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2023-2024 Course Catalog

ARH 1040FYW Survey of Western Art History

4 hours

Majors, Minors & Degrees:


This course is a general survey of artworks of “western” cultures from prehistory to the present. “Western” typically designates art produced in Europe or the Americas in the European tradition, but the term can be imprecise and problematic at times. We will explore why. This course provides an overview of both typical and exceptional artworks from the western tradition; artworks range from tiny to colossal, relatively ephemeral to permanent, crude-looking to meticulously crafted, and banal to sacred. We will typically discuss artworks in roughly chronological order. Ultimately students will learn the range of artworks produced by each culture, how those artworks were made, why they looked the way they did, and what functions they served. They will also develop the skills to analyze, discuss, and write about the visual arts.