ARH 301 Introduction to the Visual Arts
17665 Fall 1997
MWF 2-3, ART 1.110

Instructor: Joann Zimmerman
Departmental Office: FAB 2.124
Phone: 471-7757
Office Hours: Wednesdays 12:30-1:30 in ART 1.205, or by appointment

About this Syllabus

This syllabus represents a contract between instructor and students. Read it carefully, and make sure that you understand all its provisions.

Course Objectives and Format

This is an introductory course in art history. There are no prerequisites. By the time you complete this course, you should have learned how to look at and talk about various forms of art, including architecture, painting and sculpture. You will know a number of works from the Western tradition and will be able to discuss them in historical context. You will be able to discuss works of art from a formal standpoint (color, line, composition, etc.). You will be able to compare works, and feel comfortable in a museum or gallery.

This is primarily a lecture course, but I will frequently ask for discussion during the class period. I encourage active debate and participation.

Quizzes, Exams and Other Assignments

There will be three in-class examinations; each will count as 20% of your grade. There will be no exam during the finals period. Each in-class exam will cover only the specific material studied since the last exam. You will be expected to remember general information from earlier in the course, but will not be responsible for dates or specific titles of works from earlier in the course, unless I have specifically re-covered the material in class.

Exams will contain a variety of material. On each exam there will be slide identifications, short-answer questions, and essay questions. A typical essay question gives you 10 minutes to compare two works, with a specific question posed to direct your answer. The test itself will provide sufficient paper for you to write your answers; do not bring a blue book. Exams will be returned within a 10-day period after the test; you will also receive a sheet that should answer your questions about the way the tests were graded.

There will be three short quizzes, worth a total of 10%. These quizzes are announced on the syllabus. They may include slide identifications, brief questions about the assigned reading, or fill-ins or matching questions for important terminology. Quizzes are based on material covered in class and on the assigned readings. Quizzes will be returned, graded, within 5 days.

The remaining 30% of your grade will come from two outside assignments: a museum assignment, worth 15%, and a paper worth 15%. For the museum assignment, you will answer a series of questions about specific works in campus collections, to get you used to interacting with real objects outside of the classroom setting. The paper will be 4-5 pages in length; you will write a formal analysis of a painting in the museum collections.
In summary:

 Exam I



Exam II



Exam III



Quiz I

  3 1/3%


Quiz II

  3 1/3%

  10 %

Quiz III

  3 1/3%


Museum Ass't.









There will be no make-ups for missed exams or quizzes. If I judge you to have a valid excuse (see below), your other grades will count proportionately higher. For example, if you miss one exam and have a valid excuse, the other two exams would each count for 30% of your grade. Should you miss a quiz with a valid excuse, your other two quizzes would each count 5% instead of 3 1/3 %. Missed exam s or quizzes without valid excuses are counted as 0.

Late papers and museum assignments will have 10 points subtracted for each day they are late; if you have a valid excuse, they will be graded as if they were turned in on time. I will accept nothing after the final day of class. If a paper or museum assignment is never turned in, it will count as a 0.

Grading Policy and Absences

Attendance is very important. I will take attendance every day, in accordance with departmental policy. Each absence without a valid excuse in excess of 3 removes 5 points from your final grade. (Example: if your average is 93, and you have 4 unexcused absences, then your final grade is 88.)

I only grant excuses for documented serious emergencies or documented medical reasons. Show me your written excuse at the first class after your absence.

There is no curve for this class. Final grades are assigned on the basis of 90-100 = A, 80-89 = B, etc.

I will post final grades on or after Dec. 15 on the bulletin board inside the west entrance to the Fine Arts Building. You may collect your graded third exam and paper in the Art History office (FAB 2.124) at that time.

Textbook and Assigned Reading

The textbook for this course is A History of Western Art by Laurie Schneider Adams, 2nd ed. It's available for $50 (new) in paperback from the University Co-op. The syllabus has a number of reading assignments. For each reading, the date given is the date by which it should be completed. You are responsible for these readings, and quizzes and exams may contain materials taken from them. Readings follow along with the lectures; as a result, they do not go in anything resembling textbook order. It's OK to read ahead, if it works better for you to do a week's readings all at once, for example. Pay particular attention to charts, labeled drawings and the like.

Images, Slide Reserves and Lists

Each exam has a set of images associated with it for which you are responsible, meaning that you should be able to recognize and identify them in detail, and discuss them. These images come from lecture and from the textbook. So that you will have consistent sources for study purposes, images appearing in lecture but not in the textbook are available in a slide reserve tray ready for checkout in the Audio-Visual section of the Undergraduate Library, on the third floor of the FAC. The slide tray will be replaced shortly after each of the first two exams. I am also providing these images on the Web; I will give access details in class. For each exam, I will pass out image lists well in advance. The image lists will include all the information you will be required to associate with each image. Each list is divided into two parts: slides on reserve, and images in your textbook for which you are responsible.


I hold office hours weekly, on Wednesdays from 12:30 to 1:30, in ART 1.205. If you have class during this time, see me after class to make an appointment. I welcome visitors during my office hours, and would really like to meet with each of you at least once during the semester.

You can always get in touch with me via e-mail. I'd like to get comments as well as questions. I'm at . Please put ARH 301 somewhere in your subject line, and make sure I know your real name. I'll try to get back to you as soon as possible. I check my mail every day.

If you need to leave me a note or phone message, do so through the Art History Department office (FAB 2.214, 471-7757); as I share my so-called office with 17 other people, I never use it except during office hours!

Course Schedule


Introduction; What is Art?


Thinking about Style and Period; History Lesson
Reading: Chapters 1, 2


No Class: Labor Day Holiday


Looking at Sculpture I
Reading: 37-39, 72-76, 101-07, 121-26, 153-57, 259


Looking at Sculpture II
Reading: 309, 378-79, 434


The Doryphoros and Three Davids
Reading: 94-97, 244-47, 257, 288-89, 331, 342-45


Realism vs. Idealism


Looking at Buildings


Building Sacred Space I
Reading: 67-72, 163-76, 187-93


Building Sacred Space II
Quiz I


No class: Instructor at professional conference


Chartres, Santo Spirito and Saint Peter's
Reading: 203-226, 247-51, 279-84
Museum Assignments Due


Building Secular Spaces I
Reading: 135-40, 258-59, 521-25


Building Secular Spaces II


Parthenon, Pantheon & Colosseum I
Reading: 109-118, 140-52, 312-15, 372-73, 385-86


Parthenon, Pantheon & Colosseum II


Exam I


Surrounding Buildings with Landscape


Versailles and Fallingwater
Reading: 337-40, 473-74


Looking at Paintings I
Reading: 24-36, 76-78, 157-62, 227-40, 261-69


Looking at Paintings II
Reading: 436-448


The Arnolfini Wedding, Mona Lisa and Wheatfield with Reaper
Reading: 270-75, 284-87, 440-42


Sacred Objects
Reading: 163-64, 167, 193, 275-78
Quiz II


Creating Space within a Picture
Reading: 26-27, 250-55


The Last Supper, The Bar at the Folies Bergere, and Harmony in Red
Reading: 286-87, 420-23, 451-54, 458-60


The Place of the Artist
Reading: 232 (inset), 349-58, 432-33


Landscape Painting
Reading: 387-88, 396-401


The Painting of Everyday Life
Reading: 413-15, 423-28, 435-43


Showing Time, Motion and Speed
Reading: 468-73


Exam II


Telling Stories I
Reading: 149-50, 202


Telling Stories II


Artistic Programs I


Artistic Programs II
Reading: 157-60, 290-94


Illustrating Books
Reading: 184-89, 198-99, 204 (inset)


Making Abstractions
Reading: 461-73, 495-507


Ready-mades and Giant Hamburgers
Reading: 478-86, 508-20


Recent Art
Reading: 521-35
Quiz III


Prints and Engravings I
Reading: 323-24
Papers Due


Prints and Engravings II
Reading: 406-09, 435-36


No class: Thanksgiving Holiday


Making Photographs I
Reading: 409-12, 489-91


Making Photographs II


Exam III

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