Introduction to Art
MWF 1:00-2:00pm
4 Credit Lecture

Humans have always been makers, yet only some forms of making are and have been viewed as art. How do particular endeavors come to be seen as art within and across various cultures? What tools does art history offer for analyzing not only art, but also the globally connected visual cultures in which we live? This course takes up these issues, exploring key forms of creativity and cultural production, and introducing major art historical approaches to understanding them. Through case studies that investigate art from many parts of the world and various time periods, students will learn fundamental tools of visual analysis and critical historical thinking. Lectures are organized topically, with broad geographic representation in order to explore such topics as naturalism, abstraction, social uses of art, cultural politics, constructions of gender, and the changing status of artists as issues pertinent to the making of art generally, rather than the province of a particular nation or culture. By looking at how various cultures have defined, made, and made use of art, students will learn ways to sharpen their skills of visual and verbal analysis, while developing an informed understanding of human creativity and diversity. Estimated cost of materials: $50 or more, but less than $100.