VAFA193 History of Modern Art

Department of The Arts: Art History

I. Course Number and Title
VAFA193 History of Modern Art
II. Number of Credits
3 credits
III. Minimum Number of Instructional Minutes Per Semester
IV. Prerequisites
Writing Placement Test score of 6 or better or COMP107 (C or better)
V. Other Pertinent Information
Museum trip is mandatory.
VI. Catalog Course Description
This survey course covers painting, sculpture, and/or architecture from the late-nineteenth century up to the present. Students gain a formal understanding of major twentieth-century stylistic movements. They interpret selected examples of Modern art using a variety of analytic methodologies, including cultural, religious, social, political, and/or economic context.
VII. Required Course Content and Direction
  1. Learning Goals:

    1. Course
    2. Students will:
      1. recognize the major art historical periods, styles, and innovative media of Modern art;
      2. describe the forms of Modern art using appropriate art historical vocabulary (i.e. perform a formal analysis);
      3. identify and explain the subject matter of a work of art;
      4. interpret the possible meaning of a work of art within an appropriate and arguable context (e.g., historical, religious, political, economic, social, racial, gender roles, etc.);and
      5. apply research skills using library resources and/or scholarly Internet sites;

    3. Core (if applicable)

    4. Category I
      Cultural Perspectives

      Students will:
      1. compare, contrast, analyze, and/or defend differing world views and practices. (1, 2)
      Category III
      International, Gender, and/or Minority Perspectives Students will:
      1. articulate similarities and differences in the various cultures of the world and demonstrate familiarity with the skills necessary to make informed judgments.
  2. Planned Sequence of Topics and/or Learning Activities:

    Students study in class and through museum visits introductory level painting, sculpture and/or architecture associated with such movements as Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, Art Nouveau, Cubism, Fauvism, Futurism, Expressionism, Constructivism, de Stijl, the Bauhaus, Dada, Surrealism, Assemblage and Environments, Social Realism, Regionalism, Junk Sculpture, Happenings, Pop Art, “Op” Art, and Color-Field Painting. They learn basic terminology used in the study of visual art forms and apply this vocabulary to Modern art. Students examine art as a reflection of its cultural origin and explore how art can be interpreted in the context of history, religion, politics, economics, social hierarchies, race relations, gender roles, etc. As appropriate, they examine how the art produced during the twentieth century has affected and/or reflected aspects of American culture.
  3. Assessment Methods for Core Learning Goals:

    1. Course
      1. required exams that include essay questions
      2. required museum paper with proper use and citation of research materials
      3. optional quizzes
      4. optional writing assignments

    2. Core (if applicable)
    3. A departmentally-developed writing assignment fulfills the Core Learning Goals in Cultural Perspectives and International Gender and/or Minority Perspectives.
  4. Reference, Resource, or Learning Materials to be used by Students:

    Slides, video, digital technology, and supplementary readings are selected by instructor. Departmentally-selected textbook. See course format.
VIII. Teaching Methods Employed
Section VIII is not being used in new and revised syllabi as of 12/10/08.

Review/Approval Date - 3/07; Core Goals/Objectives added 5/04; Revised 6/09; Revised 1/2010;Pre-req added 12/2014