Art of the "American Century" (1893-1968)
The 20th-century United States was the emblem of all things modern, but how would Americans make a modern art? This lecture/discussion class surveys art and the visual and material environment from the emergence of the United States as a world power in the 1890s to the questioning of the "American Way of Life" by Pop and activist artists during the era of the Civil Rights movement and the Vietnam War. In lectures, discussion, and original hands-on-research, we will examine the work of such celebrated figures as Frank Lloyd Wright, Jacob Lawrence, Georgia O'Keeffe, Isamu Noguchi, Edward Hopper, Walker Evans, and Diego Rivera, but also the culture of consumerism and emergent racial and ethnic identities in which they worked. This class will include work with original art in the University of Michigan Museum of Art and a mandatory field trip to the Detroit Institute of Arts.
Estimated Cost of materials: $100 or more, but less than $150.
HISTART categories for concentration distributions: D. Europe and the US, 4. Modern and Contemporary
This class satisfies the LSA Humanities (HU) Requirement.
Attendance and participation 15%,
6 short reading responses posted in an online forum for a total of 20%,
visual analysis paper 15%,
midterm quiz 10%,
final exam 15%,
online group research project based on a historical exhibition 25%.
Intended audience: undergraduates seeking a general introduction to 20th century American art and culture, students who have studied modern music, dance, or culture but would like to learn the American context. No prior background in art history required, though it is welcome.
Format: Lectures with some opportunity for questions and class discussion. Occasional visits to the University of Michigan Museum of Art will be incorporated into class time.
Textbooks: Frances Pohl, Framing American Art 3rd edition (required) plus online readings. Additional books will be suggested.