Curriculum Overview 

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:


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:


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.


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.

Courses Offered


A list of regularly offered courses follows. Please note the key for the following abbreviations: (A) Arts; (H) Humanities; (S) Social Sciences; (N) Natural Sciences with Laboratory; (LS) Language Studies requirement; (NSP) Natural Science in Perspective; (NW) Non-Western Cultures requirement; (W) Writing requirement.


Studio Courses

114. Introductory Drawing. (A)

The fundamentals of drawing—still life, landscape, portrait and figure—using traditional and experimental techniques. The relationship of the method and techniques to artistic expression.                                                                                                                                           Staff

116. Introductory Sculpture. (A)

An introduction to how ideas and meaning can be transmitted through three-dimensional forms and materials and to the basic processes involved in the creation of the sculptures that convey those concepts. Materials include clay, wood, metal and mixed media; techniques include modeling, carving and fabrication (basic carpentry and welding). The work of sculptors, both historical and contemporary, will be examined and discussed. Prerequisite: Students will be charged a fee for materials in this course.                                                                                                       Maksymowicz

162. Motion Picture Production I. (A)

This course teaches video production basics through a series of short creative exercises in videography, location lighting, sound recording, non-linear editing, and video effects. The course is designed as an entrée into our full-semester video production workshops (e.g., 362, 364) and may be taken concurrently with one of those courses. Enrollment is by permission; students enrolled concurrently in a full-semester video workshop have first priority. Same as TDF 162.                  Moss

214. Figure Drawing. (A)

An intermediate-level investigation of the human figure in a wide range of media, including graphite, charcoal, pastel, ink, acrylic and oil paint. Dual emphasis is placed on the formal and expressive aspects of the subject and students will work both from life and from conceptual and imaginative bases. Prerequisite: ART 114.                                                                                                       Peterson

218. Introduction to Architectural Design. (A)

Studio course to focus on elements of design and idea presentation. Design of new buildings, adaptive reuse of existing buildings, solar influences on design, site planning, interior design and historical reference will be considered as background for assigned projects. Presentation will include drawings and models. No prior knowledge of drafting is necessary. Prerequisite: Students will be charged a fee for materials in this course.                                                                                                             Hickey

222. Painting. (A)

An introduction to oil painting theory and practice with a strong emphasis on color, delineation of form and space, light and shadow, surface and texture, composition and personal expression. Prerequisite: ART 114 or permission of the instructor.                                                                        Liu

224. Chinese Brush and Ink Painting. (A) (NW)

An introduction to traditional Chinese painting and art of Chinese calligraphy with emphasis on a variety of traditional and modern Chinese painting techniques through different subject matters such as bird-and-flower painting and landscape painting. The course will also explore the practical aspects of the art of Chinese calligraphy and seal carving and their relationship to Chinese painting. Students will be charged a fee for materials in this course.                                                                  Liu

228. Scene Design. (A)

Emphasizes the design process and the visual idea and analyzes designs and designers. Students prepare models and renderings of assigned productions. Same as TDF 228.                             Whiting

230. Papermaking and Casting. (A)

Designed to introduce students to both the history and the processes involved in hand papermaking. Basic techniques for pulling sheets of paper, designing books, building plaster molds, casting pulp positives and freehand building will be explored. The work of visual artists working in the medium will be examined and discussed. Students design their own final projects that have the potential for interfacing with a variety of other academic disciplines. Prerequisite: ART 114 or ART 116 or ART 132, or permission of instructor; students will be charged a fee for materials in this course.                                                                                                                                  Maksymowicz

232. Casting: From the Body to Bronze. (A)

This intermediate-level sculpture course will consider different methods of moldmaking and how multiple forms can be used to construct meaning in art. Both the history and various techniques of casting will be studied and materials such as plaster, clay, wax and bronze will be explored. The work of sculptors who have used this method of making images will be addressed. Students will be required to complete a series of assigned projects as well as to create a sculpture of their own design. Prerequisite: ART 116 or ART 132; students will be charged a fee for materials in this course.                                                                                                                                  Maksymowicz

242. Digital Photography I. (A)

Emphasizes making well thought-out artistic statements with the camera. Digital photography offers many of the same practices found in traditional photography, from camera settings with depth of field, ISO speeds and optimal exposure, to reading natural and artificial light. Concentration on potential for aesthetic enhancement, manipulation and storage in the digital darkroom as well as consideration of slides of master photographs and the different genres and approaches available to the artist photographer. Does not supply complete information on all aspects of digital photography or new commercial photographic media. Students will be charged a fee for materials in this course.                                                                                                                                         Holmgren

322. Advanced Painting. (A)

An exploration of technical and expressive skills with complex painting and mixed-media techniques. This course will also develop critical thinking, aesthetic values and an awareness of contemporary issues in painting and their relationship to individual student work. Prerequisite: ART 222.                                                                                                                                                         Liu

336. Sculpture and the Environment. (A)

This course brings the study of sculpture into the wider context of environmental considerations —whether they be issues of location or ecology. Once sculpture moves off the pedestal and into a larger physical scale, questions regarding its relationship to the surrounding space (whether interior or exterior) are magnified and often become integrated into the structure of the artwork. Once sculpture expands into a larger conceptual framework, questions about the nature of materials, their manufacture, recyclability and relationship the natural world also arise. Prerequisite: ART 116, ART 132 or permission of the instructor; students will be charged a fee for materials in this course.                                                                                                                                  Maksymowicz

338. Experimental Media. (A)

This course introduces contemporary concepts and approaches towards making visual art in an experimental manner. Performance, conceptual art, time-based and digital media as well as a range of nontraditional material approaches will be explored. Prerequisite: ART 114, ART 116, or ART 132. Not open to first-year students.                                                                                          Maksymowicz

362. Narrative Video Workshop. (A)

An intensive workshop in visual storytelling. Students work in teams to develop, shoot and edit short narratives. This course requires an unusual amount of outside-of-class work. Pre- or corequisite: ART/TDF 162. Same as TDF 362.                                                                                                     Moss

363. Film Theory Seminar. (A)

Advanced seminar devoted to applying classical and contemporary film theory to particular problems and movies. Topic varies from term to term. Same as TDF 363.                                    Eitzen

364. Documentary Video Workshop. (A)

An intensive video production workshop, focusing on documentary as a means of community building and grass-roots activism. Students work in small groups to produce short documentaries, frequently with a community partner. The topic or focus of the course varies from term to term. Students may take this course twice. Pre- or corequisite: TDF 162. Same as TDF 364.                  Moss

462. Studio Capstone Course. (A)

Designed to guide advanced major and minor students concentrating in studio art through a critical examination of what they have accomplished in recent semesters and what their direction and goals are for the foreseeable future. Emphasis on production of substantial and challenging new work within a coherent direction and choice of media as well as research into the wider context of promoting and exhibiting work as a future professional. Prerequisite: permission of instructor. Offered every Spring.                                                                                                                           Staff

270 – 278, 370 – 378, 470 – 478. Studio Topics.

Special studio offerings, varying in subject. May be taken more than once for different subjects. Permission of instructor.

490. Independent Study in Studio Art. (A)

Independent study directed by the Studio Art staff. Prerequisite: Permission of the chairperson.



Alternative Processes.

Color and Design.

Art History Courses

ART 103 is normally open only to first-years and sophomores.
103. Introduction to Western Art. (A)

An introduction to major monuments, institutions and methodologies of art in the west, from the classical period to the present. While the course spans more than 2000 years, we will focus on approximately 25 artworks as in-depth case studies for our exploration, carefully reconstructing not only their conditions of creation and patronage, but also their social, political and cultural contexts. The course also introduces important art-historical methods and lays a foundation for future study in art history.                                                                                                                                        Aleci

105. Introduction to Asian Art. (A) (NW)

An introduction to the visual culture of East Asia (China and Japan), including a unit on Indian Buddhist art. The course examines a small number of topics with an aim to introduce basic art historical method through the close study of key monuments.                                                         Kent

115. Greek Art and Archaeology. (A)

This course provides an overview of the archaeological monuments of ancient Greece. Coursework will focus on methodological approaches to analyzing building techniques, trends, styles and the social, political and religious functions of art and monumental architecture in ancient Greek society. Topics covered in lecture and classroom discussion will include archaeological and art historical interpretations of sacred and public architecture, urbanism, three-dimensional sculpture, relief sculpture, painting, decorative arts. There is a required field trip. Same as CLS 115.                  Steiner

117. Roman Art and Archaeology. (A)

This course provides an overview of the archaeological monuments of ancient Rome. Coursework will focus on methodological approaches to analyzing building techniques, trends, styles and the social, political and religious functions of art and monumental architecture in ancient Roman society. Topics covered in lecture and classroom discussion will include archaeological and art historical interpretations of sacred and public architecture, urbanism, three-dimensional sculpture, relief sculpture, painting and decorative arts. There is a required field trip. Same as CLS 117.   Meyers

121. Introduction to Architecture I. (A)

A survey of architecture from the first human settlement in the Neolithic period to the dramatic spaces of Gothic cathedrals. We study the monuments of the Western tradition (Egypt, the Ancient Near East, Greece, Rome, Byzantium, Islam, the Middle Ages) and the great civilizations of Asia, Africa and America. In addition to a chronological narrative, we focus on individual case studies through which we build the foundations in understanding architectural form. We learn about materials, structure, geometry, aesthetics, ritual, theology, ideology, ecology, crafts, labor, abstraction and poetics. Ultimately, we learn how piles of stones have articulated humanity’s highest ideals, while we discover remnants of those ideals even in our own built environment. The story continues with Introduction to Architecture II, which focuses on the architecture of modernity between the Renaissance and the present. No prerequisites.                                                                          Kourelis

123. Introduction to Architecture II. (A)

A survey of architecture from the fifteenth century to the present. The course aims to give a thorough understanding of architectural discourse from the Renaissance to current movements. Special focus will be given to the effects of industrialization, urbanization and the dialectics of modernity. In addition to learning the parade of styles and architectural innovations, we will consider the art of building as the highest form of human inquiry within the public realm. Moreover, we will learn how to read the language of architecture, its parts, inherent qualities, contradictions and formal principles.                                                                                                                                      Kourelis

211. Islamic Art and Architecture. (A) (NW)

Islamic civilization is both global and regional. Spanning across three continents and fourteen centuries, it offers many interpretive challenges to western viewers, who have traditionally confined Islam to an outsider status. Growing out of the same cultural roots as medieval Europe, the art and architecture of Islam developed its own vocabulary, aesthetics and religious concerns. This chronological survey pays particular attention to the cross-cultural dimensions of Islam. We study the creative products of various caliphates but also contemplate the role that Islamic art and architecture has played in the construction of the West’s self-identity. No previous familiarity with Islamic civilization is required. Material culture will guide us through a historical and theoretical discovery beginning with Muhammad’s flight to Medina and ending with the Guggenheim’s flight to Abu Dhabi.                                                                                                                                      Kourelis

219. Medieval Art and Architecture. (A)

Survey of the arts and architecture of the Middle Ages from the beginnings of Christianity in the first century to the origins of the Renaissance in the fifteenth-century CE. Emphasis is given in the transcendent possibilities of aesthetic experience and the material construction of immaterial ideals. The class also traces the vestiges of medieval art in the architectural and museological expressions of modern America.                                                                                                                           Kourelis

227. Lancaster Architecture. (A)

Lancaster is a virtual laboratory of architectural history representing every period of American architecture. The seminar focuses on Lancaster’s most prominent buildings and investigates how architects translate abstractions (beauty, truth, morality) on the city’s physical fabric.           Kourelis

231. Art and Architecture of the Italian Renaissance. (A)

An examination of the changes in artistic production in Italy from ca. 1300 to the Sack of Rome in 1527. Special consideration is given to the interplay of cultural, economic and political forces created by urbanization and the emergence of city-states alongside feudal territories on the Italian peninsula.                                                                                                                                             Aleci

233. Art of the Renaissance in Northern Europe. (A)

Painting, sculpture and the graphic arts in the Netherlands and Germany during the 15th and 16th centuries. Emphasis is placed on the emergence of startling new forms of naturalism during the period and their relationship to religious beliefs, commerce and changing systems of patronage. Aleci

241. 18th- and 19th-Century Art. (A)

A survey of European art from 1750 to 1900, including such movements as Neoclassicism, Romanticism and Impressionism and such artists as Constable, Delacroix and Van Gogh. We will consider art, architecture and decorative arts in their historical and cultural contexts, examining such themes as the significance of landscape in an industrializing world, the cultural competition of World’s Fairs and the fashion for Orientalism. Prerequisite: No prerequisite, but ART 103 is strongly recommended.                                                                                                                                 Rauser

243. American Art. (A)

Historical and aesthetic consideration of architecture, painting, decorative arts and sculpture produced in the United States from colonial settlement through the 1913 Armory Show. Course themes include the social functions of works of art, the relationship of U.S. and European cultures, the role of art in building a national identity, the development of an infrastructure of art institutions and the contrast and connection between popular and elite art. Prerequisite: prior coursework in art history or American studies is recommended. Same as AMS 243.                                              Clapper

245. The History of Photography: The First 100 Years. (A)

An examination of the first 100 years of the medium from its invention to the documentary photography produced under the Farm Security Administration in the late 1930s. Emphasis will be placed on the relationship of photography to the arts of painting and literature, as well as on contextualizing photographs as documents of scientific investigation, ethnographic research, social history and personal expression. Prerequisite: Strongly recommended that students have had at least one art history course. Same as TDF 245.                                                                                          Kent

247. History of Fashionable Dress. (A)

A survey of the history of fashionable dress in Europe and America from the Renaissance to the present, examining men’s and women’s clothing in the context of artistic, historical, and cultural change in the modern period. This course will be divided into three units: Chronology; Object/Theory; and Interpretation. Students will select an interpretative context in which to situate their final project: cultural history, art history, or gender studies. Prerequisite: ART 103, ART 241, WGS 210, or permission of the instructor. Same as WGS 247.                                       Clapper, Rauser

249. History of Printmaking. (A)

Comprehensive historical consideration of the development and use of printmaking in the West from the 15th century to the present, emphasizing the social and aesthetic ramifications of the medium. The course introduces various processes, including woodcut, engraving, etching, aquatint, lithography and screen printing and considers such artists as Dürer, Rembrandt, Goya, Daumier and Warhol. Includes study of actual prints and studio demonstrations of techniques. Prerequisite: ART 103, 105, 114 or permission of the instructor.                                                                                Clapper

251. 20th-Century Art. (A)

A chronological survey of painting, sculpture and architecture in Europe and the United States from the late 19th century to the end of the 20th century with an emphasis on modernism. The course concentrates on major artistic movements, studying their visual features, conceptual basis, relation to artistic tradition and cultural context. Prerequisite: ART 103 or permission of the instructor.                                                                                                                                       Clapper

265. Contemporary Graphic Novel. (H)

In this course, we will develop an historical, aesthetic and formal understanding of contemporary graphic fiction. We will study the genre’s precedents in early comics, the interplay of the comics and their historical and cultural contexts, graphic fiction’s engagement with high art, and the formal elements of graphic texts. Readings will include comic strips and comic books from 1900 to the present, Maus I and II, Watchmen, Fun Home, Jimmy Corrigan, It’s a Bird, Black Hole, and other comics. Same as ENG 265.                                                                                                  Sherin Wright

267. Film History. (A)

An introduction to doing history with movies. Treats movies from the 1890s to the 1960s. Provides an overview of the evolution of popular movies and of influential artistic and rhetorical counter-currents, including national film movements, experimental cinema and documentary. Same as TDF 267.                                                                                                                                                      Moss

281. Sages and Mountains: History of Classical Chinese Painting. (A) (NW)

An introduction to the most important genres and themes in Chinese painting from roughly the mid-fourth to the end of the 14th century. Special attention will be given to the illustration of narrative and lyric poetry, the rise of monumental landscape painting, the ideal of reclusion, the painting theory of scholars, imperial patronage, Ch’an (Zen) Buddhist painting and the dynamic interaction between painting and calligraphy.                                                                                                      Kent

283. Survey of Japanese Art. (A) (NW)

This course examines traditions and themes in the visual culture of Japan. Its primary objective is to investigate the development of that culture with an emphasis on the manner in which it evolved in response to Chinese and Korean cultural traditions. It provides a basic introduction to art historical approaches. We will reflect on such questions as: What cultural factors shape iconographic and stylistic traditions? In what ways do artifacts and art reflect religious and philosophical belief and ideas?                                                                                                                                                    Kent

335. Reformation/Counter-Reformation. (A)

An examination of the political and doctrinal conflicts between the Roman Catholic Church and the “reformed” religions of northern Europe and their impact on art and architecture of Germany and the Netherlands during the 16th and 17th centuries. The following topics are emphasized: iconoclasm (the destruction of images), new forms of iconography and church architecture and the transformation of visual culture in emerging Protestant states. Prerequisite: Prior course in art history recommended. Same as RST 335.                                                                                          Aleci

343. London & Paris, 1850-1890. (A)

A study of the artistic cultures of the two capitals of imperial power in the 19th century, London and Paris, including the architecture and urban design of the two cities as well as the decorative arts, fashion, and fine art of the period. Prerequisite: ART 103, ART 241, ART 243, or permission of the instructor. Same as WGS 343.                                                                                          Clapper, Rauser

383. Landscape in Chinese Poetry, Painting and Gardens. (A) (NW)

An examination of the most enduring theme in both the literary and visual arts of China from the Han dynasty to the modern period. An introductory unit explores the philosophical foundations for later cultural development. The course then investigates the theme of landscape as it is expressed in literature (especially poetry) and painting, as well as how these two arts informed the making of gardens. Prerequisite: ART 105, ART 281 or permission of the instructor.                                     Kent

461. Methods in Art History. (A)

An advanced course intended primarily for junior and senior art history majors, structured around a single artist, genre or theme to gain an in-depth understanding of the various methods art historians use in their research and writing. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor. Offered every Fall.                                                                                                                                                       Staff

271–279, 371– 379, 471– 479. Art History Topics.

Special art history offerings, varying in subject. May be taken more than once for different subjects. Permission of instructor required.

491. Independent Study in Art History. (A)

Independent study directed by the Art History staff. Prerequisite: Permission of the chairperson.



House Archaeology.

Modern Art Post-1945.