Understanding the Arts: Art History and Architecture
Students interested in this course might also be interested in Understanding the Arts: Literature and Cinema.
“I liked the field trips to the MOMA, Met, and Guggenheim….I’ve learned more about how to define and see art and to learn from its history.” — Matthew Zlatanic, 2014
A two-course curricular option for students wishing to develop their appreciation of art and architecture. Both courses meet daily, one in the morning, the other in the afternoon. Both courses incorporate numerous field trips so as to take full advantage of our location in New York City.
What is Art History?
This course introduces students to selected monuments of painting, sculpture, and architecture and to basic trends and concepts in the history of art. Examples are drawn from a wide range of periods and cultures. Students are introduced to aspects of visual analysis, historical context, and problems of interpretation. Participants engage in discussions centered around slide presentations, videos, and, most importantly, field trips.
One of the objectives of the course is to consider how the way art is displayed can enhance or detract from its power. To this end the class visits the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Hispanic Society, the Cloisters, the Frick Collection, the Guggenheim Museum, and the Museum of Modern Art.
What is Architecture?
An introduction to ways of understanding architecture framed around four topics: Concept, Context, Form, and Materials. Students are challenged to examine and understand the effect of physical environment on human experience, the factors that influence architectural forms, and the role that architecture plays in shaping our behaviors and civic cultures.
Students will gain an understanding of architecture through slide presentations, discussions, readings, visits to museum exhibits, and on-site observations and analyses of architecture and public spaces in New York City, both iconic and lesser-known. Past field trip destinations have included the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, Lincoln Center, Times Square, and the Highline, a public park built on a former elevated railway.
Aki Ishida received her Master of Science in advanced architectural design from Columbia University and Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Minnesota. She is a registered architect, a LEED-accredited professional, and the principal of Aki Ishida Architect PLLC, a research-based design practice founded in New York. Prior to starting her company, she was a designer and project manager with James Carpenter Design Associates, I. M. Pei Architect, and Rafael Vinoly Architects. She is currently an assistant professor of architecture at Virginia Tech and has taught at the Rhode Island School of Design, Parsons the New School for Design, Pratt Institute, and Konkuk University in Seoul, Korea. She has run multiple collaborative projects with partners including the Japan Society, Starwood Hotels, and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
Stephanie O’Rourke holds a B.A. from Harvard University and two master’s degrees in the field of art history from Columbia University. She is currently completing her Ph.D. at Columbia, where she specializes in European art from the late eighteenth century to the early twentieth century. Her dissertation focuses on the relationship between art and science around the time of the French Revolution. In addition to teaching Columbia’s Core Curriculum course, Art Humanities: Masterpieces of Western Art, she has taught for courses in eighteenth-, nineteenth-, and twentieth-century art. She recently served as a Mellon fellow at The Museum of Modern Art, and her scholarly work has been supported by the Yale Center for British Art and the Social Science Research Council.
Specific course information, such as hours and instructors, are subject to change at the discretion of the University.