Art & Art History

Carleton combines in a single department the creative aspects of art making and the study of art as an historical discipline. The Studio Art program helps students develop their skills in a variety of arts media. It also gives them a critical understanding of the function and process of art that fits well with the goals of the college's liberal arts orientation. The Art History program introduces students to the intrinsic qualities of artistic images and artifacts. Equally important, it considers the conditions of their production and viewing, their functions and meanings, and the roles they play in recording and shaping people, perceptions, events, and cultures.

Both programs serve potential majors, including students who go on to art-related careers, as well as students who take courses as part of their broad liberal arts education.

Requirements for the Art History Major

Art History: 72 credits including:

  • the seminar for art history majors (ARTH 298)
  • the integrative exercise (ARTH 400)
  • two six-credit Studio Art courses
  • 48 elective credits in Art History, including
    • at least six credits in non-Western art history
    • at least six credits in art history of the western tradition before 1800
    • at least six credits in art history of the western tradition after 1800
    • at least one 300-level seminar.

Art History majors are encouraged to take advantage of off-campus study programs. No more than two art history courses taken outside of the department can be counted toward the major. Occasionally one course in a related department such as Cinema and Media Studies or Classics may count as an elective toward the major.

Requirements for the Studio Art Major

Studio Art: 78 credits including:

  • two six-credit courses with a 2-D emphasis from ARTS 110, ARTS 113, ARTS 140, ARTS 141, ARTS 210, ARTS 212, ARTS 213, ARTS 238, ARTS 240, ARTS 260, ARTS 274 or 300-level 2-D  (ARTS 339, ARTS 340, ARTS 360, ARTS 374) ;
  • two six credits courses with a 3-D emphasis from ARTS 122, ARTS 151, ARTS 230, ARTS 232, ARTS 234, ARTS 251, ARTS 252 or 300 level 3D (ARTS 322, ARTS 327, ARTS 330) (3-D emphasis);
  • Junior practicum, ARTS 298 (3 credits)
  • Senior practicum, ARTS 398 (3 credits)
  • one six-credit 300 level studio art course
  • 18 elective credits (3 six-credit courses) in Studio Art
  • the integrative exercise (ARTS 400)
  • 18 credits in Art History with
    • at least six of the credits in courses which concentrate in art prior to 1900 from ARTH 100, 101, 102, 140, 142, 155, 160, 164, 165, 166, 171, 180, 209, 211, 212, 220, 225, 228, 235, 236, 252, 255, 261, 263, 267, 268, 269, 323, 333
    • ARTH 241, which is a course in contemporary art post 1945 designed for practicing artists,
    • six elective credits.

Potential majors should enroll in Drawing or Sculpture their first year. Selected Cinema and Media Studies production courses can count toward up to twelve elective credits (two courses) within the major. Consult with your studio art adviser to confirm which courses apply.

Art History Courses (ARTH)

ARTH 100 A Visionary Aesthetic: Shamanism and the Arts of the Ancient Americas How did the shamanism, or a "transcendental worldview," influence the making of ancient American artworks? How did ancient American artists solve the visual problem of representing the ambiguity, paradox, and flux central to shamanic experience? Are some media and techniques better suited to expressing an other-worldly perspective? This course explores those questions and interrogates the use of a shamanic lens in the study of ancient American visual culture. We will also engage with artwork by indigenous shamans and ethnographic accounts of shamanic practice to guide our definition of shamanism, criticisms of shamanic analyses, and examinations of global contemporary “shamanisms.” 6 credits; AI, WR1, IS; Fall; Meghan Tierney
ARTH 101 Introduction to Art History I An introduction to the art and architecture of various geographical areas around the world from antiquity through the "Middle Ages." The course will provide foundational skills (tools of analysis and interpretation) as well as general, historical understanding. It will focus on a select number of major developments in a range of media and cultures, emphasizing the way that works of art function both as aesthetic and material objects and as cultural artifacts and forces. Issues include, for example, sacred spaces, images of the gods, imperial portraiture, and domestic decoration. 6 credits; LA, WR2, IS; Fall; Baird E Jarman
ARTH 102 Introduction to Art History II An introduction to the art and architecture of various geographical areas around the world from the fifteenth century through the present. The course will provide foundational skills (tools of analysis and interpretation) as well as general, historical understanding. It will focus on a select number of major developments in a range of media and cultures, emphasizing the way that works of art function both as aesthetic and material objects and as cultural artifacts and forces. Issues include, for example, humanist and Reformation redefinitions of art in the Italian and Northern Renaissance, realism, modernity and tradition, the tension between self-expression and the art market, and the use of art for political purposes. 6 credits; LA, WR2, IS; Winter; Wendy M Sepponen
ARTH 140 African Art and Culture This course will survey the art and architecture of African peoples from prehistory to the present. Focusing on significant case studies in various mediums (including sculpture, painting, architecture, masquerades and body arts), this course will consider the social, cultural, aesthetic and political contexts in which artistic practices developed both on the African continent and beyond. Major themes will include the use of art for status production, the use of aesthetic objects in social rituals and how the history of African and African diaspora art has been written and institutionally framed. 6 credits; LA, IS; Not offered 2017-18
ARTH 142 Art of the Ancient Americas This course will survey art from the cultures of ancient Mesoamerica (Olmec, Teotihuacan, Maya, and Aztec), the center of the Americas (Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, and Ecuador), and the central Andes (Chavín, Moche, Paracas, Nasca, Wari/Tiwanaku, Chimú, and Inka). The course will consider a variety of art objects within the contexts of geography and environment, artistic process, socio-political status, sacred space, religion, ritual and performance, and writing. Artistic adaptation to and interactions with traditions coming to the Americas from the East and the West during colonial-era encounters will provide another point of departure. 6 credits; LA, IS; Not offered 2017-18
ARTH 155 Islamic Art and Architecture This course surveys the art and architecture of societies where Muslims were dominant or where they formed significant minorities from the seventh through the nineteenth centuries. It examines the form and function of architecture and works of art as well as the social, historical and cultural contexts, patterns of use, and evolving meanings attributed to art by the users. The course follows a chronological order, where selected visual materials are treated along chosen themes. Themes include the creation of a distinctive visual culture in the emerging Islamic polity; cultural interconnections along trade and pilgrimage routes; and westernization. 6 credits; LA, IS; Not offered 2017-18
ARTH 164 Buddhist Art The Buddhist religion has been a central part of Asian cultures and societies since the third century BC. This course will trace the development of Buddhist art and architecture from its beginnings in India through its migration across the Asian continent. Attention will be paid to both the Mahayana and Theravada traditions in Central East, South, and South-East Asia. Special emphasis will be placed on the relationship between different doctrines, for example, Tantrism or Zen and the development of form and style. 6 credits; LA, IS; Not offered 2017-18
ARTH 165 Japanese Art and Culture This course will survey art and architecture in Japan from its prehistoric beginnings until the early twentieth century, and explore the relationship between indigenous art forms and the foreign (Korean, Chinese, European) concepts, art forms and techniques that influenced Japanese culture, as well as the social political and religious contexts for artistic production. 6 credits; LA, IS; Not offered 2017-18
ARTH 166 Chinese Art and Culture This course will survey art and architecture in China from its prehistoric beginnings to the end of the nineteenth century. It will examine various types of visual art forms within their social, political and cultural contexts. Major themes that will also be explored include: the role of ritual in the production and use of art, the relationship between the court and secular elite and art, and theories about creativity and expression. 6 credits; LA, IS; Not offered 2017-18
ARTH 171 History of Photography This course covers nineteenth and twentieth century photography from its origins to the present. It will consider formal innovations in the medium, the role of photography in society, and the place of photography in the fine arts. 6 credits; LA; Spring; Baird E Jarman
ARTH 172 Modern Art: 1890-1945 This course explores developments in the visual arts, architecture, and theory in Europe and America between 1890 and 1945. The major Modernist artists and movements that sought to revolutionize vision, culture, and experience, from Symbolism to Surrealism, will be considered. The impact of World War I, the Great Depression, and the rise of fascism will be examined as well for their devastation of the Modernist dream of social-cultural renewal. Lectures will be integrated with discussions of artists' theoretical writings and group manifestoes, such as those of the Futurists, Dadaists, Surrealists, Constructivists, and DeStijl, in addition to select secondary readings. 6 credits; LA, IS; Winter; Ross K Elfline
ARTH 180 Medieval Art Survey of architecture, sculpture, the pictorial and decorative arts from the early Christian period to the late Gothic era. Topics include early Christian mosaics, Insular manuscripts, Romanesque monastery and pilgrimage churches, Gothic cathedrals. 6 credits; LA; Not offered 2017-18
ARTH 181 Buddhist Art in India The course examines art in India, the homeland of Buddhism, starting with an introduction to the historical Buddha and moving to the earliest Buddhist art, during the third century BCE. It then introduces the life of the Buddha and his previous lives through relief sculptures that provide an opportunity to see how artists in ancient India tell stories visually. After exploring some rock-cut sanctuaries and considering why caves were made for sanctuaries, the course will turn to the introduction of the anthropomorphic images of the Buddha and the colonialist/anti-colonialist debate regarding the “origin” of the Buddha image. Finally, the course will turn to the sites associated with the life of the Buddha and the nineteenth-century “discovery” and exploration of those sites, not only to examine the art that remains at those sites but also to think about how they were used in ancient times as well as how they are used today. 6 credits; LA, IS; Spring; Cathy Asher
ARTH 184 Modern American Architecture: Nature vs. History This course will examine how various twentieth-century American architects searched for ways to evade European precedents and instead to base architecture on nature and geometry, two sources that could be radical and conservative simultaneously. Frank Lloyd Wright, the central figure in this search, who popularized the term “Organic Architecture,” will loom large in the course, but we will also study many other architects who were looking for a similarly individual, experimental architecture to be uniquely “American.” 6 credits; LA; Not offered 2017-18
ARTH 209 Chinese Painting Since the tenth century in China, a tension emerges between art created as a means of self expression and works which were intended to display social status and political power and to convey conventional values. This course concentrates on the primary site of this tension, the art of painting. We will explore such issues as the influence of Confucian and Daoist philosophy on painting and calligraphy, the changing perception of nature and the natural in art, the politics of style, and the increasing dominance of poetry rather than narrative as a conceptual construct for painting. Prerequisite: Any one term of art history. 6 credits; LA, IS; Not offered 2017-18
ARTH 211 Contemporary Art Program: Critical Issues in Art Now In this survey, students will be exposed to the diverse range of themes, concepts, and mediums that contemporary artists are working with at the present moment. After a brief historical overview of artistic practice since 1960, the course will be divided into a set of thematic concerns. Students will learn about how artists today respond to globalization, market capitalism, issues of racial and ethnic identity, and other issues within our complex contemporary geopolitical situation. Readings will be pulled from contemporary art journals, art blogs, e-journals, and statements by both artists and exhibition curators. 6 credits; LA, IS; Summer; Ross K Elfline
ARTH 212 Contemporary Art Program: The Art World and Its Institutions In this course, students will think critically about the institutions that present and frame contemporary art today, including the biennial exhibition, the museum, the commercial gallery, and the art journal. Critical questions include: If biennial exhibitions purport to be global surveys, how do they conceptualize “the global?” How have museums changed the ways in which they present such challenging works, and how do they make judgments about which works to acquire? What role do commercial galleries play in promoting certain artists over others, and has this skewed the survey of global artists toward certain kinds of art or artists? 6 credits; HI; Summer; Ross K Elfline
ARTH 213 Contemporary Art Program: Art Criticism in the Digital Age This course is a platform for students to reflect thoughtfully and critically on the works they have encountered abroad, the ideas raised by the visiting speakers, and the broader experiences they have had while traveling through Europe. The primary medium through which students will voice their reactions will be a student-authored art blog. Given that so much cultural criticism now takes place in these virtual forums, students will thus be part of a broader community of art critics and theorists as their contributions add productively to the ongoing virtual conversation around the art of this moment. 6 credits; S/CR/NC; NE; Summer; Ross K Elfline
ARTH 215 Cross-Cultural Psychology in Prague: Prague Art and Architecture This course will examine key developments in Czech visual art and architecture from the early medieval to the contemporary periods. Slide-based lectures will be supplemented by visits to representative monuments, art collections, and museums in Prague. 4 credits; LA, IS; Not offered 2017-18
ARTH 220 The Origins of Manga: Japanese Prints Pictures of the floating world, or ukiyoe, were an integral part of popular culture in Japan and functioned as illustrations, advertisements, and souvenirs. This course will examine the development of both style and subject matter in Japanese prints within the socio-economic context of the seventeenth through twentieth centuries. Emphasis will be placed on the prominent position of women and the nature of gendered activity in these prints. Prerequisite: One 100 level Art History course. 6 credits; LA, IS; Not offered 2017-18
ARTH 225 Religion, Royalty & Romantics: The Gothic and Gothic Revival This course examines Gothic art and architecture, both religious and secular, during the late Middle Ages and then again, with the Gothic Revival, after the Industrial Revolution. The course investigates how the concept of the Gothic evolved, explores how the Gothic style became invested with various cultural connotations, and traces its various deployments in popular culture. In the medieval period, this course focuses on works of art from France, England, Germany and Italy from the twelfth through fourteenth centuries. Discussions of the Gothic Revival from the nineteenth century onward focus more broadly upon Europe and the United States. Approximately half of the class sessions will be held at St. Olaf. 6 credits; LA, IS; Not offered 2017-18
ARTH 228 The Picturesque: Landscape between Nature and Artifice This course will focus upon the emergence of a novel aesthetic approach to landscape design: the Picturesque. During the eighteenth century, the British landscape became the scene of a new way to design the land according to models of a loosened, irregular, composition in contrast to previous rigid geometries that sought to improve nature’s waywardness. Not only gardens but books also took up the call for liberty against tyranny and for the natural against the artificial without giving up convention altogether. 6 credits; LA, IS; Not offered 2017-18
ARTH 234 Experiencing Early Modern Sculpture This course engages with the visual and material characteristics and practices particular to sculpture. Often relegated to the sidelines of art history classes, this course seeks to teach how to talk about sculptures and to explore the diverse contexts and processes with which sculptors worked. A medium-specific focus allows us to consider how sculptures functioned in the early modern period while allowing for effective bridges to the students' contemporary surroundings and viewing practices. While early modern European sculpture will be the course's core, direct engagement with sculptures and display practices will enliven our understanding of and appreciation for sculpture. Prerequisite: Any one Art History course. 6 credits; LA; Winter; Wendy M Sepponen
ARTH 235 Revival, Revelation, and Re-animation: The Art of Europe's "Renaissance" This course examines European artistic production in Italy, Spain, France, Germany, and the Netherlands from the fourteenth to the sixteenth century. The aim of the course is to introduce diverse forms of artistic production, as well as to analyze the religious, social, and political role of art in the period. While attending to the specificities of workshop practices, production techniques, materials, content, and form of the objects under discussion, the course also interrogates the ways in which these objects are and, at times, are not representative of the "Renaissance." Prerequisite: One Art History course or instructor permission. 6 credits; LA, IS; Not offered 2017-18
ARTH 236 Baroque Art This course examines European artistic production in Italy, Spain, France, and the Netherlands from the end of the sixteenth century through the seventeenth century. The aim of the course is to interrogate how religious revolution and reformation, scientific discoveries, and political transformations brought about a proliferation of remarkably varied types of artistic production that permeated and altered the sacred, political, and private spheres. The class will examine in depth select works of painting, sculpture, prints, and drawings, by Caravaggio, Bernini, Poussin, Velázquez, Rubens, and Rembrandt, among many others. 6 credits; LA, IS; Not offered 2017-18
ARTH 240 Art Since 1945 Art from abstract expressionism to the present, with particular focus on issues such as the modernist artist-hero; the emergence of alternative or non-traditional media; the influence of the women's movement and the gay/lesbian liberation movement on contemporary art; and postmodern theory and practice. Prerequisite: Any one term of art history. 6 credits; LA, WR2, IDS; Not offered 2017-18
ARTH 241 Contemporary Art for Artists This course is a survey of major artistic movements after 1945 as well as an introduction to significant tendencies in current art and craft production. The goal of this course is to develop a familiarity with the important debates, discussions, and critical issues facing artists today. By the end of the course, students will be able to relate their own work as cultural producers to these significant contemporary artistic developments. Students will read, write about, and discuss primary sources, artist statements, and theoretical essays covering a wide range of media with the ultimate goal of articulating their own artistic project. Prerequisite: Any two studio art courses or permission from the instructor. No open to students who have previously taken Art History 240. 6 credits; LA; Spring; Ross K Elfline
ARTH 245 Modern Architecture The history of the modern movement from its beginnings in the nineteenth century to its triumph in the mid-twentieth century. Architects studied include Sullivan, Wright, Gropius, Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe. Prerequisite: One Art History course. 6 credits; LA; Not offered 2017-18
ARTH 247 Architecture Since 1950 This course begins by considering the international triumph of architecture's Modern Movement as seen in key works by Mies van der Rohe, Le Corbusier and their followers. Soon after modernisms rise, however, architects began to question the movement's tenets and the role that architecture as a discipline plays in the fashioning of society. This course will examine the central actors in this backlash from Britain, France, Italy, Japan, the United States and elsewhere before exploring the architectural debates surrounding definitions of postmodernism. The course will conclude by considering the impact of both modernism and postmodernism on contemporary architectural practice. 6 credits; LA; Not offered 2017-18
ARTH 251 Maya Art and Architecture This course offers an investigation of ancient Maya art and architecture from the pre-Classic, Early, Middle, and Late Classic to the Post-Classic (conquest and post-conquest) and Spanish-Colonial periods. Focusing on a variety of artistic materials, monumental sites, approaches to city planning, including temple burial and entombment, and artistic conversation and cultural interactions with the Maya periphery, we will explore how ritual, death, and the afterlife are imagined, depicted, and enacted through the accouterment of Maya dynastic rulership. Discussion of the art-historical legacy of the ancient Maya as well as the artistic traditions of the present-day Maya will bookend the term. 6 credits; LA, IS; Winter; Meghan Tierney
ARTH 252 Islamic Art and the Medieval Mediterranean This course investigates the origins and development of Islamic art and architecture from the seventh to the sixteenth centuries, with a particular focus on the Mediterranean basin. Under Muslim rule, patrons and artists produced a distinctive and sophisticated visual culture in religious and secular contexts. Topics to be addressed include the expression of cultural and religious identity through visual arts; palace architecture and Islamic court culture; the development of sacred spaces; and cross-cultural exchange with the Byzantine Empire and the Christian west through trade, travel, and at specific sites such as Islamic Spain, Norman Sicily, and Crusader Palestine. Prerequisite: One Art History course or instructor permission. 6 credits; LA, IS; Not offered 2017-18
ARTH 255 Islam in the Eyes of the West How have images of Islam impacted European culture? How did existing pictorial traditions/practices frame the ways in which Islam was visualized in Europe? This course will interrogate the ways in which representational technologies facilitated and/or obstructed making sense of Islam from the twelfth to the nineteenth centuries. We will explore a wide range of images in diverse media, including, but not limited to, maps, costume books, panel paintings, sculpture, illuminated manuscripts, popular prints, ethnographic treatises, and early photographs. Prerequisite: Any art history course or permission of the instructor. 6 credits; LA, IS; Not offered 2017-18
ARTH 256 Age of Empire: Ottomans of Turkey, Safavids of Iran and Mughals of India This course offers a wide-ranging introduction to visual culture under the three Muslim superpowers of the early modern period: the Mediterranean-based Ottomans, the Safavids of Iran, and the Mughals of India. While each of these empires originated from a common Central Asian heritage, they developed distinctive and vibrant artistic idioms. We will examine an array of artistic media, ranging from manuscript illumination and calligraphy to ceramics, textiles, metalwork, glasswork and jewelry. Topics include the formation of imperial ideology and its visual articulation; palaces and court culture; artistic organization, authorship and agency, patronage, gender, piety, as well as cross-cultural interaction. This course offers a wide-ranging introduction to visual culture under the three Muslim superpowers of the early modern period: the Mediterranean-based Ottomans, the Safavids of Iran, and the Mughals of India. While each of these empires originated from a common Central Asian heritage, they developed distinctive and vibrant artistic idioms. We will examine an array of artistic media, ranging from manuscript illumination and calligraphy to ceramics, textiles, metalwork, glasswork and jewelry. Topics include the formation of imperial ideology and its visual articulation; palaces and court culture; artistic organization, authorship and agency, patronage, gender, piety, as well as cross-cultural interaction. 6 credits; LA, IS; Spring; Cathy Asher
ARTH 261 English Theater and Literature in London: The Art of Tudor and Stuart Britain With a focus on the intersections of art, culture, and literature, the course explores various aspects of art in the English Renaissance, including patronage, politics and power, religion, and the role of the artist in society. Students will research specific artworks (for example, Holbein's The Ambassadors, Henry VIII's tapestries at Hampton Court Palace, The Banqueting House, St. Paul's Cathedral), visit historical sites and museums, and work with local experts as they develop their understanding and appreciation of Elizabethan and Jacobean art. 3 credits; LA, IS; Not offered 2017-18
ARTH 263 European Architectural Studies Program: Prehistory to Postmodernism This course surveys the history of European architecture while emphasizing firsthand encounters with actual structures. Students visit outstanding examples of major transnational styles--including Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Moorish, Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, Neoclassical and Modernist buildings--along with regionally specific styles, such as Spanish Plateresque, English Tudor and Catalan Modernisme. Cultural and technological changes affecting architectural practices are emphasized along with architectural theory, ranging from Renaissance treatises to Modernist manifestoes. Students also visit buildings that resist easy classification and that raise topics such as spatial appropriation, stylistic hybridity, and political symbolism. 6 credits; LA, IS; Winter; Baird E Jarman
ARTH 264 European Architectural Studies Program: Managing Monuments: Issues in Cultural Heritage Practice This course explores the theory and practice of cultural resource management by investigating how various architectural sites and urban historic districts operate. Students will consider cultural, financial, ethical and pedagogical aspects of contemporary tourism practices within a historical framework that roots the travel industry alongside religious pilgrimage customs and the aristocratic tradition of the Grand Tour. Interacting with professionals who help oversee architectural landmarks and archaeological sites, students will analyze and assess initiatives at various locations, ranging from educational programs and preservation plans to sustainability efforts and repatriation debates. 6 credits; LA, IS; Winter; Baird E Jarman
ARTH 267 Gardens in China and Japan A garden is usually defined as a piece of land that is cultivated or manipulated in some way by man for one or more purposes. Gardens often take the form of an aestheticized space that miniaturizes the natural landscape. This course will explore the historical phenomenon of garden building in China and Japan with a special emphasis on how cultural and religious attitudes towards nature contribute to the development of gardens in urban and suburban environments. In addition to studying historical source material, students will be required to apply their knowledge by building both virtual and physical re-creations of gardens. 6 credits; ARP, IS; Not offered 2017-18
ARTH 268 Art History in Kyoto Program: History of Gardens and Landscape Architecture in Japan A garden is usually defined as a piece of land that is cultivated or manipulated in some way by humans for one or more purposes. Gardens often take the form of an aestheticized space that miniaturizes the natural landscape. This course will explore the historical phenomenon of garden building in Japan, with a special emphasis on how cultural and religious attitudes towards nature contribute to the development of gardens in urban and suburban environments. In addition to studying historical source material, students will be required to visit garden sites on a weekly basis. 6 credits; LA, IS; Not offered 2017-18
ARTH 269 Art History in Kyoto Program: Projects in Japanese Garden Design and History Reading assignments followed by an independent project related to Japanese gardens. Linked to the work done in Art History 268, this course requires an in-depth study of a particular style of Japanese garden design and its history. 3 credits; LA, IS; Not offered 2017-18
ARTH 286 Legacies of the Avant-Garde: Dada Then and Now By definition, the artistic neo-avantgarde of the post-1945 era looked back to the historical avant-garde movements of the early twentieth century for inspiration and ideological support. This course will examine how one such historical movement, Dada, has continued to play a profound role in shaping how artists define art and use the art object as an active force to radically alter everyday life. In particular, we will investigate the ways in which Dadaists used chance, humor, irony, negation and the ready made to challenge the institution of art, and then trace the legacies of these practices in recent artistic practice. Prerequisite: One Art History course. 6 credits; LA, WR2; Not offered 2017-18
ARTH 287 Legacies of the Avant-Garde: Constructivism Then and Now Contemporary artists often look to the historical avant-garde movements of earlier generations for inspiration and ideological support. This course will examine how the strategies of one such historical movement, Constructivism, continue to resonate in the art world as artists question both the definition of art and its broader role in society. In particular, this course will consider how Russian artists in the 1920s and 30s used monochrome painting, industrial materials, installation art, public demonstrations and propaganda to alter the institution of art. We will then trace the legacies of these disruptive practices in art of the recent past. 6 credits; LA, IS; Not offered 2017-18
ARTH 288 Curatorial Seminar Organize an exhibition, and get grounded in curatorial practice and theory, with this small team-based seminar. The exhibition, a collaboration with the Hillstrom Museum at Gustavus Adolphus College, with some input from the Flaten Art Museum at St. Olaf, will feature American art works organized around themes identified by students and collection curators. This seminar offers a unique opportunity to work directly with art works and to contribute to multiple aspects of an exhibition and related programs. Prerequisite: Instructor permission. 6 credits; LA; Not offered 2017-18
ARTH 298 Seminar for Art History Majors An intensive study of the nature of art history as an intellectual discipline and of the approaches scholars have taken to various art historical problems. Attention as well to principles of current art historical research and writing. Recommended for juniors who have declared art history as a major. 6 credits; LA; Spring; Ross K Elfline
ARTH 323 Idolatry Idolatry is an issue that has often determined how human beings interact with and conceive of the world around them. Focusing on the Judeo-Christian formulations of idolatry this course draws on a range of media, from the Hebrew Bible to the bones of saints and popular prints, as we analyze verbal and visual representations of the sacred and the profane. The driving questions will be: how have idols and idolaters been recognized in the past, and how have these various textual and visual formulations of idolatry shaped works of art from the ancient, medieval, and early modern worlds? Prerequisite: 200 level Art History course or instructor permission. 6 credits; LA, WR2, IS; Not offered 2017-18
ARTH 333 Visual Culture and the Civil War How did images reflect and shape popular attitudes towards the events and issues of the American Civil War? This seminar will investigate various visual media, ranging from printed ephemera to fine art, seeking answers to this question. The course will analyze reportage and artworks portraying specific events, such as the Battle of Gettysburg and the assassination of President Lincoln, as well as examine pictorial treatments of subjects such as slavery and emancipation, secession and union, military camp life and the home front. Later thematic directions for the course will be influenced by individual student research projects. Prerequisite: 200 level Art History course or instructor permission. 6 credits; LA, WR2, IDS; Not offered 2017-18
ARTH 340 Theories of Postmodernism In this discussion-based seminar, students will look closely at a series of key texts that have come to epitomize the historical rupture between modernism and postmodernism in visual culture. As "postmodernism" refers neither to a cohesive movement, nor to a specific style, we will investigate the web of various theories and political positions that represent a fundamental re-thinking of modernism's aims. Specifically, we will consider the following themes as they relate to cultural practices from the 1960s to the present day: deconstruction, the death of authorship, post-feminism, simulation, post-colonialism and globalization. Prerequisite: Two Art History courses. 6 credits; LA; Not offered 2017-18
ARTH 341 Art and Democracy What does it mean to say that a work of art is “democratic?" For whom is art made? And who can lay claim to the title “artist?" These questions animate contemporary art production as artists grapple with the problems of broadening access to their works and making them more socially relevant. In this course we will consider the challenges involved in making art for a sometimes ill-defined “public.” Topics to be discussed include: activist performance art, feminism, public sculpture, the Culture Wars, queer visual culture, and the recent rise of social practice art. Prerequisite: Any two Art History courses, or instructor permission. 6 credits; LA, IDS; Not offered 2017-18
ARTH 351 Empire in the Andes: Art of the Inka In just a century and a half, the Inka empire, Tahuantinsuyu or Land of the Four Quarters, expanded to an unprecedented degree geographically. Imperial rulers brought artists from far flung places to the capitol of Cuzco to produce images, objects, architecture, and modifications to the landscape that proclaimed Inka authority on a scale never seen before in the Andes. This course delves into the production of a uniquely Inka visual culture in juxtaposition to earlier Andean artistic traditions, landscape design and resource management, political and military strategies, and interrogates the Eurocentric lens through which Inka artworks are typically viewed. Prerequisite: One Art History course or instructor permission. 6 credits; LA, WR2, IS; Spring; Meghan Tierney
ARTH 400 Integrative Exercise The integrative exercise for the art history major involves an independent research project, on a topic chosen by the student and approved by faculty members, resulting in a substantial essay due late in the winter term. One credit is awarded, usually in the spring term, for a formal presentation that contextualizes the project and summarizes the argument of the essay. The other five credits may be distributed in any fashion over the fall and winter terms. Art History 400 is a continuing course; no grade will be awarded until all six credits are completed. 6 credits; S/NC; Fall, Winter, Spring

Studio Art Courses (ARTS)

ARTS 110 Observational Drawing A beginning course for non-majors and for those who contemplate majoring in art. The aim of the course is to give the student an appreciation of art and of drawing. An understanding of aesthetic values and development of technical skills are achieved through a series of studio problems which naturally follow one another and deal with the analysis and use of line, shape, volume, space, and tone. A wide range of subjects are used, including still life, landscape and the human figure. 6 credits; ARP; Fall, Winter, Spring; Daniel P Bruggeman, Fred Hagstrom
ARTS 113 Field Drawing A beginning drawing course for students who are interested in developing their skills in drawing from nature. Much of the classwork will be done outdoors and deal directly with drawing from plant forms, geological sources, and the landscape as subjects. Emphasis will be placed on the development of the technical skills needed for visual note-taking and development of journals. Problems will deal with the analysis of space and objects through line, shape, volume, and tone. 6 credits; ARP; Spring; David Lefkowitz, Eleanor M Jensen
ARTS 114 European Architectural Studies Program: Introduction to Drawing Architecture Suitable for students of any skill level, this course teaches different drawing techniques in order to hone observational and sketching skills and to develop greater awareness of formal characteristics in the built environment. Workshops at various locations develop proficiencies in different aspects of drawing architecture, such as sketching façades, interiors, and ornamental details. These skills are reinforced with recurring sketching assignments throughout the trip at architectural sites, including religious, royal, vernacular and civic spaces. 6 credits; S/CR/NC; ARP; Winter; David Lefkowitz
ARTS 116 Ireland Program: Visualizing Ireland In this introductory course, students will explore Ireland through on-site observational drawing, watercolor, and mixed media. The critical observation and artistic rendering of Ireland’s artifacts, tombs, megaliths, artwork, metalwork, fashion, architecture, people, and landscapes will afford students a window into Irish culture as they acquaint themselves with the country’s visual vocabulary. The course will address the technical aspects of drawing, including how to use line, shape, volume, tone, space, and composition effectively. Additional components will include journaling, museum and gallery visits, and artists’ talks. 6 credits; ARP, IS; Summer; Juliane B Shibata
ARTS 122 Introduction to Sculpture The ability to build structures that reflect or alter the environment is a basic defining characteristic of our species. In this class we explore creative construction in three dimensions using a variety of media, including plaster, wood, and steel. Using both natural and architectural objects for inspiration, we will examine and manipulate form, space, and expressive content to develop a deeper understanding of this core trait and reawaken our experience of the spaces we inhabit. 6 credits; ARP; Fall, Winter, Spring; Stephen Mohring
ARTS 130 Beginning Ceramics This course is an introduction to wheel throwing and handbuilding as primary methods of construction for both functional and non-functional ceramic forms. An understanding of ceramic history and technical skills are achieved through studio practice, readings, and demonstrations. Emphasis is placed on the development of strong three-dimensional forms as well as the relationship of form to surface. Coursework includes a variety of firing techniques and development of surface design.  6 credits; ARP; Fall; Kelly A Connole, Juliane B Shibata
ARTS 140 The Digital Landscape Study nature aesthetics and examine your assumptions about the landscape photograph. Question the formal, moral and biological implications of your "framed view-point," as you move your lens across the prairies, woods and farmer's fields of Northfield. Reflect on the ways in which nature has been visually represented in the classroom, creating a three-way intersection between art, science and technology. In particular, what are the effects of two-dimensional representation on our estrangement from nature itself? Demonstrations, readings, discussions and field trips will help the student create a final portfolio of digital prints and text. Student must provide their own digital camera. 6 credits; ARP; Spring; Linda K Rossi
ARTS 141 Experimental Photography In this course we will explore the rich history of photography's experimental development through the use of light and chemistry. Our focus will be on black and white darkroom experimentation and color scanning and digital printing. Demonstrations will cover a wide range of materials and techniques such as; the making of pin hole cameras, paper negatives, photograms, photomontages, and the use of toning, solarization and liquid emulsion on paper and glass. Students will create a portfolio and recipe book of their experimental investigations. 6 credits; ARP; Winter; Linda K Rossi
ARTS 151 Metalsmithing A basic course in metal design and fabrication of primarily jewelry forms and functional objects. Specific instruction will be given in developing the skills of forming, joining, and surface enrichment to achieve complex metal pieces. Students will learn to render two-dimensional drawings while exploring three-dimensional design concepts. The course examines how jewelry forms relate to the human body. Found materials will be used in addition to traditional metals including copper, brass, and silver.   6 credits; ARP; Fall; Danny Saathoff
ARTS 161 Watercolor This five week course serves as a brief introduction to the medium of watercolor painting. Students will develop an understanding of basic color interactions and a wide spectrum of paint application strategies from meticulous refined brushwork to fluid, expressive markmaking. 3 credits; ARP; Winter; David Lefkowitz
ARTS 180 Bookbinding This class will introduce the fundamentals of hand bookbinding with special emphasis on making journals and albums. We will learn several different binding methods using historical and non-traditional techniques and a variety of different materials, tools and adhesives. In addition we will cover basic box making. Boxes, like books, serve many purposes, one being to house and protect valuable and fragile objects. We will make slipcases and clamshell boxes to protect books and prints. 6 credits; ARP; Winter; Jana L Pullman
ARTS 210 Life Drawing Understanding the basic techniques of drawing the human form is fundamental to an art education and is the emphasis of this class. Humans have been engaged in the act of self-representation since the beginning of time. The relationship artists have had with drawing the human body is complex and has been the subject of religious, philosophical and personal investigation for centuries. Concentrating on representational drawing techniques we will explore a variety of media and materials. Supplemented by lectures, readings and critiques, students will develop an understanding of both contemporary and historical approaches to drawing the human figure. Prerequisite: Studio Art 110 or 113. 6 credits; ARP; Spring; Daniel P Bruggeman
ARTS 212 Studio Art Seminar in the South Pacific: Mixed-Media Drawing This course involves directed drawing in bound sketchbooks, using a variety of drawing media, and requires on-going, self-directed drawing in visual journals. Subjects will include landscape, figure, portraits, and nature study. The course will require some hiking in rugged areas. Prerequisite: Studio Art 110 or 113. 6 credits; ARP; Not offered 2017-18
ARTS 213 Elaborating on Perception: Drawing Drawing has always been characterized by two dominant narratives: one of appearance, the other of conception. In both cases, drawing can be defined as an engagement with the hand, the drawing material and the surface, with consideration given to a visual and/or conceptual subject. In this course we will develop both our perceptual and reflective skills through a series of projects that will challenge the student to explore and refine both traditional and unconventional drawing strategies. This course is part of the OCS winter break New York Program, involving two linked courses in fall and winter terms. This course is the first in the sequence. Prerequisite: Studio Art 110 or 113. 6 credits; ARP; Fall; Daniel P Bruggeman
ARTS 214 Elaborating on Perception: Drawing (Part 2, Field Investigation and Portfolio Development) This course is the second part of a two-term course sequence beginning with ARTS 213. The course begins with a two-week visit in December to New York City. Field-work will include daily drawing requirements and visits to the studios of working artists, museums, galleries and art performances. In regular weekly meetings during the winter term on campus, our experiences will be synthesized into a series of drawing projects that will be presented in an exhibit in The Weitz Center. Prerequisite: Studio Art 213. 6 credits; ARP; Winter; Daniel P Bruggeman
ARTS 216 Cameroon Program: Aesthetic Traditions of Cameroon This course surveys the vast array of traditional and contemporary art and artisanal forms and media of Cameroon. Disciplines covered may include music, dance, theater, puppetry, wood carving, painting, pottery, textiles, jewelry making, metallurgy, photography, radio, television, journalism, film, and architecture. Students learn through lectures, seminars, and class discussions, combined with demonstrations and hands-on workshops at the workplaces of local artists and artisans and attendance at related cultural sites and events. Students choose one secondary arts discipline and present a minor work in and about the chosen idiom. Prerequisite: Acceptance into the Carleton-Antioch Program required. 8 credits; NE; Fall; Nick Hockin
ARTS 230 Ceramics: Throwing This course is focused on the creative possibilities of the pottery wheel as a means to create utilitarian objects. Students are challenged to explore conceptual ideas while maintaining a dedication to function. An understanding of aesthetic values and technical skills are achieved through studio practice, readings, and demonstrations. Basic glaze and clay calculations, high fire and wood kiln firing techniques, and a significant civic engagement component, known as the Empty Bowls Project, are included in the course. Prerequisite: Studio Art 130 or high school experience with wheel throwing and instructor permission. 6 credits; ARP; Spring; Kelly A Connole
ARTS 232 Ceramics: Handbuilding This course is an introduction to handbuilding as a primary method to construct both functional and non-functional ceramic forms with a focus on experimentation. An understanding of aesthetic values and technical skills are achieved through studio practice, readings, and demonstrations. Basic glaze and clay calculations, kiln firing techniques, and basic throwing methods will be covered. Prerequisite: Studio Art 122, 130 or instructor consent. 6 credits; ARP; Not offered 2017-18
ARTS 234 The Figure in Clay This course is an introduction to the figurative and narrative potential of clay as a sculptural medium. Through hands-on demonstrations, lectures, readings, and assignments students will develop an understanding of both contemporary and historical approaches to forming the human figure in clay. The relationship artists have with the human body is complex and has been the subject of religious, philosophical and personal investigation for centuries. This course will analyze this relationship while developing technical skills in construction and firing techniques specific to ceramics. Prerequisite: Studio Art 122, 130 or instructor's consent. 6 credits; ARP; Not offered 2017-18
ARTS 238 Photography I This course introduces the student to the operation of the 35mm camera, film processing and black and white printing techniques. Through lectures, demonstrations, readings, field trips and critiques we rigorously view and question the nature of photography. Assignments will cover a range of photographic genres. A personal investigation of these photographic experiences will result in a final portfolio of finished prints and accompanying field guide. Manual film cameras provided, check with instructor. Prerequisite: Studio Art 110 or 113. 6 credits; ARP; Spring; Linda K Rossi
ARTS 240 Introduction to Film and Digital Photography Learn the fine art of both black and white and color photography through the use of light sensitive silver and pigmented ink. Like the alchemist we will separate and join together the materials, concepts and technology of the past with today's digital image. As we transition between chemicals in the darkroom and Photoshop in the digital lab we will explore the creative and cultural nature of photography. Studio production will be promoted through field trips, readings and critiques. Students will need their own digital camera, however film cameras will be provided. Prerequisite: Studio Art 110 or 113. 6 credits; ARP; Not offered 2017-18
ARTS 252 Metalsmithing: Casting and Color This course focuses on casting, enameling, and stone setting as methods of creating jewelry and small sculptural objects in copper and silver. Specific instruction will be given in developing the skills of forming, joining, and surface enrichment to achieve complex metal pieces. Previous experience with metalsmithing is not required but may be helpful. Prerequisite: Studio Art 110, 113, 122 or 151. 6 credits; ARP; Spring; Danny Saathoff
ARTS 260 Painting The course serves as an introduction to the language of painting. Students develop a facility with the physical tools of painting--brushes, paint and surfaces--as they gain a fluency with the basic formal elements of the discipline--color, form, value, composition and space. Students are also challenged to consider the choices they make in determining the content and ideas expressed in the work, and how to most effectively convey them. Prerequisite: Studio Art 110 or 113. 6 credits; ARP; Fall, Spring; David Lefkowitz
ARTS 262 English Theater and Literature in London: Visualizing the Renaissance What did the English Renaissance look like? Through on-site observational drawing, watercolor and gouache painting, and/or digital photography, students will investigate the paintings, ceramics, woodwork, metalwork, textiles, fashion, heraldry, architecture, and landscape gardening of early modern England. The critical observation and artistic rendering of these objects and spaces will afford students a window into the culture of the English Renaissance as they acquaint themselves with the visual vocabulary of the past. 3 credits; ARP, IS; Not offered 2017-18
ARTS 274 Printmaking Students will work in one of the four primary media of printmaking: intaglio, relief, lithography, or silkscreen. After students make their choice of which process they will use, demonstrations will be offered in each area. The goal includes building upon skills that were established in the pre-requisite drawing class. Each print media affords great potential in experimentation. Prerequisite: Studio Art 110 or 113. 6 credits; ARP; Fall; Fred Hagstrom
ARTS 275 Studio Art Seminar in the South Pacific: The Physical and Cultural Environment This course examines how Australia and New Zealand have changed since colonization. Students study the physical and environmental beginnings of these countries and learn about the history of their indigenous people, noting how the physical landscape has been changed through agriculture, mining, and the importation of non-native species. This course will include readings, meetings with visiting artists and lecturers, and visits to cultural centers. Prerequisite: Studio Art 110 or 113 and acceptance to Carleton OCS program. 6 credits; SI, IS; Not offered 2017-18
ARTS 298 Junior Studio Art Practicum Required for the studio major, and strongly recommended for the junior year, this seminar is for student artists considering lives as producers of visual culture. At the core of the course are activities that help build students’ identities as practicing artists. These include the selection and installation of artwork for the Junior Show, a presentation about their own artistic development, and studio projects in media determined by each student that serve as a bridge between media-specific studio art courses and the independent creative work they will undertake as Seniors in Comps. The course will also include reading and discussion about what it means to be an artist today, encounters with visiting artists and trips to exhibition venues in the Twin Cities. 6 credits; S/CR/NC; NE; Spring; Kelly A Connole
ARTS 310 Cameroon Program: Arts Apprenticeship/Independent Project This course consists of two interrelated streams: the apprenticeship and the independent project. Students study and work with an established professional artist-mentor in their chosen visual or performing arts discipline. Through observation of, interaction with, and participation in the life of local artists, the apprenticeship fosters the development of one-on-one relationships between students and artists across cultural and linguistic barriers. Students create and present culminating artistic projects under the guidance of the artist-mentor and the supervision of the Program Director. The independent project is accompanied by a final paper. Prerequisite: Acceptance into the Carleton-Antioch Program required. 8 credits; NE; Fall; Nick Hockin
ARTS 322 Sculpture 2: Form and Context In this seminar we will expand on our exploration of sculpture--further developing the studio based investigation of Studio Art 122 while adding interior and exterior site specific installation, robotics, and digital media, to the range of possibilities. Prerequisite: Studio Art 122 or instructor permission. 6 credits; ARP; Not offered 2017-18
ARTS 327 Woodworking: The Table This class explores the wondrous joys and enlightening frustrations of an intensive material focus in wood. From the perspective of both functional and non-functional design, we will examine wood's physical, visual, philosophical, and expressive properties. Several short projects will culminate in an examination of the table as a conceptual construct, and six week design/build challenge. Prerequisite: Studio Art 122 or instructor permission. 6 credits; ARP; Fall; Stephen Mohring
ARTS 330 Advanced Ceramics Designed to build on previous coursework in ceramics, this course focuses on sophisticated handbuilding and throwing techniques and advanced problem solving. Development of a personal voice is encouraged through open-ended assignments deepening exploration into the expressive nature of clay. Glaze calculations, kiln firing theory, and alternative firing techniques will broaden approaches to surface design. This course can be repeated for credit.  Prerequisite: Studio Art 130, 230, 232 or 234. 6 credits; ARP; Winter; Michael C Helke
ARTS 339 Advanced Photo: Digital Imaging This course will explore the technical, aesthetic and critical issues of digital media. The student will work with digital cameras, scanners, printers and the Photoshop program. Through specific assignments, field trips and personal experimentation students will broaden their understanding of this new media. Students will need their own digital camera. Prerequisite: Studio Art 110 or 113 and 141, 238, or 240 or instructor permission. 6 credits; ARP; Winter; Linda K Rossi
ARTS 360 Advanced Painting and Drawing This course is designed for students who want to explore these 2-D media in greater depth. Students may choose to work exclusively in painting or drawing, or may combine media if they like. Some projects in the course emphasize strengthening students' facility in traditional uses of each medium, while others are designed to encourage students to challenge assumptions about what a painting or drawing can be. Two major assignments make up the core of the course--one focuses on art making as an evolving process and the other on a critical engagement with systems of visual representation. Prerequisite: Studio Art 110 and 260 (for students focusing on painting) or two prior drawing or printmaking courses from Studio Art 110, 113, 210, 212, and 274 (for students focusing on drawing). 6 credits; ARP; Not offered 2017-18
ARTS 374 Advanced Printmaking and Book Arts This course is a continuation from the introductory level print courses, offering instruction in any of the print media--intaglio, relief, silk-screen, lithography and letterpress. In addition, several binding techniques are taught, and some of the assignments can be fulfilled by book-based projects. 6 credits; ARP; Spring; Fred Hagstrom
ARTS 398 Senior Studio Art Practicum Required for the studio major in the senior year, this seminar is designed to prepare emerging artists for continued studio practice. This class engages students in the process of presentation of artwork in a professional setting (the senior art exhibition) and in various other capacities. Students engage with visiting artists, readings, and exhibitions as they begin to develop their own independent paths towards studio work outside of the academic setting. 3 credits; S/CR/NC; NE; Spring; Kelly A Connole
ARTS 400 Integrative Exercise 6 credits; S/NC; Fall, Winter, Spring