History of Art
Art history is the study of all forms of art, architecture, and visual culture in their social and historical contexts. The History of Art major can serve either as a general program in the humanities or as the groundwork for more specialized training. Unless otherwise indicated, all courses in History of Art are open to all students in Yale College.
100-level courses are broad introductory surveys that address basic art history from a number of regional and thematic perspectives. Prospective majors are encouraged to take the surveys as early in their course of study as possible. Under certain circumstances, students who have taken the Advanced Placement test in art history may earn acceleration credit and, in consultation with the director of undergraduate studies, may place out of one required 100-level course.
Intermediate and advanced courses, numbered above 200, encompass more specialized surveys and themes in art history.
Requirements of the Major
Twelve course credits are required to complete the major: two introductory courses at the 100 level; four intermediate and advanced courses at the 200 and 300 levels; two seminars at the 400 level; a methods seminar, HSAR 401; two electives; and the senior essay, HSAR 499.
The major requires that the six courses numbered above 200, of which two must be seminars numbered above 400, must satisfy both a geographical and a chronological distributional requirement. The geographical requirement is divided into five areas: Africa and the Pacific; the Americas; Asia and the Near East; Europe; and transregional. The chronological requirement is similarly divided into five segments: earliest times to 800; 800–1500; 1500–1800; 1800 to the present; and transchronological. These six intermediate and advanced courses must be chosen from four different geographical areas and four different time periods; a single course can fulfill both a geographical and a chronological requirement.
Only classes originating in the History of Art department can fulfill the distributional requirements.
Junior seminar The methods seminar HSAR 401, Critical Approaches to Art History, is a wide-ranging introduction to the practices of the art historian and the history of the discipline. It is to be taken during the fall or spring term of the junior year.
Credit/D/Fail courses Courses taken Credit/D/Fail may not be counted toward the requirements of the major.
Roadmap See visual roadmap of the requirements.
The senior essay is a research paper written usually in one term in HSAR 499. Students choose their own topics, which may derive from research done in an earlier course. The essay is planned during the previous term in consultation with a qualified instructor and/or with the DUS. It is also possible to write a two-term senior essay; students wishing to do so must submit a petition to the DUS and the prospective adviser, normally by the first week after spring break of the junior year.
Electives may include courses from other departments if they have direct relevance to the major program of study. Approval of the DUS is required.
History of Art majors are urged to study foreign languages. Students considering graduate work should discuss with their advisers the appropriate language training for their field of interest.
Graduate courses Courses in the Graduate School are open to undergraduates with permission of the instructor and of the director of graduate studies. Course descriptions are available in the History of Art office in the Jeffrey Loria Center, 190 York Street.
REQUIREMENTS OF THE MAJOR
Number of courses 12 course credits
Distribution of courses 2 courses at 100 level; 6 courses numbered above 200, 2 of which must be 400-level seminars, fulfilling distributional requirements in 4 geographical and 4 chronological categories; 2 electives
Specific course required HSAR 401
Substitution permitted With DUS permission, 2 electives from related depts
Senior requirement Senior essay (HSAR 499)
FACULTY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF HISTORY OF ART
Professors Carol Armstrong, Tim Barringer, Edward Cooke, Jr., Diana Kleiner, Kobena Mercer, Amy Meyers (Adjunct), Mary Miller, Robert Nelson, Jock Reynolds (Adjunct), Nicola Suthor, Mimi Yiengpruksawan
Associate Professors Milette Gaifman, Jacqueline Jung, Kishwar Rizvi
Assistant Professors Marisa Bass, Craig Buckley, Erica James, Jennifer Raab
Lecturers Monica Bravo, Molly Brunson (Affiliated Faculty), Karen Foster, Ian McClure, Margaret Olin (Senior Research Scholar)
* HSAR 002a / AMST 007a, Furniture and American Life Edward Cooke
In-depth study and interpretation of American furniture from the past four centuries. Hands-on experience with furniture in the collection of the Yale University Art Gallery to explore such topics as materials, techniques, styles, use, and meaning. Enrollment limited to freshmen. Preregistration required; see under Freshman Seminar Program. WR, HU RP
HSAR 110b / ARCG 110b, Introduction to the History of Art: Global Decorative Arts Edward Cooke
Global history of the decorative arts from antiquity to the present. The materials and techniques of ceramics, textiles, metals, furniture, and glass. Consideration of forms, imagery, decoration, and workmanship. Themes linking geography and time, such as trade and exchange, simulation, identity, and symbolic value. HU
HSAR 115a, Introduction to the History of Art: Renaissance to the Present Tim Barringer
Painting, sculpture, and graphic arts, with some reference to architecture. Selected major works and artists treated in terms of form, function, and historical context. Introduction to visual analysis. Special attention to contact between Europe and its others. HU
HSAR 143b / RLST 188b / SAST 260b, Introduction to the History of Art: Buddhist Art and Architecture, 900 to 1600 Mimi Yiengpruksawan
Buddhist art and architecture of East Asia, Southeast Asia, and Tibet from the tenth century to the early modern period. Emphasis on cross-regional engagements including the impact of Islam. HU
HSAR 200a / ARCG 120a, Art and Architecture of Mesoamerica Mary Miller and Andrew Turner
Art and architecture in Mexico and Central America from the beginnings of urban settlement to the Spanish invasion. Examination of the Olmec, Maya, Teotihuacan, Zapotec, Mixtec, and Aztec cultures, with particular attention to meaning and cultural identity as expressed in monumental sculpture, hand-held objects, and the built environment. HU
HSAR 204b, Culture Clash in the Americas Barbara Mundy
The encounter of the Europe with the Americas changed the course of world history. How did peoples of the time make sense of the alternately traumatic and wonderful events that transpired across the 16th century—an era of brutal sieges, military slaughter, epidemic megadeaths, as well as extraordinary city building, public festivals, and enchanting artworks? Studying visual environments—art, architecture, and ephemeral spectacles—offers an important avenue into the history of the period, and provides us better purchase on the ways that changing identities, particularly as cultures come together, can be expressed and shaped through visual environment. HU
HSAR 211a, Modernism and Modernity in America Jennifer Raab
Twentieth-century American art and its cultural contexts. Abstraction in painting and photography; the Harlem Renaissance and collaboration between artists and writers; public space and the politics of mural painting; pop art and the appropriation of mass media imagery; the subversion or rejection of the white-walled museum. Close analysis of works from Yale University Art Gallery collections.
* HSAR 218La / MB&B 218La, Art and Biomolecular Recognition Laboratory Andrew Miranker
Students create and execute original projects in materials science using biotechnological tools. Introduction to the technical examination of art, with analysis of works from Yale University Art Gallery collections; the chemical basis of artist's materials; applied techniques in biomolecular evolution. This course will meet one day a week on West Campus in Room A222B and one day a week on main campus. Prerequisite: college-level chemistry and/or biology, or the equivalent in advanced placement. Enrollment limited; preference to students not majoring in the biological sciences. Preregistration required; interested students should e-mail the instructor prior to the first week of classes. SC RP
HSAR 219b / AMST 197b / ARCH 280b, American Architecture and Urbanism Elihu Rubin
Introduction to the study of buildings, architects, architectural styles, and urban landscapes, viewed in their economic, political, social, and cultural contexts, from precolonial times to the present. Topics include: public and private investment in the built environment; the history of housing in America; the organization of architectural practice; race, gender, ethnicity and the right to the city; the social and political nature of city building; and the transnational nature of American architecture. HU
HSAR 243a / ARCG 243a / CLCV 160a, Greek Art and Architecture Milette Gaifman
Monuments of Greek art and architecture from the late Geometric period (c. 760 B.C.) to Alexander the Great (c. 323 B.C.). Emphasis on social and historical contexts. HU
HSAR 250a / ARCG 170a / CLCV 170a, Roman Art: Empire, Identity, and Society Diana Kleiner
Masterpieces of Roman art from the Republic to Constantine studied in their historical and social contexts. The great Romans and the monuments they commissioned—portraits, triumphal arches, columns, and historical reliefs. The concept of empire and imperial identity, politics and portraiture, the making and unmaking of history through art, and the art of women, children, freedmen, and slaves. HU
HSAR 252b / ARCG 252b / CLCV 175b, Roman Architecture Diana Kleiner
The great buildings and engineering marvels of Rome and its empire. Study of city planning and individual monuments and their decoration, including mural painting. Emphasis on developments in Rome, Pompeii, and central Italy; survey of architecture in the provinces. HU
HSAR 265b / MMES 125b, Art of Byzantium, 850-1200 Robert Nelson
A survey of the art of Byzantium, a multinational empire that considered itself the direct successor to ancient Rome. Mosaics, churches, icons, enamels, silks, and carved ivories are placed in the context of the empire, the theology of religious images, and the history of devotional practices. HU
HSAR 271b, Medieval People and Their Art Jacqueline Jung
Survey of the art and architecture of medieval Europe through a series of especially influential men and women who commissioned, inspired, designed, and used it, from 4th century CE through the early fifteenth century. Each lecture focuses on a different person (from kings, queens, emperors; revolutionary monks and visionary nuns; ascetic saints and extravagant nobles), and demonstrates how their historically particular concerns, interests, and ambitions played themselves out in the visual culture they sponsored. Field trip to the Met Cloisters. HSAR 112 is helpful, but not required. HU
HSAR 276a, The Art of Christian Empires from Constantine to Charlemagne Robert Nelson
Late Antique art from the first beginnings of Christian art in the third century to Eastern and Western successors of the Roman Empire in the ninth century. HU
HSAR 297a, Rembrandt's Amsterdam Marisa Bass
Survey of the history of Amsterdam and the Dutch Golden Age through the lens of Rembrandt’s art. Topics include architecture and urban planning, landscape, history painting, portraiture, printmaking, and collecting culture. Included are visits to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the Yale University Art Museum, and to other collections on Yale's campus. HU
HSAR 314a, Eighteenth-Century European Art and Culture Carol Armstrong
Interdisciplinary study of the eighteenth century in Europe, with a focus on French painting during the period. Consideration of Italy, Britain, and Germany. The history of literature, theater, music, architecture and the decorative arts, science, archaeology, and philosophy. HU
HSAR 315b, Nineteenth-Century French Art Carol Armstrong
European art produced between the French Revolution and the beginning of the twentieth century. Focus on French painting, with additional discussion of Spanish, English, and German art. Some attention to developments in photography, printmaking, and sculpture. HU
HSAR 326a / ARCH 260a, History of Architecture I: Antiquity to the Baroque Daniel Sherer
The first half of a two-term sequence in the history of architecture. Architecture and urbanism from ancient Egypt through Greek and Roman classical traditions to the Enlightenment. The formal expression—organizational, structural, and ornamental—and social context of specific buildings and urban areas. Architecture as a form of social expression that builds on its own stylistic development, articulating a response to changes in history and culture. Emphasis on Western architecture, with selections from other parts of the world. HU
* HSAR 329b / AFAM 256b / FILM 399b, The Migrant Image Rizvana Bradley
Cinematic as well as post-cinematic representation of both the migrant and the immigrant body; authorship of the anticolonial struggle. Focus on migrants, refugees, and immigrants, and the emergence of the "global citizen" with respect to digital artistic practices. Prerequisites: FILM 150 or 160; or permission of instructor. HU
Th 1:30pm-3:20pm, W 7pm-9pm
HSAR 332b / ARCH 262b, Modern Architecture From the Enlightenment to the Millennium Craig Buckley and Eeva-Liisa Pelkonen
Introduction to the major buildings, projects, and debates of modern architecture and urbanism from its Enlightenment origins to the present. Consideration of design methods, representational tools, and construction techniques, which have shaped architectural practice, as well as modern architects’ complex relationship with time. Study of the built environment through relevant primary texts and secondary sources.
HSAR 333a, Modern Art 1890-1945 Max Rosenberg
A survey of art in Europe and the U.S. between 1890 and 1945. Topics include the contribution of individual artists and movements, the emergence of the avant-garde, the development of non-traditional media (e.g. collage, photomontage) and the broader social, political and historical contexts in which artists and groups existed and practiced. Primary texts offer a window into how artists and prominent intellectuals viewed the art of their day. Artworks further analyzed through methodological frameworks such as formalism, psychoanalysis, and semiotics. Recommended, but not required: HSAR 115 HU
HSAR 334b, Art Since 1945 Max Rosenberg
A survey of art since 1945. Focus on the emergence of the New York School and Abstract Expressionism as a domestic and international cultural export and the emergence of movements such as Pop Art and Minimalism and post-studio practices like conceptual art and institutional critique. Consideration also of international trends that extend beyond the traditional Western art centers of New York, London, and Paris. Recommended, but not required: HSAR 115 and HSAR 333. HU
* HSAR 335a / MMES 334a / WGSS 335a, Representing Gender in the Modern Middle East Alexandra Seggerman
Exploration of the construction of gender—feminine, masculine, and transgender—in art and visual culture of the Middle East from 1800 until the present. Focus on orientalism, postcolonialism, Islamic modernism, feminism, and the contemporary art market. Course includes frequent trips to local museums to examine original artworks. HU
HSAR 380b / AFAM 150b / WGSS 377b, The Body in Art since 1945 Kobena Mercer
The image of the body in art from 1945 to the present. Themes include identity and changing models of personhood; constructions of gender, race, and sexuality; embodied perception as it is mediated by technology and ecology; issues of medium and materials in painting, sculpture, performance, photography, film, and installation; and the corporeal dimensions of aesthetic experience. HU
* HSAR 399b / HIST 289Jb / HSHM 407b / HUMS 220b, Collecting Nature and Art in the Preindustrial World Paola Bertucci
A history of museums before the emergence of the modern museum. Focus on: cabinets of curiosities and Wunderkammern, anatomical theaters and apothecaries' shops, alchemical workshops and theaters of machines, collections of monsters, rarities, and exotic specimens. WR, HU
* HSAR 401a or b, Critical Approaches to Art History Staff
A wide-ranging introduction to the methods of the art historian and the history of the discipline. Themes include connoisseurship, iconography, formalism, and selected methodologies informed by contemporary theory. WR, HU
* HSAR 405b / CLCV 405b / HUMS 405b, Interpretations: The Parthenon Milette Gaifman and Emily Greenwood
Exploration of the Parthenon in history, including its religious, political, and cultural functions, as well as the history of encountering and interpreting the Parthenon across all media (archeology, architecture, art, film, literature, photography) from antiquity to hypermodernity. HU
* HSAR 412b, Material and Meaning in the Ancient Americas Barbara Mundy
This class examines the materials and technologies used to make art in the Ancient Americas to understand how worldviews are expressed in matter. It covers a wide sweep of indigenous empires (Maya, Aztec, Inca, Olmec, Chavin, Moche) but assumes no previous knowledge of the area. Students explore, hands-on, YUAG objects and learn to write about art for a broad public. HU
* HSAR 416a / ER&M 274a / LAST 274a, The Mexican Cultural Renaissance, 1920–1940 Monica Bravo
Study of Mexican modern artists including Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, and Rufino Tamayo and the influx of foreign artists drawn to Mexico after the Revolution of the 1910s. Consideration of the relationship of art to revolution and how history works to make meaning from the past. HU
* HSAR 424b / ARCG 424b / CLCV 230b, eClavdia: Women in Ancient Rome Diana Kleiner
The contributions of Roman women to one of the greatest cities—and one of the greatest empires—in world history. Lost stories of real-life Roman women recovered from public and residential buildings, portraits, paintings, and other works of Roman art and architecture. HU RP
* HSAR 426a, American Silver John Gordon
Objects made of silver as important markers of taste and social position in America from the beginning of colonial settlement to the present. The progression of styles, associated technologies, uses, political meanings, and cultural contexts of American silver. Use of objects from the American silver collection of the Yale University Art Gallery. HU
* HSAR 430a, Painting and Poetry in Islamic Art Kishwar Rizvi
Relations between the literary and visual arts in the medieval and early modern Islamic world. Focus on the arts of Iran, Turkey, and India. Study of materials from collections at the Yale University Art Gallery and the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library. Includes a field trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. HU
* HSAR 433b, Sculpture in Renaissance Florence Laurence Kanter
Survey of the accomplishments of Florentine sculptors of the fifteenth- and early-sixteenth-centuries, from Ghiberti and Donatello to Michelangelo, chronicling the development of the medium from its principle function as architectural embellishment to a fully self-sufficient art form with an independent market, prior to the articulation of a critical, polemical theory to support its ambitions. HU
* HSAR 440a, Issues in Nineteenth-Century Sculpture Christina Ferando
Survey of nineteenth-century European and American sculpture using concrete visual examples from Italy, France, England, and the United States to examine the formal structure of sculpture and contextualize the social and political circumstances of its production and reception. Focus on representation of the human figure and examination of issues of idealism and naturalism, as well controversies surrounding the use of color and gender/class signifiers. Use of collections in the Yale University Art Gallery and the Yale Center for British Art. Some familiarity with art history is helpful. HU
* HSAR 445b / HSHM 403, Art, Nature, and the Modern World Marisa Bass and Jennifer Raab
Exploration of the emergence of natural history, still-life painting, collectors’ cabinets, global expeditions of discovery, and technologies for scientific sight, looking at works by artists from Albrecht Dürer to Robert Smithson. Using images and artifacts from collections across campus, students study the unstable boundary between art and nature: a driving obsession for creative and cultural production from the Renaissance to the present. HU
* HSAR 451b, Outsider Art Mark Mitchell
This course explores the art made during the mid-twentieth century by American artists who lived and worked outside of the mainstream art world, predominantly by African American makers from rural areas whose impulse to create art emerged independent of conventional systems of education, exhibition, and patronage. During the course, students learn about the process of planning a museum exhibition and contribute to a future presentation at the Yale University Art Gallery. HU
* HSAR 452b, Landscape, Mobility, and Dislocation Jennifer Raab and Tim Barringer
The study of landscape, during the long nineteenth century, as a powerful and contested artistic medium that could express the ideologies of empire, philosophies of nature, the relationship between geography and vision, and constructions of self and other. Review of such issues in American landscape painting in both a transatlantic and transhemispheric context with specific attention to works in Yale collections. HU
* HSAR 453a, Textiles of Asia, 800–1800 C.E. Ruth Barnes
Survey of the great textile traditions of China, India, and the Islamic world from the ninth through eighteenth centuries C.E. The roles of central and southeast Asia in the transmission of styles and techniques. The cultural meaning, mobility, and cross-cultural significance of textiles in Asia. Extensive use of the Yale University Art Gallery's textile collections. HU
* HSAR 455a, Conceptualization of Space Craig Buckley
Introduction to the discipline of architecture through the elusive concept of space. This course traces key shifts in the conceptualization of space in aesthetics and architectural theory from the eighteenth century through to the present. HU
* HSAR 458b / ER&M 287b / EVST 287b, Visual Culture of the National Parks Monica Bravo
How the visual culture of the national parks creates, supports, and narrates a particular vision of U.S. national identity at distinct historical moments. Topics include the growth of railroads and the highway system; the beginning of the environmental movement; and the development and popularization of photography. Careful readings of primary and secondary accounts, close analysis of advertisements, collections, films, maps, paintings, photographs, posters, videos, and other artifacts of visual culture related to the national parks. HU
* HSAR 460a / ENGL 247a, Writing about Contemporary Figurative Art Margaret Spillane
A workshop on journalistic strategies for looking at and writing about contemporary paintings of the human figure. Practitioners and theorists of figurative painting; controversies, partisans, and opponents. Includes field trips to museums and galleries in New York City. WR, HU
* HSAR 461b / MMES 461b, Collecting Kishwar Rizvi
Cultural, political, and art historical implications of collecting, a practice undertaken by individuals and institutions. The role of collecting in European and Middle Eastern contexts from the early modern period to the present, from imperial collections to national museums. Theoretical and historical analysis is coupled with visits to collections and museums on Yale's campus. WR, HU
* HSAR 463a / ER&M 378a, Material History of Twentieth-Century Photography Monica Bravo and Paul Messier
Study of the materials of 20th-century photography, from black and white and color to today’s digital and ‘dematerialized’ photographs to better understand that the material history of a photograph plays a critical role in the interpretation of context, intention, authenticity, and preservation. HU
* HSAR 464b / ER&M 289b / LAST 289b / PORT 391, Twentieth-Century Latin American Art Monica Bravo
Survey of some of the major artistic figures, movements, and theorists associated with twentieth-century Latin American art. The historical scope begins with academic art and concludes with what might be more appropriately deemed the global contemporary. Consideration of whether there is such a thing as Latin American art. HU
* HSAR 466a, The Technical Examination of Art Ian McClure
Introduction to methods used in the technical examination of works of art, including critical assessment of the information such methods provide. What technical examination can reveal about the materials and techniques used in a particular work's creation and about its subsequent history.
* HSAR 468b / AFAM 260b / AFST 188b / ER&M 278b, The Black Atlantic Visual Tradition Robert Thompson
Introduction to key African civilizations and to important recent work in the art of Africa and the Afro-Atlantic world. Study of the art and culture of major civilizations, e.g. the Yoruba, and the continuity of their art in the New World. In-depth discussions, based on readings and weekly response papers. Study trips to Yale University Art Gallery’s newly displayed collections of African Art. HU
* HSAR 475b, Chinese Painting in the Seventeenth Century David Sensabaugh
Chinese painting from the masters of the late Ming period to the individualist and orthodox masters of the early Qing dynasty. Issues of art based on either art or nature. Attention to paintings from the period in the Yale University Art Gallery collection. HU
* HSAR 485b, Global Gothic Robert Nelson
Introduction to nineteenth-century, Gothic Revival architecture from traditional points of origin in England and France to its prime zone of influence, the United States, with special attention to college campuses, Yale's campus included. Further exploration of the global impact across Europe, North and South America, Africa, Asia, especially Southeast Asia, Australia, and New Zealand.
* HSAR 493b / AMST 484b / WGSS 462b, Visual Kinship, Families, and Photography Laura Wexler
Exploration of the history and practice of family photography from an interdisciplinary perspective. Study of family photographs from the analog to the digital era, from snapshots to portraits, and from instrumental images to art exhibitions. Particular attention to the ways in which family photographs have helped establish gendered and racial hierarchies and examination of recent ways of reconceiving these images. HU
* HSAR 496a, Surface Max Rosenberg
Exploration of the symbolic, formal, and discursive qualities and characteristics of surface in modern and contemporary art, in particular Post-painterly abstraction, Structural Film, Photorealism, and body and performance art. Study of conceptual units (e.g. flatness, horizontality) and readings in modern and contemporary art history including Greenberg, Steinberg, and Krauss, as well as relevant texts from psychoanalytic and poststructural theory. HU
* HSAR 498a or b, Independent Tutorial Marisa Bass
For students who wish to pursue a subject in the history of art not otherwise covered by departmental offerings. May be used for research or directed reading under faculty supervision. A term paper or its equivalent and regular meetings with the adviser are required. To apply for admission, a student should present a prospectus and a bibliography, signed by the adviser, to the director of undergraduate studies. Enrollment limited to History of Art majors.
* HSAR 499a or b, The Senior Essay Marisa Bass
Preparation of a research paper about thirty pages long under the direction of a qualified instructor. The essay is written in either the fall or the spring term of the senior year, though preferably in the fall term. Students write on subjects of their own choice. During the term before the essay is written, students plan the project in consultation with a qualified instructor or with the director of undergraduate studies. No student is permitted to enroll in HSAR 499 without submitting a project statement, with the formal title of the essay and a brief description of the subject to be treated. The statement must be signed by the student's adviser and presented to the director of undergraduate studies before the student's schedule can be approved. The student must submit a suitable project outline and bibliography to the adviser and the director of undergraduate studies early in the term. The outline should indicate the focus and scope of the essay topic, as well as the proposed research methodology; the bibliography should be annotated. Students must also complete a library research colloquium for the senior essay. For essays submitted in the fall term, the deadline for the outline is Friday, September 15 2017; for those in the spring term, Friday, January 26 2018. Senior essays written in the fall term are due on Friday, December 8, 2017; those in the spring term on Friday, April 27, 2018. Two copies must be submitted to the director of undergraduate studies. Failure to comply with any deadline will be penalized by a lower final grade. No late essay will be considered for a prize in the department. Permission may be given to write a two-term essay after consultation with an adviser and the director of undergraduate studies. Only those who have begun to do advanced work in a given area and whose project is considered to be of exceptional promise are eligible. The requirements for the one-term senior essay apply to the two-term essay, except that the essay should be from fifty to sixty pages in length.