Course for first-year BFA students
Taught at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Spring 2017-present
This introductory survey examines select histories of European and American art and architecture from the 1860s to the 1990s, with occasional references to art in Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America, and places special attention on works of art in the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago. The course material brings together a variety of topics and art mediums in order to investigate the social contexts, diverse audiences, and changing functions of modern and contemporary art.
Our constant focus in covering this material is on developing the visual skills and the knowledge base that helps explain the various ways in which art acquires its meaning and relevance. This course places a great emphasis on first-hand experience of artworks and we divide the majority of our classes between the classroom and the galleries of the Art Institute. At the museum, the students work in small teams of three on responses to a series of questions and tasks outlined for them on weekly worksheets.