VAPA Courses

The courses below fulfill the Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) requirement of the undergraduate Core Curriculum.

Details below are subject to change. Please confirm all information in the official Course Schedule.

Spring 2023 Courses

ARH 301
Introduction to the Visual Arts

Moyosore Okediji
MW 9–11
Fulfills →  VAPA / Global Cultures flag
Instruction Mode →  Internet

Jeffrey Chipps Smith
TTH 2–3 + Discussion Section
Fulfills →  VAPA / Global Cultures flag
Instruction Mode →  Face-to-Face

This survey course explores art and human creativity. The class stresses visual literacy by examining how and why art is made. We shall examine both famous and less well known examples of painting, sculpture, prints, and architecture, among other arts, as we investigate the many roles that art plays in different world cultures.

ARH 302
Survey of Ancient through Medieval Art

Douglas Cushing
MW 10–11 + Discussion Section
Fulfills →  VAPA / Global Cultures flag
Instruction Mode →  Face-to-Face

A study of selected visual works throughout the world from prehistoric time to 1400 CE.

ARH 303
Survey of Renaissance through Modern Art

Louis Alexander Waldman
MW 11–12 + Discussion Section
Fulfills →  VAPA / Global Cultures flag
Instruction Mode →  Face-to-Face

Daisy Adams
TTH 5–6:30
Fulfills →  VAPA / Global Cultures flag
Instruction Mode →  Face-to-Face

A study of selected visual works throughout the world from 1400 CE to the present.

ARH 329T
Art in the Age of Dante and Giotto

Ann Collins Johns
TTH 9:30–11
Fulfills →  VAPA / Global Cultures flag
Instruction Mode →  Face-to-Face

In this course, we focus on the rich artistic and architectural history of late medieval Italy (1200-1400), an era closely associated with the great poet Dante and the artistic achievements of the age’s most famous artist, Giotto. Geographically, we explore the art of late medieval Rome, Pisa, Assisi, Siena, Florence, and the imperial court of Frederick II in southern Italy. Artistically, we examine the work of artists as diverse as Arnolfo di Cambio, Giovanni Pisano, Pietro Cavallini, and the prodigiously talented Lorenzetti brothers, as well as the anonymous creators of frescoes at sites as varied as Assisi, Pisa, and Sant’Angelo in Formis.

Through lectures, discussions, and group work, we learn that the art of the era is inextricably linked to the tumult of this pivotal moment in Italian history, much of which is chronicled in Dante’s encyclopedic account. While we as a class focus on the extraordinary artistic output of the later middle ages in Italy, the continuing battles between church and state, the rise of the wealthy bourgeois merchants, and the devastating plague of 1348 ensures that we also delve into social, economic, and cultural issues of the era, punctuated by occasional readings (in English) from Dante.


Art History Majors

For 2018–2020 and 2020–2022 Catalogs:
Time Period — 400–1500
Geographic Area — Europe & Mediterranean

For 2022–2024 Catalog:
Time Period — 600–1500
Geographic Area — Europe

ARH 333L
The Age of Rembrandt and Rubens: Northern Baroque Art

Jeffrey Chipps Smith
TTH 9:30–11
Fulfills →  VAPA
Instruction Mode →  Face-to-Face

This course explores Northern European art between 1580 and 1720. The focus will be on the Golden Age of Netherlandish art and culture as we investigate the creativity of Rembrandt, Jan Vermeer, Frans Hals, Judith Leyster, Rubens, and Anthony van Dyck, among other great masters. We shall discuss other major artistic centers, such as Paris and Versailles during the reign of King Louis XIV. This was also a period in which the world opened up to Europeans as explorers and merchants brought back knowledge, art, erotic wares, and natural wonders from Asia, Africa, and the Americas. These encounters enriched the Netherlands, among other lands, but often at a human cost.


Art History Majors

For 2018–2020 and 2020–2022 Catalogs:
Time Period — 1500–Present
Geographic Area — Europe & Mediterranean

For 2022–2024 Catalog:
Time Period — 1500–Present
Geographic Area — Europe

Back to top