Art and Visual Culture

Professors Corrie (chair) and Rand; Associate Professors Harwood and Johnson; Assistant Professor Nguyen; Senior Lecturers Feintuch and Heroux; Lecturers Nicoletti, Morris, and Jones

The department offers courses in studio practice and in the study of intersecting categories of art, architecture, visual culture, and material culture, from the distant past to the present. This study also provides insights into the intellectual currents, religious doctrines and practices, and social institutions of the past, with attention to issues of class, gender, race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation. A concentration in studio art involves the integration of traditional disciplines and methods with contemporary practices and the study of visual culture.

The major combines work in both studies in art and visual culture and studio art. Students intending to study abroad must discuss fulfillment of major requirements with their advisor and the department chair in advance. Students planning graduate study in architecture, landscape architecture, or design are advised to confer with the department chair early in their college careers in order to plan appropriate undergraduate programs.

More information on the Department of Art and Visual Culture is available on the Web site (www.bates.edu/AVC.xml).

Cross-listed Courses. Note that unless otherwise specified, when a department/program references a course or unit in the department/program, it includes courses and units cross-listed with the department/program.

Major Requirements for Studio Art. Prospective majors should meet with the art and visual culture faculty as first-year students. Majors emphasizing studio art must take a minimum of three courses in the history of art and visual culture distributed across a variety of cultures and time periods, including one course in recent art and visual culture. Studio majors are encouraged to enroll in at least one studio course each semester, and are required to take a minimum of five studio courses and one Short Term studio unit. The preponderance of studio major requirements should be completed prior to beginning a studio thesis. Studio majors must complete at least two sequential courses in one medium (for example, Photography I and II) before their senior year. Studio majors are required to take either 1) Art and Visual Culture 350 (Visual Meaning I) before or during thesis, or 2) Art and Visual Culture s34 (Building a Studio Practice) before thesis. Studio majors are required to take Art and Visual Culture 457 and 458 (Senior Thesis) consecutively in the fall and winter semesters of their senior year. Studio majors intending to study abroad must consult with the department well in advance. In most cases, the department advises students who wish to study abroad to do so for only one semester. Students may apply one studio course and one course in the history of art and visual culture taken abroad toward the major requirements. Studio courses taken abroad in fulfillment of major requirements should correspond with the studio curriculum offered at Bates.

Major Requirements for History of Art and Visual Culture. Majors emphasizing the history of art and visual culture must take one studio course (any studio course or Short Term unit in studio is acceptable; students are advised to take their studio course before their senior year); Art and Visual Culture 374 (history majors are advised to take 374 by the end of junior year if possible); and eight additional courses in history of art and visual culture for a total of at least ten courses. The courses must be distributed across a variety of both cultures and time periods. Adequate distribution is determined in conjunction with the student's departmental advisor, who must approve the student's course of study. The department advises students who wish to study abroad to do so for only one semester. Generally only two courses taken abroad can be applied toward fulfilling the requirements for the major. Some Short Term units in the history of art and visual culture may be counted among these ten courses. In addition, students are required to write a senior thesis (457 or 458). Topics for theses are subject to departmental approval. The opportunity to do an honors thesis is completely at the discretion of the departmental faculty. Students who wish to continue in the history of art and/or visual culture studies at the graduate level should obtain a reading knowledge of French and German, and are strongly advised to include an upper-level seminar such as 375, 376, 377, 380 or 390. Upon petition to the department, First-Year Seminars 135, 177, and 266 and courses taught in other departments and programs may be counted toward the major in art and visual culture.

Pass/Fail Grading Option. Pass/fail grading may be elected for courses applied toward the major except for Art and Visual Culture 360, 361, 374, 457, and 458.

General Education. Any one art and visual culture Short Term unit may serve as an option for the fifth humanities course. First-Year Seminars 135, 177, and 266 may count toward the humanities requirement. Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or A-Level credit awarded by the department may not be used toward fulfillment of any General Education requirements.

Courses
AVC 202. Painting I: Color Theory.An examination of color theory and its application to the art of painting. Not open to students who have received credit for Art 202. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 10. Normally offered every year. Staff.
AVC 203. Ceramic Design and Techniques.Designing and sculpting of objects in clay, using such traditional techniques as slab construction, casting, and throwing on the potter's wheel. Students work with clay, plaster, paper, and found objects to solve problems in figurative and abstract design. Drawing is part of some assignments. The course serves as an introduction to ceramics, and is a prerequisite for Studio Pottery (Art and Visual Culture 217). Not open to students who have received credit for Art 203. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 15 per section. Normally offered every year. P. Heroux.
AVC 205. Figure Sculpting with Clay.A study of the figure through the understanding of anatomy and the use of a model. Reliefs, fully dimensional heads, and other figurative works of sculpture in clay are based on preliminary drawings. The special problems of firing ceramic sculpture are covered. Prerequisite(s): Art and Visual Culture 203, 212, or 365A. Not open to students who have received credit for Art 205. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 15. Normally offered every year. P. Heroux.
AVC 212. Drawing I.This course is a study of drawing through process and analysis. Emphasis is placed on drawing from observation using traditional techniques and materials as preparation for visual study in all media. Not open to students who have received credit for Art 212. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 18 per section. Normally offered every semester. J. Nicoletti, P. Johnson, R. Feintuch.
AVC 214. Painting I: Pictorial Structure.Problems in representation and pictorial structure. The student learns about painting by concentrated study of the works of painters from the past and present and by painting from nature. Prerequisite(s): Art and Visual Culture 212 or 365A. Not open to students who have received credit for Art 214. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 10. Normally offered every year. J. Nicoletti.
AVC 217. Studio Pottery.An introduction to the ceramic process covering the nature of clay, application of glazes, firing procedures, wheel- and hand-formed work, design, and aspects of the history of pottery. There is a laboratory fee. Prerequisite(s): Art and Visual Culture 203 or s21. Not open to students who have received credit for Art 217. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 12. Normally offered every year. P. Heroux.
AVC 218. Photography I.A study of the camera's use for observation and expression of experiences. In this introductory course the student learns concepts and techniques of basic black-and-white photography and its expressive possibilities. There is a laboratory fee. Not open to students who have received credit for Art 218. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 12 per section. Normally offered every year. E. Morris.
AVC 219. The Digital Image.An introduction to the computer as a tool for making art. Students work with image processing software (e.g., Adobe Photoshop) to produce and manipulate images. While basic technical skills are taught, assignments and discussions stress the conceptual possibilities of the medium. Recommended background: Art and Visual Culture 283. Not open to students who have received credit for Art 219. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 12. Normally offered every other year. E. Morris.
AV/CM 232. Pyramid and Ziggurat.A survey of the art and architecture of the ancient worlds of Egypt and the Near East, with attention given to topics including women in ancient Egypt, the Kingdom of Kush, and current developments in archeology. Not open to students who have received credit for Art 232. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 50. Normally offered every other year. R. Corrie.
AV/AS 234. Chinese Visual Culture.This course introduces Chinese visual cultures, from the Neolithic period to the present day, focusing on a period of particular cultural significance from the Han to Qing Dynasty. The course reveals interrelationships among Chinese art, literature, religious philosophy, and politics. Topics discussed include artists' places within specific social groups, theories of arts, questions of patronage, and the relation of traditional indigenous art forms to the evolving social and cultural orders from which they draw life. Principal objects include ritual objects, bronze vessels, ceramics, porcelain, lacquer ware, sculptures, rock-cut temples, gardens, painting, calligraphy, and wood-block prints. Recommended background: Asian Studies/Religion 208, Chinese 261, and History 171. Open to first-year students. Normally offered every other year. T. Nguyen.
AV/CM 241. The Art of Islam.Art of the Islamic world from its roots in the ancient Near East to the flowering of Safavid Persia and Mughal India in the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries. Developments are traced through architecture, painting, ceramics, textiles, and metalwork. Consideration is given to the continuity of the Near Eastern artistic tradition and Islamic art in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 50. Normally offered every other year. R. Corrie.
AV/AS 243. Buddhist Visual Worlds.The course examines the history of Buddhist visual cultures. It provides a basic introduction to a broad spectrum of Buddhist art, beginning with the emergence of early Buddhist sculpture in India and ending with modern Buddhist visual works. It examines selected works of architecture, sculpture, and paintings in their religious, social, and cultural contexts. It also briefly surveys regional Buddhism and its arts. Normally offered every year. T. Nguyen.
AV/RE 244. Visual Narratives in South and Southeast Asia.This course examines the narrative art of South and Southeast Asian traditions and the important artistic tradition of narrative paintings, bas-reliefs, and stone carvings. The course focuses on Buddhist and Hindu legends, stories, and folklore. Philosophically, it deals from the visual perspective with religious and popular concepts of reincarnation, rebirth, cause and effect, meritorious accumulation, wisdom perfection, and the ultimate enlightenment. The course explores different contexts in which the works of art were produced. Topics include narrative theory, text-image relationships, Jataka stories (the Buddha's previous lives), a youthful Sudhana's long search for wisdom and enlightenment, and the Ramayana epic. Open to first-year students. Normally offered every other year. T. Nguyen.
AV/AS 245. Architectural Monuments of Southeast Asia.This course examines the arts of Southeast Asia by focusing on significant monuments of the countries in the region. It examines the architecture, sculpture, and relief carvings on the ancient monuments and their relations to religious, cultural, political, and social contexts. Sites covered include Borobudur, Angkor, Pagan, Sukkhothai, and My-Son. Open to first-year students. Normally offered every other year. T. Nguyen.
AV/AS 246. Visual Narratives: Storytelling in East Asian Art.This course examines the important artistic tradition of narrative painting in China and Japan. Through study of visually narrative presentations of religious, historical, and popular stories, the course explores different contexts in which the works—tomb, wall, and scroll paintings—were produced. The course introduces various modes of visual analysis and art historical contexts. Topics include narrative theory, text-image relationships, elite patronage, and gender representation. Recommended background: History 171, 172, and Japanese 240. Open to first-year students. Normally offered every other year. T. Nguyen.
AV/AS 247. The Art of Zen Buddhism.The art of Zen (Chan) as the unique and unbounded expression of the liberated mind has attracted Westerners since the mid-twentieth century. But what is Zen, its art, and its culture? This course considers the historical development of Zen art and its use in several genres within monastic and lay settings. It also examines the underlying Buddhist concepts of Zen art. The course aims to help students understand the basic teachings of Zen and their expression in architecture, gardens, sculpture, painting, poetry, and calligraphy. Recommended background: Art and Visual Culture/Asian Studies 243, Asian Studies/Religion 208, 209, 250, or 309. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. Normally offered every other year. T. Nguyen.
AVC 248. Rock-Cut Temples in Asia.This course explores the art of early Buddhist rock-cut temples. These temples appeared in India during the third century B.C.E., then spread along the ancient trade routes from India to eastern Asia. The rock caves not only chart artistic development, expressed through breathtaking architecture, sculpture, reliefs, and mural paintings depicting legends and stories, they also reveal the religious practice along the trade route, as well as international and local cultures. Recommended background: Art and Visual Culture/Asian Studies 243. Not open to students who have received credit for Art 248. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 40. Normally offered every other year. T. Nguyen.
AV/CM 251. The Age of the Cathedrals.An investigation of medieval architecture from the Early Christian era to the end of the Gothic period in Europe, including Russia and the Byzantine East. Emphasis is placed on the development of Christian architecture and the emergence of the Gothic cathedral in the context of European political and social history before 1500. Open to first-year students. Normally offered every other year. R. Corrie.
AV/CM 252. Art of the Middle Ages.In Europe from the Early Christian era to the end of the Gothic age, from 300 to 1450 C.E., precious objects, manuscripts, wall paintings, and stained glass were produced in great quantities. The course traces the development of these and other media, including tapestry and sculpture. Emphasis is placed on the changing images of men and women in medieval art. The roles of liturgy, theology, and technological and social changes are stressed. Not open to students who have received credit for Art 252. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 50. Normally offered every other year. R. Corrie.
AV/CM 265. Florence to Bruges: The Early Renaissance in Europe.This course investigates the art and architecture of Northern and Southern Europe between 1250 and 1450. Students analyze the impact of theology, liturgy, social change, urbanism, gender, and social class on visual culture. Artists considered include Cimabue, Duccio, Giotto, Fra Angelico, Donatello, Brunelleschi, Jan van Eyck, and Rogier van der Weyden. Not open to students who have received credit for Art 265. Open to first-year students. Normally offered every other year. R. Corrie.
AVC 266. Michelangelo to Sofonisba: The High Renaissance and Mannerism.This course concerns the art and architecture of Northern and Southern Europe between 1450 and 1600, with emphasis on art in the court and the city. Students study several methods of analysis as they investigate the impact of religion, technology, urbanism, gender, sexual orientation, social class, and national identity on the visual arts. Artists discussed include Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo, Bronzino, Giovanni Bologna, Titian, Sofonisba Anguissola, Lavinia Fontana, Palladio, Dürer, Grünewald, Holbein, Brueghel, and Bosch. Not open to students who have received credit for Art 266. Open to first-year students. Normally offered every other year. R. Corrie.
AVC 271. Italian Baroque Art.A survey of painting, sculpture, landscape and urban design, and architecture in Italy during the seventeenth century. Artists studied include Caravaggio, the Carracci, Guercino, Bernini, and Borromini. Recommended background: Art and Visual Culture 266. Not open to students who have received credit for Art 271. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 40. Normally offered every other year. E. Harwood.
AVC 279. Abstract Expressionism.The ideas, forms, and practices that are the basis of abstract expressionism evolved clearly from earlier movements in twentieth-century art such as Cubism, Dada, and Surrealism. It is also a movement essentially intertwined with the broader culture of its time, from politics to psychoanalysis. The course examines the emergence of abstract expressionism and its subsequent influence over the art of the 1950s and 1960s. Not open to students who have received credit for Art 279. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 40. Normally offered every other year. E. Harwood.
AVC 281. Realism, Impressionism, and Post-Impressionism.An intensive investigation of French painting from 1850 to 1900. Artists studied include Courbet, Manet, Degas, Monet, Cézanne, Seurat, Van Gogh, and Gauguin. Not open to students who have received credit for Art 281. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 50. Normally offered every other year. E. Harwood.
AVC 282. Modern European Art.This course concerns European art from 1900 to 1940, with special attention to Post-Impressionism, Cubism, the emergence of abstraction, and Surrealism. While the course surveys art of the period, its primary goal is less to provide a comprehensive historical overview than to examine the various interpretive strategies that have been used both to develop and to understand these apparently radical innovations in visual representation. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 50. Normally offered every other year. E. Harwood.
AVC 283. Contemporary Art.This course concerns contemporary art, with a focus on art of the United States created in the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. Topics include: changing definitions of art; the relation of art production to the mechanisms for exhibition, criticism, and sale; the contentious interaction of form and content; and the increased attention of artists and critics to matters of class, race, gender, and sexual orientation. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30 per section. Offered with varying frequency. Staff.
AVC 285. Renaissance and Post-Renaissance Gardens and Landscape Architecture.The course examines the development and transformation of a major art form, the landscape garden, from its beginnings in fifteenth-century Italy through its later manifestations in seventeenth-century France and eighteenth-century England. While the garden provides the visual and historical framework for the course, the pervasive theme is humanity's changing attitudes toward and interpretations of nature and the world. Not open to students who have received credit for Art 285. Open to first-year students. Normally offered every other year. E. Harwood.
AVC 286. Romantic Landscape Painting.The importance of landscape painting in the Romantic period is a clear reflection of complex cultural change. The course examines the forms and meanings of the varied approaches to landscape painting in England, Europe, and the United States between 1750 and 1850. Artists and groups considered may include Constable, Turner, Friedrich, the Pre-Raphaelites, and the Barbizon and Hudson River schools. Not open to students who have received credit for Art 286. Open to first-year students. Normally offered every other year. E. Harwood.
AV/WS 287. Women, Gender, Visual Culture.This course concerns women as makers, objects, and viewers of visual culture, with emphasis on the later twentieth century, and the roles of visual culture in the construction of "woman" and other gendered identities. Topics include the use of the visual in artistic, political, and historical representations of gendered and transgendered subjects; the visualization of gender in relation to race, ethnicity, nationality, class, age, sex, and sexuality; and matters of censorship, circulation, and resources that affect the cultural production of people oppressed and/or marginalized by sex and/or gender. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30 per section. Normally offered every other year. E. Rand.
AVC 288. Visualizing Race.This course considers visual constructions of race in art and popular culture, with a focus on the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. General topics include the role of visual culture in creating and sustaining racial stereotypes, racism, and white-skin privilege; the effects upon cultural producers of their own perceived race in terms of both their opportunities and their products; and the relations of constructions of race to those of gender, class, ethnicity, and sexuality. Not open to students who have received credit for Art 288. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30 per section. Normally offered every other year. E. Rand.
INDS 291. Exhibiting Cultures.This course examines the politics of exhibiting cultures. Each week students analyze specific exhibitions of cultural artifacts, visual culture, and the cultural body as a means to evaluate the larger issues surrounding such displays. These include issues of race, colonialism, postcolonialism, and curatorial authority in relation to the politics of exhibiting cultures. A field trip to analyze an exhibition is a critical part of the students' experience in the course. Cross-listed in African American studies, American cultural studies, and art and visual culture. Offered with varying frequency. Staff.
AVC 292. Royal and Religious Arts of Africa.This course examines the royal and religious arts of sub-Saharan Africa. The arts commissioned by African kingdoms and royal individuals to define royal identity are explored, as well as the ways in which these arts have been interpreted by the populace. In addition, the course addresses the arts related to religion, many of which interface with arts in the royal context. This includes discussions of divination and religious belief systems, arts related to spirit possession, the role of art in communicating with another realm, and the ways that religious arts have been affected by missionaries, colonialism, and postcolonialism. Open to first-year students. Offered with varying frequency. Staff.
AVC 293. African Photography: Representations of Africa.The course examines photography in Africa through two distinct lenses: that of the nonindigenous outsider and that of the African insider. The first half of the course is devoted to photographic representations of Africa by European and American explorers, missionaries, colonial officials, and tourists from the nineteenth century to the present. In the second half of the course, the works of African photographers from the nineteenth century to the present are examined, as well as the interface/distance between these photographers and their nonindigenous counterparts. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 25 per section. Offered with varying frequency. Staff.
AVC 312. Drawing II: The Figure.Continued study in drawing, emphasizing drawing from the human figure, the development of conceptual drawing attitudes, and drawing as a medium of lyric expression. Prerequisite(s): Art and Visual Culture 212 or 365A. Not open to students who have received credit for Art 312. Enrollment limited to 18. Normally offered every year. J. Nicoletti.
AVC 314. Painting II.An opportunity to combine experience from introductory painting courses with post-1945 painting practices. Students are encouraged to develop individual responses to thematic material. Consideration is given to the interaction of image, process, and meaning. Prerequisite(s): Art and Visual Culture 202, 213, or 214. Not open to students who have received credit for Art 314. Enrollment limited to 10. Normally offered every year. R. Feintuch, P. Johnson, J. Nicoletti.
AVC 316. Etching Workshop I.Students develop images using intaglio printmaking processes including drypoint, etching, softground, aquatint, sugar-lift, photo-transfer, multiple plate, and color printing. Emphasis is placed on development of sustained independent projects and critical thinking. There is a laboratory fee. Prerequisite(s): Art and Visual Culture 212 or 365A. Not open to students who have received credit for Art 316. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 10. Instructor permission is required. Normally offered every year. P. Johnson.
AVC 317A. Etching Workshop II.Continued study of intaglio printmaking processes. There is a laboratory fee. Prerequisite(s): Art and Visual Culture 316. Not open to students who have received credit for Art 317A. Enrollment limited to 10. Instructor permission is required. Normally offered every year. P. Johnson.
AVC 317B. Etching Workshop III.Further study of intaglio printmaking processes. There is a laboratory fee. Prerequisite(s): Art and Visual Culture 317A. Not open to students who have received credit for Art 317B. Enrollment limited to 10. Instructor permission is required. Normally offered every year. P. Johnson.
AVC 318. Photography II.Continued study in photography, offering refinement in technical skills as introduced in Art and Visual Culture 218 and exposure to additional photographic image-making techniques. The further development of perception and critical analysis of images is emphasized. There is a laboratory fee. Prerequisite(s): Art and Visual Culture 218. Not open to students who have received credit for Art 318. Enrollment limited to 11. Normally offered every year. E. Morris.
AVC 319. Photography III.This course offers advanced studies in the perception and generation of photographic images. Emphasis is on photographic projects that are independently conceived and undertaken by the student. There is a laboratory fee. Prerequisite(s): Art and Visual Culture 318. Not open to students who have received credit for Art 319. Enrollment limited to 4. Instructor permission is required. Normally offered every year. E. Morris.
AVC 350A. Visual Meaning I: Process, Material, Format.This course reflects changing concerns in the contemporary art world. Working in various media of their choice, students share a common investigation of the process of making meaning, and the impact material has on visual thinking/visual product. Students consider the potential of format, with emphasis on processes that balance critical thinking with creative generation. Prerequisite(s): one previous studio art course. Not open to students who have received credit for Art 350 or Art and Visual Culture 350. Enrollment limited to 10. Normally offered every year. P. Johnson.
AVC 350B. Visual Meaning II: Process, Material, Format.Continued study of contemporary studio practice, as introduced in Visual Meaning I. Prerequisite(s): Art and Visual Culture 350A. Enrollment limited to 10. Instructor permission is required. Normally offered every year. P. Johnson.
AVC 360. Independent Study.Students, in consultation with a faculty advisor, individually design and plan a course of study or research not offered in the curriculum. Course work includes a reflective component, evaluation, and completion of an agreed-upon product. Sponsorship by a faculty member in the program/department, a course prospectus, and permission of the chair are required. Students may register for no more than one independent study per semester. Offered with varying frequency. Staff.
AVC 361. Museum Internship.Students who have arranged to participate in a volunteer internship at the Bates College Museum of Art may receive one course credit by taking this course at the same time. Depending on the needs of the museum, internships may involve collections management, gallery lecturing, or research. The same arrangement is possible for students who obtain internships at the Portland Museum of Art or summer internships. Students may have internships throughout their college careers, but may receive credit for one semester only. Not open to students who have received credit for Art 361. Instructor permission is required. Normally offered every semester. R. Corrie.
AVC 365. Special Topics.A course or seminar offered from time to time and reserved for a special topic selected by the department. Not open to students who have received credit for Art 365.
AVC 365A. Drawing the Model/Sustained Study.For a variety of reasons the human body has been and continues to be of great importance in Western art, and sustained study from the model is often central to artists' training and practices. This seminar focuses exclusively on drawing from the model in three-hour sessions. Not open to students who have received credit for Art 365A. Enrollment limited to 12. Offered with varying frequency. R. Feintuch.
AVC 374. Methods in the Study of Art and Visual Culture.This course considers the history and methodology of art history and visual culture studies, with an emphasis on recent theoretical strategies for understanding visual culture. Topics discussed include stylistic, iconographic, psychoanalytic, feminist, historicist, queer, anti-racist, and postmodern approaches to the study of visual material. Prerequisite(s): two 200- or 300-level courses in the history of art and visual culture. Not open to students who have received credit for Art 374. Enrollment limited to 15. Normally offered every year. E. Rand.
AVC 375. Issues of Sexuality and the Study of Visual Culture.This course considers issues of sexuality as they affect the study of visual culture, with a focus on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and other queer sexualities. Topics include the value and politics of identifying artists and other cultural producers by sexuality; the articulation of sexuality in relation to race, ethnicity, class, and gender; and the implications of work in sexuality studies for the study of art and other forms of visual culture in general. Not open to students who have received credit for Art 375. Enrollment limited to 15. Instructor permission is required. Offered with varying frequency. E. Rand.
AV/CM 376. Seminar in Medieval and Renaissance Art.This seminar examines the visual culture of Europe and the Mediterranean basin in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. In different years the seminar focuses on specific subjects, which may include manuscript illumination, regional architecture, Crusader art, and medieval urbanism.
AV/CM 376C. Siena: Art and Social Memory.At the height of its power Siena, Italy, bankrolled much of Europe and from 1250 to 1450 produced images that influenced painting from England to the Islamic world. Studying the work of Sienese artists including Duccio, Simone Martini, and the Lorenzetti, this course investigates the ties between visual culture (including sculpture and architecture) and politics, economics, religion, urban structure, and social identity. Recommended background: at least one 200-level course in the history of art and visual culture or the equivalent, or a course in medieval or Renaissance history. Enrollment limited to 15. Offered with varying frequency. R. Corrie.
AV/CM 376D. Crusader Art and Architecture.This seminar investigates the visual and material culture of the Crusader states found between 1099 and 1500 from Jerusalem to Syria, Constantinople, Greece, and the islands of the Aegean. Focusing on manuscript and icon painting, sculpture, and church and military architecture of the Frankish states, it also addresses the related production of Armenian Cilicia, the Byzantine Empire, Cyprus, Greece, the Balkan kingdoms, Europe, and the Islamic Near East and North Africa, concluding with a consideration of the nineteenth- and twentieth-century fascination with the Crusades and the recent flowering of scholarship on Crusader art. Recommended background: at least one 200-level course in the history of art and visual culture or in a related field such as history or religion. Enrollment limited to 15. Offered with varying frequency. R. Corrie.
AVC 377. Seminar in Architectural History.The seminar considers selected topics in the history of architecture, urbanism, and landscape design. Possible subjects include Versailles, the English landscape garden, the Periclean building program, Rome in the Baroque, the architecture and landscaping of world's fairs, and the domestic architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright. Enrollment limited to 15.
AVC 377A. Picturesque Suburbia.The seminar focuses on the interconnections among conceptions of nature and the city, emergent middle-class social practices, and developments in the design of single-family houses in the United States between 1830 and 1930. Particular attention is paid to A. J. Downing, the garden city movement, and Frank Lloyd Wright. Recommended background: a 200-level course in the history of art and visual culture. Not open to students who have received credit for Art 377A. Enrollment limited to 15. Offered with varying frequency. E. Harwood.
AVC 377B. The Chateau and Gardens of Versailles.Beginning in the 1630s as a modest hunting lodge for Louis XIII, Versailles evolved over the next two centuries into a monumental palace and garden complex. This seminar considers the design and building history of the chateau and its gardens. Particular attention is devoted to their use both as the physical setting for the court, and as the staging area for and the embodiment of an idea of a magnificent, national monarchy and its attendant culture. Recommended background: two 200-level courses in the history of art and visual culture. Not open to students who have received credit for Art 377B. Enrollment limited to 15. Offered with varying frequency. E. Harwood.
AV/AS 380. Stupas: Forms and Meanings.Stupas are the most pervasive and symbolic form of Buddhist architecture in Asia. Buddhist stupas serve as the symbols of illumination, and repositories for the relics of revered persons. They also serve as universal symbols, embodiments of metaphysical principles and multivalent meanings. This seminar not only examines different architectural forms of stupas, but also studies religious concepts and symbolic meanings expressed in stupas in Buddhist Asia. Recommended background: one of the following: Anthropology 244, Art and Visual Culture/Asian Studies 243, Asian Studies/Religion 250, 251, 308, or 309. Enrollment limited to 15. Offered with varying frequency. T. Nguyen.
AVC 390. Seminar in Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Art.The seminar offers the opportunity for an in-depth consideration of a significant artist, critic, movement, or aesthetic current in the nineteenth and/or twentieth century. Enrollment limited to 15.
AVC 390A. Claude Monet.Monet's work is so often before our eyes today in exhibitions and reproductions, and so popular, that it is easy to lose sight of the complexities of both his career and his work. The seminar offers an overview of these, but focuses especially on recent efforts to contextualize and interpret them. Recommended background: two courses in the history of art and visual culture. Not open to students who have received credit for Art 390A. Enrollment limited to 15. Offered with varying frequency. E. Harwood.
AVC 390B. Pre-Raphaelitism to Modernism.Through the second half of the nineteenth century, the stated goals of progressive painting evolved away from a commitment to pursue an objective, visual realism and toward artists' recreation on their canvases of determinedly personal and subjective responses to the material world. This seminar traces that transformation through a focus, though not an exclusive one, on developments in the English art world. Topics and artists covered include Rossetti, Burne-Jones, Whistler, the Arts and Crafts Movement, Post-Impressionism, aestheticism, and symbolism. Prerequisite(s): one course in the history of art and visual culture. Not open to students who have received credit for Art 390B. Enrollment limited to 15. Offered with varying frequency. E. Harwood.
AVC 414. Painting III.An opportunity to combine experience from introductory painting courses with post-1945 painting practices. Students are encouraged to develop individual responses to thematic material. Consideration is given to the interaction of image, process, and meaning. Prerequisite(s): Art and Visual Culture 202, 213, or 214 and 314. Not open to students who have received credit for Art 414. Enrollment limited to 10. Instructor permission is required. Offered with varying frequency. R. Feintuch.
AVC 457. Senior Thesis.Guidance in the preparation of a) a project in studio art accompanied by a short essay and culminating in an exhibition presented in conjunction with the Museum of Art or b) an essay in the history of art and visual culture concerned with original works of art. Students register for Art 457 in the fall semester and for Art 458 in the winter semester. Not open to students who have received credit for Art 457. Normally offered every year. Staff.
AVC 457, 458. Senior Thesis.Guidance in the preparation of a) a project in studio art accompanied by a short essay and culminating in an exhibition presented in conjunction with the Museum of Art or b) an essay in the history of art and visual culture concerned with original works of art. Students register for Art 457 in the fall semester and for Art 458 in the winter semester. Not open to students who have received credit for Art 457. Normally offered every year. Staff.
AVC 458. Senior Thesis.Guidance in the preparation of a) a project in studio art accompanied by a short essay and culminating in an exhibition presented in conjunction with the Museum of Art or b) an essay in the history of art and visual culture concerned with original works of art. Students register for Art 457 in the fall semester and for Art 458 in the winter semester. Not open to students who have received credit for Art 458. Normally offered every year. Staff.
Short Term Courses
AV/EN s10. A Cultural Walk into China.This unit has two goals: 1) to offer an introduction to Chinese aesthetics through architecture and the fine arts; 2) to study Buddhist aesthetic ideas expressed in rock-cut temples, monasteries, and garden design. Students travel to historically important cities in China: Beijing, Datong, Luoyang, Xian, Shanghai, Hangzhou, and Suzhou. Recommended background: Art and Visual Culture 234 or 243, any course in Chinese language and literature, Asian Studies/Religion 208 and 309. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 12. Offered with varying frequency. T. Nguyen.
AVC s17. Consuming Consumer Culture.While cultural commentators, professional and otherwise, often describe U.S. consumer culture as a monolithic or homogenizing force, the complexity of consumption and variations among consumers are receiving increasing attention. This course considers consumers in consumer culture, with a focus on the United States. Questions may include: How does participation in consumer culture vary according to shared factors such as gender, race, sexuality, economic status, age, and location, or conversely, the individual idiosyncrasy? What is involved in consuming such contested products as pornography or video games? How does consumption vary across products? How, for instance, is buying art different from buying shoes? Not open to students who have received credit for Art s17. Enrollment limited to 25. Offered with varying frequency. E. Rand.
AVC s18. Leonardo and His Heirs: High Renaissance and Mannerism.This unit investigates the transformation of art and architecture that began with Leonardo da Vinci and his contemporaries, and re-made the visual culture of Italy and northern Europe in the urban and courtly settings of the sixteenth century. Using traditional and recent modes of analysis to address the effect of religion, gender, and social and political structures on visual culture, students research the works of Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo, Bronzino, Titian, Anguissola, Palladio, and Holbein, among others. Attention is given to the changing reputations of the artists and their clients over the last five centuries. Not open to students who have received credit for Art 266 or Art and Visual Culture 266. Enrollment limited to 30. Offered with varying frequency. R. Corrie.
AV/CM s19. From Antiquity to Renaissance in Florence and Rome.In Florence and Rome and the towns of Tuscany and Umbria, students investigate the impact of religion, economics, politics, and social structure on the art and architecture produced in response to the visual heritage of the Mediterranean basin. Enrollment limited to 10. Instructor permission is required. Offered with varying frequency. R. Corrie.
AA/AV s20. Religious Arts of the African Diaspora.This unit examines the religious arts of the African diaspora. The arts related to the religious traditions of Candomblé, Lucumí (Santería), Rastafarianism, Vodun, and Kongo-derived religions are explored through a multidisciplinary lens. Contemporary visual culture is discussed in addition to arts created for the purpose of worship or memory, such as sculptural figures, altars, garments, and yard shows. A short trip to New York City to visit sites of these arts is an integral part of the unit. In exploring these arts of the diaspora, the unit considers and challenges constructions of race, ethnicity, and Africanicity from insiders' and outsiders' perspectives. Not open to students who have received credit for Art s20. Enrollment limited to 15. Offered with varying frequency. Staff.
AVC s21. Soda Firing.This unit explores traditional and new techniques in hand-building with clay. Emphasis is on the vessel as a sculptural form, relief tiles, and installations for public space. Soda firing glazes the work in a unique way that enhances every surface. Not open to students who have received credit for Art s21. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 15. Offered with varying frequency. P. Heroux.
AVC s22. Pinhole Photography.The method and appearance of pinhole images extend the possibilities of photography and "drawing with light." The very immediate and low-tech process of pinhole photography, using just a light-tight container with a tiny opening as a camera, offers a prolonged and intense engagement with surroundings and subjects. Due to the lensless camera, minuscule aperture, and long exposure time, pinhole images provide a different treatment of time and space, often appearing timeless and ethereal. In this unit students create pinhole cameras and images to explore this form of image making. There is a laboratory fee of $40. Prerequisite(s): Art and Visual Culture 218. Not open to students who have received credit for Art s22. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 15. Offered with varying frequency. E. Morris.
AVC s24. What Are You Wearing?.This unit considers clothing in terms of the production of goods, markets, and meanings. Topics may include the Nike boycott, outsourcing, and the Clean Clothes Campaign; the function of clothes in the construction of cultural, social, and personal identities; the regulation of clothes to enforce behavioral standards, such as gender normativity; selling, advertising, shopping, and acquisition, with attention to issues of class, race, gender, nationality, sex, and sexuality in the making of markets for particular products; and "ethnic" dress, queer fashion, and other clothes that may raise issues of appropriation, allegiance, and cultural theft. Not open to students who have received credit for Art s24. Enrollment limited to 25. Instructor permission is required. Offered with varying frequency. E. Rand.
AVC s25. The Japanese Tea Bowl.Tea and Zen Buddhism came to Japan from China in the twelfth century. The tea ceremony developed from these imports and many schools have been formed since then, but all have kept the ceramic tea bowl as one of the most important focal points. In this unit, students explore the history of the ceremony by making tea bowls and related utensils. Various clays, forming methods, and styles are explored. Not open to students who have received credit for Art s25. Enrollment limited to 15. Offered with varying frequency. P. Heroux.
AVC s26. Museum Studies.Analyzing how the history of museums and architecture have influenced paradigms of display and taxonomy, and how display and taxonomy have influenced museums and architecture, this unit views the past in an attempt to identify characteristics of new museum ideologies of the twenty-first century. Few institutional concepts have the fortitude and resilience to continually defend and renew themselves from external attack and self-referential lethargy. The museum "conquers" by slowly assimilating cultural challenges. In the past hundred years, the museum has met these challenges while increasing its relevance and historical importance despite architectural makeovers, financial scandal, censorship, cultural shifts, and the ever-changing demands of new media. As the work shifts from analog to digital, museums are presenting exhibitions of painting, sculpture, photography, and video to ever-increasing audiences. Field trips are planned. Not open to students who have received credit for Art s26. Enrollment limited to 15. Instructor permission is required. Offered with varying frequency. M. Bessire.
AVC s28. Desiring Italy.For four centuries Italy and Italian art have drawn artists, writers, and scholars from America and transalpine Europe. This unit focuses on the literature, art, and art history that have emerged from this encounter, stressing the work of such writers as Stendhal, Hawthorne, James, Forster, Mann, and the Brownings, and artists including Mengs, West, Turner, and Hosmer. It investigates the manner in which the nature of that encounter shaped the practice of art history from Winkelmann and Ruskin to Berenson and van Marle, and even the political life and material survival of Italy itself, and concludes by considering the recent spate of films that seek to evoke this now nearly-lost expatriate world, including A Room With a View and Tea with Mussolini. Not open to students who have received credit for Art s28. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. Offered with varying frequency. R. Corrie.
AVC s29. Modern Vietnamese Culture through Film.Many people conceive of Vietnam through images of war rather than through its culture. This unit offers students an opportunity to study modern Vietnamese culture through documentary and feature films produced by westerners and Vietnamese during the last fifty years. The unit helps students to gain insight into a traditional culture that, in part, shaped the modern course of Vietnam's history. The unit challenges the old stereotypical views of Vietnam advanced by Hollywood movies with the new cultural images presented through Vietnamese eyes. Recommended background: History 271. Enrollment limited to 25. Offered with varying frequency. T. Nguyen.
AVC s30. Arts of the African Diaspora.This unit examines the arts of the African diaspora with particular focus on the Caribbean and the Americas from the eighteenth century to the present. Through commerce and the slave trade, African arts and culture traveled to these areas and were negotiated in unique ways by artists. In exploring the arts of the diaspora, the unit considers and challenges constructions of race, ethnicity, and Africanicity from insiders' and outsiders' perspectives. Not open to students who have received credit for Art s30. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 15. Offered with varying frequency. Staff.
AVC s31. Museum Internship.Students who have arranged to participate in a nonpaid internship at the Bates College Museum of Art may receive one Short Term credit by taking this unit at the same time. Permission may be given for internships carried out at other institutions, including the Portland Museum of Art, upon petition to the Department of Art and Visual Culture in advance. Students may have internships throughout their college careers, but may receive credit for one Short Term unit only. Not open to students who have received credit for Art s31. Enrollment limited to 30. Instructor permission is required. Normally offered every year. R. Corrie.
AVC s32. The Photograph as Document.Documentary photographs generally describe human social situations that aim to be objective transcriptions of events into images. This unit examines changes in style and methodology from classical documentary approaches of the 1930s and 1940s to contemporary modes of documentary photography. Using either traditional darkroom or digital imaging techniques, students produce projects that address the photograph's function as a document. Concepts of documentary photographs as witness and testimony are analyzed as is the issue of how these notions are challenged and manipulated by many contemporary artists. Prerequisite(s): Art and Visual Culture 218 or 219. Not open to students who have received credit for Art s32. Enrollment limited to 15. Offered with varying frequency. E. Morris.
AVC s33. The Fine Arts in England, 1550–1900.The unit examines the bountiful English art world from the rise of the Elizabethan "prodigy houses" through the Arts and Crafts Movement. Particular attention is devoted to the architectural history of London after 1666; the country house: its architecture, art collections, and landscape gardens; the Gothic Revival; and the flowering of Romantic landscape painting. Not open to students who have received credit for Art s33. Enrollment limited to 10. Instructor permission is required. Offered with varying frequency. E. Harwood.
AVC s34. Building a Studio Practice.Choosing media they would like to investigate closely, students focus on methods and ideas in order to develop their work. Students are encouraged to investigate the possibilities that arise when they choose limitations on subjects, materials, processes, and form and make a group of closely related works. This unit offers an opportunity to try to maintain a regular, independent, and self-sustaining studio practice for five weeks. Access to some technical facilities may be limited. Prerequisite(s): one studio art course in any medium. Not open to students who have received credit for Art s34. Enrollment limited to 14. Instructor permission is required. Offered with varying frequency. R. Feintuch.
AVC s35. Materials and Techniques of Drawing and Painting.Guided individual research into various drawing media including etching, as well as consideration of the problems of landscape painting, figure drawing, and similar genres. Each Short Term focuses on one of the above categories. The Short Term registration material includes a description of the particular focus for the Short Term at hand, including specific prerequisites. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 10. Instructor permission is required. Offered with varying frequency. Staff.
AVC s37. Landscape Painting and Drawing in Italy.The unit consists of field trips in and around the provinces of Tuscany and Umbria, and takes full advantage of the unique landscape and cultural opportunities of the region. Studio work alternates with regular visits to regional cities such as Florence, Siena, Perugia, and Assisi to study painting, sculpture, and architecture. Prerequisite(s): two studio courses. Recommended background: Art and Visual Culture 212, 213 or 214, 265, 266. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 10. Instructor permission is required. Offered with varying frequency. J. Nicoletti.
AVC s39. Drawing and Intention.Guided individual and collaborative research into various drawing methods including systemic approaches, off-press printing processes, mechanical reproduction, drawing as ritual, and perceptual drawing. Consideration is given to the relationship between function, form, image, and idea. Students have an opportunity to respond to an expanding definition of drawing that could include text, movement, and sound. Course work culminates in a site-specific drawing installation. Prerequisite(s): Art and Visual Culture 212 and one additional course in either studio art, music composition, theater design, playwriting, directing, contemporary performance, theater production, dance composition, fiction writing, poetry writing, or documentary video. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 18. Offered with varying frequency. P. Johnson.