Students should contact the departmental representative with course-related questions.

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.

HUMA S1121D Masterpieces of Western Art. 3 points.

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 2017: HUMA S1121D
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HUMA 1121 001/11631 T Th 9:00am - 12:10pm
604 Schermerhorn Hall
Abbe Schriber 3 19/18
HUMA 1121 002/75578 M W 9:00am - 12:10pm
604 Schermerhorn Hall
Jacob Stavis 3 17/18
HUMA 1121 003/65034 M W 1:00pm - 4:10pm
604 Schermerhorn Hall
Eszter Polonyi 3 16/18
HUMA 1121 004/29037 T Th 1:00pm - 4:10pm
604 Schermerhorn Hall
Gillian Young 3 16/18
HUMA 1121 005/66667 M W 5:30pm - 8:40pm
607 Schermerhorn Hall
Anna Hetherington 3 18/18
HUMA 1121 006/23326 T Th 5:30pm - 8:40pm
604 Schermerhorn Hall
Matthew Teti 3 16/18
HUMA 1121 007/14414 T Th 5:30pm - 8:40pm
607 Schermerhorn Hall
Julia Siemon 3 17/18
HUMA 1121 014/88005 M W 9:00am - 12:00pm
607 Schermerhorn Hall
Martina Mims 3 15/18

HUMA S1121Q Masterpieces of Western Art. 3 points.

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 2017: HUMA S1121Q
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HUMA 1121 008/74362 M W 1:00pm - 4:10pm
604 Schermerhorn Hall
Alessandra Di Croce 3 17/18
HUMA 1121 009/65451 T Th 1:00pm - 4:10pm
604 Schermerhorn Hall
Rachel Silveri 3 17/18
HUMA 1121 010/21692 T Th 9:00am - 12:10pm
604 Schermerhorn Hall
Denise Budd 3 18/18
HUMA 1121 011/22110 M W 9:00am - 12:10pm
604 Schermerhorn Hall
Robert Fucci 3 18/18
HUMA 1121 012/13198 T Th 5:30pm - 8:40pm
607 Schermerhorn Hall
Joseph Woldman 3 17/18
HUMA 1121 013/67883 M W 5:30pm - 8:40pm
607 Schermerhorn Hall
Alvaro Luis Lima 3 17/18
HUMA 1121 015/61148 T Th 1:00pm - 4:10pm
Room TBA
3 17/18

AHIS S3601Q Outliers: How the Frontier Shaped Early Chinese Art and Culture. 4 points.

Runs from July 3- August 11

This seminar investigates how the frontier  influenced Chinese art, daily life, and beliefs from the Han (206 BCE-220 cE) to the early Ming (1368-1644) dynasties. Imperial China often used defensive walls and pointed rhetoric  to draw distinctions  between itself and neighboring powers, but material evidence shows that cross-cultural exchange along the frontiers  was vibrant and mutual. Geography played a dynamic role in these interactions. The Tibet-Qinghai plateau to the southwest, Gobi Desert to the north, and Pacific Ocean to the east buffered China, but also facilitated interactions  that penetrated  deep into its territory and society. Architecture, paintings, sculpture, ceramics, textiles, and metal works from a range of historical junctures demonstrate how people along the border regions adopted new technologies and materials as well as novel concepts and forms of expression. These underscore the complex and persistent role of the frontiers  in shaping Chinese art and culture.

Summer 2017: AHIS S3601Q
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 3601 001/74762 M W 9:00am - 12:10pm
930 Schermerhorn Hall
Heather Clydesdale 4 12/15

AHIS S3430D From John Singleton Copley to Kehinde Wiley: The Construction of National Identity in Amer. 4 points.

Runs From May 22- June 30

Through an examination of painting, sculpture, photography and the visual culture of the United States fi·om the colonial era to present day, this course will explore the role that American artists played in creating a national identity through the genre of portraiture. The class will consider how portraits speak to the political, economic and cultural moments of their production and what they reveal about their sitters' positions in American society. Examining a range of imagery from depictions of colonial merchants by John Singleton Copley, the faces of George Washington, George Catlin's Indian Gallery, and the scions of John Singer Sargent's Gilded Age, to the mixed-media portraits of the Stieglitz Circle, the photographs of Diane Arbus, and Kehinde Wiley's "street castings," the class investigates the role of art in attempting to capture American character. Discussing an array of self portraits from James McNeil Whistler and Andy Warhol to Lily Martin Spencer and Cindy Sherman, the class also considers the unique qualities and challenges faced by the American artist. Particularly relevant after therecent election, the course questions the possibility of depicting American identity, given the changing circumstances under which that identity has been defined since the origins of the nation.


In addition to lectures/discussions in the classroom, field trips to the Metropolitan Museum (the American Wing, Galleries of Modern 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.

Summer 2017: AHIS S3430D
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 3430 001/65850 T Th 1:00pm - 4:10pm
930 Schermerhorn Hall
Page Knox 4 6/15

AHIS S3204D Medieval Art and the City. 4 points.

Runs From May 22- June 30

This course introduces students to the splendors and rich artistic tradition of the Middle Ages from  ca. 200 CE to about  1400 CE. We will engage  with  a wide  range  of objects housed   in  some  of  the  most  iconic  museums, libraries   and  archives in  New  York, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Morgan  Library  and  Museum, the New York Public Library, and  Columbia's very own Rare Book Collection. Taking  advantage of   New   York's   impressive   resources,  we   will   gain   hands-on  experience  with monumental architecture, sculpture, panel  painting, reliquaries, and  manuscripts from different  cultures across western and  eastern Europe, the Mediterranean basin, and  the Near  East.  Apart  from  investigating the  visual  characteristics of  medieval material culture, we will seek  to set artworks into  their  broader social and  cultural contexts by discussing pertinent issues such as usage, patronage, and function (past and present).

Summer 2017: AHIS S3204D
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 3204 001/92096 M W 9:00am - 12:10pm
930 Schermerhorn Hall
Georgios Makris 4 6/15

AHIS S3219Q 0s and 1s: Digital and Computational Approaches to the Study of Medieval Art and Architect. 4 points.

Museum Visits

In his Universal History of Numbers, Georges Ifrah recounted that he undertook his monumental study of numbers because a pupil once asked him “Where ‘Numbers’ Come From”. This course, 0s and 1s, considers the epilogue of the history of numbers: “Where did ‘Numbers’ bring us.” Today, the study of the art historian is flooded with an endless stream of visual, numerical, and electronic data. Computers and mobile devices offer sophisticated renderings of remote objects of art, spaces, and architecture. Digital technologies provide unprecedented means of analysis and research.  At the same time, however, new technologies bear on the overall direction art and architectural research is taking. This course investigates pros and cons of the new digital methods for art and architectural history. In this course, students will have the opportunity to learn the difference between observing art and architecture through digital media and direct contact with physical objects during museum visits at the Cloisters and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Through the analysis of new methods for studying art and architecture from Europe and the Mediterranean in the Middle Ages, this course aims at introducing students to computational and digital art history. 

Summer 2017: AHIS S3219Q
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 3219 001/72396 T Th 1:00pm - 4:10pm
930 Schermerhorn Hall
Stefaan Van Liefferinge 4 3/15

AHIS S3306Q Donatello to Degas: Dance and the Early Modern Artist. 3 points.

From an interdisciplinary point of view, this course investigates the representation of dance in Early Modern art.  Using case studies of canonical works by artists such as Donatello, Botticelli, Raphael, Bruegel, Poussin, and Degas, we will examine images that exhibit both explicit and implicit depictions of dance.  From this point of departure, we will ask why the performing arts exert such a force upon how we experience and interpret a wide range of figures and figural compositions.  More specific questions will arise in relationship to the following themes: the impact of Antiquity, the simultaneous rise of art and dance theory, the representation of music and time, parallels between composition and choreography, the concept of grace, dance and religion, the depiction of violence, and the modern viewers informative eye.  Ultimately, the class aims to nurture a productive exchange between students from different departments, as well as foster the potential for pushing interdisciplinary study to its limits.  Lectures, discussions, and readings will be complemented by trips to museums, libraries, and performances.

Summer 2017: AHIS S3306Q
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 3306 001/68348 T Th 5:30pm - 8:40pm
930 Schermerhorn Hall
Olivia Powell 3 8/15

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 2017: AHIS S3426D
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 3426 001/66715 T Th 1:00pm - 4:10pm
934 Schermerhorn Hall
Kent Minturn 3 6/15

AHIS S3409D Fun City: The Architecture of New York’s Entertainment, Leisure, and Culture Industry. 4 points.

A city that never sleeps is one in which people play as hard as they work. This course will focus on the buildings, parks, and other venues in New York constructed specifically for play and relaxation. Organized typologically, it will cover everything from parks, playgrounds, and Broadway theaters, to World's Fairs, hotels, and museums-- places in which the city's residents seek escape from the stress of their daily lives. In the classroom, in the archival collections of Avery Library and in numerous field trips around the city and the phot, we will analyze these structures and milieux from the perspective of architectural history and urban design, trace their origins and development from the founding of the city to the present and look at how they have helped cut across but also harden class lines. We will examine the formal differences between high-brow and popular venues, discuss the problems of private and public patronage, as well as the financial and social impact of the entertainment industry on the wellbeing of the city as a whole. Above all, we will explore the ways in which places of play, recreation and escape have shaped the identity of and created a distinct look for New York, which, despite the enormous revenue that the culture and entertainment industry generates, are often at odds with the city's reality.

Summer 2017: AHIS S3409D
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 3409 001/77260 M W 1:00pm - 4:10pm
930 Schermerhorn Hall
Irina Oryshkevich 4 14/15

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 2017: AHIS S3010Q
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 3010 001/15679 M W 1:00pm - 4:10pm
930 Schermerhorn Hall
Lynn Catterson 4 14/15

AHUM S2604Q Arts of China, Japan, and Korea. 3 points.

Introduces distinctive aesthetic traditions of China, Japan, and Korea--their similarities and differences--through an examination of the visual significance of selected works of painting, sculpture, architecture, and other arts in relation to the history, culture, and religions of East Asia.

Summer 2017: AHUM S2604Q
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHUM 2604 001/14463 T Th 9:00am - 12:10pm
930 Schermerhorn Hall
Cathy Zhu 3 18/18

The University reserves the right to withdraw or modify the courses of instruction or to change the instructors as may become necessary.