ART STUDIO COURSES DESCRIPTIONS
* A non-refundable lab fee is required
Drawing Lab. Zero units. This weekly figure-drawing session is mandatory for all art majors. Students can use any dry or water-based media. The session allows students to practice the drawing skills they developed in previous classes and to experiment with personal expression and style. The class is monitored and attended by a faculty member, and attendance for the entire three hours every week is required.
AR 103 Design and Color. One unit. A beginning study of basic problems in two-dimensional design and color. Emphasis is on problem-solving projects and learning the vocabulary of design and color. Content includes basic color theory. Offered fall and spring semesters.*
AR 105 Drawing I. One unit. The development of skills in the representation of objects and the figure in terms of line, space, composition, and value. Emphasis is placed on basic drawing techniques and interpretative qualities of various media. Offered fall and spring semesters and summer session.*
AR 106 Ceramics I. One unit. A studio course which introduces the techniques of pottery,
including hand-built constructions and forms thrown on the potter’s wheel. Experience with
glaze preparation and kiln firing. Offered fall and spring semesters and summer sessions.*
AR 114 Photography I. One unit. Fundamental techniques and principles of photography as an art form. Craft (camera know-how, developing, printing) and content (what to put on film) and their relationships in visual communication. Darkroom work. A traditional 35mm, manually operated camera is required. A minimum of two hours of lab time per week will be required plus photography assignments. Estimate three to four hours per week. Offered fall and spring semesters and summer session.* www.flickr.com/photos/44815355@N05/
AR 130 Digital Photography. One unit. An introduction to the basic techniques and aesthetics of digital photography including cameras, tools, printing and on-line imaging.
AR 203 Advertising Art I: Computer Design. One unit. The student will create graphics using the Macintosh computer. The making of websites, animation, and print products will demonstrate the knowledge of software concepts and design principles; the use of type, page layout color, digital imaging, and motion. Projects will reflect the student’s personal interests and will form the beginning of a digital portfolio. Offered fall and spring semesters.*
AR 204 Sculpture. One unit. The course introduces students to the working in three dimensions. A variety of media are utilizes including clay, Styrofoam, etc. Offered fall semester.*
AR 205 Drawing II. One unit. The production of studies and finished drawings of the human figure using a wide range of media and techniques. Prerequisite: AR 105 or permission of the instructor. Offered spring semester.*
AR 206 Ceramics II. One unit. A continuation of Ceramics I with a concentration on wheel-thrown forms and ceramic sculpture. Prerequisite: AR 106. Offered as required.*
AR 208 Painting I. One unit. This course teaches the basics of oil painting including: how to stretch a canvas and prepare a palette; the study of color relationships; creating space, form and light; understanding the importance of the picture plane; and how to develop a
painting over time. The student will work with a variety of subjects. Examples of the work of contemporary as well as historical painters will be shown in class. Prerequisite: AR105 Drawing 1or permission of the instructor. Offered fall and spring semesters.*
AR 210 Watercolor and Beyond. One unit. This class explores the various water based painting and drawing mediums available to artists, including traditional watercolor, acrylic, monoprint, water based pastel and collage. Emphasis of the class wil be on mastery of technique as well as exploring the creative potential of each medium. Prerequisite: AR105 or permission of instructor. Offered as required.*
AR 213 Printmaking I. One unit. Major emphasis on the intaglio and woodcut processes, etching, engraving, dry point, aquatint, and mezzotint. Collograph and monotype, as well as other techniques are explored. Prerequisite: AR 105 or permission of instructor. Offered fall or spring semesters.*
AR 214 Photography II. One unit. A continuation of Photography I. Explores more sophisticated techniques and methods. A traditional 35mm, manually operated camera is required. Prerequisite: AR 114. Offered spring semester.*
AR 221 Museum and Gallery Studies. One unit. This course introduces art and arts administration students to contemporary thought and practice in the making, exhibiting and marketing of visual art. Through essays, class discussions and field trips to local galleries, museums and auction houses, students will explore the importance of context and presentation in how works of art are perceived by the public. Students will assist with hanging and dismantling exhibitions in the Wagner College Gallery. Prerequisite: AR 203 or permission of the instructor. This course is open only to art and arts administration majors. Offered fall semester
AR 240 Basic Video Production. One unit. This course provides an introduction to video and animation production techniques including lighting, shooting and editing. Basic problems in production, the use of equipment and the variety of options available are covered. Students are trained in Final Cut editing software and will edit their films in Mac Lab.
AR303 Advertising Art II: Computer Design. One unit. Continuation of Advertising Art I. Emphasis on Interactive media and on projects that reflect the student’s interests. Prerequisite AR 203. Offered as required.
AR 305 Drawing III. One unit. This class is designed for students who have successfully completed studies in Drawing I and II. The goal of the course will be to further the students’ technical skills as well as to develop a deeper conceptual understanding of the language of drawing. The imagery will derive from a study of still life, the human model, and landscape, but will also rely upon the students’ more personal imagery deriving from sources such as memory and imagination. We will explore, as well, the abstract possibilities of drawing,attempting in our work to take the concept of drawing beyond the idea of a preparatory sketch and investigate the use of drawing as a finished statement. The class size will be limited to encourage a seminar-type atmosphere and free exchange between teacher and students. Prerequisites: AR 105, 205. Offered as required.
AR 308 Painting II. One unit. Figure and advanced painting. Students continue to explore issues of space, color and form with oil paint. Students will work in a variety of sizes and styles, focusing on recognizing and developing their own voice. At least half of the class is dedicated to studying directly from the model (figure painting). In-depth critiques are part of this class, as are occasional field trips to see paintings in Manhattan or New York City. Group work as well as non-representational painting will be explored. Prerequisite: AR 208. Offered spring semester.
AR 313 Printmaking II. One unit. Continues the development of techniques learned in Printmaking I. The major emphasis is on color monotype and colograph. Limited edition printing, presentation, print conservation, and preservation. Prerequisite: AR 213.Offered as required.*
AR 400 Reflective Tutorial in Art. (To be taken in both the Junior and the Senior year) One unit. The senior reflective tutorial culminates in the exhibition of students’ work and production of a written thesis. The experiential component will consist of students working independently in their studios to produce a body of art for public exhibit. During weekly informal group discussions, and three formal critiques, students will reflect on their experiences in the studio and share responses to each other’s work. Required of art majors in both the junior and senior year (part 2 of the senior learning community. Offered spring term only.
AR 593 Independent Study. One unit. With special permission of the department chair, the course may be taken for two units. Offered as required, consult department chair. Available to art majors only.
ART HISTORY COURSE DESCRIPTIONS
AH 109 Art History or Histories? One unit. This course introduces students to the major periods, issues, and methodologies in the field of art history. While learning to analyze visually works of sculpture, painting, and architecture, students will also examine the changing functions of artworks, and the changing role of the artist throughout selected periods in history. Stylistic development will be explored in relation to the social, cultural, and political contexts in which the works were created. Topics include: art and archaeology; art and propaganda; art and its public; who decides? and problems in non-Western art. The course includes individual and group museum visits. Offered fall or spring semester.
AH 112 Art of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries. One unit. This course investigates selected issues in European Art from the eighteenth century to the contemporary period, Works of art are placed in the context of social, political, cultural, and philosophical developments, with a special emphasis on understanding the relation between artistic movements and historical changes. Specific issues and topics to be explored include: art as political propaganda; landscapes and nationalism; the rise of abstraction; the influence of “exotic” or foreign cultures on the development of modern styles; art in the Machine Age; art and the rise of mass culture, as well as many other topics. Periods and styles to be explored include Romanticism, Realism, Impressionism, Symbolism, Expressionism, Cubism, Futurism, and others. Offered fall semester.
AH 118 Introduction to Art History: The Ancient World from a Global Perspective
(I). One unit. This course is designed to introduce students to the diverse variety of ancient material culture around the world. We will examine the artifacts, architecture, and art of ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, the Aegean, Mesoamerica, Africa, India, China and Far East Asia, Greece, Rome, Byzantium, and the Islamic world. The lectures will follow a geographical and chronological framework, examining each culture from the early formative periods (third millennium BC), through classical antiquity (Greece and Rome included), up through the medieval periods. Throughout the course we will move from one region to another, and back again, comparatively analyzing cultures as they develop and come into contact with one another. The goal of the course is to leave the students with a basic knowledge of ancient and non-western civilizations, as well as the ability to compare the ancients’ use of visual expression to our modern concepts of art and architecture, and an introductory knowledge of art historical and archaeological methodologies. This course will consist of class lectures, visits to various museum collections, and class discussion. This course meets the College requirements for an International Perspectives Requirement.
AH 211: Renaissance and Baroque. One unit. This course explores the painting, sculpture and architecture of the 13th-16th centuries in Europe. Works of art are set into their religious, political, social and aesthetic context. The early weeks of the course focus heavily on Florence, but we also explore the art of the Renaissance in the North. The second part of the course looks at Baroque art in Italy, Spain, Flanders, and Holland. Throughout issues of patronage, iconography, artistic identity and the developments of new functions for works of art are examined. Artists studied include Giotto, Donatello, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Brunelleschi, Rubens, Velazquez, Bernini and Carravaggio.
AH 212 Ritual, Religion, and Rulers: Art from Prehistory to the Middle Ages. One unit.
This course explores art in a variety of media, from cave painting, to masks, to Gothic cathedrals. Works are examined in relation to the religious beliefs and political structures of various Western and non-Western cultures. Sanctuaries, idols, representations of numerous
deities, ruler portraits, temples, mosques, and cathedrals are visually analyzed and interpreted. Topics include: Egyptian art and the afterlife; African art and ritual; the palaces of ancient Crete; and the development of Christian iconography from Roman times to the Gothic period. Visits to museums and to the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. Offered spring semester.
AH 215 American Art History. One unit. What does it mean to be an American artist? This
course introduces students to the study of American art, from its origins until the present
day including painting, sculpture, architecture, and photography. Selected topics and artists
are explored in relation to the changing aesthetic, political, and cultural climate of the United
States. Topics to be examined include: the rise of landscape painting and the notion of America
as the New Eden; the question of national identity and connections with European art; the
portrayal of African-Americans and Native-Americans in American art; the relation between
“high” and “low” American culture; women artists in the United States; the impact of the Cold
War and the flight to suburbia on artistic identity and production. Offered fall or spring semester.
AH 217 Medieval Art. One unit. The art of the middle ages continues to enchant, inspire and
move us. This course examines the full range of artistic production in the medieval period,
from the fall of the Roman Empire, to the to the high Gothic period. We attempt to get a better
understanding of what life was like in Middle Ages by studying the architecture, sculpture,
stained glass, manuscripts, paintings, tapestries, reliquaries, and icons produced during the era.
We range from the British Isles and central Europe to the eastern reaches of the Byzantine
Empire and growing Muslim territories, and look at early Christian, barbarian, Byzantine,
Carolingian, Ottonian, Romanesque, and Gothic periods. Works of art are examined against
the social, political, and economic events of the time, from the founding of monasteries, to
the Crusades, to the rise of chivalry and world, from nineteenth century paintings to recent
films. Offered as required.
AH 219 Egyptian Art and Architecture (I). One unit. Ancient Egypt is unique among ancient world civilizations; it contributed seminally to artistic expression in both the western and non-western worlds. This course examines the birth and development of ancient Egyptian culture by examining major monuments of architecture, sculpture, and painting from the Predynastic Period through the New Kingdom. It places the development of the powerful and sometimes enigmatic forms of Egyptian art in the context of the culture that created them, considering such factors as religion, politics, and philosophy. Students will engage the material through lectures, reading material, writing assignments, and museum trips. This course meets the College requirements for an International Perspectives Requirement.
AH 220 Islamic Art and Architecture (I). One unit. Islamic Art and Architecture is a field of study holding special relevance in today’s world. This course will cover the different periods of origin, early development and imperial climax of Islamic material culture through the Ottoman Empire (650-1800). The development of the visual world and material culture of Islam will be emphasized to the end that students will gain an understanding they can use to decipher the meanings and concepts inherent in that culture today. Various major regions of the ancient Islamic world will be covered: Central Asia, Iran, Iraq, Anatolia, Syria-Palestine, Egypt, North Africa (Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco), and Spain. Major monuments of Islamic architecture, sculpture, and painting will be explored as will the development of the powerful and sometimes enigmatic concepts of Islamic art within the context of the culture that created them, considering such factors as religion, politics, and philosophy. This course meets the College requirements for an International Perspectives Requirement.
AH 222 Ancient Mediterranean Art and Architecture (I). One unit. Modern day Greece is often cited as the birthplace of western civilization and religion. In this course we will examine this concept while surveying the art and architecture of the Bronze Age Aegean and Classical Greek civilizations. Students will learn about the material cultures of these civilizations through examinations of ceramics, sculpture, painting, and architecture. Minoan and Mycenaean palaces, Greek temples, bronze and marble sculptures of heroes, deities, and philosophers are but a few of the agencies of monumental expression covered in this course. This survey will touch upon issues relevant to the disciplines of Art History, Archaeology, History, Literature, and Religion. Students will engage the material through lectures, reading material, writing assignments, and museum trips. This course meets the College requirements for an International Perspectives Requirement.
AH 223 City and Empire: Ancient Near Eastern Art and Architecture (I). One unit. This course is a survey of the art of ancient Mesopotamia (modern day Iraq). The region between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers is known as the ‘Cradle of Civilization.’ The first urban societies, monumental architecture, written language, and complex empires are just a few of the innovations that appeared here. From the fourth to first millennium BCE Mesopotamia gave the world its first glimpse of advanced human civilization. Through incorporation of introductory texts and scholarly literature students will enjoy discovering the major issues confronted by Archaeologists, Anthropologists, Art Historians, and Linguists as they examine the culture of ancient Mesopotamia. Class sessions will consist of slide lectures, discussion of scholarly texts and museum trips. This course meets the College requirements for an International Perspectives Requirement.
AH 224 Monumental Expression in the Ancient World (I). One unit. Expression of power has long been the focus of propaganda for rulers. Such expression is commonly manifest in visually stimulating architectural programs sponsored by such rulers. Cultures of ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, Minoan Crete, the Classical and Islamic worlds, were all fueled by rulers’ drive to impress and hold power over the population through visual persuasion. Visual persuasion and expression of power was conveyed through architecture, imagery, and organization and control of space. This course will examine the use and incorporation of visual expression in various ancient cultures through detailed analysis of a few specific monumental architectural complexes. Palaces and temples, and the objects found inside these buildings will be analyzed to determine how messages were conveyed to the audiences of the ancient world. A major component of this class is conducting a research project on a specific complex of monumental architecture. Students will also come away from this seminar a more active member of the visual world that surrounds them; the use of written expression is vital in consideration of our world today. This course meets the College requirements for an International Perspectives Requirement.
AH 291 Special Topics One unit. This course is offered to present new subject matter or to present possible new courses. Offered as required.
AH 301 Art and Narrative (I). One unit. All great civilizations have a story to tell; great Assyrian kings bragged about military feats, Mayan nobles watched as champion athletes played a lethal ball-game, Renaissance painters illuminated biblical stories. In this course we will examine how these stories and ‘historical’ events found a place in the visual artistic tradition of multiple civilizations. We will examine the written tradition of narrative, analyzing the construction of stories, and look at how various stories are told. We will compare these texts to visual representations of stories, and dissect the imagery to better understand modes of visual narrative. Multiple cultures, from multiple time periods will be examined, including but not limited to: Ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, Mesoamerica, China, Japan, the Islamic Middle East, the Byzantine world, and Renaissance Europe. This course meets the College requirements for an International Perspectives Requirement. Prerequisites: any other Art History course
AH 302 The Assyrian Empire (I). One unit. The Assyrian Empire was one of the most powerful ancient civilizations, for a time holding sway over the entire region of the Ancient Near East. Ruling with great military might, the Assyrians constructed massive palatial complexes containing extraordinary narrative relief sculpture documenting their exploits. This class will examine these complexes, looking at the architecture, art, and writing that were integral parts of the buildings. Students will actively participate in critiquing various scholarly texts and objects from area museums and will be responsible for a series of writing projects dealing with these palaces and the context for which they were created. This course meets the College requirements for an International Perspectives Requirement. Prerequisites: any other Art History course.
AH321: The Madman and the Savage: Vincent Van Gogh and Paul Gauguin One unit
No two artists have attracted a greater legend, or occupy a more important place in the pubhlic conscience than Vincent Van Gogh and Paul Gauguin. Working at the end fo the nineteenth centruy, both artists produced works of incredible expressive power, ambition and abstraction, that lead them to the threshold of modern art. This course explores the life and works of Van Gogh and Gauguin in great depth, separating fact from fiction and myth from reality. Our studies look at their origins, artistic training, major themes and subjects, techniques, and their journeys both inward and outward. While setting their art against the culture, politics and religious beliefs of the nineteenth century, we explore the individual achievements and artistic vision of each. We will learn about these artists through readings, discussions, research, films and first hand examination of works in New York City collections.
AH 324 Women in the Visual Arts. One unit. This course explores the work of women artists,
as well as representations of women throughout history, with an emphasis on the modern period. Issues of gender are examined in relation to the subject matter, stylistic preference, media, reception, and criticism of female artists. Issues to be discussed include self representations by women artists; themes of motherhood, prostitution and female sexuality in the visual arts; the impact of the women’s movement on art; issues of the gaze and the gendering of vision; and the various obstacles and options facing the contemporary women artist. Painters, sculptors, and photographers to be examined include Artemesia Gentelleschi, Frida Kahlo, Berthe Morisot, Eva Hesse, Georgia O’Keefe, Cindy Sherman, Judy Chicago, Merritt Oppenheim, and Hannah Höch. Discussions also focus on major works created during the Renaissance, Impressionist, and Modern periods, as well as works in such diverse visual media as performance, cinema, and advertising. The course includes a trip to the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C. Prerequisite: any other Art History or Gender Studies course. Offered spring semester.
AH 326 Cities and Perversities: Art in Turn-of-the-Century Paris, Vienna, Berlin, and Barcelona. (I) One unit. This course focuses on art in the fin-de-siècle in four major cosmopolitan centers: Paris, Vienna, Berlin, and Barcelona, with occasional stops in Belgium, Norway, and England. Styles discussed include Expressionism, Symbolism, Post-Impressionism, Art Nouveau, and Jugendstil. The art of the period is explored in relation to issues of national identity c. 1900 and as a response to the shock of metropolitan life, a phenomenon experienced by artists in all four cities. These issues include attitudes toward sexuality, the rise of the crowd, alienation, the impact of psychoanalysis, escapism, and the withdrawal to the interior. We will also study the interrelation between paintings, sculpture, architecture, design, and the popular arts in this period. The course attempts to understand better the shared visual language of turn-of-the-century Europe, while illuminating the special contributions and characteristics of the art of each city. Offered as required.
CAPSTONE COURSE DESCRIPTIONS
AH 400 RFT/Internship: The Senior Internship for Wagner Art History majors will expose students to professional opportunities available within the discipline. The internship will allow them to use this knowledge in an experiential setting and give them insight to possible career paths they may wish to pursue. Students will actively seek internships at art museums, galleries, architectural sites, public arts organizations, or an arts advocacy group. They are expected to spend 2-4 days per week working at an institution, or between 100 and 200 hours per semester, assisting with various projects with professional staff, documented in a journal. At the end of the internship they are expected to complete a reflective paper. Regular meetings for discussions and reflection will be held during the course of the semester.
AH 490: Imaging the Individual: What is a Portrait? One unit. A portrait is often thought of as a visual, naturalistic representation of an individual. However this is only one definition. In this course, we will examine the concept of portraiture: what is a portrait? Does it have to portray the likeness of a person? Can a portrait contain other types of imagery? How does written text relate to visual portraiture? How is a portrait of a Mayan Lord different from that of a Japanese Samurai? How does a portrait of an Egyptian Pharaoh differ from a portrait of Andy Warhol? We will survey "portraits" of individuals beginning with Paleolithic Venus figurines, and end with those of contemporary artists. We will look at self-portraits, paintings, sculptures and even some works of monumental architecture.
AH 491: Contemporary Art. One unit. This course familiarized students with contemporary art practice, debates in art theory and criticism and the most important issues facing the artist today. We will examine the work of diverse artists in the context of larger social, political, economic and aesthetic issues. In addition, we will look at issues such as the role of the museum today, censorship and the impact of the internet on contemporary art making. The works of important contemporary critics and theorists are explored.