VAFW190 History of American Furniture

Department of The Arts: Woodworking

I. Course Number and Title
VAFW190 History of American Furniture
II. Number of Credits
3 credits
III. Number of Instructional Minutes
IV. Prerequisites
Writing Placement Test score of 6 or COMP107 (C or better)
V. Other Pertinent Information
Museum trip is recommended.
VI. Catalog Course Description
Students analyze American furniture in the context of craft, elements of style, connoisseurship, historical influences, connections to European and Eastern traditions, socio-economics, regionalism, pattern books, and related domestic architecture.
VII. Required Course Content and Direction
  1. Course Learning Goals

    Students will:

    1. identify and describe furniture craft traditions;
    2. describe key elements of historical furniture styles using specific vocabulary;
    3. describe key elements of historical architecture styles using specific vocabulary;
    4. identify and describe the historical and cultural context related to furniture design; and
    5. identify key primary documents used by furniture historians (e.g., probate inventories, pattern books, prints, photographs, trade catalogues, etc.).
  2. Planned Sequence of Topics and/or Learning Activities

    This course examines American furniture and architecture representing the following historical styles: Jacobean (including "Mannerism"); William and Mary ("Early Baroque"); Queen Anne ("Late Baroque"); Chippendale ("Rococo"); Federal ("Adamesque Neoclassicism"); Empire ("Napoleonic Neoclassicism"); Gothic Revival and Rococo Revival; Renaissance Revival; "Eastlake," Aesthetic Movement and Exoticism; Arts & Crafts and Art Nouveau; Shaker and Pennsylvania German Furniture; and 20th-Century Design. As appropriate, each of these furniture styles is explored in the context of craft traditions, descriptive analysis, historical and cultural influences, and available primary documents. Examples of domestic architecture related to these furniture styles are also explored.
  3. Assessment Methods for Course Learning Goals

    1. required exams that include essay questions
    2. required paper
    3. optional quizzes
    4. optional writing assignments
  4. Reference, Resource, or Learning Materials to be used by Student:

    Learning materials may include, but are not limited to: slides, video, digital media, audio, lectures, and demonstrations.

    Instructor-selected textbook. See course syllabus.

Review/Approval Date - 2/05; Revised 02/2011; Pre-req added 12/2014; New Core 8/2015