the center on your own or on the recommendation of a teacher; they may "drop in," or they may sign up for a scheduled appointment; they may seek assistance with any aspect of their writing for any class or purpose. A schedule and sign-up sheet is posted on the Writing Center door each semester. Call x5505, email wcenter, or visit the Writing Center Web at http://www.winona.edu/writingcenter for appointments and information.

 

GRADING

Each exam 25% (I 10%, II 15%), Paper 25%. (1st Draft 10%, Final Draft 15%).

COURSE SCHEDULE (subject to change)

Week Readings

1 Introduction: Post-Impressionism and Symbolism Review Chs 1-3

1900-1920s

2-3 Early 20th Century Expressionism:

Les Fauves (Matisse to 1911) 101-11

Die Brucke (German Expressionism) 112-17

Early 20th Century Sculpture 61-74, 129-30

4-5 The Revolution in Form:

Cubist Painting and Sculpture to c. 1925 132-52

Futurism 152-56

Brancusi 76-80

6 Exam I (Date to be announced)

6 German Expressionism cont.

Der Blaue Reiter 117-24

6 Austrian Expressionism 124-26

1900-1920’s continued

7 American Modernism to c. 1920

The Stieglitz artists and others 247-258

8 Cubist Derived Abstraction in Russia and Holland

Russia: Suprematism and Constructivism 156-59

Holland: deStijl and Mondrian 159-62

8 First Draft of Paper Due

 

1910s-1930s

9-10 The Fantastic, Irrational, and Absurd

"Fantasy" 163-67

Dada 167-77

Surrealism 177-89

EXAM II (Date to be announced)

1920s-1940s

11-12 The School of Paris

The later work of Picasso, Braque, Matisse, 190-94

and other artists/trends of the 1920s 215-46

13 Final Version of Paper Due

13 German Expressionism between the Wars 126-29

13 International Abstraction and Related Trends 234-43

14-15 America

Precisionism 254

American Scene, Regionalism, and Magic Realism 255-58

Modernism: The Second Wave 260

FINAL EXAM

 

The Research Paper: Writing Flag

The writing assignment for this class is designed to provide experience beyond the first year writing class. This experience, when linked to a research topic of your choice, will deepen your understanding and knowledge of the course content and contribute to your overall intellectual development.

In keeping with a course that carries the University Studies Writing Flag, the research paper is intended to promote your abilities to:

a. practice the processes and procedures for creating and completing successful writing in the field of art and art history

Refer to the information contained on p. 2 of the syllabus.

Length of paper: approximately 10-12 pages of text, exclusive of endnotes, bibliography, and illustrations, which must accompany the text.

Select a topic that interests you, something you genuinely would like to learn more about. Only in this way will you do a good job and learn from the experience. You will need to decide what kind of work(s) you wish to deal with.

b. understand the main features and uses of writing in art and art history

To this end, you are required to purchase a copy of Sylvan Barnet, A Short Guide to Writing about Art. While there are many kinds and types of art writing, the art-historical research paper involves specialized features, as explained further below.

c. adapt your writing to the general expectations of readers of art history and criticism

This assignment primarily involves formal analysis in combination with an exploration of the content—aesthetic, expressive, intellectual, etc.—that may be comprised in the work(s) under investigation. Avoid the "appreciation"; rather, assess the artist’s achievement or contribution. Always keep in mind some of the central questions of art-historical research: What is the artist trying to convey by way of form and meaning? What is the role of the subject matter? How do both form and meaning work together to create a coherent expression? What are the art-historical and cultural contexts surrounding the works? Once you begin to consider these questions, others will suggest themselves; proceed to answer those as well.

Be sensitive to the artist's associations, the influences acting upon him/her (no style is self-generated). Try to discover what led to the particular forms present in the work(s). The artist him/herself may throw light on this, as will his/her contemporaries, and recent writers, all of which may be found in the books/articles you are reading.

d. make use of the technologies commonly used for research and writing in the field of art history

First begin with the bibliography in your text. Take note of books and articles both. For those items not available in the Library, take advantage of the PALS network that enables you to obtain books and copies of articles by interlibrary Loan (Minitex). Librarians will assist you with this. The Art Index, which is comparable to The Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature, is a critical source for articles on art. Start with the most recent volumes (covering the last few years) and work backward.

The Internet is a growing source of information, but a word of caution: anyone can put anything on the Internet. So you need to be especially careful to evaluate the material; institutional sponsorship—a museum or university, etc. is a safe bet. The Barnet book has useful information as to Internet research. In any case, when citing web pages in notes and bibliography, it is necessary to include as much information as possible about the site, comparable to a book or article citation, never simply the Internet address alone. The WSU Library home page has information as to citing electronic references (see MLA documentation style).

e. learn the conventions of evidence, format, usage, and documentation in art-historical writing

Strive for a clear and coherent organization, gradually presenting your evidence in a step-by-step fashion. Avoid repetitiousness and jumping back and forth to ideas previously explored; however, there may be times when you must go back to an issue introduced earlier but not fully explored then, or to compare points in one work to one or more works discussed earlier in your text. A critical part of the writing will come at the end of the whole process when you'll have to decide what to edit out, what to add, and what needs to be shifted here or there. It may be preferable for certain topics to consider an organization based on a sequence of ideas, into which you "plug" the works, rather than a chronological discussion of one work at a time. Include photocopies of works under discussions, though there is no need to include copies of works reproduced in your text or shown in class. The photocopies should follow the bibliography or list of works cited.

The order of the required contents:

Text, Endnotes, Bibliography, Illustrations.

CONCLUSIONS

Be as objective as possible, but this does not mean that you are not permitted to offer insights or conclusions of your own. Simply take care that you have earned them on the basis of what you have already presented to the reader. In other words, they should not be arbitrary, but arrived at in a logical, reasoned way; and they must be supported by your research findings.

THE WRITING

The paper will be graded on the basis of points outlined here, in addition to good writing, i.e. sentence and paragraph structure, usage, grammar, punctuation, etc. Common grammatical mistakes include misusing like, which is a preposition and therefore must have an object and not a subject following it; do not use it to introduce a clause, e.g. Like he said. As he said is the correct form because as is a conjunction, and only conjunctions introduce clauses; they require a subject, followed by a verb.

Commas generally precede conjunctions. A semicolon, not a comma, must be used to link two independent clauses. When used with quotations, commas and periods go inside the closed quotation marks; all other punctuation goes outside the closed quotation mark. Do not omit the apostrophe before the s ('s) when using the possessive case. As to verbs, try to use the active voice whenever possible instead of the passive voice. Titles of works of art should be underlined or italicized, not placed in quotation marks. Also, use about an inch and a quarter margins so I may make notations easily.