Requirements and Courses
Requirements For The Major In Art History
The Art History major provides an effective focus for a general education, encouraging students to range broadly in their undergraduate curricula. The major can also provide pre-professional training for those who seek advanced degrees in the subject and plan careers as professors or teachers or as gallery and museum administrators and curators. The study of Art History can also directly underpin careers in Studio Art, city planning, and architecture and landscape design.
The art history major guides students as they interpret visual imagery critically and historically, providing them with: 1) knowledge of the theories, histories, and philosophies of art; 2) knowledge of a large set of art objects from cultures and periods stretching from the present to the past; 3) instruction on how to communicate effectively about art works in both written and oral forms; 4) the skills to carry on effective research in art history; and 5) the general skills and knowledge to pursue a productive career or further education in art history.
During their senior year, art history students write a sustained research paper on a subject of their choice that they demonstrate has disciplinary interest. During the fall semester faculty direct student research in a senior seminar that meets once each week. During the spring semester students collaborate closely with their faculty advisors to produce their final written thesis.
Faculty in art history, plus one other expert from outside the department, read the senior theses. The outside expert and the department faculty also gather in early May to hear the graduating seniors defend their theses in public orally. Together the faculty and outside expert examine both performances, written and oral, for specific content indicating the graduating senior’s attainment of the relevant departmental learning objectives stated above.
Courses in art history taken outside the Claremont Colleges for credit must be approved by the department in advance. All courses for the major must be taken for a letter grade.
In order to ensure exposure to a wide range of art works, practices and theories, across both time and place, art history majors will take:
1. Two introductory courses: 51A or 51B; and 51C.
2. One course in the art of Asia, Africa, or the African Diaspora.
3. One course in the art of the Americas.
4. One course in the art of Europe before 1840.
5. One course in art since 1840.
6. Two additional art history courses.
7. One studio art course.
8. Senior seminar in the fall semester (Art History 190).
9. Senior Thesis in the spring semester (Art History 191).
Art History majors who intend to pursue graduate work should study at least two foreign languages appropriate to their areas of interest. Students are strongly encouraged to apply for internships in museums, galleries, and conservation labs, and to study abroad during their junior year.
Requirements for a Minor in Art History
All courses for the minor must be taken for a letter grade:
- Lower-division work: two Art History courses from the following: 51aA 51B, 51C.
- Upper-division work: Four courses in Art History, one of which must be a seminar and one of which must concern African/African Diaspora, Native American or Asian art.
For information on which semesters courses will be offered, see POMONA COLLEGE ART HISTORY COURSES
Art History (ARHI) courses satisfy Area 1 of the Breadth of Study Requirements.
51A,B,C. Introduction to the History of Art. Mr. Emerick, Mr. Gorse, Ms. Pohl. Asks how the visual cultures of past times relate to those of the present. Critically examines the modern notion of â€œArt.â€ Proceeds chronologically and globally with examples from Europe, Africa, the Americas and Asia. Courses may be taken in any order. 51A: Prehistory through Ancient times in Europe, the Mediterranean and the Fertile Crescent; Fall 2012; offered alternate years. 51B: European Middle Ages; Fall 2013; offered alternate years. 51C: From ca. 1200 to the present; each semester.
PZ MS 88. Mexican Visual Cultures. Mr. Lerner. A survey of both popular and elite visual arts in Mexico from the time of Independence to today, including painting, prints, murals, sculpture and, more recently, film and video. Emphasis will be placed on the interchanges between media and the understanding of visual culture as a reflection of social changes.
PZ ANTH 133. Indians in Action: Representations of Indigeneity on Film. Mr. Anthes and Ms. Martin. Understandings of the indigenous cultures in the Americas have been shaped profoundly by cinematic images. Representations of and by Native Americans have much to say not only about the people they depcit but also about the complex relationships between them and national societies. This class studies a selection of iconic films, including ethnographies, mainstream narrative films, as well as the work of indigenous film and videomakers. Our focus will be on understanding the constructed nature of these cultural artifacts as they become important elements in the production of history and historical agents. This course considers that what is put into images is as important as what is left out.
133. Art, Conquest and Colonization. Ms. Pohl. Examines how images were enlisted in and helped shape the systematic exploration, conquest and colonization of North America (Canada, the US and Mexico) by Europeans from ca. 1500 to 1800. Considers how images were used by indigenous populations to resist attempts to erase their cultures and to control the manner in which they assimilated into European settler cultures. Also addresses the connection between early representations of Africans and the establishment of a slave economy.
135. Art and Nationalism in Nineteenth-Century North America. Ms. Pohl. Examines how nineteenth-century North American artists and art institutions were involved in shaping the “imagined communities” that constituted the nations of Canada, the U.S. and Mexico. Includes works in a variety of media–painting, sculpture, prints, architecture–and museums, art markets and mass media industries.
PZ 137. Tradition and Transformation in Native North American Art. Mr. Anthes. An introductory survey treating the visual and material culture of the Native peoples of North America in terms of material, technique, cultural, historical and philosophical/spiritual contexts. This class will also consider patterns of cultural contact and transformation, the collection of Native American art, Federal government Indian policy and educational institutions and modern and contemporary Native American art and cultural activism.
PZ 139. Seminar: Topics in Native American Art History. Mr. Anthes. Examines indepth one or more themes or critical issues in Native American Art History, or artworks from a local collection or cultural center.
140 AF. Arts of Africa. Ms. Jackson. A survey of African art and architecture exploring ethnic and cultural diversity. Emphasis on the social, political and religious dynamics that foster art production at specific historical moments. Critical study of Western art historical approaches and methods used to study Africa.
141A AF. Seminar:(Re)presenting Africa: Art, History and Film. Ms. Jackson. The seminar centers on post-colonial African films to examine (re)presentations of the people, arts, cultures and socio-political histories of Africa and its Diaspora. Course critically examines the cinematic themes, aesthetics, styles and schools of African and African Diasporic filmmakers. Recommended: one prior Art History or Black Studies or Media Studies course. Letter grade only.
141B AF. Africana Cinema: Through the Documentary Lens. Ms. Jackson. Course examines documentary films and videos created by filmmakers from Africa and the African Diaspora (United States, Britain and Carribbean). Topics include: History and aesthetics of documentary filmmaking, documentary as art, the narrative documentary, docu-drama, cinema verite, biography, autobiography and historical documentary.
144B AF. Daughters of Africa: Art, Cinema, Theory, Love. Ms. Jackson. Examines visual arts and cultural criticism produced by women from Africa and the African Diaspora (Nrth America, Caribbean and Europe). Students analyze aesthetic values, key representational themes, visual conventions, symbolic codes and stylistic approaches created from feminism’s spirited love of Blackness, Africaness and justice. Complement to AFRI 144A, Black Women Feminism(s) and Social Change. Prerequisite: Gender and Women’s Studies course.
MS 147B. Topics in Media Theory 1. Ms. Friedlander. A close examination of theories of media analysis, with an emphasis on the visual arts (painting, photography, film, video, installation art, performance art, conceptual art, art museums). Topics change from year to year. Course may be repeated for credit as topics vary. Prerequisite: one media studies or art history course. Topic: Body, Representation, Desire.
MA 147D. Theories of the Visual. Ms. Friedlander. This course examines theories for understanding relationships between viewers and images through an exploration of the cultural, political, and psychic mechanisms that accompany the act of looking. It engages these issues through consideration of painting, photography, film, science, and public space. Prerequisite: Any art history course or any one of the following: MS 49, MS 50, MS 51. Letter grade only.
SC 150. The Arts of China. Mr. Coats. Survey of artistic traditions from Neolithic to Modern times. Architecture, sculpture, painting, calligraphy, ceramics and metal work in their cultural contexts.
SC 151. The Arts of Japan. Mr. Coats. THe development of Japanese art and civilization from the prehistoric through the Meiji periods. Major art forms examined in their cultural context.
SC 154. Seminar: Japanese Prints. Mr. Coats. A seminar that treats the subject matter and techniques of Japanese prints. Examines woodblock printing in Japan from 1600 to the present, using the Scripps College Collection of Japanese Prints.
SC 155. The History of Gardens, East and West. Mr. Coats. From sacred groves to national parks, this survey focuses on the functions and meanings of gardens, on the techniques of landscape architecture, and on the social significance of major parks and gardens in Asia, Europe and North America. Prerequisite: 51A,B,C, or 52.
HM 158. Visualizing China: Contemporary Chinese Art and Culture. Ms. Tan. Explores the political, social and cultural landscape of contemporary China through art (painting, sculpture/installation, photography, performance and videos). Theories of modern and postmodern art will be introduced in the analysis of visual materials.
159. History of Art History. Mr. Emerick. Theories of art history in modern times, from Winckelmann and Hegel to Burckhardt, Riegl and Wolfflin, to Warburg and Panofsky. Postmodern challenges to traditional art historiography, especially Foucault’s. Not open to first-year students.
PZ CLAS 161. Greek Art and Archaeology. Ms. Berenfeld. An introductory survey of Greek sculpture, archtiecture and vase painting from their beginning to ca. 350 B.C.E. Considerable attention is given to the major archaeological problems and sites and their historical position.
163. Hellenistic and Roman Art. Mr. Emerick. Treats art in the Ancient Mediterranean from the end of the Periclean era in Athens (ca. 430 B.C.E.) to the reign of Augustus Caesar (27 B.C.E.-C.E. 14) in Rome. Asks how the public art of the Ancient Greeks and Romans incorporated the world views of its users. Charts the shifting meanings of standard forms or symbols over time and place.
165. Holy Men, Holy Women, Relics and Icons. Mr. Emerick. Art from the reign of Constantine (313-337) to the end of the Carolingian empire (9th century). Treats the classical world in its Christian phase and its slow transformation under the pressure of invading Germans and Arabs.
166. Pilgrimage and Crusade. Mr. Emerick. Early Medieval art in Europe from the later ninth to the mid-12th centuries during the rise of the German empire, of the Anglo-Norman monarchy, of the Christian Spanish Kingdom of Oviedo and Leon (and the crusade versus the Muslims), of the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, and of the great reformed Benedictine monastic orders of Cluny and Cliteaux.
167. Town, Castle and Cathedral in France. Mr. Emerick. Early and High Gothic cathedral building in and around the ÃŽle-de-France from the reigns of Louis VI (1106-37) to Louis IX (1226-70). Church decoration in sculpture and stained glass. Letter grade optional.
168. Tyrants and Communes in Italy. Mr. Emerick. Art of the new mendicant orders, the Dominicans and Franciscans, in central-and north-Italian communes of the later 13th and 14th centuries. Focuses mainly on painting in Tuscany and Umbria–in Florence, Siena and Assisi.
170. Early Renaissance in Italy. Mr. Gorse. Painting, sculpture and architecture in Italy in the 15th century. Emphasis on Florence and princely courts as artistic centers of the new style.
171. High Renaissance and Mannerism in Italy. Mr. Gorse. Art and architecture in Florence, Rome and Venice during the 16th century. The invention of the HIgh Renaissance style by Bramante, Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael, Giogione, and Titian. Major works of the post-High Renaissance masters. The interaction of artists and patrons in historical context.
172. Northern Renaissance Art. Mr. Gorse. Painting, sculpture and architecture in northern Europe in the 15th and 16th centuries. Developments in painting emphasized; special attention to the Low Countries and Germany.
173. The Medieval and Renaissance City. Mr. Gorse. Interdisciplinary approach to the Medieval and Renaissance city in Italy, 1250-1600, with emphasis on architecture and urbanism. The rise of Italian city-states and how their urban designs go hand-in-hand with their social, political, and economic institutions. Compares Florence, Venice, Rome, Genoa,Pisa, Siena, and the small princely courts. City dwellers civic, religious, and family rituals.
174. Italian Baroque. Mr. Gorse. Painting, sculpture, and architecture in Italy, 1600-1750. Emphasis on Rome and development of the Baroque style in the works of Caravaggio, the Carracci, Bernini, Borromini, and Pietro da Crotona. Church and soical history as background.
175. Baroque Art of Northern Europe. Mr. Gorse. Painting, sculpture and archtiecture of the 17th century in Germany, France, Spain, England and the Low Countries. Poussin, Velasquez, Rembrandt, Leyster, Rubens, Vermeer, Wren, Neumann, Fischer von Erlach.
SC 177. Eighteenth Century European Arts. Mr. Coats. The European Enlightenment will be explored, with a focus on the visual and performing arts and with concern for the popularization of the arts through public displays and performances. Field trips to see original 19th century works are planned.
178 AF. Black Aesthetics and the Politics of (Re)presentation. Ms. Jackson. Survey of the visual arts produced by people of African descent in the U.S. from the colonial era to the present. Emphasis on Black artists’ changing relationship to African arts and cultures. Examines the emergence of an oppositional aesthetic tradition that interrogates visual constructions of “Blackness”and “whiteness,” gender and sexuality as a means of revisioning representational practices. Recommended prior course in Art History, or Asian American Studies, Black Studies, Gender & Women’s Studies or Media Studies. Letter grade only. Offered alternate years.
179. Modern Architecture, City, Landscape and Sustainability. Mr. Gorse. Survey of “Modernist” traditions of architecture and city planning (19th-21st centuries), tracing “roots” of “sustainability” from the Spanish tradition through Arts and Crafts Movement to Bauhaus machine aesthetic to “post-modernism” and “sustainable architecture”–the new “Gesamtkunstwerk” (“total work of art”). Los Angeles within these global contexts.
SC 180. Seminar: Early 20th-Century European Avant-Gardes. Ms. Koss. Examines major movements of early 20th-century European art, including cubism, dada, surrealism, futurism, constructivism and productivism, to explore how the avant-garde irrevocably altered traditional ideas of the definition and function of art. Prerequisite: one upper-division Art History course.
PZ181. Modern into Contemporary: Art from 1945-1989. Mr. Anthes. An overview of significant issues and movements in art from 1945-1989. Mainstream and alternative art movements are discussed in relation to the cultural politics of the post-World War Two era. Topics include Abstract Expressionism, Pop, Minimalism, Performance and Conceptual Art, Process Art, Land Art, Site-Specificity, Insitutional Critique, Feminist Art, and the Culture Wars of the 1980s. Emphasis is on North America and Western Europe, with comparisons to emerging global art centers.
PZ183. The Art World Since 1989. Mr. Anthes. An examination of contemporary art in the context of economic and cultural globalization. Topics include the impact of the end of the Cold War and the rise of economic neoliberalism on the arts; the emergence of new global art centers in the wake of major political transformations, such as the fall of South African Apartheid; contemporary Native American and Australian Aboriginal artists in the global marketplace; and artists’ response to issues of nationalism, ethnic violence, terrorism, and war.
184. Modernism, Antimodernism, Postmodernism: A Social History of North American Art. Ms. Pohl. A comparative analysis of artistic production in Canada, the U.S. and Mexico in the 20th and 21st centuries. Examines issues of race, class, gender, sexuality and the relationships between artistic theories and practices, economic developments, and social and political movements (e.g., the Mexican Revolution, the Depression, the Women’s Movement).
185. History of Photography. Ms. Howe. Surveys the complex interactions among photographers, subjects, the pictures they made and their audiences, past and present. Through an approach grounded in political, social and economic history, as well as in the literature, arts and intellectual battles of the period, considers the myriad roles of the photograph as document, aesthetic expression, commercial production and personal record. Letter grade only.
185K. Seminar: Topics in History of Photography. Ms. Howe. Intensive investigation of topics relating to the production, distribution, and reception of photographs. Topic: Picturing China, 19th century to contemporary. Letter grade only. Includes field trips. Prerequisite: permission of instructor.
186A. Theories of Contemporary Art. Mr. Anthes. Based on close readings of key writings by artists, critics, curators, and scholars, seminar focuses on the evolving aesthetic, social-political, and theoretical discourses that have informed the art world since 1960. Includes modernism, postmodernism, mass media, feminism and gender theory, censorship, notions of identity, multiculturalism, post-colonialism, and globalization and the development of new media. Letter grade only.
PZ 186B. Seminar: Topics in Contemporary Art. Mr. Anthes. Examines in-depth one or more themes or critical issues in contemporary art history or colleciton of artworks from a local collection.
SC 186C. Seminar: Topics in Asian Art. Mr. Coats. Designed as a hands-on experience with interpreting works of Asian art through investigative research and educational presentation. Topics of this seminar will change but hte focus will be on art works and their cultural contexts.
186E. Art and Activism. Ms. Pohl. Examines ways in which North American (Canada, the US and Mexico) artists have used their work in the 20th and 21st centuries to engage in political activism, either on the street through performances and protests, or at specific physical and virtual sites through murals, paintings, posters, prints, sculpture, installations or websites.
186F. Seminar: Topics in North American Art. Ms. Pohl. Intensive investigation of a wide variety of topics relating to the production and reception of art in Canada, the United States and Mexico. Course may be repeated for credit as topics vary. Topic: Art and Nationalism in 19th-Century North American Art. Letter grade only.
186G. Gendering the Renaissance. Mr. Gorse. Takes up historian Joan Kelly’s challenge, “Did women have a Renaissance?” Expands the question to cultural constructs of the male and female body, sexuality, identity, homosexuality and lesbianism and their implications for the visual arts, literature and the history of early moder Europe (14th-17th centuries).
SC186H. Seminar in Museum History and Philosophy. Ms. MacNaughton. Introduction to the history, philosophy, and professional practices of museums. Emphasis on American art museums and conservation practices. Includes field trips. Preference given to art history majors considering museum careers. Open to juniors and seniors. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.
SC 186K. Seminar in Modern Art. Ms. Koss. Examines in-depth one theme or set of themes in 19th and 20th-century art and related fields. Prerequisite: one upper-division Art History course.
186L AF. Critical Race Theory, Representation & the Rule of Law. Ms. Jackson. Examines the role of law in constructing and maintaining racialized, gendered and classed disparities of justice, as well as the intellectual, aesthetic, scientific and political convergences of critical jurisprudence with representational practices in African Diasporic visual arts. Prerequisites: Completion of one of the Africana studies, Asian American studies, Chicano/a-Latino-a studies or Gender & Women’s studies coruses.
SC 186M. Seminar in 20th-Century Art. Ms. MacNaughton. Seminar will examine one movement, artist or other selected topic within the art of the 20th-century. Juniors and seniors only. Topic Spring 2011: Art at mid-century.
186P. Seminar: Women, Art, and Ideology. Ms. Pohl. Examines images of and by women, and the critical writings that attempt to locate these images within the history of art. Prerequisite: a course in art history or Gender/Women’s Studies. Not open to first-year students.
186Q. Reading the Art Museum. Ms. Howe. Investigation of the art museum through history. Emphasis on reading the ways in which museums structure the experience of art as they relate to the intellectual history of “experience” as a form of knowledge, integration, consumption. Focus on Euro-American museum from the 19th century to the present. Includes field trips. Prerequisite, permission of instructor.
186T. Art and Time. Mr. Reed. Technological developments over the past 200 years have altered relations between art and time. How has moving from painting to lithography, photography, film and digital media influenced the creation of art and its relation to beholders? Considering North America and Europe since 1800, we explore relations between still and moving images, and ask how artists manipulate our experience of time. First years with written permission by instructor only.
186W AF. Whiteness: Race, Sex and Representation. Ms. Jackson. Interrogation of linguistics, conceptual and practical solipsisms that contribute to the construction and normalization of whiteness in aesthetics and visual culture. Questions dialectics of “Blackness”and “Whiteness” that dominate Western intellectual thought and popular culture, thereby informing notions and representations of race, gender, sexuality and class. Recommended prior course in Art History, or Asian American, Black, Gender & Womem’s or Media studies. Letter grade only.
186Y. WMDs: Cinema Against War, Imperialism and Corporate Power. Ms.Jackson. Documentary films (weapons for mind decolonization) by human rights advocates offer critical narratives effectively silenced by the blare of commercial mass media and post-9/11 nationalism. Course explores how documentary filmmakers raise historical awareness, deconstruct the rhetoric of power elites, debunk the conceits of imperialism, and dismantle the deceits of transnational corporations. Course promotes active spectatorship and creativity as the antidote to fear. Requires production of a mini-documentary. .
SC 187. Old New Media. Ms. Koss. Beginning with the birth of photography in the 1830s, attending to telegraphy, telephony, radio and television and ending with video, this seminar explores the history of the fascination, fear and peculiar associations that have accompanied new technological developments in Europe and the United States. Prerequisite: one previous art history course or instructor’s permission.
SC 188. Representing the Metropolis. Ms. Koss. Concentrating on the visual arts and incorporating film and literature, this seminar examines selected 20th-century representations of such cities as Vienna, Paris, London, Moscow, Berlin, New York, and Los Angeles. We will explore the cultural and political configuration of the metropolis as modern, cosmopolitan, and urban. Prerequisite: one upper-division art history course.
SC 189. Modernism 1840-1940. Staff. Beginning with Courbet and ending with surrealism, this course surveys European art between 1840 and 1940 with particular emphasis on the relationship between modernism and mass culture, the relationship of art and commerce, and the role of gender.
190. Senior Seminar. Ms. Pohl. An examination of methodological and theoretical issues in art history through readings and student-led discussions. Guidance on researching and writing the thesis. Students also meet outside of class with their primary thesis readers throughout the semester and turn in one thesis chapter at the end of the semester. Each fall.
191. Senior Thesis. Staff. The continuation of the researching and writing of an original investigation of a topic in art history begun in ARHI 190. Students will work independently, but in constant contact with their thesis readers. Letter grade only. “C” or better required to satisfy the major requirement. Each spring.
198. Summer Reading and Research. Staff. Prerequisite: permission of instructor. Course or half-course.
99/199. Reading and Research. Staff. Prerequisite: permission of instructor. 99, lowerlevel; 199, advanced work. Course or half-course. May be repeated. Each semester. (Summer Reading and Research taken as 98/198.)