ARTH301 - UNDERGRADUATE SEMINAR: Deformed Pearls and Cultural Grit: Art in the Spanish Baroque World

Topic varies.
Section 301 - SEM
DEFORMED PEARLS AND CULTURAL GRIT: ARTH IN THE SPANISH BAROQUE WORLD – The term “baroque” is derived from its cognates in Romance Languages, which mean “rough or imperfect pearl.” The pejorative connotations of this term conditioned how numerous generations of art historians understood the art of the Baroque period: the flamboyant and elaborate style was seen as the unwinding of “Renaissance classicism.” Baroque art is now (largely) understood on its own terms, however this has meant effacing some of the strange and unsettling qualities of Baroque art. This course will seek to recuperate some of the fascinating strangeness of Baroque images by focusing on the frictions created by the enhanced flow of peoples and cultures in the Baroque world. As Iberian powers expanded into Latin American and south Asia, European culture increasingly came into tension with indigenous cultures and forms of image production. Rather than leading to “imperfect” or “deformed” art, though, this friction led to the creation of novel images that deployed cultural hybridity as both a coping mechanism and a productive artistic strategy. This course will examine the production of art in the Spanish and Portuguese empires from roughly 1500-1700. The first half of the class will focus on the Iberian Peninsula and the contributions of major artists like El Greco, Rubens, and Velazquez to see how these artists engaged and/or evaded the new peoples, cultures, and modes of image making brought into Spain via increasing economic ties with the New World. The second half of the course will look outward, toward the edges of the empire, and examine how Spanish and Portuguese aesthetics and art production were redeployed by indigenous populations to create a hybrid style of art the forces a reconsideration of the how we define “Baroque” art within a global context.
T 0200PM-0500PM
    Section 401 - SEM
    PAUL STRAND CURATORIAL SEMINAR – This seminar will allow students to study in-depth one of the key artists of the twentieth century and to participate in the early planning stages for a major retrospective exhibition that will take place in the fall of 2014. Students will participate in extensive review of the literature on Paul Strand, and they will have access to the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s collection of more than 3,000 prints. Each participant will be asked to conduct research on one project of Strand’s career. The central question of the seminar will be: how to organize a major single-artist exhibition? The class will participate in every aspect of planning a large exhibition, including organizing the publication; object selection and loan requests; conservation; exhibition layout; exhibition programming. In addition to working with the Strand collection at the PMA, the class may visit The Museum of Modern Art and a private collection of Strand’s photographs, as well as several major museum exhibitions. The seminar will proceed chronologically, with every week treating one or two major projects by Strand. Strand projects include: Strand’s modernist work; Manhatta; Southwestern and Mexican photography, including Redes; Frontier Films Project, including Native Land; Egypt; Morocco and Ghana. Course requirements: 1 15-page research paper; in-class presentations; full participation in seminars (held both at Penn and at the PMA, alternating weeks) and short research trips (TBA).
    M 0200PM-0500PM
    • CINE300401
    Section 402 - SEM
    ISSUES IN GLOBAL ART HISTORY – This course explores developments in contemporary art history in an international framework. Our specific focus this semester is the art of the African Diaspora, defined as the cultures of peoples of African descent worldwide living outside of the African continent. We will consider art and aesthetics in Africa, the Caribbean, Britain, and the U.S., interrogate ideas of the postcolonial, concepts of diaspora, and the Atlantic world. How do such works engage a global community and marketplace? In what ways does theory and criticism further elucidate the practice of these artists as well as their objects in order to address culture as a site of ideological contestation and the relationship of the formal aspects of a work to its representational significance?
    M 0200PM-0500PM
    • AFRC303402
    • LALS301402