Art History (ARTH) and Studio Arts (ARTS)

The department offers a number of degree options in Art History and Studio Art.  Students can earn a major Art History or a major in Art History with a concentration in Studio Art.  Minors are available in both Art History and Studio Art.

The curriculum in Art History immerses students in the study of visual culture, especially works of painting, sculpture, and architecture, but also other media such as prints, textiles, and body adornment. Coursework in Art History develops a mastery of the concepts and language particular to the analysis of images and architectural space. Art History is inherently cross-disciplinary and the task of understanding a work of art in its historical context requires an awareness of the politics, economics, literature and religion of that period. Students majoring in Art History will acquire skills in visual analysis, familiarity with different approaches to the interpretation of works of art, training in the techniques of research in the humanities, and the ability to write clearly and persuasively about art.

Additionally, courses in Studio Art allow students to explore the materials and techniques of diverse media, from drawing and painting to photography, print making, and installation art.

Honors Courses and In-Course Honors

The Department of Art History and Studio Art encourages its students to undertake honors work. For further information, the student is referred to the sections on Honors Courses and In-Course Honors in the Catalog.

Chair

Karen H. Goodchild

Professors

David S. Efurd
Alice K. McMillan
Kristofer M. Neely
Peter L. Schmunk
Jessica Scott-Felder

Requirements for the Major in Art History

All majors should take ARTH 411 Art Historiography the fall semester of their junior year or before and must perform satisfactorily (a score of 75 percent or better) on the test of Art Historical Proficiency, which is administered as part of that course. Ideally, students will take ARTH 201, 202 and 220 either prior to or concurrently with ARTH 411. Students are encouraged to devote a semester to study abroad.  Although not a requirement, the Senior Capstone course (ARTH 448 Senior Capstone in Art History) is an excellent option for students considering graduate study.  The Capstone is designed to provide students with the opportunity to pursue an advanced research project under the guidance of a member of the Art History faculty.  Completing an internship related to the field, either over the summer or during the academic year, is also recommended.

The Art History major requires 30 semester hours in addition to the satisfactory completion of the General Education Fine Art requirement.

ARTH 201History of Western Art I3
ARTH 202History of Western Art II3
ARTH 220Survey of Asian Art History3
ARTH 411Art Historiography3
Select one of the following Studio Art courses:3
Two-Dimensional Design
Drawing
Painting
Three-Dimentional Design
Figure Drawing
Select one of the following:3
Women in Italian Renaissance & Baroque Art
Empires & Antiquities
Philosophy of Art
Select four additional Art History (ARTH) courses, three of which must be at the 300-or 400-level12
Total Hours30

Requirements for the Major in Art History with a Concentration in Studio Art

The Art History Major with a Concentration in Studio Art requires students to successfully complete seven courses in Art History, four courses in Studio Art, and the Senior Capstone in Studio Art. Art Historiography (ARTH 411) should be successfully completed during the fall semester of the junior year, including a score of 75 percent or better on the Test of Art Historical Proficiency which is administered as part of the course.  Ideally, students will take ARTH 201, 202 and 220 either prior to or concurrently with ARTH 411.  During the senior year, students must complete ARTS 448 Senior Capstone in Studio Art.  The Capstone integrates art historical knowledge with creative studio artwork.

The Art History Major with a Concentration in Studio Art requires 36 semester hours in addition to the satisfactory completion of the General Education Fine Art requirement.  

ARTH 201History of Western Art I3
ARTH 202History of Western Art II3
ARTH 220Survey of Asian Art History3
ARTH 411Art Historiography3
ARTS 448Senior Capstone in Studio Art3
Select four courses in Studio Art (ARTS), with at least two at the 300- or 400-level.12
Select three courses in Art History (ARTH), with at least two at the 300- or 400-level 9
Total Hours36

Requirements for the Minor in Art History

The Art History minor requires 18 semester hours in addition to the satisfactory completion of the General Education Fine Art requirement.

ARTH 201History of Western Art I3
ARTH 202History of Western Art II3
ARTH 220Survey of Asian Art History3
Select two Art History (ARTH) courses at the 300- or 400-level.6
Select one additional Art History (ARTH) course OR one of the following Studio Art courses:3
Two-Dimensional Design
Drawing
Painting
Three-Dimentional Design
Figure Drawing
Total Hours18

Requirements for the Minor in Studio Art

The Studio Art minor affords the opportunity to develop an artistic and creative practice alongside the student's major field of study. The Studio Art minor requires 18 semester hours in addition to the satisfactory completion of the General Education requirement in the Fine Arts. Courses completed toward the Studio Art minor cannot count toward any other major, minor, or concentration.

ARTS 251Drawing3
Select one of the following sequences:6
Two-Dimensional Design
and Printmaking
Three-Dimentional Design
and Shaping Space: Environmental Art & Installation
Painting
and Watercolor
Digital Photography
and Advanced Digital Photography
Select one Studio Art (ARTS) course at the 200, 300 or 400-level3
Select one Studio Art (ARTS) course at the 300 or 400-level3
Select one Art History (ARTH) course at the 200-level3
Total Hours18

Art History (ARTH)

ARTH 201. History of Western Art I. 3 Hours.

An introductory survey of Western art and its major monuments, artists, techniques, styles, and themes which encompass the art of prehistory, the Ancient World, the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.


ARTH 202. History of Western Art II. 3 Hours.

An introductory survey of Western art and its major monuments, artists, techniques, styles and themes. This course surveys the art of the Baroque and the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries.


ARTH 210. Principles & Types of Architecture. 3 Hours.

An introduction to the study of architecture through an examination of the principles that underlie architectural design and their use in outstanding historic examples of residential, religious, and civic architecture.


ARTH 220. Survey of Asian Art History. 3 Hours.

An introduction to the arts of Asia, including India, China, Japan, Korea, and Southeast Asia. This course addresses the distinctive styles, forms, and aesthetics of Asian art and their expression of Asian cultures and values. An emphasis will be placed upon indigenous traditions and transmissions of culture that motivated the creation of works of art. Successful completion of this course satisfies the Cultures and Peoples requirement for graduation.


ARTH 225. Islamic Art. 3 Hours.

A survey of the art and architecture of Islamic cultures throughout the world. Emphasis in this course will be placed on understanding works of art within their social and religious contexts, including ritual use and/or cultural meaning, underlying aesthetic principles, and the social and political motivations shaping artistic production. Additional Issues addressed include the use of art to express political power and Western attitudes towards Islamic art and civilization. Successful completion of this course satisfies the Cultures and Peoples requirement for graduation.


ARTH 241. African Art: Gender, Power & Life-Cycle Ritual. 3 Hours.

A survey of the arts of sub-Saharan Africa. This course examines examples of sculpture, architecture, painting, pottery, textile art, and body adornment in their religious, political, and social contexts. Successful completion of this course satisfies the Cultures and Peoples requirement for graduation.


ARTH 280. Selected Topics in Art History. 1 to 4 Hours.

Selected topics in Art History at the introductory or intermediate level.


ARTH 301. Ancient & Classical Art. 3 Hours.

A study of the major developments in ancient Greek and Roman art and architecture, including a consideration of the Aegean and Etruscan cultures that preceded them. This course places objects in their cultural context, with emphasis on the use of art as a tool for political propaganda.


ARTH 302. Medieval Art. 3 Hours.

A study of the major developments in the visual arts during the Middle Ages, including the art of Constantinian Rome and Byzantium, the pre-Christian art of the North and its assimilation into the Christian tradition, the artistic expression of monasticism and pilgrimage, and the Gothic flowering of art in cathedral construction, sculpture, and manuscript illumination.


ARTH 303. Italian Renaissance Art. 3 Hours.

An examination of the arts of painting, sculpture, and architecture as practiced in Italy between 1300 and 1600, with emphasis on artistic techniques that were invented and/or perfected during this period. Topics discussed include humanism and the revival of antiquity, the changing social status of the artist, and the relation between the visual arts and literature.


ARTH 304. Baroque & Rococo Art. 3 Hours.

A study of the various individual, national, and period styles practiced during the 17th and 18th centuries, a period encompassing the artistic expression of absolute monarchy, Catholic encouragement vs. Protestant rejection of liturgical art, the foundation of academies of art, and the revelatory works of Bernini, Rubens, Velazquez, and Rembrandt.


ARTH 305. 19th-Century Art. 3 Hours.

A study of the principal styles and artists that distinguish the art produced just prior to and throughout the 19th century, seen against the background of significant cultural developments: political and industrial revolutions, the establishment of mass cultural venues such as the museum and the world's fair, the influence of music on the visual arts, and the waning influence of the academies vs. the emergent concept of the avant-garde.


ARTH 308. Art of the American South. 3 Hours.

This comprehensive survey course offers an overview of art of the American South. This course explores art of the American South from later European settlement through the present day, with the goal of exposing and understanding historical trajectories and myths as they play out in the visual arts. This seminar provides a broad overview of selected topics, including: natural history illustration; maps; architectural and decorative arts history; geographical spotlights (Charleston in particular); visual responses to war (the Civil War in particular); landscape painting; sonic approaches; photography; New Deal visual arts programs; regionalism; self-taught art and vernacular traditions; modernist impulses; and critiques and legacies of racism.


ARTH 310. 20th Century Architecture: Modernism & Post-Modernism. 3 Hours.

An exploration of the architecture of the twentieth century and the various architects, styles, and theories of design encompassed by the broad labels Modern and Post-Modern. These topics will be studied from a variety of perspectives-political, economic, social, technological, and aesthetic-in an effort to understand how recent architecture reflects the circumstances which surrounded its making and what the architects of the time tried to achieve and to express with its creation.


ARTH 321. Art of South Asia. 3 Hours.

A study of major developments in the visual arts of the Indian subcontinent from the protohistoric era through the seventeenth century. Topics discussed include the political, economic, social, and cultural conditions that shaped the direction of visual arts and architecture in South Asia. Fundamental to this course will be the meaning and symbolic content of the arts in relation to regional indigenous religious traditions, namely Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. Successful completion of this course satisfies the Cultures and Peoples requirement for graduation.


ARTH 322. Art of China. 3 Hours.

An examination of topics in the visual arts of China from its protohistoric river cultures to the contemporary era. This course traces the development of Chinese art in the fields of painting, sculpture, calligraphy, architecture, and ceramics. Of special interest are the functional aspects of art, whether for ritual, expressive, or propagandistic purposes, and the shifting roles of artist and patron in Chinese civilization. Successful completion of this course satisfies the Cultures and Peoples requirement for graduation.


ARTH 323. Art of Japan. 3 Hours.

An examination of topics relating to the visual arts of Japan, ranging from pottery and clay technologies in the protohistoric era to developments in the manufacture of nineteenth-century multicolored woodblock prints. Issues to be addressed include the impact of cultural interactions with continental Asia, the transmission of Buddhism and Buddhist art to Japan, and the growth of indigenous aesthetics and artistic practices. Successful completion of this course satisfies the Cultures and Peoples requirement for graduation.


ARTH 411. Art Historiography. 3 Hours.

An exploration of the theory and methodology of art history, intended to develop critical thinking skills, to further the student's ability to write persuasively about art, to develop research and bibliographic skills, and to cultivate an awareness of some of the approaches employed by historians of art, including biography, connoisseurship, style criticism, iconology, and feminist criticism. The test of Art Historical Proficiency will be administered as part of this course. A score of 70% or better is required for all Art History majors.

Prerequisite: ARTH 201 with a minimum grade of D or ARTH 202 with a minimum grade of D or ARTH 210 with a minimum grade of D or ARTH 220 with a minimum grade of D or ARTH 225 with a minimum grade of D or ARTH 241 with a minimum grade of D.


ARTH 412. Women in Italian Renaissance & Baroque Art. 3 Hours.

This seminar examines women as subjects, artists, viewers and patrons of art in the Renaissance and Baroque eras. Students will read, discuss, and write about a body of interconnected primary and secondary sources and develop the skill of evaluating scholarly arguments. Texts to be examined include works by Boccaccio, Petrarch, Leon Battista Alberti, Lorenzo de Medici, Baldassare Castiglione, and Giorgio Vasari.

Prerequisite: ARTH 201 with a minimum grade of D or ARTH 202 with a minimum grade of D or ARTH 210 with a minimum grade of D or ARTH 220 with a minimum grade of D or ARTH 225 with a minimum grade of D or ARTH 241 with a minimum grade of D.


ARTH 415. Empires & Antiquities. 3 Hours.

A seminar investigating the development of Asian and Islamic art history, with emphasis on the changing attitudes of Western culture and scholarship towards the arts of Asia and the Islamic world. Among major topics of the course are Orientalism, European colonialism, nationalism in the nineteen and twentieth centuries, post-colonialism, and issues surrounding the presentation and collecting of objects from Asia and the Islamic world.

Prerequisite: ARTH 201 with a minimum grade of D or ARTH 202 with a minimum grade of D or ARTH 210 with a minimum grade of D or ARTH 220 with a minimum grade of D or ARTH 225 with a minimum grade of D or ARTH 241 with a minimum grade of D.


ARTH 448. Senior Capstone in Art History. 3 Hours.

An optional capstone experience for senior majors and minors, facilitating the synthesis of knowledge and skills encountered across the major program and the completion of an extended research project. Taught in seminar format, it is strongly recommended for students intending to pursue graduate study. Open only to seniors majoring or minoring in Art History.


ARTH 470. Independent Study in Art History. 1 to 3 Hours.

Study of a specific art historical topic under the direction of a faculty member in Art History. The readings, program of research, and written work to be undertaken by the student will be determined in consultation with the instructor.


ARTH 480. Advanced Topics in Art History. 0 to 4 Hours.

Offered periodically as announced. Recent topics have included: Vincent van Gogh and Rome: A City in History. Advanced standing required.


ARTH 500. Honors Course. 3 Hours.

At the discretion of the faculty, students may undertake a six-hour independent course of study in the senior year in order to broaden their educational experience within their major area of study. Students must meet specific GPA standards and arrange a faculty sponsor. The honors course criteria are outlined in the Academic Honors portion of the catalog.


Students majoring in Art History may take and apply one of the following Converse College courses toward the completion of their major degree requirements:
306. 20th Century Art before 1945
309. 20th Century Art after 1945
315. Women and Art
404. American Art

Studio Art (ARTS)1

ARTS 245. Introduction to Studio Art. 3 Hours.

A mixed imedia course for beginning artists or more experienced artists who wish to improve their technical expertise while broadening knowledge and appreciation of style in historical and cultural context. Design, drawing, painting, printmaking, and sculpture may be explored through lecture, critique, visual aids, and hands-on projects.


ARTS 247. Art and Earth: Materials & Methods. 3 Hours.

In this course students explore the natural and synthetic sources of studio art materials in a variety of media with an eye toward understanding the environmental impact of their sourcing, use and disposal, as well as the materials? cultural and historical context. Students will make basic art materials and engage in studio art processes using these materials. Students will create original artworks during the studio instruction and in related assignments. Attention to artists working with natural or handmade materials will be a significant focus of this course.


ARTS 250. Two-Dimensional Design. 3 Hours.

This art foundations course introduces students to fundamental aspects of visual design and develops skills and knowledge applicable to drawing, painting, and advanced work in all media. The basic elements of art - including line, shape, value, color, texture, scale, perspective, pattern, and composition - are studied so that students acquire a conceptual language useful in creating and critiquing works of art.


ARTS 251. Drawing. 3 Hours.

An introduction to the materials and techniques of drawing, including the use of charcoal, conte crayon, gouache, and pastel. Problems particular to the representation of space and mass, the handling of negative space, the use of the elements of value and texture, the representation of drapery, and the depiction of the human figure and still-life subjects will be addressed.


ARTS 252. Painting. 3 Hours.

An introduction to the materials and techniques of painting, with emphasis on color theory, pictorial organization, the representation of space and mass, and critical reflection on technical, formal, and conceptual issues. Students will paint works of art in the subject categories of still-life, landscape, portraiture, and abstraction.


ARTS 255. Digital Photography. 3 Hours.

An introduction to the basic techniques of camera use and computer processing of images toward the aim of creating successful photographs. Attention will be given to historical styles of photography and the work of noted photographers as models. Students will explore the genres of portrait, object, documentary, and nature photography.


ARTS 260. Three-Dimentional Design. 3 Hours.

An art foundations course which introduces students to fundamental aspects of 3-D design and develops skills and knowledge applicable to sculpture, ceramics, installation, and advanced work in all media. The basic elements of spatial design are taught along with an emphasis on our perceptions of mass and space in both natural and manufactured structures. Art projects and exercises are created and critiqued as students develop a conceptual language for how works of art exist in relationship to space.


ARTS 261. Introduction to Ceramics. 3 Hours.

This is an introduction to hand building and wheel throwing pottery and the application of design basics, techniques, and processes relevant to the construction of clay forms.


ARTS 280. Selected Topics in Studio Art. 1 to 4 Hours.

Selected topics in Studio Art at the introductory or intermediate level.


ARTS 351. Figure Drawing. 3 Hours.

An introduction to the discipline of figure drawing for the intermediate-level artist. Drawing skills will be developed through close observation of the skeleton and the human figure, using the nude model. Studio problems to be addressed include the handling of line, value, and space, issues of proportion and perspective, and the use of various black-and-white media in the portrayal of the human figure.

Prerequisite: ARTS 245 with a minimum grade of D or ARTS 250 with a minimum grade of D or ARTS 251 with a minimum grade of D or ARTS 252 with a minimum grade of D or ARTS 255 with a minimum grade of D or ARTS 256 with a minimum grade of D.


ARTS 352. Watercolor. 3 Hours.

Students are introduced to the specialties of watercolor painting in this project-based studio class. Proper papers, brushes, and color media, as well as a variety of fundamental techniques are explored. Some understanding of the historical development of watercolor and study of watercolor masters is included.

Prerequisite: ARTS 245 with a minimum grade of D or ARTS 250 with a minimum grade of D or ARTS 251 with a minimum grade of D or ARTS 252 with a minimum grade of D or ARTS 255 with a minimum grade of D or ARTS 260 with a minimum grade of D.


ARTS 355. Advanced Digital Photography. 3 Hours.

An advanced course in photographic image-making, focusing on manual operation of camera functions, image composition and the elements of visual form, and the use of Photoshop to optimize images in the digital darkroom. Each student must have a camera that will function in a manual operating mode.

Prerequisite: ARTS 245 with a minimum grade of D or ARTS 250 with a minimum grade of D or ARTS 251 with a minimum grade of D or ARTS 252 with a minimum grade of D or ARTS 255 with a minimum grade of D or ARTS 260 with a minimum grade of D.


ARTS 356. Printmaking. 3 Hours.

An exploration of four techniques of (non-toxic) printmaking, including relief printing, collography, carborundum printing, and screen printing. Students will complete a small edition of prints for each process; a final project will combine two or more processes.

Prerequisite: ARTS 245 with a minimum grade of D or ARTS 250 with a minimum grade of D or ARTS 251 with a minimum grade of D or ARTS 252 with a minimum grade of D or ARTS 255 with a minimum grade of D or ARTS 256 with a minimum grade of D or ARTS 260 with a minimum grade of D.


ARTS 357. Shaping Space: Environmental Art & Installation. 3 Hours.

Beginning with a study of the history of environmental art and installations, students in this studio art course will design, build, and document (photographs, video, writing, etc.) original works of art intended to shape the experience of both interior and exterior spaces. Participants will be expected to participate actively in discussions about the implications of transforming public spaces, the social responsibility of the artist, and the role of art in the public domain. Natural, urban, and interior sites will be used. Collaborations involving sound, music, and staged actions will be encouraged. Pre-requisiste: 200-level ARTS course.

Prerequisite: ARTS 245 with a minimum grade of D or ARTS 250 with a minimum grade of D or ARTS 251 with a minimum grade of D or ARTS 252 with a minimum grade of D or ARTS 255 with a minimum grade of D.


ARTS 448. Senior Capstone in Studio Art. 3 Hours.

Provides the opportunity for students to propose, create, and present a solo exhibition of original studio artwork. Designed for students completing the Studio Art concentration within the Art History major, this course culminates with the presentation of a body of work that synthesizes methods, techniques, and interests developed in Studio Art courses with material mastered in Art History course work. Permission of the instructor required.


ARTS 470. Independent Study in Studio Art. 1 to 3 Hours.

A study of a specific studio art topic under the direction of a faculty member in Studio Art. The readings, program of research, written work, and art making processes to be undertaken by the student will be determined in consultation with the instructor. Permission of instructor required.


ARTS 480. Advanced Topics in Studio Art. 1 to 4 Hours.

The study of selected topics at the advanced level. Permission of instructor required.


ARTS 500. Honors Course. 3 Hours.

At the discretion of the faculty, students may undertake a six-hour independent course of study in the senior year in order to broaden their educational experience within their major area of study. Students must meet specific GPA standards and arrange a faculty sponsor. The honors course criteria are outlined in the Academic Honors portion of the catalog.


1

 All Studio Art courses have additional fees for supplies.