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Art & Art History

Catalog

200. Introduction to History of Western Art (Art History)
A careful discussion and analysis of a selection of significant topics in the history of Western art from the earliest times to our own century. Emphasis is placed on the methods and approaches of the art historian. The term paper is written on a museum object. Required of all majors.

231. Creative Process (Studio Art)
In this course students learn how to develop an idea over time. Students are expected to focus on one concept and develop it more fully each week as the semester progresses. All media and art forms are acceptable, including the written word, video, performance, painting, photography, sound, construction, etc. Though centered upon the student and their ability to be objective about their work, it also demands they help others to see the values, problems, and potentials in their work. Thoughtful class participation in the form of discussion during weekly presentations and critiques is expected from each student. Prerequisite: 1 course of Studio Art, Music, Drama or Creative Writing or permission of the instructor.

241. Environmental/Public Art (Studio Art)
This course introduces students to the basic concepts of environmental and public art through team projects in the field and studio. Students concentrate on the development of one artwork created at Stepne Manor, a 77-acre farm owned by Washington College and adjacent to the College’s waterfront campus. The curriculum centers on the production of a site specific work created by students working in two-person teams. Students regularly engage in class discussions about the projects being pursued by its participants, readings, screenings, and research papers directed toward the work of specific artists. Prerequisite: 1 course of Studio Art or permission of the instructor. 

251. Visual & Critical Thinking (Studio Art)
This course is an introduction to a rigorous investigation of conceptual, technical, and critical skills common to diverse areas of creative production. The curriculum is interdisciplinary and designed to emphasize the development of studio fundamentals, through technical practice and conceptual thinking. Basic visual design principles are covered, while contemporary and historical examples are presented through lectures and applied to studio problems.

261. Intermedia_D (Studio Art)
This course explores the theories and concepts of drawing from a contemporary perspective. The curriculum, while focusing on basic skills and concepts of drawing, is interdisciplinary in nature. In addition to drawing fundamentals, the course will place emphasis on connecting conceptual thinking to one’s broader creative practice. Contemporary and historical examples of artists working within such a creative practice are covered through lectures and screenings. 

271. Intermedia_P (Studio Art)
This course will focus on the fundamentals of painting in form, concept and technique. The curriculum introduces the basic skills and theories as they pertain to a contemporary painting practice, while exploring interdisciplinary applications of the medium. Basic materials and processes are covered in facilitating students to move from concept to completed work, so as to form an understanding as to how painting positions itself within the world. Relevant examples of artists and their works are be provided in the form of lectures, screenings, and readings. 

281. Intermedia_S (Studio Art)
This course introduces the methodologies and concerns consistent with the creation of sculptural works of art. Drawing upon the basic skills, processes, and concepts of working with three dimensional forms, the curriculum examines the expansiveness of sculpture’s inherently interdisciplinary definition. In addition to sculpture fundamentals the course engages the critical and theoretical concepts as they pertain to the relationships between meaning and making. Artists whose works exemplify historical and contemporary approaches are examined through lectures, screenings, and readings. 

291. Intermedia_VNM (Studio Art)
This course introduces students to an interdisciplinary grounding in the techniques, concepts, and empirical experiences they will need to engage video and new media technologies in the making of art. Students develop the necessary conceptual and technical grounding to engage the creation of imagery through digital means by studying various video and computer imaging strategies. Contemporary artists working in the mediums of video and new media are examined through lectures and screenings. 

311. Italian Renaissance Art (Art History)
After discussion of the special historic-cultural conditions that made the Italian city-state possible, the greatest painters and sculptors of Florence and Venice will be examined. Giotto, Michelangelo, Leonardo, Donatello, Botticelli, and Bellini are some of the major figures of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries to be included. Field trip to the National Gallery of Art. Prerequisite: Art 200 or permission of instructor.

315. Northern Renaissance Art (Art History)
Painting and the graphic arts in Germany and the Low Countries during the fifteenth through the seventeenth centuries, with special emphasis on Van Eyck, Dürer, Bosch, Brueghel, Rubens, Rembrandt, and Vermeer. Field trip to the National Gallery of Art. Prerequisite: Art 200 or permission of instructor.

316. European Art from the Baroque to Neoclassicism (Art History)
Covers the seventeenth-century grand manner in Italy, France, Spain, and England, followed by the rococo and finally the austere style of revolution in the late eighteenth century. Caravaggio, Bernini, Poussin, Velazquez, and Gainsborough are a few of the principal artists. Prerequisite: Art 200 or permission of instructor.

318. Nineteenth-Century European Art (Art History)
Starting with Romanticism, the course gives intensive coverage to the major nineteenth-century movements in European art. The art of the period is seen in its cultural context with special reference to literature and to social conditions. Field trip to the National Gallery of Art. Prerequisite: Art 200 or permission of instructor.

320. Twentieth-Century Art (Art History)
This course discusses major artistic developments and key figures in twentieth-century art from Matisse and Picasso into the twenty-first century. The emergence of abstraction, the historical position of the avant-garde, and theories of visual modernism are among the themes discussed in the course. Field trips to Philadelphia and Washington museums. Prerequisite: Art 200 or permission of instructor.

322. The Arts in America (Art History)
Although the course sketches in the art of the early colonies, its main body begins at the period of the American Revolution. Lectures and discussion explore the changing significance of the visual arts in American life and culture through the 1930s. Field trips to museums in Washington. Prerequisite: Art 200 or permission of instructor. This course is cross-listed under American Studies.

324. Photography’s First Century (Art History)
This course examines historical developments in photography from the 1830s to the 1920s, from the medium’s inception through early modernism. Lectures and discussion will consider topics at issue in debates about photography’s place in the history of art, such as changing attitudes toward photography’s dual role as aesthetic creation and as documentary artifact. Prerequisite: Art 200 or permission of instructor.

327. Washington Center Internship
A full-time, semester-long internship in Washington, DC, with a federal government agency, museum or gallery, or the like. The student must develop a substantial portfolio as part of their internship experience. Prerequisite: ART 200, a cumulative GPA of 2.8, permission of an instructor, and successful application to The Washington Center for internships and Academic Seminars. This course is normally open only to juniors and seniors. 12 credits. The internship package of Art 327, 328, and 329 will yield 16 credits towards graduation and 8 credits toward the art major or minor.

328. Washington Center Seminar
Washington Center Interns participate in an evening seminar selected from a variety of topics offered during the semester concerned. Students engage in class discussion, and may also be required to research seminar topics, prepare written assignments, and take examinations. Required of and limited to students enrolled in Art 327. Three credits.

329. Washington Center Forum
Washington Center Interns participate in lectures, site visits, small group discussions, briefings, and other required events, designed to help them understand the connection between their academic and professional goals and the special educational opportunities available through living and working in Washington, DC. Evaluations of these experiences are included in the student portfolio. Required of and limited to students enrolled in Art 327. 1 credit.

330. Video Intensive (Studio Art)
This course examines video as a medium for artistic expression and inquiry. The curriculum engages students in an exploration of the video-making process and develops technical skills associated with relevant video equipment. Methodologies for the use of video as an art-making tool are explored, while contemporary and historical examples of works within the medium are presented through screenings. Prerequisite: Intermedia_VNM or permission of the instructor. 

335. New Media Intensive (Studio Art)
This is an advanced course in the study of the intersection between art and technology. A broad interdisciplinary investigation of the skills, concepts, and applications that are necessary to develop a creative practice versed in the technologies of our time are pursued. Particular emphasis is placed on the conceptual implications of choosing such a practice, and how those implications inform each student’s work. Current practitioners within the discipline are examined through lectures, readings, and screenings. Prerequisite: Intermedia_VNM or permission of the instructor.

340. Photography Intensive (Studio Art)
This course examines the production and pertinent concepts of photographic based images. The curriculum is primarily centered on camera based work, while allowing for the exploration of other methods of photographic image creation such as scanners, cell phones, and copiers. Technical instruction and principles of composition are employed to form an understanding as to how the construction and manipulation of photographic images implicate form and meaning. Contemporary photographic based image-makers are examined through screenings, readings, and lectures. Prerequisite: Visual & Critical Thinking or permission of the instructor. 

345. Photography (Studio Art)
This course serves as an introduction to digital photography, with emphasis on basic camera skills and understanding photographic imagery and processes. Prerequisite: Visual & Critical Thinking.

350. Advanced Studio_D  (Studio Art)
This course is an interdisciplinary exploration of advanced studio techniques and conceptualization originating from a drawing perspective. Students engage projects thematically and pursue their own interests in diverse mediums and hybrid forms. Particular emphasis is placed on each student’s research and development practices as it relates to the conceptualization and execution of each of their works. Contemporary and historic examples of artists working within the designated themes of the course are introduced through screenings, lectures, readings, and independent study. Prerequisite: Visual & Critical Thinking + 2 Intermedia or permission of the instructor. 

360. Advanced Studio_P (Studio Art)
This course is an interdisciplinary exploration of advanced studio techniques and conceptualization originating from a painting perspective. Students engage projects thematically and pursue their own interests in diverse mediums and hybrid forms. Particular emphasis is placed on each student’s research and development practices as it relates to the conceptualization and execution of each of their works. Contemporary and historic examples of artists working within the designated themes of the course are introduced through screenings, lectures, readings, and independent study. Prerequisite: Visual & Critical Thinking +2 Intermedia or permission of the instructor.

370. Advanced Studio_S (Studio Art)
This course is an interdisciplinary exploration of advanced studio techniques and conceptualization originating from a sculptural perspective. Students engage projects thematically and pursue their own interests in diverse mediums and hybrid forms. Particular emphasis is placed on each student’s research and development practices as it relates to the conceptualization and execution of each of their works. Contemporary and historic examples of artists working within the designated themes of the course are introduced through screenings, lectures, readings, and independent study. Prerequisite: Visual & Critical Thinking +2 Intermedia or permission of the instructor. 

392. Contemporary Practices: Junior Seminar (Studio Art)
Required of all Studio Art majors in Spring of their Junior year, this interdisciplinary course provides a practical and theoretical framework for students to independently develop their creative practice through research and studio work. Students begin to define their individual practice by writing an artist statement and developing a professional portfolio. The course is designed to prepare each student for the rigors of the Studio Art Senior Seminar, and culminates in a formal proposal for the Senior Capstone Experience project to be produced in the student’s senior year. Studio  Prerequisite: Advanced Studio or permission of the instructor. 

425. Women Artists and Feminist Art History (Honors) (Art History)
In recent decades, growing scholarly attention has been brought to the previously neglected productions of female artists. This seminar will examine the variety of approaches that feminist art historians have taken in studying art made by women in the modern period. We will be concerned both with the historical analysis of the visual productions of particular female artists and with an exploration of how feminist theories, practices, and political commitments have affected, and can continue to change, the discursive and institutional construction of the history—or histories—of art and visual culture. Prerequisite: Art 200 or permission of instructor. This course is cross-listed under Gender Studies.

440. Rembrandt (Honors) (Art History)
This course, which has as its subject the life and art of Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-69), not only opens a window onto the culture of the Netherlands in the seventeenth century, but also serves as an introduction to the methodology of art history—from the scientific examination of paintings, to theories of interpretation—for few artists raise so many fundamental issues as to what it is we do as art historians—indeed resist traditional methods of interpretation—as does Rembrandt. The format of the course is that of a seminar, with students giving presentations, aimed at honing their ability, not only to tackle tough art historical questions, but also to articulate their ideas, in visual, oral, and written forms.

194, 294, 394, 494. Special Topics
The intensive study of some selected art form, movement, or other specialized subject in studio art or art history.

190, 290, 390, 490. Internships

195, 295, 395, 495. On-campus Research

196, 296, 396, 496. Off-campus Research

197, 297, 397, 497. Independent Study

490. Museum Internship
This internship is for seniors with a strong academic record in the Department. In recent years, art majors have held internships at such places as the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore; the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, North Adams, Massachusetts; the Kunstmuseum, Bonn; and the British Museum, London. Students can also intern for academic credit at the College’s Kohl Art Gallery.

491. Studio Art Senior Seminar (Studio Art)
Required in the Fall for all graduating seniors preparing for the Studio Senior Capstone Experience, this course instigates a concept-driven and research-supported project. Guided by a faculty advisor and other studio art faculty, the seminar is an intensive exploratory period of studio work and research with feedback from peers. The curriculum prepares each student for the culminating Spring Thesis exhibition by guiding them through the process of developing a coherent body of work, including the ideas and influences driving that work, and the practical issues that need be navigated in order to fully realize each student’s vision. Each student’s performance in this non-credit bearing course will influence their grade earned at the completion of the Studio Senior Capstone Experience. Prerequisite: Contemporary Practices: Junior Seminar. 

495. Junior Seminar: Methods of Art History (Art History)
Required of all art history majors in the department, this seminar, preferably taken in the spring semester of the junior year or the fall semester of the senior year, will provide a more theoretical framework for art and its history than is possible in 300-level courses, while also modeling the best professional practices, including such practical exercises as writing a résumé and doing curatorial work.

SCE. Art History Senior Capstone Experience (Art History)
Meant to be the summation of all one has done in the Department, the SCE involves some combination of comprehensive examinations and an art history thesis or curatorial project. The SCE will be accorded Pass, Fail, or Honors, and, upon successfully completing it, the student will receive four credits.

SCE. Studio Senior Capstone Experience (Studio Art)
Required of all graduating seniors within the studio concentration, this course is defined by each student’s engagement with a project of active learning and integration of materials and concepts within the major. A continuation of the work initiated in the Studio Art Senior Seminar, students are guided by a faculty advisor and other studio art faculty. The Capstone is an intensive period of advanced independent studio practice with feedback from peers. Students employ their course of study from within the department to think critically, conduct research, and independently produce a substantial body of work. The culmination of this course is the Spring Thesis exhibition in the Kohl Gallery, conceived and produced by the course’s participants, and the associated supporting activities. Prerequisite: Studio Art Senior Seminar.

Courses Offered In The Washington College Abroad Programs
Art courses are presently offered through the following institutions: Monash University, Melbourne, Australia (art); University of Costa Rico, San José (art), Costa Rica; University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark (art); Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Quito, Ecuador (art); Royal Holloway, University of London, London, UK (media arts); University of Hull, Hull, UK (art history); Artois University, Arras, France (art history); University of Provence, Aix-Marseille I, Marseille, France, (art); University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany (art); University College, Cork, Cork, Ireland (art history); Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan, Italy; University of Siena, Siena, Italy; Leiden University, Leiden, the Netherlands (art history); Pontificia Universidad, Católica del Perú, Lima, Peru (fine arts); St. Andrews University, St. Andrews, Scotland (art history); Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa (art); Semester in Granada, Spain (art); and University of Nebrija, Madrid, Spain (art).

The following is a selection of commonly taken courses:

150. Methods and Monuments
Painting, sculpture, and architecture studied as artistic and cultural expressions of their times. Emphasis is on selected major artists, monuments, and methods of analysis. Offered in the London program only, both fall and spring semesters. Three credits.

308. Modern Architecture: 1750-1900
Aesthetic and technological developments of architecture, interior design, and the planned environment: Renaissance tradition to Art Nouveau and the rise of the skyscraper. Offered in the London program only, both fall and spring semesters. Three credits.

312. Art in Northern Italy from the Late Gothic through the Renaissance
The course casts light on a very important period of Italian Art during which the Northern Italian cities, with their enlightened rulers, gave birth and played host to some of the most important European artists. Its goal is to examine the most relevant topics of artistic thought and practice in order to understand the peculiarities of each cultural center and of the leading artists operating there. Offered in the Milan program only. Three credits.

314. Art in Northern Italy from the Baroque through the Present
The course analyses a very fruitful segment in the history of Italian Art, focusing, in particular, on artists and artistic movements that developed in the northern regions. The most important topics in artistic thought and practice will be examined in order to understand the peculiarities of each period. A detailed examination of the most significant works of painters, sculptors, and architects will seek to underline the differences in their artistic “languages” and will strengthen the students ability to “read” works of art independently. Offered in the Milan program only. Three credits.

319. French Art of the 19th Century
This course surveys developments in art in France during the nineteenth century. The periods and movements studied are Romanticism, Realism, Impressionism, Neo-Impressionism, and Symbolism. The course includes visits to Paris museums and galleries. Offered in the Paris program only, in the fall semester. (In English.) Three credits.

326. Art and Architecture of Germany
This course presents the history of art and architecture in Germany from the Middle Ages to the present. The course includes several field trips to sites of artistic and architectural interest. Offered in the Bayreuth, Germany, program only, in the spring semester. (In German.) Prerequisite: German 202 or equivalent. Three credits.

330. Art and Architecture of Spain
This course is a history of art and architecture in Spain, beginning with Hispanic-Moorish art during the Middle Ages and ending with the contemporary period. Included are the Renaissance, Mannerism, the Baroque, Rococo, and the modern period. The course includes visits to major artistic and architectural sites in the city of Granada. Offered in the Granada, Spain, program only, in the fall semester. (In Spanish.) Prerequisite: Hispanic Studies 202 or equivalent. Three credits.

335. Development of Space and Light in Florentine Painting, 1300-1550
This course will look at Florentine painting between 1300 and 1550 with special emphasis on the development of the illusion of space and light on a two-dimensional surface. The course will explore the sources of these forms (Greco-Roman, Early Christian, and Medieval), as well as look at the works of the major painters of the period (Giotto, Masaccio, Michelangelo). Field trips to view the art of the period are included. Offered in the Siena, Italy, program only, in the spring semester. (In English.) Three credits.