Dr. Sarah Scott, Art History

Dr. Scott completed her BA at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, where she majored in Art History and Archaeology, and minored in Chemistry. She lived in Manhattan for two years and worked at the Metropolitan of Museum of Art in the Objects Conservation Department and then in the Curatorial Department of Ancient Near Eastern Art. She received her Ph.D. in the History of Art from the University of Pennsylvania in 2005. In 2007 she became an Assistant Professor of Art History in the Art Department at Wagner College, and she is now an Associate Professor.

Dr. Scott’s area of scholarship is Ancient Near Eastern Art. She is particularly engaged with issues surrounding the intersection of art and writing in fourth and early third millennium BCE southern Mesopotamia, and how cylinder seal imagery functioned in temple economies. She uses a range of methodologies not only drawing upon Art History, but also Archaeology, Semiotics, and Assyriology (the study of ancient Near Eastern languages and scripts). Another research concentration of hers is the phenomenon of Assyrian imperial art. She investigates how narrative (visual and textual) plays a role in the administration and ideology of empire, and is currently working on a digital reconstruction of an Assyrian palace at Nineveh.

Although a specialist in Ancient Near Eastern Art History, Dr. Scott teaches a range of courses at Wagner that encompasses the broader Mediterranean and Middle Eastern visual worlds. As part of a new Art History Major, Dr. Scott offers courses in Ancient Middle Eastern, Egyptian, Islamic, Bronze Age, Greek, and Roman Art and Architecture. She employs an interdisciplinary approach in her courses, and exposes students to themes dealing with narrative, semiotics, portraiture, and propaganda. Her classes actively utilize museums in New York City as an extension of the classroom.

Some of Dr. Scott's courses include
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.

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 Pre-dynastic 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.

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. Prerequisites: any other Art History course.