AS.010.101.  Introduction to Art History I.  4 Credits.  

A survey of painting, sculpture, and architecture from Egyptian, Greek, Roman, and medieval culture.

Area: Humanities

Writing Intensive

AS.010.102.  Introduction to Art History II.  4 Credits.  

This introductory course surveys major developments in the arts primarily in Europe and North America from the fourteenth century to the present day, looking in particular at painting, sculpture, printmaking, photography, and, starting in the twentieth century, new media. Topics to be considered include the landmark innovations of Renaissance artists and theorists; the drama of Baroque art; the impact of the Enlightenment on eighteenth-century art; artistic responses to the advent of modernity; and the emergence of abstraction, the avant-garde, and a range of new mediums during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Throughout the semester, we will explore how the artistic practices and theories under consideration relate to their specific historical, intellectual, social, political, and geographical contexts, and we will also consider the roles that works of art and artists played in shaping many of those very same contexts.

Area: Humanities

Writing Intensive

AS.010.103.  Introduction to the Art of Asia.  3 Credits.  

A survey of the art and architecture of Asia, from the ancient world to the present and including the Indian subcontinent, China, Japan, Korea, and Southeast Asia.

Area: Humanities

AS.010.104.  Freshman Seminar: Investigating Gender and Sexuality in Mesopotamian Art.  3 Credits.  

Specifics of gender and sexuality are not universal norms, but rather are the product of particular cultural formations. Works of art are especially critical in shaping and conveying these particularities. This seminar examines how artistic products expressed and constructed gender identities and notions of sexuality in ancient Mesopotamia from the 4th millennium to the Hellenistic period. As a group, we will explore a variety of case studies, through which students will be introduced to ancient Mesopotamian culture and will develop skills in specific research skills such as critical reading, analysis, and interpretation.

Area: Humanities

AS.010.110.  Art of the Islamic World.  4 Credits.  

This course is an introduction to the art of the Islamic world, covering a geography that stretches from Spain to India and a chronology that extends from the seventh century into our own time. Within this rich and varied continuum, we will look at a range of art forms—including architecture, painting, sculpture, ceramics, and calligraphy—in relation to such themes as patronage, production, function, and audience. A number of the artworks will be viewed firsthand in local collections. We will also explore the intersection of Islamic art with today’s political realities.

Area: Humanities

AS.010.112.  Freshman Seminar - Lower, Later, Farther Away: Roman Art Beyond the Center.  3 Credits.  

This course will introduce students to the art of the Roman world through art created by and for the Roman lower classes, art created in late antiquity, and art created in the far provinces of the empire. These topics represent a dramatic shift away from the traditional “center” of the study of Roman art (art created for the wealthy and politically privileged citizens of central Italy between the first century BCE and the first century CE), and are leading to new understanding of marginalized groups in the Roman world.

Area: Humanities

Writing Intensive

AS.010.150.  Freshman Seminar: Rembrandt.  3 Credits.  

Perhaps no artist has so captivated the art historical imagination as Rembrandt. This course will provide students with an in-depth look at the artist’s life and work, but it will also use Rembrandt as a lens to examine critical themes/topics of artistic production in northern Europe over the course of the seventeenth century. These topics will include: artistic training, studio practice, collecting and the art market, (self-)portraiture, authorship and artistic biography, genre, printmaking, technical mastery and meta-pictoriality, and global expansion/artistic exchange with non-European cultures.

AS.010.203.  Abstraction.  3 Credits.  

This course will examine the elaboration and dissemination of major iterations of “abstract” art at key junctures throughout the twentieth century, with an emphasis primarily on developments in Europe and the Americas. Why abstraction? What were the formal, social, and philosophical stakes of divergent models and paradigms of abstract practice? And what difference do they make in the history and theory of artistic modernism? Class visits to the BMA and Special Collections.

Area: Humanities

AS.010.204.  Italian Art in the Middle Ages.  3 Credits.  

This course explores key monuments of medieval art and architecture in Italy from c. 400 until 1350. We will concentrate on historical, functional, and aesthetical aspects that lead to the creation of single monuments and art works. Emphasis is given to the analysis of “sacred space” by means of architecture, painted, and sculptural decoration, as well as ritual performances. Another focus is laid on the emergence on the political dimension of art for the creation of civic identity as well as in the context of the late medieval courts. We raise questions about the importance of materiality and science for the creation of medieval art works.

Area: Humanities

Writing Intensive

AS.010.205.  Art of Mesoamerica.  3 Credits.  

This course provides a basis for the study of ancient Americas art and architecture and a broad exposure to the issues relevant to its study. Select visual arts within the primary regions of Mexico and Central America will be emphasized. In conjunction with the Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) and the JHU Archaeological Museum (JHAM), students will participate in on-site study of the collections. Students who have taken AS.010.105 are not eligible to register. This course duplicates AS.010.105.

Area: Humanities

AS.010.208.  Leonardo da Vinci: The Renaissance Workshop in the Formation of Scientific Knowledge.  3 Credits.  

How does a notary’s son trained as a painter come to claim expertise in the construction of machines and acquire knowledge of the principles of optics, human anatomy, the flight of birds, the dynamics of air and water? The course will focus critically on the myth of Leonardo’s singularity and explore his achievements with regard to the artisanal culture of his time, as well as the problems of authority in the recognition of artisanal knowledge as scientific discovery.

Area: Humanities

AS.010.209.  Art since 1945.  3 Credits.  

Critical survey of developments in the visual arts primarily in Europe and the United States from 1945 to the present, ranging from painting and sculpture to performance, photography, and video, with emphasis on the critical concepts and the aesthetic, social, and historical implications of new forms of artistic production and dissemination. Visits to the BMA and Special Collections.

Area: Humanities

AS.010.210.  The Art of Colonial Latin America.  3 Credits.  

This course offers a broad introduction to the arts of colonial Latin America: students will become familiar with the artistic production in the areas of Latin America invaded and controlled by the Spanish Crown from the time of the conquests in the sixteenth century to independence movements in the early nineteenth century. We will explore a wide range of materials from maps to featherwork, paintings to urban grids, cathedrals to mummy bundles. The course is thematically organized, such that students will not only become familiar with the art of Latin America, but will come to understand critical topics related to the study of early modern colonialism: conquest, race, missionary control, literacy, extraction, and indigenous and imperial systems of governance.

Area: Humanities

AS.010.212.  Mirror Mirror: Reflections in Art from Van Eyck to Velázquez.  3 Credits.  

Explores the different ways Early Modern painters and printmakers incorporated mirrors and optical reflections into their works for the sake of illusion and metaphor, deception and desire, reflexivity and truth-telling. Connecting sense perception and ethical knowledge, embedded mirror images often made claims about the nature of the self, the powers of art, and the superiority of painting in particular.

Area: Humanities

AS.010.214.  Ancient Americas in Motion.  3 Credits.  

This course critically examines the visual arts and their makers as portrayed in documentary, historical, and Hollywood films.

Area: Humanities

AS.010.218.  Modern Art, 1880-1950.  3 Credits.  

Critical survey of developments in the visual arts primarily in Europe and the United States from 1880 to 1950 with emphasis on the critical concepts and the aesthetic, social, and historical implications of new forms of artistic production and dissemination. Visits to the BMA and SpecialCollections.

Area: Humanities

AS.010.222.  Freshman Seminar: Representing Roman Power: Sculpture as Political Rhetoric from Republic to Empire.  3 Credits.  

Rome created one of the world’s most powerful empires that dominated the Mediterranean from the 3rd century BCE into the 4th century CE. As Rome expanded its borders, its cities saw a proliferation of sculptural monuments that produced a visual political rhetoric and expressed imperial ideologies. This class examines the close relationship between Roman sculpture and politics from the Republic through the Severan principate. Through close visual analysis of the ancient materials and critical readings of scholarship, this course will examine the role of sculpture in the formation, reproduction, and attenuation of imperial rule.

Area: Humanities

AS.010.226.  Art, Medicine, and the Body: From Leonardo to Body Worlds.  3 Credits.  

This course explores five centuries of fruitful collaboration between physicians and artists -- those who observe the body in order to heal it, and those who do the same in order to picture it. From medieval medical manuscripts, where the body is portrayed as a microcosm of the created world, to the anatomical forays of Renaissance artists such as Leonardo da Vinci and Albrecht Dürer; from gruesome depictions of bodily pain, disease, and corruption in the art of Matthias Grünewald to the eloquent exposure of the body's interior by anatomists such as Andreas Vesalius; from the spectacularization of the body in Enlightenment science to the rubberized cadavers of Gunther von Hagen's Body Worlds project -- these and other topics will bring into focus the complex intersections between the history of medicine and the history of art.

Area: Humanities

AS.010.228.  Prophets, Kings, and Demons: The Art of Islamic Book Painting.  3 Credits.  

Despite the widespread misconception that Islam forbids images of humans and animals, figural representation played a rich and varied role in the historical arts of the Muslim world, particularly in the form of book painting. This course explores the production and consumption of illustrated Islamic manuscripts and albums, situating the paintings in their wider artistic and social contexts. Extending in scope from the Near East to India and from the medieval to the early modern period, the course takes a thematic approach that will introduce some of the key genres of the tradition — including chronicles, fables, and religious works — and investigate broader questions of style, meaning, viewership, text-image relationships, and cross-cultural borrowing. Students will have the opportunity to look at examples of this art firsthand in local collections

Area: Humanities

AS.010.232.  Art and Architecture of the Global Medieval Mediterranean World.  3 Credits.  

This course serves as an introduction to the art and architecture of the Mediterranean region between the early Christian period and the Second Crusade (c. 250-1150). We will analyze the interactions between WesternEuropean, Byzantine, and Islamic cultures through the development of religious art and architecture, asking specifically how these interactions were mediated by culturally distinct representational practices. The course will cover the broad Mediterranean region by focusing on specific sites of interaction around the Sea (i.e. Islamic Spain, Norman Sicily, Byzantine North Africa, Venice and the Adriatic Coast, and Crusader Palestine). Select topics will include: the rise of religious image theory and its effect on the visual cultures of the Mediterranean region; the trans-regional movement of artists, crafted objects, and artistic technologies; the history of urbanism and the production of artistic objects in port cities and centers of trade; and the concept of the Mediterranean as “Premodern Globalism.” Readings will include both primary and secondary sources, and we will investigate a variety of methods and approaches to the interpretation of art objects.

Area: Humanities

AS.010.233.  Asian Art Since 1945.  3 Credits.  

This course examines the art and architecture of East, South, and Southeast Asia produced since the mid-twentieth century. We will engage with theoretical, visual, and political developments in the recent art of this region, reading statements by artists and architects, discussing the rising commercial and international profile of contemporary Asian art, and exploring established and emerging art histories of this period.Cross-list with East Asian Studies

Area: Humanities

AS.010.235.  Art, Medicine, and the Body: Middle Ages to Modernity.  3 Credits.  

This course explores seven centuries of fruitful collaboration between physicians and artists, uncovering the shared discourses, diagnostic techniques and therapeutic agendas that united the art of picture-making with the art of healing. Topics include the origin and development of medical illustration; the long, cross-cultural history of the therapeutic artefact; the anatomical investigations of Renaissance artists such as Leonardo and Michelangelo; depictions of bodily pain and disease in the art of Matthias Grünewald and psychosomatic syndromes like melancholy in the work of Albrecht Dürer; the spectacularization of the body in Enlightenment science and the ethics of medical specimen display today -- all in order to bring the complex intersections of the history of medicine and the history of art into view.

Area: Humanities

AS.010.236.  Palaces, Temples and Tombs in Mesopotamia.  3 Credits.  

Mesopotamia, the “land between the rivers,” is considered the cradle of civilization. Its earliest urban centers appeared by 3500 BCE in the region of modern-day Iraq, Iran, and Syria. Along with urbanism came the emergence of temples and palaces as large-scale elite institutions (along with written records). Their arts manifest some of the earliest complex representations and follow a vibrant course for several millennia. The first empires marshaled large armies and amassed fabulous riches. Complex religious and ritual ideologies were expressed in the art and architecture. And all has been revealed by the archaeologist’s spade. This class explores the art and architecture of Mesopotamia (ancient Sumer, Babylonia and Assyria) from 3500 to 330 BCE. Emphasis is placed on the relationship between the arts and ancient society in order to enable students to acquire the skills for accessing and appreciating ancient civilizations.

Area: Humanities

AS.010.237.  Freshman Seminar: Art and Medicine in the ancient Mediterranean (600-100 BCE).  3 Credits.  

The visual arts played an important role in the foundations of medicine often traced to the ancient Mediterranean. Drawing on a range of objects from representational art to surgical tools and magic spells, this seminar will explore the ways in which the visual arts crafted a different narrative of ancient medicine from that of the texts of the Hippocratic canon. Of particular focus will be the relationship between the doctor Hippocrates and the healing god Asclepius, the representation and subsequent excision of the goddess Hygeia, anatomical votives dedicated in sanctuaries, depictions of medical practices, surgical tools, as well as curse and healing spells. Participation will include visits to local museums and collections.

Area: Humanities

AS.010.251.  Medieval Spaces: Site, Image, and Viewer in the Middle Ages.  3 Credits.  

This course serves as an introduction to medieval art by analyzing the formal relationships between architecture and images at important cultural sites between the third century and the fourteenth century. The course will focus primarily on how those relationships structured viewers’ experiences of the divine and other ideological forces by understanding how works of art functioned for specific audiences in a particular spatial context. Along the way we will encounter a wide array of geographical sites and histories, including early Christian examples in Rome and Byzantium (e.g. the Roman catacombs and Hagia Sophia); monastic settlements in France and Germany during the eighth and ninth centuries (e.g. St. Gall); the interaction of Islamic and Christian visual culture in Spain and North Africa; twelfth century architectural sculpture along the pilgrimage routes; French, German, and Italian Romanesque and Gothic churches; and monumental painting cycles in Italy (e.g. the Arena Chapel in Padua).

Area: Humanities

AS.010.260.  By the Book: Illuminated Manuscripts in the Middle Ages.  3 Credits.  

This course aims to introduce students to Western medieval book painting from the birth of the codex to the advent of the printed book, between 400 and 1500 C.E. Each week we will study a theme of particular importance for the period. Besides learning about questions central to medieval art and history (artistic practices, patronage, gender, race, and representation of power), we will pay particular attention to the issue of how these manuscripts were read, perceived, and used. To this end, the course will have an interdisciplinary approach to codices. Beside art history, we will mobilize the tools of history, history of religion, manuscript and book studies, anthropology, and psychology. Taking advantage of the rich collections of Johns Hopkins and Baltimore, we will study original manuscripts, facsimiles, and incunabula every week.

Area: Humanities

AS.010.301.  Michelangelo: Religion, Sexuality, and the Crisis of Renaissance Art.  3 Credits.  

The course will focus on the controversies surrounding the representation of the body in the writings and figurative art of Michelangelo and his contemporaries, the historical circumstances under which the most admired artist in Europe was attacked as a blasphemer and an idolator, and the effect of widespread calls for censorship on his later production. The writings of Michelangelo, Pietro Aretino, Benvenuto Cellini and own writings will be considered with a focus on their staging of an ambivalent and transgressive eroticism.

Area: Humanities

AS.010.307.  Diplomats, Dealers, and Diggers: The Birth of Archaeology and the Rise of Collecting from the 19th c. to Today.  3 Credits.  

The development of archaeology in the Middle East – its history of explorers, diplomats, missionaries and gentlemen-scholars – profoundly shaped the modern world, from the creation of new museums and the antiquities market to international relations and terrorism.

Area: Humanities

AS.010.309.  The Idea of Athens.  3 Credits.  

This course will explore the art, architecture, material culture, and textual evidence from the ancient city of Athens, the many cultures and social positions that made up the ancient city, and the idea of the city as something far beyond its reality.

Area: Humanities

AS.010.310.  The ‘Long Sixties’ in Europe.  3 Credits.  

This seminar examines aspects of advanced artistic production that emerged in France, Italy, the Benelux, and German-speaking countries primarily in the years 1945-1972 as constituent elements of the “Long Sixties,” a period of extraordinary and often rapid social transformation. Among our questions: How was the work of art reimagined and repositioned in the wake of World War II and the horrors of the Holocaust, in the context of reconstruction and an emerging consumer society, and in light of the Cold War, decolonization, and other political tensions and cataclysms? How did artists conceive the claims of artistic tradition in a rapidly expanding field of aesthetic practices and possibilities? What were the relations among advanced artistic practices and the “cultural revolutions” generally taken to have come to a head ca. 1968? Integral to this course is a student-curated exhibition of avant-garde materials at the MSE Library, to open in November 2018.

Area: Humanities

AS.010.315.  Art of the Assyrian Empire, 1000-600 BCE.  3 Credits.  

From 900 to 609 BCE, the Assyrian Empire dominated the ancient Near Eastern world, stretching from western Iran to the Mediterranean and Egypt. In concert with imperial expansion came an explosion of artistic production ranging from palace wall reliefs to small-scale luxury objects. This course provides an integrated picture of the imperial arts of this first world empire, situating it within the broader social and political contexts of the first millennium BCE. In its conquest of foreign lands, this powerful state came in contact with and appropriated a diversity of cultures, such as Phoenicia, Egypt, and Greece, which we will also study.

Area: Humanities

AS.010.316.  Venice: Art, Architecture and Ecology from the Late Middle Ages to the Present.  3 Credits.  

This course is an investigation into the fashioning of Venetian identity in architecture and the visual arts, with a particular address to the encounter with Byzantine and Islamic traditions and exchanges with other centers of the Italian peninsula.

Area: Humanities

AS.010.319.  Medieval Art and Architecture of the Holy Land.  3 Credits.  

The course focuses on art and architecture in the political and religious contexts of the Middle East, from the 4th to the 14th c. The three monotheistic religions all claimed specific territories -- in particular the city of Jerusalem -- for cult practices. This situation resulted in military conflicts that had an impact of Jewish, Medieval, Byzantine, and Islamic art in the Holy Land. The political conflicts, which still plague the region today, are rooted in the complex situation of the medieval period. The Roman, Arab, Byzantine, and crusader invasions resulted however in exciting eclectic styles that characterize the art and architecture of the region. We will discuss concepts behind political and religious leadership, as they intersect with the power of the arts.

Area: Humanities

Writing Intensive

AS.010.320.  Art of Colonial Peru.  3 Credits.  

Viewed within the dynamic historical context of colonial society, we consider the pictorial, sculptural, and architectural programs that ensued in viceregal Peru (1532-1825). We examine the role of religious orders, art schools, artisan guilds and cofradía, and consider the social and political implications of art patronage.

Area: Humanities

AS.010.325.  Arts of the Spanish Empire.  3 Credits.  

From the sixteenth through the eighteenth centuries, visual forms and practices linked such far-flung places as Mexico City and Naples, Manila and Lima, Cuzco and Antwerp, Quito and Madrid: all cities in the Spanish Empire. This course is conceived as a voyage, moving city by city to explore objects that connected Spain’s vast holdings. We will investigate how the Spanish Crown and the Catholic Church used visual strategies to consolidate political power and instill religious faith across the world; and, alternatively, we will consider how local conditions, concerns, and resistance reshaped those efforts. This course surveys a diverse range of artistic production: religious paintings and sculptures; maps used for imperial surveillance; luxury goods crafted from shimmering feathers, ceramics, ivory, and precious metals; urban design and architecture from the ports of Europe to the highland outposts of the Andes; ephemeral cityscapes for civic performances. In examining such materials, students will be introduced to the art historical methods and theoretical concerns used to study a wide diversity of objects within an imperial frame.

Area: Humanities

AS.010.327.  Asia America: Art and Architecture.  3 Credits.  

This course examines a set of case studies spanning the last century that will enable us to explore the shifting landscape of Asian transnational art and architecture. Each week will focus on a different artist, group, exhibition, architect, urban space, or site to unpack artists’ and architects’ engagements with the changing landscape of immigration policies, movements to build solidarity with other artists of color, and campaigns for gender and sexual equality. The course will situate these artists within American art, and build an expansive idea of Asia America to include the discussion of artists whose work directly addresses the fluidity of location and the transnational studio practice.

Area: Humanities

Writing Intensive

AS.010.329.  Building an Empire: Architecture of the Ottoman Capitals, c. 1300–1600.  3 Credits.  

Centered on modern-day Turkey and encompassing vast territories in Asia, Africa, and Europe, the Ottoman Empire (1299 – 1923) was the longest lived and among the most powerful Islamic states in history, with an artistic tradition to match. This course explores the functional and symbolic role that architecture played during the empire’s formative centuries, when three successive capital — Bursa, Edirne, and Istanbul — served to visualize the sultans’ growing claims to universal authority. With reference to mosques, palaces, tombs, and other categories of architecture, the course will examine the buildings in their artistic, social, and political contexts. Themes to be addressed include patronage and audience, architectural practice and the building trade, ceremonial and ritual, topography and urban planning, and the relationship of Ottoman architecture to other traditions.

Area: Humanities

AS.010.330.  Art of the Caliphates: Visual Culture and Competition in the Medieval Islamic World.  3 Credits.  

Despite its modern-day association with a fringe extremist movement, the term “caliphate” was traditionally used to describe the Muslim world at large, the political and spiritual ruler of which bore the title of caliph. The original Islamic caliphate was established in the seventh century as a vast empire centered on the Middle East and extending deep into Africa, Asia, and Europe. It soon broke apart into a series of competing powers, until in the tenth century, three rival dynasties—the Baghdad-based Abbasids, the Spanish Umayyads, and the Fatimids of North Africa—each claimed to be the rightful caliphate. This course will examine how these fascinating political developments and conflicts played out in the realm of art and architecture between the seventh and thirteenth centuries. As well as palaces, mosques, and commemorative buildings, the course will look at media ranging from ceramics and metalwork to textiles and illustrated manuscripts, with many of the artifacts being viewed firsthand in local museum collections. These works will be considered in relation to such themes as patronage, audience, ceremony, and meaning. Particular attention will be paid to how the various caliphates—both in emulation of and competition with one another—used visual culture as a powerful tool to assert their legitimacy.

Area: Humanities

AS.010.331.  The Renaissance Body Exposed: Exhibiting the Nude in European Art 1400-1550.  3 Credits.  

Explores the extraordinary currency of the naked human figure in pre-modern European visual culture, only inadequately accounted for by explanations such as the "rise of naturalism" or the "revival of antiquity." Will also explore curatorial questions arising from an exhibition currently in preparation on the Renaissance nude. Assignment in the form of catalog texts and a "virtual exhibition."

Area: Humanities

Writing Intensive

AS.010.332.  Jade, Turquoise, Feathers, and Gold: Valued Materials in Aztec Art.  3 Credits.  

This seminar (which meets twice weekly) introduces students to the art of the Aztec Empire (1428-1521 CE) through the lens of the production of art from valued materials. The issue of value—how it is constructed, conceptualized, and deployed—provides key insights into the political, religious, economic, and conceptual life of a society. Throughout this course, we will examine these questions by focusing on the major themes of art’s social functions, materiality and artistic process, historicity, and cross-cultural exchange. Special emphasis will be placed on in-person examination of objects in local museum collections and the study of writings by indigenous authors.

Area: Humanities

AS.010.333.  The Re-Making of Rome: from Michelangelo to Mussolini.  3 Credits.  

The transformation of Rome from a medieval backwater into a world center with multiple, overlapping identities: the ruinous symbol of ephemeral glory, the spiritual destination of pilgrims and tourists, the seat of a priest/monarch claiming universal dominion, and, above all, the “theater of the world” where a cultural and ethnic heterogeneity unparalleled in any other European urban center was permanently on display.

Area: Humanities

AS.010.337.  Global Amsterdam: The Golden Age of a Small but Mighty Metropolis.  3 Credits.  

This course examines the visual and material culture of the Dutch Golden Age as the product of global forces. The young Dutch Republic quickly achieved a global reach in the seventeenth century. And Amsterdam served as its commercial capital, which by 1630 could be counted as one of the most important port cities in the world and home to the Dutch East India Company (VOC), the world’s first multinational corporation. Moving an incredible quantity of goods (spices, silks, porcelain, coffee, precious stones, “exotic” arts, and slaves) generated not only the economic riches, but also the cultural touchpoints that would give rise to art produced by the likes of Rembrandt, Vermeer, Hals, and the many exceptional craftsmen that have left us some of the most enduring masterpieces of the seventeenth century. This course situates that art, and the city of Amsterdam itself, within networks that connected it to such far flung places as Japan, Jakarta, Surinam, Curacao, Brazil, and the Indian Subcontinent.

Area: Humanities

Writing Intensive

AS.010.338.  Art and the Harem: Women’s Spaces, Patronage, and (Self-)Representation in Islamic Empires.  3 Credits.  

Long characterized in the Western imagination as exotic realms of fantasy, harems in Islamic tradition served as private domestic quarters for the women of elite households. This course explores the harem—as an institution, a physical space, and a community of women—from various art-historical perspectives, considering such topics as the harem’s architecture, the agency of its inhabitants as patrons and collectors, the mediating role of eunuchs in the harem’s visual and material culture, and the ability of harem women to make their mark through public artistic commissions. Our case studies will address a range of Islamic geographical and chronological contexts, though we will focus on the empires of the early modern period and, above all, the famous harem of the Ottoman sultans at the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul. In challenging popular misconceptions, the course will also look at the wealth of exoticizing imagery that the harem inspired in Western art, which we will consider through Orientalist paintings at the Walters Art Museum and illustrated rare books at Hopkins itself.

Area: Humanities

AS.010.340.  Renaissance Art in the Netherlands: Broederlam to Bosch.  3 Credits.  

Explores the major painters working in the Low Countries during the fifteenth century: Melchior Broederlam, the Master of Flémalle, Jan van Eyck, Rogier van der Weyden; Hans Memling, Hugo van der Goes, Hieronymus Bosch, and others.

Area: Humanities

AS.010.360.  Medieval Art in Europe: Methodology, Historiography, Theory.  3 Credits.  

The course explores the conceptual character of medieval European art from Late Antiquity to the end of the Middle Ages with an emphasis on methodological, historiographical, and theoretical issues. Using selected monuments and objects from a wide geographical range and dating from the 4th to the 14th centuries as case studies, students will also familiarize with the methodological developments of art historical research. The course will focus in particular on the "anthropological turn" of medieval art history and medieval image theory.

Area: Humanities

AS.010.364.  Babylon: Myth and Reality.  3 Credits.  

Babylon – the name resonates even today, from the biblical whore of Revelation to sci-fi. It evokes exotic places and time long past. But what do we really know about the ancient city and the civilization that flourished there thousands of years ago? The first part of this course examines the archaeological city of Babylon, located in the modern state of Iraq, and considers its artistic and architectural achievements in the context of Mesopotamian history. The second part of the class explores the ongoing impact of Babylon in the cultural imagination of later periods, from the Classical and biblical authors, to European artists, Hollywood movies, science fiction, and contemporary political movements.

Area: Humanities

AS.010.365.  Art of the Ancient Andes.  3 Credits.  

The ancient visual arts of Andean South America and their respective cultural contexts form the basis of this course. In conjunction with the Baltimore Museum of Art and the Johns Hopkins Archaeological Museum students will have access to collections for study.

Area: Humanities

AS.010.366.  Native American Art.  3 Credits.  

The works of Native American artists are examined and discussed in their respective social and historical contexts. Such works include Hopewell stone sculpture, Mimbres pictorial painting, and Tlingit guardian figures. We examine the concept of sacred landscape through analysis of monumental earthworks and effigy mounds, Anasazi architecture, and rock art. In conjunction with the Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA), and Johns Hopkins Special Collections, students will have access to collections for study.

Area: Humanities

AS.010.367.  Photography, the Archive, and Memory.  3 Credits.  

This seminar will culminate in an exhibition in the library, focused on the photographic works of Dayanita Singh (b. India, 1961) in Hopkins’ collections. Singh’s work delves deeply into her subjects, exploring issues of identity, the body, and sexuality as well as questions related to memory and the archive. She has long presented her photography in the form of the book, and as such we will pursue readings in photography, book arts, and the archive, and bring nineteenth-century illustrated books in our collection into dialogue with Singh’s work. This will be a hands-on seminar: students will develop the framework for the exhibition, write the textual materials (labels, wall text), and decide on the arrangements of objects in the show.

AS.010.371.  Materials and Methods in Contemporary Art.  3 Credits.  

How and from what do artists make art today? This course will consider some of the staggering array of methods and materials that characterize the contemporary art scene. Among our topics: industrial fabrication, digitalization, ephemerality and technological obsolescence, the revitalization of craft, the increasing visibility of indigenous techniques, and questions of environmental impact and sustainability.

AS.010.382.  The Politics of Display in South Asia.  3 Credits.  

Through an examination of colonial exhibitions, the rise of national, regional, and archaeological museums, and current practices of display and representation in institutions, we will explore how the image of South Asia has been constructed in the colonial, modern, and contemporary eras. We will engage with the politics of representation, spectacle, and the economies of desire as related to colonialism and the rise of modernity. Readings from postcolonial theory, museum studies, anthropology, history, and art history.

Area: Humanities

Writing Intensive

AS.010.389.  The Stone and the Thread.  3 Credits.  

Advanced inquiry into imperial Inka architecture and fiber arts.

Area: Humanities

Writing Intensive

AS.010.390.  Ancient Americas Object Workshop.  3 Credits.  

Analysis of ancient Americas collection held in the Johns Hopkins Archaeological Museum.

Prerequisite(s): AS.010.105 OR AS.010.407 OR AS.010.398 OR AS.010.365 OR AS.010.389 OR AS.010.366 OR AS.010.214 or in consultation with professor prior to registration.

Area: Humanities

Writing Intensive

AS.010.398.  Tombs for the Living.  3 Credits.  

Centering on the tomb as the unit of analysis, this course examines the cultural and material aspects of death and funerary ritual. Case studies are drawn from North America, Mesoamerica, and the Andes. Collections study in museums.

Area: Humanities

AS.010.405.  The Medieval Image and Concepts of Authenticity.  3 Credits.  

The course examines the notion of the authentic in conjunction with medieval images, relic veneration, and the practice of law. It investigates the construction, reception, and theoretical grounding of authenticity of reliquaries, icons, and imprints on cloth or seals, and legal documents. These objects elucidate artistic strategies such as cross media references, abstraction, mimesis and bricolage to convey an aura of authenticity. We address other authenticating factors, such as complex ritualized forms of communication. This is a new course for the undergraduate section, existing course is AS.010.644. Will be taught as a hybrid this Fall 2020.

Writing Intensive

AS.010.407.  Ancient Americas Metallurgy.  3 Credits.  

This course addresses the technology, aesthetics, and social significance of metals. Case studies are drawn from North America, Mesoamerica, and the Andes. Collections study in museums.

Area: Humanities

AS.010.409.  Theories and Works of “The Baroque”.  3 Credits.  

There is perhaps no more confounding, though also no more persistent, art historical concept than that of “the Baroque.” This course introduces students to foundational histories and critiques of “the Baroque” while exploring works of art that have proved central to these formulations. That is, this course will balance careful reading of historiography with close examination of works of art (both digitally presented and visited in local collections). Students will come away with a layered understanding of the Baroque objects—from relatively small-scale museum works to major architectural and sculptural monuments—and their place within the broader evolution of the history of art. Particular attention will be given to newer global and (post-)colonial approaches to notions of the Baroque, ultra-Baroque, and neo-Baroque.

Area: Humanities

Writing Intensive

AS.010.410.  The Epistemology of Photography.  3 Credits.  

This seminar will ask how photography produces ways of knowing: how does photography’s reality-effect shape its dissemination and absorption? Is photography’s emergence during the colonial era coincidental or catalytic? How is memory (re)constituted in a photography-saturated world? What kinds of histories does photography encourage and discourage? Is a photograph an object? We will read across disciplines (literature, anthropology, history, history of art, political science, theory) to investigate the epistemology of photography and the photograph.

Area: Humanities

Writing Intensive

AS.010.413.  Historical and Conceptual Bases of Art History.  3 Credits.  

Critical readings in and of relevance to the intellectual foundations of the modern discipline of art history. Texts by Wölfflin, Riegl, Warburg, Panofsky, Baxandall, Clark, Krauss, Fried, and others.

Area: Humanities

Writing Intensive

AS.010.415.  Interrogating the Material Turn.  3 Credits.  

This course considers the turn to centering materials and materiality in the history of art. Since the publication of Michael Baxandall’s Painting and Experience in Fifteenth Century Italy (1972) and in particular since the turn of the millennium, critical engagement with the materiality of art has proliferated. This seminar will tackle renewed investment in materiality within the discipline of art history and draw on perspectives from archaeology, philosophy, anthropology, conservation science, feminist and queer theory, and postcolonial studies, among others. Particular emphasis will be placed on the polycentrism of materiality as a theoretical lens that cuts across seemingly disjunct cultural, social, and political frames and subject positions. While this course focuses on the art of the ancient Mediterranean, students will be encouraged to bring their own subfields to bear on the material turn and to pursue research topics related their individual research goals. Open to interested students from all disciplines.

Area: Humanities

AS.010.416.  Medieval Art and Architecture in Southern Italy.  3 Credits.  

This seminar discusses the exceptionally high standard and wide range of artistic and architectural creativity in medieval southern Italy. The specific historical situation of Italy’s southern regions and islands—which were exposed to a long sequence of military invasions, subjected to foreign rulers and centrally positioned within the Mediterranean—resulted in a fascinating, often interconnected, artistic and architectural landscape. We will address in particular the multiethnic and multi-religious environment of the region, the specific mobility of artists and patrons, questions of materiality of art works, and the intersection of art and science in the centers of learning (schools, monasteries, and courts). Those issues will be investigated by raising also larger theoretical and historiographic questions.

Area: Humanities

Writing Intensive

AS.010.418.  The Icon in East and West.  3 Credits.  

The chronologically structured seminar discusses the conception and reception of holy images in the Middle Ages from Late Antiquity until the beginning of the Renaissance. We will investigate their creation during the rise of Christianity and their affinities with Graeco-Roman portraits and cult images. Another focus is dedicated to the theological and political context of icons during the waves of early medieval iconoclasm, in particular in Byzantium. We will address icons made in the Holy Land during the crusades, which are often characterized by merging Frankish and Byzantine styles and motifs with Islamic art. We will discuss the emergence of new icons in Italy, and their pan-European distribution after 1100. Here we will focus on the influence of the papal court and the economic impact of icons in the later Middle Ages in the Italian commune.

Area: Humanities

Writing Intensive

AS.010.419.  Passion Image, Passion Cult, Passion Drama: Narrative and Metaphor in the Middle Ages, Renaissance, and Beyond.  3 Credits.  

A set of interdisciplinary explorations of the Passion of Christ narrative in Scripture, theology, visionary literature, cultic devotion, the visual and dramatic arts in Europe from the Central Middle Ages to the Reformation, with a special fast-forward to modern cinematic retellings of the Passion story.

Area: Humanities

Writing Intensive

AS.010.421.  Creating Sacred Space in the Ancient and Medieval World.  3 Credits.  

What makes a space sacred? How is it different from other spaces? This seminar explores the various means - visual, artifactual, architectural, and performative - of creating sacred space in the ancient and medieval worlds of the Near East and Mediterranean. Possible cases for study include early Sumerian temples, state-sponsored Assyrian temples, votive deposits, Greek sanctuaries, sanctuaries and landscape, early medieval Jewish, Christian, and Islamic cult buildings, cave sanctuaries, pilgrim sites, icons and sacred space.

Area: Humanities

Writing Intensive

AS.010.422.  Challenge to Painting: Collage, Montage, Assemblage.  3 Credits.  

The invention of Cubist collage is generally regarded as a watershed in twentieth-century art. This seminar will examine key junctures in the rapid proliferation and redefinition of collage strategies primarily in Europe and the United States, including but not limited to Futurist “words in liberty”; Dada and Constructivist photomontage; the Surrealist exploration of desire; Situationist "détournement"; and selected varieties of postwar assemblage. Frequent meetings in Special Collections.

Area: Humanities

Writing Intensive

AS.010.423.  Modern and Contemporary Art in South Asia.  3 Credits.  

How does modernism operate in the colonial context, work with and against the nationalisms of new countries (India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bangladesh), challenge existing norms of the art world and the art market, engage with the difficult and violent upheavals of Partition and sectarian conflict, and allow for experimentations and new forms all the while? This course will explore the history of the art of the subcontinent from c. 1880 to the present by critical engagement with the art, artists, and theories at play in the South Asian region.

Area: Humanities

Writing Intensive

AS.010.424.  Art and Colonialism: Nineteenth-century India.  3 Credits.  

This seminar explores the technologies of colonial power, from small ephemeral watercolor images of religious processions to massive multi-volume photographic projects documenting the “people of India,” and extending to the establishment of new urban and architectural spaces, archaeological museums, and art schools, the circulation of diplomatic art collections, and the commissioning of survey data. We will engage with the anti-colonial movements of resistance and uprising that took place across this century, examining the central participation of modern artists with these political movements, and explore the way this period fundamentally shaped the foundations for the study of South Asian art and archaeology. Readings will include colonial and postcolonial theory, Orientalism, historiography; we will be actively working with materials in the library’s Special Collections.

Area: Humanities

Writing Intensive

AS.010.425.  Patronage and Power: The Art of the Book in the Middle Ages.  3 Credits.  

This research seminar surveys the rich history of manuscript painting in the Middle Ages through the lens of patronage. By focusing on elite patrons – i.e. Popes, Clerics, Holy Roman Emperors, Princes, Princesses, and other ruling figures – we will investigate how changes in style from the early Christian period through the fifteenth century reveal the fluid nature of politics and power during this volatile time period. We will visit local collections of manuscripts (e.g. the Walters Art Museum) and make use of the extensive holdings of medieval facsimiles in Special Collections.

Area: Humanities

AS.010.431.  Obsessed with the Past: the Art and Architecture of Medieval Rome.  3 Credits.  

In antiquity, Rome became the capital of an empire, its growing status reflected in its sophisticated urban planning, its architecture, and the arts. While an abundance of studies explores the revival of this glorious past in the Renaissance, this seminar discusses various ways of the reception of antiquity during the medieval period. We address the practice of using "spolia" in medieval architecture, the appropriation of ancient pagan buildings for the performance of Christian cult practices, the continuation of making (cult)images and their veneration, the meaning and specific visuality of Latin script (paleography and epigraphy) in later medieval art. We discuss the revival and systematic study of ancient knowledge (f. ex. medicine, astronomy, and the liberal arts), in complex allegorical murals. As we aim to reconstruct the art and architecture of medieval Rome, this course discusses ideas and concepts behind different forms of re-building and picturing the past, as they intersect with the self-referential character of a city that is obsessed with its own history.

Area: Humanities

Writing Intensive

AS.010.433.  Hands-On Approaches to European Books and Prints before 1800.  3 Credits.  

Baltimore’s rich museum and library collections create a dynamic laboratory for students to gain an understanding of early modern European traditions of prints and books. Engraving, etching, woodcut, mezzotint, à la poupée; Rembrandt, Dürer, Aldus Manutius, Plantin-Moretus. This course will introduce students to the basic techniques, concepts, terms, and artists that shaped the production of reproductive works on paper in early modern Europe and their subsequent art historical study. All sessions will be taught out of local collections (BMA, Walters, NGA, Hopkins Special Collections); that is, this is a hands-on class that—while requiring no previous experience—will attend to the nitty-gritty details and methods of studying works in person, giving students the tools, expertise, and confidence to pursue their own research with historical printed materials.

Area: Humanities

Writing Intensive

AS.010.434.  Italian Art, Politics, and Religion in the time of Dante, c. 1250-1400.  3 Credits.  

This seminar will investigates the interrelationship between art, politics, and religion on the Italian peninsula during the later Middle Ages. We will focus on the major cities as patrons of the arts (visual and poetic), e.g. Florence, Siena, Padua, Milan, Naples, Venice, and Rome, in order to understand how the elite used art to further their political and religious agendas. Select topics include: the rise of the Mendicant orders; the importance of Dante's Divine Comedy on manuscript production; artistic competition among communes; the rise of the individual artist; humanism and the arts.

Area: Humanities

AS.010.440.  Power Dressing: The Politics of Costume between the Ottoman Empire and the West.  3 Credits.  

In the Ottoman Empire—a vast multiethnic state straddling Africa, Asia, and Europe—how one dressed was a deeply political affair. Ottoman rulers and subjects alike used clothing to express (and sometimes transgress) the hierarchical, religious, and communal distinctions defining their society, much to the fascination of foreigners who visited the empire or sought knowledge of its sartorial traditions in texts and images. This seminar will explore Ottoman dress and dress codes in the context of the empire’s long and complicated relationship with Western powers, focusing on the role that costume played as a charged site of cross-cultural interaction, posturing, and self-assertion from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century. Our case studies will include costume albums—books showing people high and low in their characteristic garb—painted by Ottoman artists for Western buyers; diplomatic robes of honor and their attendant ceremonies; and cultural cross-dressing as manifested in European turquerie portraiture and masquerades. Moving into the modern period, we will consider how nineteenth-century dress reforms bridged the gap between Ottoman and Western costume while engendering new modes of Ottoman sartorial self-representation that challenged hardening Orientalist discourses in such venues as mannequin museums and world’s fairs. The seminar will make considerable use of artworks in local collections, including rare books and prints at Hopkins itself.

Area: Humanities

Writing Intensive

AS.010.444.  Classics Research Lab: Antioch Recovery Project (ARP).  3 Credits.  

Antioch Recovery Project investigates mosaics from the ancient city of Antioch (modern Antakya, Turkey, near the border with Syria) now in the collection of the Baltimore Museum of Art. Excavated by an international team of archaeologists in the 1930s, hundreds of ancient mosaics from the cosmopolitan city were subsequently dispersed to museums across the globe, with twenty-four mosaics entering the collection of the BMA. Phase I will focus on the digital documentation and analysis of the mosaic of Narcissus as a prototype for ongoing research bringing together the fragments of ancient Antioch for contemporary beholders. The Greek myth of Narcissus tells the story of a beautiful Theban hunter doomed to love his own reflection and is the origin of the modern psychiatric term “narcissism”. Researching the mythology, materials, conservation history, archival material, historiography, and contemporary reception of the Narcissus mosaic and myth offers extensive opportunities to collaborate with scholars across a range of disciplines at JHU, in the Baltimore museum community, and beyond. Investigators will move between the Baltimore Museum of Art, the CRL processing lab in Gilman Hall, and Special Collections. The course will involve some travel to visit other mosaics from Antioch now in collections at Harvard’s Dumbarton Oaks in Washington D.C., and the Princeton Art Museum in Princeton, New Jersey.

Area: Humanities

AS.010.470.  Power and Politics in Assyrian Art.  3 Credits.  

Assyria, centered in northern Iraq, created one of the world’s first great empires that dominated the ancient Near Eastern world from around 900 to 612 BCE. In concert with imperial expansion came an explosion of artistic production ranging from palace wall reliefs to small-scale luxury objects. This seminar examines the close relationship between the arts and politics in the Assyrian empire. Some themes that will be explored are: historical narrative, text and image, portable luxury arts and gender, politics and religion. The course will engage in close visual analysis of the ancient materials and readings of critical scholarship.

Area: Humanities

Writing Intensive

AS.010.501.  Independent Study.  0 - 3 Credits.  

Prerequisite(s): You must request Independent Academic Work using the Independent Academic Work form found in Student Self-Service: Registration > Online Forms.

AS.010.502.  Independent Study.  0 - 3 Credits.  

Prerequisite(s): You must request Independent Academic Work using the Independent Academic Work form found in Student Self-Service: Registration > Online Forms.

AS.010.503.  Reading Course in History of Art.  2 Credits.  

Open to students by arrangement with a faculty advisor in the History of Art Department.

Prerequisite(s): You must request Independent Academic Work using the Independent Academic Work form found in Student Self-Service: Registration > Online Forms.

AS.010.506.  Internship - Spring.  1 Credit.  

Prerequisite(s): You must request Independent Academic Work using the Independent Academic Work form found in Student Self-Service: Registration > Online Forms.

Writing Intensive

AS.010.507.  Internship.  1 Credit.  

Prerequisite(s): You must request Independent Academic Work using the Independent Academic Work form found in Student Self-Service: Registration > Online Forms.

AS.010.521.  Honors Thesis.  0 - 3 Credits.  

Open to students by arrangement with a faculty advisor in the History of Art Department. Interested students should review the program description available in the department office.

Prerequisite(s): You must request Independent Academic Work using the Independent Academic Work form found in Student Self-Service: Registration > Online Forms.

Writing Intensive

AS.010.522.  Honors Thesis.  3 Credits.  

You must request Independent Academic Work using the Independent Academic Work form found in Student Self-Service: Registration > Online Forms.

Prerequisite(s): You must request Independent Academic Work using the Independent Academic Work form found in Student Self-Service: Registration > Online Forms.

Writing Intensive

AS.010.596.  Internship-Summer.  1 Credit.  

Prerequisite(s): You must request Independent Academic Work using the Independent Academic Work form found in Student Self-Service: Registration > Online Forms.

AS.010.597.  Independent Study-Summer.  3 Credits.  

Prerequisite(s): You must request Independent Academic Work using the Independent Academic Work form found in Student Self-Service: Registration > Online Forms.

AS.010.603.  Beyond Word & Image.  

The relationship of “word” and “image” has been a central concern of both the history of art and other humanistic disciplines; and semiotics, (post-)structuralism, narrative studies, media studies, and theories of ekphrasis and representation have been marshalled to probe how visual and verbal systems work in conjunction, overlap, and conflict. Much less art historical attention has been paid to the visuality of writing itself. Against the backdrop of robust work on the relationship between text and image, this course focuses on text as image: the visuality of text, the imagistic dimensions of writing, Schriftbildlichkeit. The seminar takes as guiding premise that art historical method might be robustly brought to bear on the visual and material features of texts, both those that appear as part of traditional art historical media (paintings, sculptures, and architectural monuments) and those that have primarily remained within the purview of other humanistic subfields: books, archival documents, writers’ manuscripts, epistolary communication, and inscriptions (both analog and digital). In this course, we will survey a broad range of textual objects, from ancient inscriptions to moveable type to digital texts to “writing” in twenty-first century artists’ books; and we will work together towards assembling an art historical toolkit for excavating the full valences of texts, accounting for the ways they make meaning in linguistic, semiotic, formal, material, visual, and media-specific registers. Though art historical in focus, this course will be essentially interdisciplinary, and students from other subfields are warmly welcomed. There will be ample opportunity for discussing and studying objects in local collections.

Area: Humanities

AS.010.606.  Approaches to Ancient Art.  

The discipline of art history has passed through a number of major methodological and theoretical shifts since its inception (and in particular, over the last thirty years). Foundational disciplinary methods derive principally from the arts of Classical Greece, the Renaissance and contemporary periods. As the discipline embraces an enlarged field of inquiry, particularly drawing upon developments in anthropology, material culture studies, feminism, queer theory, and political theory, additional avenues for understanding the arts of the ancient world are emerging. The seminar focuses on how art historical method and theory – both foundational and emergent – might be profitably applied to the subfields of the ancient Near East and eastern Mediterranean (understood in the broadest sense).

Area: Humanities

Writing Intensive

AS.010.607.  The Epistemology of Photography.  

This seminar will ask how photography produces ways of knowing: how does photography’s reality-effect shape its dissemination and absorption? Is photography’s emergence during the colonial era coincidental or catalytic? How is memory (re)constituted in a photography-saturated world? What kinds of histories does photography encourage and discourage? Is a photograph an object? We will read across disciplines (literature, anthropology, history, history of art, political science, theory) to investigate the epistemology of photography and the photograph.

AS.010.608.  The Picture as Object.  

The seminar will explore cases of European pre-modern picture-making in various media that solicit tactile as well as sensory engagement, and that call into question the "Albertian" metaphor of pictura as window. Case studies will include mosaics, reliefs, pastiglia, medals, portable paintings, et al.”

Area: Humanities

AS.010.611.  Seminar in Near Eastern Art.  
AS.010.612.  Medieval Art and Architecture in Southern Italy.  

This seminar discusses the exceptionally high standard and wide range of artistic and architectural creativity in medieval southern Italy. The specific historical situation of Italy’s southern regions and islands—which were exposed to a long sequence of military invasions, subjected to foreign rulers and centrally positioned within the Mediterranean—resulted in a fascinating, often interconnected, artistic and architectural landscape. We will address in particular the multiethnic and multi-religious environment of the region, the specific mobility of artists and patrons, questions of materiality of art works, and the intersection of art and science in the centers of learning (schools, monasteries, and courts). Those issues will be investigated by raising also larger theoretical and historiographic questions.

Area: Humanities

AS.010.613.  Renaissance Italy: Questions of Artistic Geography.  

The role of place in the art historiography of the Renaissance, with readings in geographical theory. The seminar will also consider the role in the art of Lorenzo Lotto, Gaudenzio Ferrari, Cesare da Sesto, Romanino, Moretto, Pordenone, Titian, and other artists active before the canon-formation enterprise of Giorgio Vasari definitively altered the map of Italian art after 1550.

AS.010.618.  Historical and Conceptual Bases of Art History.  

Critical readings in and of relevance to the intellectual foundations of the modern discipline of art history. Texts by Wölfflin, Riegl, Warburg, Panofsky, Baxandall, Alpers, Clark, Fried, and others. There will be two papers, no exams.

Area: Humanities

Writing Intensive

AS.010.619.  Readings in Modern and Contemporary Asian Art.  

Focusing on a range of art practices and movements in South, Southeast, and East Asia from the 20th and 21st centuries. Specific topics may include: performance art and the body, exhibitionary practices, nationalism and transnationalism, the role of the figural, modes of abstraction, art and the authoritarian state, Marxism and art practices, postcolonial politics and visual culture, artists’ travels to, from, and within Asia, spirituality and modernism, sexuality and gender. Undergraduates by special permission of the instructor.

Area: Humanities

AS.010.620.  Re-thinking the Baroque: the Carracci to Poussin.  

Area: Humanities

AS.010.621.  Topics in Early 20th Century Abstraction.  

Critical examination of key works, texts, and topics in early 20th century abstraction, with an emphasis primarily on developments in Europe and the US.

Area: Humanities

AS.010.623.  The Icon in East and West.  

The chronologically structured seminar discusses the conception and reception of holy images in the Middle Ages from Late Antiquity until the beginning of the Renaissance. We will investigate their creation during the rise of Christianity and their affinities with Graeco-Roman portraits and cult images. Another focus is dedicated to the theological and political context of icons during the waves of early medieval iconoclasm, in particular in Byzantium. We will address icons made in the Holy Land during the crusades, which are often characterized by merging Frankish and Byzantine styles and motifs with Islamic art. We will discuss the emergence of new icons in Italy, and their pan-European distribution after 1100. Here we will focus on the influence of the papal court and the economic impact of icons in the later Middle Ages in the Italian commune.

Writing Intensive

AS.010.624.  Art and Colonialism: Nineteenth-century India.  

This seminar explores the technologies of colonial power, from small ephemeral watercolor images of religious processions to massive multi-volume photographic projects documenting the “people of India,” and extending to the establishment of new urban and architectural spaces, archaeological museums, and art schools, the circulation of diplomatic art collections, and the commissioning of survey data. We will engage with the anti-colonial movements of resistance and uprising that took place across this century, examining the central participation of modern artists with these political movements, and explore the way this period fundamentally shaped the foundations for the study of South Asian art and archaeology. Readings will include colonial and postcolonial theory, Orientalism, historiography; we will be actively working with materials in the library’s special collections.

Area: Humanities

Writing Intensive

AS.010.625.  Art and Interaction in the Bronze Age Eastern Mediterranean.  

The arts of the Near East, Aegean and Egypt are typically taught separately from one another. However, the Mediterranean Sea has always served as a connector, and the diverse cultures of these areas were in close contact with one another for much of their histories. During the Bronze Age (3000 to 1200 BCE), these interactions were particularly dynamic, resulting in a diversity of arts including wall frescoes, precious jewelry, and elaborate furnishings and weaponry. This course examines the arts of the interactions among Near Easterners, Greeks, Egyptians and others. It focuses special attention on the role of artistic products in intercultural relations, including trade, diplomacy, war and imperialism.Students are not expected to have extensive knowledge of all the areas, although some experience in at least one of them will be helpful. The course will interweave establishing a knowledge base necessary to tackle this topic with broader conceptual concerns and interdisciplinary approaches (art historical, archaeological, anthropological, and historical).There will be a final paper.

Area: Humanities

AS.010.627.  Patronage and Power: The Art of the Book in the Middle Ages.  

This research seminar surveys the rich history of manuscript painting in the Middle Ages through the lens of patronage. By focusing on elite patrons – i.e. Popes, Clerics, Holy Roman Emperors, Princes, Princesses, and other ruling figures – we will investigate how changes in style from the early Christian period through the fifteenth century reveal the fluid nature of politics and power during this volatile time period. We will visit local collections of manuscripts (e.g. the Walters Art Museum) and make use of the extensive holdings of medieval facsimiles in Special Collections.

Area: Humanities

AS.010.629.  Periodization and its Discontents.  

This seminar scrutinizes the problem of periodization between the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period (or, the “Renaissance”). Topics include various medieval “Renaissances” (e.g. the Carolingian & 12th century); early modern attitudes toward the Middle Ages; the relationship between arts north and south of the alps during the late fifteenth century; the persistent use of medieval techniques and materials during the Renaissance; the problem of perspective; Nicholas of Cusa; and, the “International Gothic Style”. Readings include Panofsky, Belting, Nagel & Wood, Nagel, Campbell, Gombrich, Da Costa Kaufmann, and Kubler.

Area: Humanities

AS.010.631.  Performing Power: Ceremonial, Diplomacy, and Gift-Giving in and beyond the Ottoman Empire.  

As a major global power straddling three continents, the Ottoman Empire developed a rich and diversified ceremonial culture aimed at impressing local and international audiences alike. This seminar will explore the ways in which works of art and architecture provided settings and apparatus for, and were themselves shaped and enlivened by, the ceremonial acts in which they featured. Covering the period between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries, we will address a range of case studies—including mosque inaugurations, royal processions, the reception of foreign ambassadors, and the exchange of diplomatic gifts—with regard to their sociopolitical, visual, material, and spatial contexts. A major concern of the seminar will be the question of how Ottoman ceremonies, together with their staging and attendant art forms, were adapted in response to changing conditions and audiences, particularly with the shift from the early modern to the modern period. While our focus will be on the Ottoman Empire, the course will also consider the ceremonial cultures of the various Asian and European polities with which the Ottomans interacted, investigating the points of comparison and contrast that defined these multifarious but connected interregional approaches.

Area: Humanities

AS.010.632.  Painting and Subjectivity.  

Readings from a range of theoretically and philosophically interesting texts on painting and the visual arts. Among our authors: Cavell, Lacan, Merleau-Ponty, Foucault, Derrida, Nancy, Lyotard.

Area: Humanities

AS.010.633.  Theories and Works of “The Baroque”.  

There is perhaps no more confounding, though also no more persistent, art historical concept than that of “the Baroque.” This course introduces students to foundational histories and critiques of “the Baroque” while exploring works of art that have proved central to these formulations. That is, this course will balance careful reading of historiography with close examination of works of art (both digitally presented and visited in local collections). Students will come away with a layered understanding of the Baroque objects—from relatively small-scale museum works to major architectural and sculptural monuments—and their place within the broader evolution of the history of art. Particular attention will be given to newer global and (post-)colonial approaches to notions of the Baroque, ultra-Baroque, and neo-Baroque.

Area: Humanities

Writing Intensive

AS.010.634.  Rethinking the Renaissance: Alternatives to "Early Modernity".  

"The Renaissance" as a periodization under attack, and its persistance; the hermeneutics of the Pre-Modern Image since Panofsky; the critique of Eurocentrism; challenges to and recuperations of iconology, assessing the contributions of semiotics, psycholanalysis and queer theory.

Area: Humanities

AS.010.636.  Orientalism and Occidentalism: The Discourse of the Other in the Visual Arts.  

This course explores works of art and architecture that reveal or are informed by the long, complex, and often troubled relationship between the West and the Islamic world. Though extending in scope from the early modern period into our own time, the course focuses on the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, when East-West artistic interactions were arguably at their liveliest and most charged. Topics to be addressed include Ottoman Baroque architecture, Orientalist painting of the nineteenth century, Qajar portraiture and photography, Islamicate architecture at Western world’s fairs, and the recent Danish cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. Students will be encouraged to consider the differences as well as commonalities between these various modes of cross-cultural representation and engagement, and to think critically about the political, cultural, and artistic conditions that engendered and shaped them.

Area: Humanities

AS.010.637.  Ottoman Baroque and Beyond.  

The eighteenth century saw the Ottoman capital of Istanbul transformed by the introduction of a brand-new style of architecture that scholars have dubbed the Ottoman Baroque. Informed, as its name suggests, by Western European models, this new manner of building heralded a permanent shift in late Ottoman visual culture that has been reductively discussed as decadent “Westernization.” This seminar will challenge the conventional wisdom and reconsider the Ottoman Baroque as a timely and sophisticated artistic statement by which the empire reaffirmed its global standing in terms that were both locally rooted and internationally resonant. Topics to be addressed include the semiotics of style; the roles and relationships of patrons, artists, and viewers; architecture as a locus of ceremonial and spectacle; and cross-cultural connections and networks. Although focusing on the architecture of eighteenth-century Istanbul, the seminar will extend into other regions and art forms that demonstrate the impact of the Ottoman Baroque, and it will also consider the style’s afterlife in the context of nineteenth-century Ottoman modernity.

Area: Humanities

AS.010.638.  Interrogating the Material Turn.  

This course considers the turn to centering materials and materiality in the history of art. Since the publication of Michael Baxandall’s Painting and Experience in Fifteenth Century Italy (1972) and in particular since the turn of the millennium, critical engagement with the materiality of art has proliferated. This seminar will tackle renewed investment in materiality within the discipline of art history and draw on perspectives from archaeology, philosophy, anthropology, conservation science, feminist and queer theory, and postcolonial studies, among others. Particular emphasis will be placed on the polycentrism of materiality as a theoretical lens that cuts across seemingly disjunct cultural, social, and political frames and subject positions. While this course focuses on the art of the ancient Mediterranean, students will be encouraged to bring their own subfields to bear on the material turn and to pursue research topics related their individual research goals. Open to interested students from all disciplines.

AS.010.639.  Obsessed with the Past: the Art and Architecture of Medieval Rome.  

In antiquity, Rome became the capital of an empire, its growing status reflected in its sophisticated urban planning, its architecture, and the arts. While an abundance of studies explores the revival of this glorious past in the Renaissance, this seminar discusses various ways of the reception of antiquity during the medieval period. We address the practice of using spolia in medieval architecture, the appropriation of ancient pagan buildings for the performance of Christian cult practices, the continuation of making (cult)images and their veneration, the meaning and specific visuality of Latin script (paleography and epigraphy) in later medieval art. We discuss the revival and systematic study of ancient knowledge (f. ex. medicine, astronomy, and the liberal arts), in complex allegorical murals. As we aim to reconstruct the art and architecture of medieval Rome, this course discusses ideas and concepts behind different forms of re-building and picturing the past, as they intersect with the self-referential character of a city that is obsessed with its own history.

Area: Humanities

Writing Intensive

AS.010.640.  Challenge to Painting: Collage, Montage, Assemblage.  

The invention of Cubist collage is generally regarded as a watershed in twentieth-century art. This seminar will examine key junctures in the rapid proliferation and redefinition of collage strategies primarily in Europe and the United States, including but not limited to Futurist “words in liberty”; Dada and Constructivist photomontage; the Surrealist exploration of desire; Situationist détournement; and selected varieties of postwar assemblage. Frequent meetings in Special Collections.

Area: Humanities

Writing Intensive

AS.010.641.  Hands-On Approaches to European Books and Prints before 1800.  

Baltimore’s rich museum and library collections create a dynamic laboratory for students to gain an understanding of early modern European traditions of prints and books. Engraving, etching, woodcut, mezzotint, à la poupée; Rembrandt, Dürer, Aldus Manutius, Plantin-Moretus. This course will introduce students to the basic techniques, concepts, terms, and artists that shaped the production of reproductive works on paper in early modern Europe and their subsequent art historical study. All sessions will be taught out of local collections (BMA, Walters, NGA, Hopkins Special Collections); that is, this is a hands-on class that—while requiring no previous experience—will attend to the nitty-gritty details and methods of studying works in person, giving students the tools, expertise, and confidence to pursue their own research with historical printed materials.

Area: Humanities

Writing Intensive

AS.010.642.  Matisse and his Century.  

Critical examination of key cruxes in the work of Henri Matisse and his reception, with visits to Special Collections, the BMA, and other collections along the East Coast. This seminar will curate an exhibition of Matisse’s books from Special Collections.

Area: Humanities

AS.010.644.  The Medieval Image and Concepts of Authenticity.  

The course examines the notion of the authentic in conjunction with medieval images, relic veneration, and the practice of law. It investigates the construction, reception, and theoretical grounding of authenticity of reliquaries, icons, and imprints on cloth or seals, and legal documents. These objects elucidate artistic strategies such as cross media references, abstraction, mimesis and bricolage to convey an aura of authenticity. We address other authenticating factors, such as complex ritualized forms of communication.

AS.010.645.  Global, Transnational, and Postcolonial Modernism: Critical Engagements.  

Acknowledging the central role art from around the globe played in the production of the modern, this seminar will engage with the emergent art historical, methodological, and theoretical literature shaping the history of modern art after the global turn. Particular case studies of regional art movements (in e.g. Cuba, Brazil, India, Japan, Iran, Nigeria) alongside discussion of key exhibitions and institutions. A special focus on the theoretical interlocutors for art movements and artists around the world, such as Fanon, Glissant, Bhabha, Chow, Spivak, Freire.

AS.010.646.  Art and Architecture at the Eastern Frontier: Medieval Georgia.  

This seminar investigates the fascinating landscape of medieval art and architecture of Georgia. Its specific geographic position in the South Caucasus, at the cross roads between the East and West, the Christian and Islamic Worlds, had a profound impact on the art and architecture in the region. Ancient sites show close connections with the Graeco-Roman World on the western border and with the Sassanid Empire in the East. The Christianization of the Kingdom of Kartli in the early fourth century resulted in close ties with the development of early Christian art in Syria, the Holy Land, and Byzantium. While the Christian religion remained an identifying factor during several hundred years of Muslim rule (736 to 1122) during which the city of Tbilisi was the capital of an emirate, Islamic motifs and style became an important factor for art works in medieval Georgia. Art and architecture with a specific Byzantine profile flourished in particular after the reunification of Georgia during the reign of King David the Builder (1073- 1125) and Queen Tamar (1184 to 1213). The cathedral and monastery of Gelati and Mzcheta, the murals in the royal monasteries of Vardzia and Khintsvisi, and the countless icons are a testimony to this relationship. We will discuss the specific diverse aesthetics and materiality (stone, enamel and metal works) of Georgian art with the goal to reassess the map of medieval art and architecture that currently does not include the Eastern Frontier. A mandatory c. 10 days field trip to Georgia is planned after classes end in May 2020.

Area: Humanities

Writing Intensive

AS.010.648.  Art and Language in the Indigenous Americas.  

What role does language play in the creation of art, and how can it inform its art historical interpretation? Through a series of case studies drawn from art history, anthropology, and linguistics, this graduate seminar will examine the multifaceted relationships between traditions of verbal and material expression in the indigenous Americas. Key topics will include Mayan decipherment and the interpretation of ancient Maya art; Mesoamerican linguistics and concepts of color; and compositional structure in modern Quechua weaving and storytelling. Through this course, students will critically evaluate language-based analysis as a method for the study of art, while also learning about historical relationships between art and language in the indigenous Americas.

Area: Humanities

AS.010.649.  Power Dressing: The Politics of Costume between the Ottoman Empire and the West.  

In the Ottoman Empire—a vast multiethnic state straddling Africa, Asia, and Europe—how one dressed was a deeply political affair. Ottoman rulers and subjects alike used clothing to express (and sometimes transgress) the hierarchical, religious, and communal distinctions defining their society, much to the fascination of foreigners who visited the empire or sought knowledge of its sartorial traditions in texts and images. This seminar will explore Ottoman dress and dress codes in the context of the empire’s long and complicated relationship with Western powers, focusing on the role that costume played as a charged site of cross-cultural interaction, posturing, and self-assertion from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century. Our case studies will include costume albums—books showing people high and low in their characteristic garb—painted by Ottoman artists for Western buyers; diplomatic robes of honor and their attendant ceremonies; and cultural cross-dressing as manifested in European turquerie portraiture and masquerades. Moving into the modern period, we will consider how nineteenth-century dress reforms bridged the gap between Ottoman and Western costume while engendering new modes of Ottoman sartorial self-representation that challenged hardening Orientalist discourses in such venues as mannequin museums and world’s fairs. The seminar will make considerable use of artworks in local collections, including rare books and prints at Hopkins itself.

Area: Humanities

Writing Intensive

AS.010.650.  Before and After Trent: the Image and Sacred Space in Rome and Spanish Italy.  

The seminar will investigate the question of art and reform in three major centers of the Italian peninsula (Rome, Naples, Milan), with attention to parallel phenomena in other centers of Catholic Europe (Spain and the Spanish Netherlands). We will examine transformations in the practice of pilgrimage and the organization of sacred shrines, tensions between centralization and the persistence of the local, and the initiative of artists and architects in responding to the call for a “reform” of sacred art."

AS.010.652.  Classics Research Lab: Antioch Recovery Project (ARP).  

Antioch Recovery Project investigates mosaics from the ancient city of Antioch (modern Antakya, Turkey, near the border with Syria) now in the collection of the Baltimore Museum of Art. Excavated by an international team of archaeologists in the 1930s, hundreds of ancient mosaics from the cosmopolitan city were subsequently dispersed to museums across the globe, with twenty-four mosaics entering the collection of the BMA. Phase I will focus on the digital documentation and analysis of the mosaic of Narcissus as a prototype for ongoing research bringing together the fragments of ancient Antioch for contemporary beholders. The Greek myth of Narcissus tells the story of a beautiful Theban hunter doomed to love his own reflection and is the origin of the modern psychiatric term “narcissism”. Researching the mythology, materials, conservation history, archival material, historiography, and contemporary reception of the Narcissus mosaic and myth offers extensive opportunities to collaborate with scholars across a range of disciplines at JHU, in the Baltimore museum community, and beyond. Investigators will move between the Baltimore Museum of Art, the CRL processing lab in Gilman Hall, and Special Collections. The course will involve some travel to visit other mosaics from Antioch now in collections at Harvard’s Dumbarton Oaks in Washington D.C., and the Princeton Art Museum in Princeton, New Jersey.

Area: Humanities

AS.010.656.  The Cut.  

This seminar focuses on “the cut”—both as material practice and conceptual trope. Looking specifically at the early modern period, we will attempt to stitch together arts of cutting that have all too often been thought of separately or entirely in isolation—decoupage and inlaid stone, silhouette and turned ivory, repurposed drawing and perfectly hewn precious gem, pared-down panel and paper cut-out. To do so, we will look to expansive modern treatments and theorizations of “the cut” as literal gesture and figurative process, material technique and metaphoric mode. At stake is a reappraisal of creative paradigms that rest upon myths of wholeness, finitude, completion, generation, etc., and that thus undergird the early modern emergence of the very notion of “Art.” This seminar thus asks whether recentering the cut has the potential to position the art object within more expansive fields of material culture and to resituate artistic production within less hegemonic frameworks of creation and creativity. Though focused on the early modern period, students are encouraged to pursue research in their own fields/periods of study.

Writing Intensive

AS.010.659.  Passion Image, Passion Cult, Passion Drama: Narrative and Metaphor in the Middle Ages, Renaissance, and Beyond.  

A set of interdisciplinary explorations of the Passion of Christ narrative in Scripture, theology, visionary literature, cultic devotion, the visual and dramatic arts in Europe from the Central Middle Ages to the Reformation, with a special fast-forward to modern cinematic retellings of the Passion story.

AS.010.670.  Power and Politics in Assyrian Art.  

Assyria, centered in northern Iraq, created one of the world’s first great empires that dominated the ancient Near Eastern world from around 900 to 612 BCE. In concert with imperial expansion came an explosion of architectural and artistic production including entire cities and their ornamentation. This seminar examines the close relationship between the arts and politics in the Assyrian empire. The course will engage in close visual analysis of the ancient materials and critical readings of scholarship. There will be a final project.

Area: Humanities

AS.010.689.  Seeing Sculpture.  

This course explores the art of sculpture in all of its historical forms, from the ancient world to contemporary art, and introduces students to the experiential and spatial challenges sculpture poses. Our focus will combine on-site studies of sculpture in local collections with the development of a critical vocabulary with which to write about those objects, one that draws on the rich history of responses to sculpture from the birth of modern art history to the present.

Area: Humanities

AS.010.701.  What is a Stifterbild?.  

Critically examines classic and recent approaches to the study of donor portraits, votive images and gifts, embedded likenesses and "crypto-portraits" of patrons and rulers, with an emphasis on developments in Germany, France, and the Netherlands between 1250 and 1500.

Area: Humanities

AS.010.702.  1525: Prints and Politics in the German Reformation.  

Examines the involvement of prints, print culture, and the professional activity of the German painter-printmaker with the patterns of social and religious dissent, propagandizing, and political confrontation that marked the first decade of the Protestant Reformation, with a special focus on the revolutionary year 1525. Seminar includes planned visits to the print collections of the Baltimore Museum of Art and the National Gallery in Washington.

Area: Humanities

AS.010.703.  Patterns of Attention in the Visual Arts.  

This seminar aims to excavate six distinct modalities of attention and attentiveness in the visual arts from Middle Ages to Modernity (cultic, narrational, speculative, ethical, sexual, and artistic). While emphasizing European developments, close consideration will be given to the role of visual attention in Hindu and Islamic visual cultures, providing the opportunity for cross-cultural comparison. Each case study will consider the historically shifting roles given to vision, cognition, imagination, affect, desire and power-knowledge in the culturally prevalent patterns of attention we study, and explore how specific kinds of pictorial schema or spatial environments served to structure and guide, or deflect and disrupt, the attention of their beholders. Finally, we will ask whether the historical study of attention can suggest analytical models or ethical lessons for the (re)mobilization of attentiveness in our own art-historical methods.

Area: Humanities

AS.010.704.  Pieter Bruegel the Elder: New Directions in Scholarship.  

Examines major interpretations of the art and career of the great Flemish painter Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1525?-1569), with an emphasis on new approaches and research agendas. In the aftermath of the 450-year Bruegel Anniversary of 2019, with its major exhibitions and comprehensive catalogues, what comes next?

Area: Humanities

AS.010.712.  Albrecht Dürer: Art and Ethics on the Eve of the Reformation.  

This seminar examines Dürer's project to transform the genres of late medieval devotional art in line with his self-image as a Christian humanist painter. Against the backdrop of new agendas for reform, we consider Dürer's collaborations with Celtis, Chelidonius, and Pirckheimer; the therapeutic impulse behind his self-portraits, the works dedicated to friends, and his altarpieces; the Meisterstiche; and other works that thematized the Renaissance philosophical ideal, first found in Petrarch, of a life lived self-consciously and in service to others.

Area: Humanities

AS.010.801.  Special Rsrch & Problems.  
AS.010.802.  Spec Research/Problems.  
AS.010.803.  Individual Work.  
AS.010.804.  Individual Work.  
AS.010.890.  Summer Practicum - History of Art.