Franklin & Marshall College Franklin & Marshall College

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Curriculum Overview
Art and Art History

The Department of Art and Art History educates students in the practice and processes of making art and in the historical analysis of art. We see this endeavor as an essential visual complement to the training in verbal and numerical analysis and production offered in other areas of the College curriculum.

The department’s program in studio art concentrates on the planning and production of visual works that use formal and expressive elements such as composition, shape, form, line, tone, texture and color. Beyond the design and execution of these works, we guide students through the processes of applying critical analysis and anticipating the works’ ultimate intellectual and emotional communication.

Our art history program examines aesthetically considered objects with the goal of comprehending both the objects themselves and the social concerns that they embody. We strive to develop students’ ability to appreciate the technical accomplishment, artistic decision-making and expressive effect of works of art. Yet art is not created only for aesthetic purposes; it is a compelling visualization of values and priorities important in a particular time and place. We therefore also teach students to understand the ways that art encapsulates and promotes shared beliefs.

Students who major or minor in art elect either an art history or a studio concentration. The major consists of 11 courses in either of two possible combinations, as follows:

STUDIO ART

Eleven courses are required for the studio art major:

Eight core courses are required:

One introductory course in drawing, ART 114;

One introductory course in sculpture, either ART 116 or ART 132;

One course in photography or computer art;

One introductory course in painting, ART 222;

One course in Asian art, either ART 105 or ART 224;

One course in art history, ART 103;

One intermediate or advanced course in drawing, sculpture, photography, or painting;

The advanced seminar in studio art practices, ART 462.

In addition, students will choose three electives with which they can deepen their study in art history, create an area of special focus within studio art, or investigate courses of interest. At least one of these three electives must be at or above the 300-level. Faculty advisers will help students construct a coherent cluster of courses for the area of special focus; courses in other departments may also be appropriate as part of this cluster. Some possible areas of focus include: advanced painting; advanced sculpture; design and the environment; architecture/urbanism; and technology and image-making.

All studio art majors are required to present their work in the Senior Exhibition at the Phillips Museum. Preparation for the exhibition, guided and evaluated by Art major advisers and the professor teaching the ART 462 Studio Capstone course, includes a non-credit portfolio review in the fall semester and the required capstone course in the spring.

The writing requirement for majors concentrating in studio art is met by earning a minimum of “C” in ART 103, or in one seminar offered by the department.

ART HISTORY

Eleven courses are required for the art history major:

Eight core courses are required:

ART 103. Introduction to Western Art;

ART 114. Introductory Drawing;

CLS 115. Greek Art and Archaeology or CLS 117 Roman Art and Archaeology;

One course in Asian art history, ART 105, 281 or 283;

One course in architectural history, ART 121, 123 or 211;

ART 231. Art and Architecture of the Italian Renaissance;

One course in modern art history (ART 241, 243, or 251);

ART 461, the advanced seminar in art history.

In addition, students will choose three electives with which they can deepen their study of studio art, create an area of special focus within art history, or investigate courses of interest. At least one of these three electives must be at or above the 300-level. Faculty advisers will help students construct a coherent cluster of courses for the area of special focus; courses in other departments may also be appropriate as part of this cluster. Some possible areas of focus include: Asian art; early modern art; 19th-century art; American art; architecture/urbanism; art and archaeology; and technology and image-making.

The writing requirement for majors concentrating in art history is met by earning a minimum grade of “C” in one seminar offered by the department.

The minor consists of six courses, as follows:

THE STUDIO MINOR

Two courses:

ART 103. Introduction to Western Art;

ART 114. Introductory Drawing;

Plus four other courses in studio art, chosen in consultation with an adviser, with at least one at or above the 300-level.

THE ART HISTORY MINOR

Three introductory courses:

ART 103. Introduction to Western Art;

ART 105. Introduction to Asian Art;

ART 114. Introductory Drawing.

Plus three other courses in art history, chosen in consultation with an adviser, with at least one at or above the 300-level.

To be considered for departmental honors in Art and Art History, graduating seniors, besides meeting the College’s general requirements for honors, must complete a substantial project, usually evolving from a fall semester course or independent study and continuing in an independent study in the spring. Students interested in pursuing departmental honors should consult with their academic adviser and obtain a copy of the department’s detailed guidelines.

Majors in the Department of Art and Art History have studied abroad in the following programs in recent years: Butler University England and Scotland; IAU France; IES Austria and Spain; Syracuse University Italy and Spain; Temple University in Rome; SACI Academic Semester Abroad Program. See the International Programs section of the Catalog for further information.