Art History and Archaeology

Course Listing

Art History and Archaeology

Departmental Representative:
Dr. Holger A. Klein
826 Schermerhorn
212-854-3230
hak56@columbia.edu

To request a syllabus, please contact the course instructor. You can find contact information for an instructor on the university directory.

AHIS OC4146 Technology in Art and Visual Communication. 3 points.

Please note: This course is NOT open to summer visiting students

From early optical instruments to Renaissance printing presses, from camera obscuras, floating on boats to portable paint tubes, from modern film cameras to laser sculptures, from computer robotics to 3D printing, technology continues to play a major role in art, and visual communication. It shapes both creative processes and production techniques in the making of visual culture and it affects and defines the status of the beholder of its manifold expressions. The course will investigate some of the milestones in the history of instruments and will take up contemporary technology to investigate the intertwined connection between man and machine in the creative world. 

AHIS OC4651 Paris, Capital of Modernity?. 3 points.

This summer session is designed to introduce students to the art and architecture of modern Paris while placing those developments into the context of the global nineteenth century. Taking Walter Benjamin’s famous declaration of the city as the “capital of the nineteenth century”—and David Harvey’s reformulation of the phrase to encompass “modernity”—as its opening gambit, the course weaves a narrative of global modernity through the fabric of today’s Paris. Combining museums and site visits with discussions that encourage a critical examination of the city’s centrality in certain art historical narratives, we will devote attention to the influx of ideas, objects, and people from other cultures that contributed to the visual rhetoric of modernity. Key questions concern the impact of revolutions on the city’s infrastructure, the (in)visibility of empire, the experience of modern life for marginalized communities, the place of nature in the modern city, and the implications and reverberations of displays of colonial objects.

AHIS OC4652 Posing Modernity: The Black Model from Manet and Matisse to the Harlem Renaissance & Today. 3 points.

CC/GS/SEAS: Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement

This course will be based on the Musée d’Orsay exhibition Le Modèle Noir de Gericault à Matisse (The Black Model from Gericault to Matisse) and its precedent version at the Wallach Art Gallery at Columbia University in New York. Through the close visual analysis of key works of art in the exhibition, and a critical reading of the relevant histories of art, the course will explore  the manner in which changing modes of representing the black figure were foundational to the development of modern art in the West, from Édouard Manet’s Olympia (1863) to the present.

AHIS S2314D Baroque Masters at the Met: Bernini, Velazquez, Rembrandt. 3 points.

This course examines three masters of European Baroque art—Gianlorenzo Bernini (1598-1680), Diego Velázquez (1599-1660), and Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669)—artists who are all well represented in the permanent collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Through classroom discussions and museum visits, we will examine Baroque art as part of a continuing and developing accumulation of forms and ideas throughout the 17th century, and consider the impact these artists had on their contemporaries and in ensuing centuries. Roughly half of the class sessions take place at the Metropolitan Museum, a luxury that allows for close, firsthand analysis of art, but it is not an art appreciation course. It is a history course concerned with a study of ideas, artists, and visual facts and their application to emerging art forms within their cultural-historical context. In addition to developing a critical eye, the class is intended to develop analytical thinking and communication skills as well as knowledge of the subject matter.

AHIS S3010Q Evaluating the Evidence of Authenticity. 4 points.

    The adjudged authenticity of a work of art is fundamental in determining its value as a commodity on the art market or, for example, in property claim disputes or in issues of cultural property restitution.  Using case studies some straightforward and others extremely vexing--this course examines the many ways in which authenticity is measured through the use of provenance and art historical research, connoisseurship, and forensic resources.  From within the broader topics, finer issues will also be explored, among them, the hierarchy of attribution, condition and conservation, copies and reproductions, the period eye and the style of the marketplace.

Summer 2018: AHIS S3010Q
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 3010 001/13529 M W 1:00pm - 4:10pm
930 Schermerhorn Hall
Lynn Catterson 4 8/12

AHIS S3426D Jackson Pollock and the NY School. 3 points.

Coming on the heels of the MoMA's blockbuster exhibit, this seminar will trace the rise and fall of Abstract Expressionism, from its pre-World War II precipitates in Europe (Surrealism) and in America (Regionalism), to the crucial moment when, as scholar Serge Guilbaut has argued, New York "stole" the idea of modern art, and finally, through the decade when Pop Art rendered Abstract Expressionism obsolete. Although special emphasis will be given to Jackson Pollock, whose persona and work reside at the literal and figurative center of the movement, we will also look closely at works by Mark Rothko, Clyfford Still, Willem DeKooning, Lee Krasner, Louise Bourgeois, Helen Frankenthaler, Eva Hesse, Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns and Cy Twombly.  Class lectures and presentations will be supplemented with trips to New York's world-renowned museums.

Summer 2018: AHIS S3426D
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 3426 001/66462 T Th 1:00pm - 4:10pm
934 Schermerhorn Hall
Kent Minturn 3 12/15

AHIS S3440Q New York and the Death and Afterlife of Film. 3 points.

This undergraduate seminar aims to demonstrate the discursive, technical and artistic significance of film to contemporary art practice. It introduces students to examples of recent scholarly work that considers early cinema, Hollywood production and twentieth-century analog film practice within the discourse of archives, the media dispositif, media archaeology, an aesthetics of obsolescence and that treats screens, film archives, film laboratories, cinemas and museums as privileged sites of artistic production. In addition to critical theory, the focus of the seminar is on contemporary artists who interrogate the artistic potential of film by incorporating the techniques, mechanisms, materials, sites and figural contents of film history in their work. Case studies include Jean-Luc Godard, Ken Jacobs, Tacita Dean, Harun Farocki and others.

Summer 2018: AHIS S3440Q
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 3440 001/91247 T Th 9:00am - 12:10pm
934 Schermerhorn Hall
Eszter Polonyi 3 6/15

AHIS S3441Q New York City and the History of Museums. 4 points.

This course will introduce students to the history of museums and display practices through New York collections. The birth of the museum as a constitutive element of modernity coincides with the establishment of European nation states. Throughout the course of the nineteenth century, museums were founded in major European and American cities to classify objects, natural and manmade, from plants and fossils to sculpture and clothing. This course presents the alternate art history that can be charted through an examination of the foundation and development of museums from cabinets of curiosity to the collection-less new museums currently being built in the Middle East and beyond. We will consider broad thematic issues such as nationalism, colonialism, canon formation, the overlapping methods of anthropology and art history, and the notion of 'framing' from the architectural superstructure to exhibition design. We will visit a wide variety of museums from the American Museum of Natural History to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to the National September 11 Memorial and Museum as in-depth case studies of more general concepts. Students will have the opportunity to meet museum educators, conservators and curators through on site teaching in a variety of institutions.

AHIS S3442D American Art in the Global Context of the "Long" Nineteenth Century. 4 points.

Through an examination of painting, sculpture, decorative arts, photography and the visual culture of the United States from 1750 to 1914, the course will explore how American artists responded to and operated within the wider world. Addressing themes shared in common across national boundaries, the class will consider how American art participated in the revolutions and reforms of the "long" nineteenth century, ranging from Romanticism to Modernism. The period witnessed the emergence of new technologies for creating, using, and circulating images and objects, the expansion and transformation of exhibition and viewing practices, and the rise of new artistic institutions, as well as the metamorphosis of the United States from its colonial origins to that of a world power, including the profound changes that occurred during the Civil War. The class will investigate how American art engaged with international movements while constructing national identity during a period of radical transformation both at home and abroad. In addition to lectures/discussions in the classroom, field trips to the Metropolitan Museum (the American Wing, Nineteenth Century Wing, Galleries of Modem and Contemporary Art, and the Photography Study Collection), the Museum of Modem Art and the Whitney Museum of Art, represent a vital aspect of the course. One of the important questions raised in the class is the recent reinterpretation of American art's interaction with international movements in museum installations and scholarship, moving away from an isolationist approach to one that engages with global influence and awareness. Readings will draw not only from primarily sources, but also from many of the publications of the Terra Foundation, whose exhibitions and research programs work to encourage an understanding and exploration of American Art from a global context.

Summer 2018: AHIS S3442D
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 3442 001/71246 T Th 1:00pm - 4:10pm
832 Schermerhorn Hall
Page Knox 4 8/15

AHIS S3443Q Impressionism in New York. 3 points.

This course will introduce students to the avant-garde movement of Impressionism by making extensive use of New York collections, particularly those of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. We will study Impressionist art and artists in relation to the aesthetic, social and political backdrop of late nineteenth-century France, with attention to the artistic climate in America and Great Britain. Central to the discussion will be the position of women artists, models and collectors during this transformative period. Topics will include: artistic institutions, training and practice; new attitudes toward urban and rural spaces and toward leisure and labor; gender, fashion and social identity; relationships among artists, dealers, critics and patrons; and exhibiting Impressionism in new contexts.

Summer 2018: AHIS S3443Q
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 3443 001/13780 T Th 1:00pm - 4:10pm
934 Schermerhorn Hall
Susan Sivard 3 6/15

HUMA S1121D Masterpieces of Western Art. 3 points.

Offered: May 21 - June 29

Equivalent to HUMA C1121 and F1121. Not a historical survey but an analytical study of masterpieces, including originals available in the metropolitan area. The chief purpose is to acquaint students with the experience of a work of art. A series of topics in the development of Western art, selected to afford a sense of the range of expressive possibilities in painting, sculpture, and architecture, such as the Parthenon, the Gothic cathedral, and works of Michelangelo, Bruegel, Picasso, and others. Space is limited. Columbia University undergraduates who need this course for graduation are encouraged to register during early registration.

Summer 2018: HUMA S1121D
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HUMA 1121 001/23134 T Th 9:00am - 12:10pm
607 Schermerhorn Hall
Martina Mims 3 13/15
HUMA 1121 002/72955 M W 9:00am - 12:10pm
604 Schermerhorn Hall
Tiffany Floyd 3 13/15
HUMA 1121 003/29613 M W 1:00pm - 4:10pm
604 Schermerhorn Hall
Adam Levine 3 14/15
HUMA 1121 004/64043 T Th 1:00pm - 4:10pm
604 Schermerhorn Hall
Gillian Young 3 15/15
HUMA 1121 005/20702 M W 5:30pm - 8:40pm
607 Schermerhorn Hall
Anna Hetherington 3 14/15
HUMA 1121 006/11790 T Th 5:30pm - 8:40pm
604 Schermerhorn Hall
Matthew Teti 3 10/15
HUMA 1121 007/71739 T Th 5:30pm - 8:40pm
934 Schermerhorn Hall
Daniel Ralston 3 14/15
HUMA 1121 009/27181 T Th 1:00pm - 4:10pm
607 Schermerhorn Hall
Diana Mellon 3 13/15

HUMA S1121Q Masterpieces of Western Art. 3 points.

Offered: July 2 - August 10

Equivalent to HUMA C1121 and F1121. Not a historical survey but an analytical study of masterpieces, including originals available in the metropolitan area. The chief purpose is to acquaint students with the experience of a work of art. A series of topics in the development of Western art, selected to afford a sense of the range of expressive possibilities in painting, sculpture, and architecture, such as the Parthenon, the Gothic cathedral, and works of Michelangelo, Bruegel, Picasso, and others. Space is limited. Columbia University undergraduates who need this course for graduation are encouraged to register during early registration.

Summer 2018: HUMA S1121Q
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HUMA 1121 008/70523 M W 1:00pm - 4:10pm
604 Schermerhorn Hall
Adam Levine 3 15/15
HUMA 1121 010/28397 M W 1:00pm - 4:10pm
934 Schermerhorn Hall
Michael Waters 3 12/15
HUMA 1121 011/62827 T Th 1:00pm - 4:10pm
604 Schermerhorn Hall
Elizabeth Gollnick 3 12/15
HUMA 1121 012/19486 T Th 9:00am - 12:10pm
604 Schermerhorn Hall
Denise Budd 3 14/15
HUMA 1121 013/10574 M W 9:00am - 12:10pm
930 Schermerhorn Hall
Brian van Oppen 3 13/15
HUMA 1121 014/86530 T Th 5:30pm - 8:40pm
832 Schermerhorn Hall
Isabella Lores-Chavez 3 10/15
HUMA 1121 015/60821 M W 5:30pm - 8:40pm
607 Schermerhorn Hall
Alvaro Luis Lima 3 13/15

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