Chair Art History: Jonathan Reynolds 
Co-Chair and Director of Visual Arts Program: Joan Snitzer
Art History Professors:
Alexader Alberro 
Anne Higonnet 
Jonathan Reynolds
Art History Associate Professors: 
Elizabeth Hutchinson (on leave Fall 2021)
Art History Term Professors: 
Rosalyn Deutsche
Art History Assistant Professors: 
Gregory Bryda (on leave Fall 2021)
Visual Arts Senior Lecturer: 
Joan Snitzer 
Visual Arts Professor of Professional Practice: 
John Miller
Visual Arts Assistant Professor of Professional Practice: 
Irena Haiduk  (on leave Fall 2021)
Adjunct Professors: 
Connie Choi (Summer 2021 Block B)
Adam Eaker (Spring 2022)
Joanna Lehan (Fall 2021)
Katherine Marsengill (Fall 2021)
David Pullins (Spring 2022)
Valerie Smith (Spring 2022)

Art History Major Requirements: Concentration in Art History

Requires a minimum of 12 Art History courses including:

AHIS BC1001Introduction to Art History I4
AHIS BC1002Introduction to the History of Art II4
AHIS BC3970Methods and Theories of Art History (To be taken during the junior or senior year.)4
AHIS BC3959
 - AHIS BC3960
Senior Research Seminar
and Senior Research Seminar *Please see notes below on one and two semester written senior thesis options.
3-6
or AHIS BC3960 Senior Research Seminar
Two Seminar Courses in Art History (may also be counted toward the historical and regional distribution requirement.)
Seven elective courses *See below for elective requirements

1.         BC1001 (Fall) and BC1002 (Spring) Introduction to Art History. This two-course sequence is required.
       
2.         BC3970 Methods and Theories of Art History. To be taken during the fall of senior year or by permission of instructor and major advisor. 

3.         BC3959x and/or BC3960y Senior Research Seminar.
Students write their senior thesis in conjunction with the Senior Research Seminar. Students will develop, research, and write their thesis project in consultation with an individual faculty member in Art History. They will also attend and participate in group seminars convened during the academic year in which all students will present their work. Students who plan to study abroad during their senior year and those who expect to graduate early must begin the senior research seminar sequence in the second semester of the junior year.

4.        Two Seminar Courses in Art History (may also be counted toward the historical and regional distribution requirement.)

5.        Seven elective courses, with the following requirements:
Lecture or seminars courses can be used to fulfill the seven elective requirement. BC1001 and 1002 or any other broad survey can not be used to fulfill this requirement. Courses in film are accepted toward the major requirements; studio courses are not.

Students must take at least one course in three of four historical periods: 
            Ancient (up to 400 CE/AD), 400-1400, 1400-1700, 1700-present
            *These chronological divisions are approximate. In case of ambiguities about the eligibility of a course to fill the requirement, please consult the department chair or your advisor.
            An additional two courses must also be drawn from at least TWO DIFFERENT world regions, as listed: Africa, Asia and the Indigenous Pacific, Latin America/Caribbean/Indigenous Americas, Middle East

  • Courses in film are accepted toward the major requirements; studio courses are not.
  • Broad survey courses can not be counted towards the temporal requirements but can count towards regional requirements. 
  • Recommended: One or two studio courses should be taken.


Students who plan to undertake graduate work should acquire a reading knowledge of at least two foreign languages in which major contributions to the history of art have been made. Most graduate schools require a reading knowledge of French, German, or Italian. The department strongly recommends a student's taking one of these languages while at Barnard.

AP CREDIT AND THE ART HISTORY MAJOR AND MINOR

For students entering Barnard in Fall 2016 or after, an AP Art History score will not exempt students from either INTRO TO ART HISTORY I or II (AHIS BC1001 or AHIS BC1002). 

Visit the Barnard Registrar's AP Credit Information webpage for further details: https://barnard.edu/transfer-credits

ART HISTORY WRITTEN SENIOR THESIS 

All Art History Majors with a concentration in Art History write a substantial research paper in their senior year. There are two options for fulfilling this requirement: Seniors have the option of doing a year-long thesis, or reworking and developing a seminar paper into a thesis through a one-semester participation in the Senior Thesis Seminar. The Senior Thesis Seminar would function for those interested in working on a thesis over the course of a year, but those deciding for the option of expanding a seminar paper would only join the course in the second semester. The intent is to offer an alternative to those with less interest in a major writing project.

WRITTEN SENIOR THESIS OPTIONS

  1. Students interested in participating in the year-long Senior Thesis Seminar should write a brief (one-page) description of their thesis topic and submit it to the appropriate adviser within the first two weeks of the fall semester. The potential adviser will determine the feasibility of the study in question and accept or decline to become the student’s adviser. Such a thesis should ultimately be approximately 30-50 pages long.
  2. Students interested in expanding and enhancing a seminar paper will find a faculty adviser, preferably the professor with whom they wrote the original paper, willing to help them in its transformation into a thesis. They will then join the Senior Thesis in the spring semester of their senior year. In this context they will have an opportunity to present their ideas to the rest of the graduating class as well as members of the faculty so as to receive comments and suggestions as to how to develop their arguments. These created by these means should aim to be approximately 30 pages long.

GRADES
Two grades will be awarded in connection with your work on the finished thesis. One will evaluate the way in which you have fulfilled the requirements of the Senior Research Seminar. That is, your participation and attendance in the Thesis Colloquium, the energy you have put into the research, the effort you have made in producing an original and challenging argument as well as a solidly constructed and polished piece of prose. Since the course is yearlong, students will receive a grade of Y (indicating year long course) for the fall semester and will receive their grade at the end of the spring term for the year. This grade will be assigned in the usual A through F spectrum. The other grade will be awarded on the basis of the evaluation of the thesis itself. This evaluation will consider whether or not the aims of the project were met: was the research sufficient to warrant the conclusions, is the argument of the thesis original as well as coherent and convincing, was the writing adequate to the ideas that had to be expressed? Very often the instructor will ask another member of the faculty to comment on the paper as well. This grade will either be a Pass with Distinction, a Pass or a Fail.

NOTE ON SENIOR THESIS FOR DOUBLE AND COMBINED MAJORS
Please note the distinctions between the Double Major, the Double Major with a Single Essay, and the Combined Major. In the Double Major students will do all of the required course work for both majors and write two different Senior Essays that fulfill the requirements of each department. In the Double Major with Single Essay students do all of the required course work for the two majors and write only one essay read by an adviser in each major field. In the Combined Major students follow the requirements for coursework for a combined major and write a single senior essay also read by an adviser in each major field. To do a combine Art History and another major you will need to obtain a special form from the Dean of Studies office. The form needs to be signed by both department chairs. On the form you will need to list the sponsors from both departments along with the 6 courses from each major you plan to count towards the combine major. Any questions, please contact the Art History office.

Art History Major Requirements: Concentration in Visual Arts

Requires a minimum of 12 Art History courses including:

Seven Art History courses:
AHIS BC1001Introduction to Art History I4
AHIS BC1002Introduction to the History of Art II4
AHIS BC3031Imagery and Form in the Arts3
One course in 19th, 20th or 21st Century Art.
One seminar in Art History.
One additional Art History course.
Five Studio courses:
AHIS BC3530ADVANCED SENIOR STUDIO (I (Fall semester))4
AHIS BC3531ADVANCED SENIOR STUDIO II (II (spring semester) )4
Three additional Studio courses.

1. BC1001 (Fall) and BC1002 (Spring) Introduction to Art History. This two-course sequence is required.

2. BC3031 Imagery and Form in the Arts (spring) Required course to be taken in the spring semester of the Junior or Senior year

3. Senior Visual Arts Thesis Project

Senior Art History Majors with a Concentration in Visual Arts will research and create a thesis project in consultation with faculty members and peers in the Visual Arts. They will also attend two semester-long courses, participate in group critiques, and guest artist lectures scheduled during the academic year. They will present visual art projects in two public group exhibitions planned at the end of the Fall and Spring semesters of the senior year.

The following Studio courses are required for the Senior Visual Art Thesis Project
BC3530 Advanced Senior Studio I (Fall)
BC3531 Advanced Senior Studio II (Spring)  (Please see description of the senior thesis here). 

4. One Seminar Course in Art History 

5. One 19th, 20th or 21st-century elective course in Art History.

6. Two elective courses in Art History

7. Three elective courses in Visual Arts-Studio

*Courses in film can apply toward the major requirements. 
*Studio courses cannot exceed 30 points of credits.

SENIOR THESIS PROJECT FOR ART HISTORY MAJORS WITH A CONCENTRATION IN VISUAL ARTS

The Senior Visual Arts Thesis Project for Art History Majors with a Concentration in Visual Arts is scheduled in the last year of the major.  By that time, you will have taken Imagery and Form BC3031 and a variety of Art History and Studio courses, which may help form your approach to your thesis project.

Advanced Senior Studio I BC3530 (Fall) and Advanced Senior Studio II BC3531 (Spring) provides a two-semester framework in which to complete a senior project. Your senior project should be a cohesive body of work based on original concepts and executed with some technical proficiency.  A paper approximately seven-to-ten pages in length will accompany your senior project outlining your artistic goals.  This paper will serve as an artist’s statement and should describe what your work would mean to viewers as well situate your work vis-a-vis artistic precedents.

You also will take part in a senior thesis exhibition, which will be accompanied by a catalog. Here, you will be responsible for both installing your work and for taking it down at the end of the show.

GRADES
Two grades will be awarded in connection with your work on the Senior Project.  One will evaluate the way in which you have fulfilled the course requirements, that is, the regularity of your meetings and the effort you have made in completing your thesis.  This grade will be a letter grade.  The second grade will be awarded on the basis of the evaluation of the Senior Project itself.  This evaluation will consider whether or not the aims of the project were met: a pass with distinction, a pass or a fail.

OPTION FOR ART HISTORY AND VISUAL ARTS - WRITTEN SENIOR THESIS

Art History Majors with a Concentration in Visual Arts may choose to do a written Art History Senior Thesis instead of the Visual Arts Senior Project. To do this they must: Notify their adviser of their intention to do so by the end of their junior year with permission from both the Visual Arts Director and Art History chair. They must then take both Methods and Theories of Art History (BC3970) & the written Art History senior research seminar (BC3959 and BC3960). These three courses required for the written thesis option replace the Visual Arts sequence, BC3031 Imagery and Form in the Arts and Advanced Senior Studio I BC3530 (Fall)  and Advanced Studio II BC3531 (Spring).

  • Notify their adviser of their intention to do so by the end of their junior year

  • Take both AHIS BC3970 Methods and Theories of Art History and AHIS BC3959 Senior Research SeminarAHIS BC3960 Senior Research Seminar.


MAJOR REQUIREMENTS FOR THE HISTORY AND THEORY OF ARCHITECTURE 
See Architecture Program offerings.


ART HISTORY MINOR REQUIREMENTS

The minor in Art History consists of five courses, including BC1001, BC1002, and three courses in the following areas of which students must have at least one be Non-European

AHIS BC1001Introduction to Art History I4
AHIS BC1002Introduction to the History of Art II4
Three courses in the below areas, of which students must have at least one be Non-European.

European and American

  • Ancient

  • Medieval

  • Renaissance

  • Baroque

  • Modern

Non-European

  • Chinese

  • Japanese

  • Indian

  • African

  • Meso-American

  • Native American

Art History Courses Offered Summer 2021 Block A

AHIS BC3853 Exhibiting Modern Inuit Sculpture. 4.00 points.

In this seminar, students will create a physical and digital exhibition of stone sculptures produced by Inuit artists in the late twentieth century for exhibition and sale outside their communities. The physical exhibition in 2021 will be installed in the rotunda of Low Library on the Columbia campus and will feature ten pieces owned by Columbia Art Properties; the exhibition will open in late June. The digital exhibition will be centered on a timeline that puts the Columbia works in historic context. To broaden and deepen the experience of artists, subjects and art centers, I have selected approximately 40 pieces of Inuit sculpture and graphic arts from the Brooklyn Museum which students will study during our visits there and which can be used in the online exhibition

Art History Courses Offered Summer 2021 Block B

AHIS BC2001 Drawing Studio. 3 points.

Note course is limited to 15 students with instructor's permission on the first day of class.

This course will explore drawing as an open-ended way of working and thinking that serves as a foundation for all other forms of visual art.  The class is primarily a workshop, augmented by slides lectures and videos, homework assignments and field trips.  Throughout the semester, students will discuss their work individually with the instructor and as a group.  Starting with figure drawing and moving on to process work and mapping and diagrams, we will investigate drawing as a practice involving diverse forms of visual culture.

AHIS BC2018 Freestyle and Displacement in Contemporary Art Practices. 4 points.

Course Limited to 15 Students with Instructor's Permission. Please attend the first class.

  “Freestyle,” the important 2001exhibition held at the Studio Museum in Harlem in New York, helped usher a generation of artists into public discourse and scrutiny. The exhibition highlighted a cacophony of influences, histories, and art tendencies. The wide array of artworks and approaches to art making that it put on display challenged the art world and questioned conventional thinking about art made by artists of color in the twenty-first century. Taking the "Freestyle" exhibition as a point of departure, this course will explore a series of questions including: How do the after-effects of displacement radically change an artist’s way of making art? What kind of impact have contemporary notions of diaspora, migration and exile have on the new art practices? What insights do these new practices and the objects and performances that result from them produce?     We will study the visual art practices related to this trajectory and the exhibitions that contextualize them. At the same time, the course will challenge students to experiment and construct artworks from their own subjectivities in ways that intersect with the questions and concepts that arise from the investigation.

AHIS BC3666 DEATH DRIVE 3000. 4.00 points.

“The aim of all life is death,” Sigmund Freud’s historic words do not appear strange today. Under siege of the perpetual breaking news cycle, the apocalypse is easy to imagine. Will it be an asteroid, a zombie virus or an all out nuclear war? Death Drive 3000 returns to the inanimate. Through a variety of reading, writing and making projects, this seminar studies the implications of our unbound and limitless death drive. Can any viable futures be located under the regimes of such imagination, futures that do not involve disposing of ourselves? From de Sade to Malabou to Clausewitz, topics include: primary nature, partial objects, necrosodomy, dismemberment, omophagia, suicide pacts, plagues, holocausts, total war and other symptoms of our collective end. Not for the faint of heart

Art History Courses Offered Fall 2021

AHIS BC1001 Introduction to Art History I. 4 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Historical Studies (HIS)., BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Cultures in Comparison (CUL)., BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: The Visual and Performing Arts (ART)., Discussion Section Required

Attempting to offer an introduction to artistic creation on a global scale, this course is team-taught by specialists in a number of different cultural and historical traditions. In the fall semester we will discuss the art of Europe, the Middle East, India, Japan, and China, in periods ranging from the Paleolithic to the Renaissance. Museum trips are an integral part of the course. Note: weekly discussion groups to be arranged. Discussion Section Required.

Fall 2021: AHIS BC1001
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 1001 001/00209 M W 2:40pm - 3:55pm
Room TBA
4 90/90

AHIS BC2005 Painting I and III. 3 points.

Course Limited to 15 Students. Permission of Instructor. Attend the first Class.

This course will focus on individual and collaborative projects designed to explore the fundamental principles of image making. Students acquire a working knowledge of concepts in contemporary art through class critiques, discussion, and individual meetings with the professor.  Reading materials will provide historical and philosophical background to the class assignments.  Class projects will range from traditional to experimental and multi-media. Image collections will be discussed in class with an awareness of contemporary image production.

Fall 2021: AHIS BC2005
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 2005 001/00207 W 2:10pm - 6:00pm
Room TBA
Joan Snitzer 3 13/18

AHIS BC2007 Painting I and III. 3 points.

Course Limited to 15 Students. Permission of Instructor. Attend the first Class.

This course will focus on individual and collaborative projects designed to explore the fundamental principles of image making. Students acquire a working knowledge of concepts in contemporary art through class critiques, discussion, and individual meetings with the professor.  Reading materials will provide historical and philosophical background to the class assignments.  Class projects will range from traditional to experimental and multi-media. Image collections will be discussed in class with an awareness of contemporary image production.

Fall 2021: AHIS BC2007
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 2007 001/00208 W 2:10pm - 6:00pm
Room TBA
Joan Snitzer 3 3/18

AHIS BC3003 Supervised Projects in Photography. 3 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: The Visual and Performing Arts (ART).
Enrollment limited to 15 students. Instructor's permission required. Attend the first day of class.

Prerequisites: Enrollment limited to 15 students.

Designed for students to conduct independent projects in photography. Priority for enrollment to the class will be Barnard College students who are enrolling in classes at ICP (International Center of Photography).  The cost of ICP will be covered by Barnard College. All of the other students enrolling in the course (CC, GS SOA) will be responsible for their own ICP course expenses.

Spring 2021: AHIS BC3003
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 3003 001/00127 M 11:00am - 12:50pm
Room TBA
John Miller 3 21/18
Fall 2021: AHIS BC3003
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 3003 001/00212 M 11:00am - 12:50pm
Room TBA
John Miller 3 21/19

AHIS BC3530 ADVANCED SENIOR STUDIO. 4 points.

Prerequisites: Limited to Senior Visual Arts Concentrators. Permission of the instructor.

The Fall Advanced Senior Studio serves as a forum for senior Visual Arts majors to develop their studio theses. The priorities are producing a coherent body of studio work and understanding this work in terms of critical discourse. The class is comprised of group critiques and small group meetings with the instructor. Visiting lecturers and professional workshops will also be scheduled and required. Each student will develop an independent body of visual work that is both personal, original and also speaks to the social conditions of our time. Each student will be able to articulate, verbally and in writing, their creative process. Each student will acquire professional skill that will support their artistic practice in the future. Each student will learn how to present and speak about their work publicly.

Fall 2021: AHIS BC3530
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 3530 001/00213 M 2:10pm - 6:00pm
Room TBA
Joan Snitzer 4 13

AHIS BC3667 CLOTHING. 4 points.

Human beings create second, social, skins for themselves. Across history and around the world, everyone designs interfaces between their bodies and the world around them. From pre-historic ornaments to global industry, clothing has been a crucial feature of people’s survival, desires, and identity. This course studies theories of clothing from the perspectives of art history, anthropology, psychology, economics, sociology, design, and sustainability. Issues to be studied include gender roles, craft traditions, global textile trade, royal sumptuary law, the history of European fashion, dissident or disruptive styles, blockbuster museum costume exhibitions, and the environmental consequences of what we wear today. Required 1 hour a week TA led section to be arranged.

Fall 2021: AHIS BC3667
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 3667 001/00214 T Th 2:40pm - 3:55pm
Room TBA
Anne Higonnet 4 201

AHIS BC3673 Intro History of Photography. 4 points.

This course will survey selected social, cultural and aesthetic or technical developments in the history of photography, from the emergence of the medium in the 1820s and 30s through to the present day. Rather than attempt comprehensively to review every aspect of photography and its legacies in the nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first centuries, the course will instead trace significant developments through a series of case studies. Some of the latter will focus on individuals, genres or movements, and others on various discourses of the photographic image.  Particular attention will be placed on methodological and theoretical concerns pertaining to the medium.

Fall 2021: AHIS BC3673
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 3673 001/00550 T Th 4:10pm - 5:25pm
Room TBA
Alexander Alberro 4 76/75

AHIS BC3675 Feminism and Postmodernism and the Visual Arts: The 1970's and 1980's. 3 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: The Visual and Performing Arts (ART).
Not offered during 2021-22 academic year.

Examines art and criticism of the 1970s and 1980s that were informed by feminist and postmodern ideas about visual representation. Explores postmodernism as (1) a critique of modernism, (2) a critique of representation, and (3) what Gayatri Spivak called a radical acceptance of vulnerability. Studies art informed by feminist ideas about vision and subjectivity. Places this art in relation to other aesthetic phenomena, such as modernism, minimalism, institution-critical art, and earlier feminist interventions in art.

Fall 2021: AHIS BC3675
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 3675 001/00215 T Th 1:10pm - 2:25pm
Room TBA
Rosalyn Deutsche 3 60/60

AHIS BC3910 CONTEMPORARY PHOTOGRAPHY AND RELATED MEDIA: THE POLITICAL EXHIBITION. 4 points.

An introductory survey of contemporary photography and related media through the framework of current exhibitions in New York City. Exhibitions of photography and video play a particular role in mirroring the present moment, which finds political themes front and center. Prevalent are exhibitions that redress (art) historical erasure, present counter histories, or take direct aim at specific governmental policies.  Through group outings to NYC galleries and museums (approximately 8 trips) we will take stock of which artists are showing, in what contexts, and unpack both artistic and curatorial strategies. In addition to class discussion of what we’ve seen, during our time in the classroom we will look back at the select landmark photography exhibitions, to chart evolutions in the medium and their interrelation with politics.

Spring 2021: AHIS BC3910
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 3910 001/00694 Th 12:10pm - 2:00pm
Room TBA
Joanna Lehan 4 10/15
Fall 2021: AHIS BC3910
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 3910 001/00750 W 12:10pm - 2:00pm
Room TBA
Joanna Lehan 4 0/15

AHIS BC3959 Senior Research Seminar. 3 points.

Prerequisites: Course open to Barnard Art History majors only.

Independent research for the senior thesis. Students develop and write their senior thesis in consultation with an individual faculty adviser in art history and participate in group meetings scheduled throughout the senior year.

Fall 2021: AHIS BC3959
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 3959 001/00211 T 6:10pm - 8:00pm
Room TBA
Rosalyn Deutsche 3 16

AHIS BC3968 Art/Criticism I. 4 points.

Undergraduate seminar course. Course limited to 15 Students with instructor's permission. Application process required. Applications are due in the Barnard Art History office April 9, 2015.

This course is a seminar on contemporary art criticism written by artists in the post war period.  Such criticism differs from academic criticism because it construes art production less as a discrete object of study than as a point of engagement.  It also differs from journalistic criticism because it is less obliged to report art market activity and more concerned with polemics.   Art /Criticism I will trace the course of these developments by examining the art and writing of one artist each week.  These will include Brian O’Doherty/Patrick Ireland, Allan Kaprow, Robert Morris, Yvonne Rainer, Robert Smithson, Art & Language, Dan Graham, Adrian Piper, Mary Kelly, Martha Rosler, Judith Barry and Andrea Fraser.  We will consider theoretical and practical implications of each artist’s oeuvre.

Fall 2021: AHIS BC3968
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 3968 001/00216 T 11:00am - 12:50pm
Room TBA
John Miller 4 13/15

Complete List of Art History Courses 

AHIS BC1001 Introduction to Art History I. 4 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Historical Studies (HIS)., BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Cultures in Comparison (CUL)., BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: The Visual and Performing Arts (ART)., Discussion Section Required

Attempting to offer an introduction to artistic creation on a global scale, this course is team-taught by specialists in a number of different cultural and historical traditions. In the fall semester we will discuss the art of Europe, the Middle East, India, Japan, and China, in periods ranging from the Paleolithic to the Renaissance. Museum trips are an integral part of the course. Note: weekly discussion groups to be arranged. Discussion Section Required.

Fall 2021: AHIS BC1001
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 1001 001/00209 M W 2:40pm - 3:55pm
Room TBA
4 90/90

AHIS BC1002 Introduction to the History of Art II. 4 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Historical Studies (HIS)., BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Cultures in Comparison (CUL)., BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: The Visual and Performing Arts (ART)., Discussion Section Required

  The second part of the Introduction to Art History goes from about 1400 to 2015, circles the world, and includes all media. It is organized around one theme for each lecture, and approximately 100 works of art. Visits to New York museums and discussions sections are crucial parts of the course.

Spring 2021: AHIS BC1002
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 1002 001/00126 M W 2:40pm - 3:55pm
Room TBA
Anne Higonnet 4 194

AHIS BC2001 Drawing Studio. 3 points.

Note course is limited to 15 students with instructor's permission on the first day of class.

This course will explore drawing as an open-ended way of working and thinking that serves as a foundation for all other forms of visual art.  The class is primarily a workshop, augmented by slides lectures and videos, homework assignments and field trips.  Throughout the semester, students will discuss their work individually with the instructor and as a group.  Starting with figure drawing and moving on to process work and mapping and diagrams, we will investigate drawing as a practice involving diverse forms of visual culture.

AHIS BC2005 Painting I and III. 3 points.

Course Limited to 15 Students. Permission of Instructor. Attend the first Class.

This course will focus on individual and collaborative projects designed to explore the fundamental principles of image making. Students acquire a working knowledge of concepts in contemporary art through class critiques, discussion, and individual meetings with the professor.  Reading materials will provide historical and philosophical background to the class assignments.  Class projects will range from traditional to experimental and multi-media. Image collections will be discussed in class with an awareness of contemporary image production.

Fall 2021: AHIS BC2005
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 2005 001/00207 W 2:10pm - 6:00pm
Room TBA
Joan Snitzer 3 13/18

AHIS BC2006 Painting II and IV. 3 points.

Enrollment limited to 15 students. Instructor's permission required. Attend the first day of class.

A continuation of painting I & III, open to all skill levels.  Students will further develop techniques to communicate individual and collective ideas in painting.  This course will focus on individual and collaborative projects designed to explore the fundamental principles of image making.  Students acquire a working knowledge of traditional studio skills and related concepts in contemporary art through class critiques, discussion, and individual meetings with the professor.  Reading materials will provide historical and philosophical background to the class assignments.  Class projects will range from traditional to experimental and multi-media. Image collections will be discussed in class with an awareness of contemporary image production.

AHIS BC2007 Painting I and III. 3 points.

Course Limited to 15 Students. Permission of Instructor. Attend the first Class.

This course will focus on individual and collaborative projects designed to explore the fundamental principles of image making. Students acquire a working knowledge of concepts in contemporary art through class critiques, discussion, and individual meetings with the professor.  Reading materials will provide historical and philosophical background to the class assignments.  Class projects will range from traditional to experimental and multi-media. Image collections will be discussed in class with an awareness of contemporary image production.

Fall 2021: AHIS BC2007
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 2007 001/00208 W 2:10pm - 6:00pm
Room TBA
Joan Snitzer 3 3/18

AHIS BC2008 Painting II and IV. 3 points.

Enrollment limited to 15 students. Instructor's permission required. Attend the first day of class.

A continuation of painting I & III, open to all skill levels.  Students will further develop techniques to communicate individual and collective ideas in painting.  This course will focus on individual and collaborative projects designed to explore the fundamental principles of image making.  Students acquire a working knowledge of traditional studio skills and related concepts in contemporary art through class critiques, discussion, and individual meetings with the professor.  Reading materials will provide historical and philosophical background to the class assignments.  Class projects will range from traditional to experimental and multi-media. Image collections will be discussed in class with an awareness of contemporary image production.

AHIS BC2018 Freestyle and Displacement in Contemporary Art Practices. 4 points.

Course Limited to 15 Students with Instructor's Permission. Please attend the first class.

  “Freestyle,” the important 2001exhibition held at the Studio Museum in Harlem in New York, helped usher a generation of artists into public discourse and scrutiny. The exhibition highlighted a cacophony of influences, histories, and art tendencies. The wide array of artworks and approaches to art making that it put on display challenged the art world and questioned conventional thinking about art made by artists of color in the twenty-first century. Taking the "Freestyle" exhibition as a point of departure, this course will explore a series of questions including: How do the after-effects of displacement radically change an artist’s way of making art? What kind of impact have contemporary notions of diaspora, migration and exile have on the new art practices? What insights do these new practices and the objects and performances that result from them produce?     We will study the visual art practices related to this trajectory and the exhibitions that contextualize them. At the same time, the course will challenge students to experiment and construct artworks from their own subjectivities in ways that intersect with the questions and concepts that arise from the investigation.

AHIS BC2350 Medieval Art and Architecture . 3 points.

Medieval painting, sculpture, and precious arts from Late Antiquity to c. 1400, including early Byzantine, early Islamic, Merovingian, Visigothic, Insular, Carolingian, Ottonian, Mozarabic, Anglo-Saxon, and especially Romanesque and Gothic art. Questions include those of style, function, material, historical context, the earthly, the divine, ornament, the figural, and the geographic Other.

AHIS BC2355 APOCALYPSE. 4.00 points.

This lecture course explores how art and architecture responded to changing attitudes toward death, the afterlife, and the end of the world over the course of the European Middle Ages, from early Christian Rome to the dawn of the Protestant Reformation in Germany. Medieval illustrations of the Book of Revelation in New York collections will play a central role in discussions of plague, rapture, and “eschatology”—or concerns over the fate of the soul at the end of time. We will analyze the visual culture associated with ordinary people preparing for their own death and the deaths of loved ones, saints and Biblical figures whose triumph in death served as exemplars for the living, and institutional and individual anxieties over humankind’s destiny on Judgment Day. Artworks under consideration will encompass various media and contexts, including monumental architecture and architectural relief sculpture, tomb sculpture, wall painting, manuscript painting, reliquaries, and altarpieces. The course satisfies the major requirement's historical period of 400-1400. Note course requires 1 hour weekly TA discussion sections to be arranged

Spring 2021: AHIS BC2355
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 2355 001/00131 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
Room TBA
Gregory Bryda 4.00 57/60

AHIS BC2360 Northern Renaissance Art. 3 points.

Not offered during 2021-22 academic year.

The Northern Renaissance (roughly c. 1400-1600) spans an historical period of epochal transitions: Europe began this era with a globe and mindset that rarely ventured beyond its geographic boundaries, and it concluded these centuries as one continent within a world that was emphatically, unavoidably, and thrillingly global.  The paradigm shifts entailed were no less pronounced in the visual cultures and fine art traditions of Europe north of the Alps; this includes the growth of middle-class patronage, the Protestant Reformation, the rise of the printing press and print media, the practice of portraiture, the spread of humanism, the foundations of what might be referred to as an art market, and a fundamental revision of purpose and definition of art and the artist.  Threaded throughout many of these developments run questions of mimesis, realism, skill, medium, and the growing cult of the artist, as well as the relationship with the Italian Renaissance, the Mediterranean, and the expanding globe.  The Northern Renaissance witnessed the exciting birth of new media genres, especially oil painting on panel and the print, that would help determine the course of Western art history for centuries to come; at the same time, while the cultural and intellectual ruptures of the Northern Renaissance should be acknowledged, continuities with the earlier medieval world must also be remembered.


This course explores these and other histories as they played out within panel painting, book painting, the sumptuous arts (e.g., tapestries and metalwork), printing, sculpture, and architecture, focusing mainly on France, the Low Countries, Germany, and England.  We will begin within the late medieval world of Burgundy, Prague, and Germany before progressing through such key artistic personalities as Sluter, Broederlam, the Limbourgs, Campin, the van Eycks, van der Weyden, Memling, Fouquet, Riemenschneider, Dürer, Grünewald, Altdorfer, Cranach, Bosch, Holbein, and Bruegel—such a narrative, however, will be equally enriched with less familiar and less canonical works. 

AHIS BC2698 American Monument Cultures. 3.00 points.

Cities, institutions, and impassioned individuals are pulling down statues of people implicated in the histories of slavery, colonization and violence. This class explores why monuments are important, how they have been used historically to assert political and social power and different points of view on where to go from here. The nation is caught up in a vital debate about how historical figures and events should be recorded in the public square. Spurred by protests in Charlottesville, VA in the summer of 2017 and moved forward during the uprisings against police brutality in the summer of 2020, cities, institutions and impassioned individuals are pulling down and removing statues of Confederate leaders and other individuals implicated in the histories of slavery, colonization and violence even as objections are raised to these actions from both the left and the right. This activism led to the formation of a commission to study New York City’s built environment in fall 2017 and its resolution advocating both taking down and putting up monuments here. Why are Monuments so important? How have they been used historically to assert political and social power? This course introduces the history of monument culture in the United States, focusing on monuments related to three controversial subjects: the Vietnam War, the Confederacy, and the “discovery” of America. We will study when, by whom, and in what form these monuments were erected and how artists and audiences of the past and present have responded to them. In addition to gaining historical background, students will engage in a digital project exploring the history and impact of monuments in a city or town with which they are familiar. Class meetings will combine lecture and discussion and will feature guest speakers most weeks. To accommodate the online platform, each class will be broken into several units and will include both a break and short periods of independent or small group work. In addition, students must complete online modules on conducting local research, podcasting, storymapsjs and timelines

AHIS BC3003 Supervised Projects in Photography. 3 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: The Visual and Performing Arts (ART).
Enrollment limited to 15 students. Instructor's permission required. Attend the first day of class.

Prerequisites: Enrollment limited to 15 students.

Designed for students to conduct independent projects in photography. Priority for enrollment to the class will be Barnard College students who are enrolling in classes at ICP (International Center of Photography).  The cost of ICP will be covered by Barnard College. All of the other students enrolling in the course (CC, GS SOA) will be responsible for their own ICP course expenses.

Spring 2021: AHIS BC3003
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 3003 001/00127 M 11:00am - 12:50pm
Room TBA
John Miller 3 21/18
Fall 2021: AHIS BC3003
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 3003 001/00212 M 11:00am - 12:50pm
Room TBA
John Miller 3 21/19

AHIS BC3031 Imagery and Form in the Arts. 3 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: The Visual and Performing Arts (ART).
Enrollment limited to 15 students. Instructor's permission required. Attend the first day of class. Application not required.

Operation of imagery and form in dance, music, theater, visual arts and writing; students are expected to do original work in one of these arts. Concepts in contemporary art will be explored.

Spring 2021: AHIS BC3031
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 3031 001/00128 M 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Room TBA
Joan Snitzer 3 17/15

AHIS BC3530 ADVANCED SENIOR STUDIO. 4 points.

Prerequisites: Limited to Senior Visual Arts Concentrators. Permission of the instructor.

The Fall Advanced Senior Studio serves as a forum for senior Visual Arts majors to develop their studio theses. The priorities are producing a coherent body of studio work and understanding this work in terms of critical discourse. The class is comprised of group critiques and small group meetings with the instructor. Visiting lecturers and professional workshops will also be scheduled and required. Each student will develop an independent body of visual work that is both personal, original and also speaks to the social conditions of our time. Each student will be able to articulate, verbally and in writing, their creative process. Each student will acquire professional skill that will support their artistic practice in the future. Each student will learn how to present and speak about their work publicly.

Fall 2021: AHIS BC3530
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 3530 001/00213 M 2:10pm - 6:00pm
Room TBA
Joan Snitzer 4 13

AHIS BC3531 ADVANCED SENIOR STUDIO II. 4.00 points.

Advanced Senior Studio II is a critique class that serves as a forum for senior Visual Arts majors to develop and complete one-semester studio theses. The priorities are producing a coherent body of studio work and understanding this work in terms of critical discourse. The class will comprise group critiques and small group meetings with the instructor. Field trips and visiting artist lectures will augment our critiques. Please visit: https://arthistory.barnard.edu/senior-thesis-project-art-history-and-visual-arts-majors

Spring 2021: AHIS BC3531
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 3531 001/00129 M 5:00pm - 7:00pm
Room TBA
John Miller 4.00 18

AHIS BC3626 In and Around Abstract Expressionism. 4 points.

This course focuses on the history of modern art in the mid-twentieth century. To place mid-twentieth century modernism within its proper historical context, we will explore artistic practices elaborated between the 1920s and the 1960s in a wide range of different locations. We will also survey the major critical and historical accounts of modernism in the arts during these years. 

,

The course will first introduce the development of modernism, anti-modernism and avant-gardism in the period between the two World Wars, exploring the changing relationship between these cultural formations in Europe, the U.S.S.R., Mexico, and North America. The second part of the course will study the vicissitudes of modernism and avant-gardism in Europe, Latin America, and the U.S. during the 1930s and 1940s that led to the formation of Concrete art in Europe and Abstract Expressionism and the New York School in the United States. The third part of the course will examine the challenges to modernism and the reformulation of avant-gardism posed by the neo-avant-garde in North America, South America, Europe and Japan in the 1950s and early 1960s.

,

The course will address a wide range of historical and methodological questions and problems.  These include: the challenges to the idea of artistic autonomy, the evolving concept of avant-gardism, the ongoing problematic of abstraction, the formal principles of serialism and the grid, the logic of non-composition, the persistence of figuration, the changing role of cultural institutions, the impact of new technologies on cultural production, and the emergence of new audiences and patrons for art.

AHIS BC3642 North American Art and Culture. 3 points.

Not offered during 2021-22 academic year.

An examination of North American painting, sculpture, photography, graphic art and decorative arts from the Colonial Period until World War I. Artists discussed will include Benjamin West, John Singleton Copley, Thomas Cole, Lilly Martin Spencer, Harriet Powers, Rafael Aragon, Robert Duncanson, Frederick Church, Winslow Homer, Thomas Eakins, James MacNeill Whistler, Mary Cassatt, Thomas Moran, Henry Ossawa Tanner and Eadweard Muybridge.

AHIS BC3654 Institutional Critique. 3 points.

Examines precedents for institutional critique in the strategies of early twentieth-century historical avant-garde and the post-war neo-avant-garde. Explores ideas about the institution and violence, investigates the critique and elaboration of institutional critique from the late 1970s to the early 1990s, and considers the legacies of institutional critiques in the art of the present.

AHIS BC3655 The Discourse of Public Art and Public Space. 3 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: The Visual and Performing Arts (ART).
Not offered during 2021-22 academic year.

Examination of the meaning of the term “public space” in contemporary debates in art, architecture, and urban discourse and the place of these debates within broader controversies over the meaning of democracy. Readings include Theodor Adorno, Vito Acconci, Michel de Certeau, Douglas Crimp, Thomas Crow, Jurgen Habermas, David Harvey, Fredric Jameson, Miwon Kwon, Henri Lefebvre, Bruce Robbins, Michael Sorkin, Mark Wigley, and Krzysztof Wodiczko.

AHIS BC3658 History and Theory of the Avant Garde. 3 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: The Visual and Performing Arts (ART).
Not offered during 2021-22 academic year.

Prerequisites: Courses in nineteenth- and/or twentieth-century art are recommended as prerequisites for this course.

This course examines the idea and practice of artistic avant-gardism in Europe and the United States from the mid-nineteenth to the late-twentieth century. It explores the changing relationship of avant-gardism to bourgeois society, concepts of democracy, art institutions, political radicalism, and non-art forms of culture, such as mass culture and third-world cultures. It studies theories of the modernist, historical, and neo-avant-gardes.    

AHIS BC3666 DEATH DRIVE 3000. 4.00 points.

“The aim of all life is death,” Sigmund Freud’s historic words do not appear strange today. Under siege of the perpetual breaking news cycle, the apocalypse is easy to imagine. Will it be an asteroid, a zombie virus or an all out nuclear war? Death Drive 3000 returns to the inanimate. Through a variety of reading, writing and making projects, this seminar studies the implications of our unbound and limitless death drive. Can any viable futures be located under the regimes of such imagination, futures that do not involve disposing of ourselves? From de Sade to Malabou to Clausewitz, topics include: primary nature, partial objects, necrosodomy, dismemberment, omophagia, suicide pacts, plagues, holocausts, total war and other symptoms of our collective end. Not for the faint of heart

AHIS BC3667 CLOTHING. 4 points.

Human beings create second, social, skins for themselves. Across history and around the world, everyone designs interfaces between their bodies and the world around them. From pre-historic ornaments to global industry, clothing has been a crucial feature of people’s survival, desires, and identity. This course studies theories of clothing from the perspectives of art history, anthropology, psychology, economics, sociology, design, and sustainability. Issues to be studied include gender roles, craft traditions, global textile trade, royal sumptuary law, the history of European fashion, dissident or disruptive styles, blockbuster museum costume exhibitions, and the environmental consequences of what we wear today. Required 1 hour a week TA led section to be arranged.

Fall 2021: AHIS BC3667
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 3667 001/00214 T Th 2:40pm - 3:55pm
Room TBA
Anne Higonnet 4 201

AHIS BC3673 Intro History of Photography. 4 points.

This course will survey selected social, cultural and aesthetic or technical developments in the history of photography, from the emergence of the medium in the 1820s and 30s through to the present day. Rather than attempt comprehensively to review every aspect of photography and its legacies in the nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first centuries, the course will instead trace significant developments through a series of case studies. Some of the latter will focus on individuals, genres or movements, and others on various discourses of the photographic image.  Particular attention will be placed on methodological and theoretical concerns pertaining to the medium.

Fall 2021: AHIS BC3673
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 3673 001/00550 T Th 4:10pm - 5:25pm
Room TBA
Alexander Alberro 4 76/75

AHIS BC3674 Art since 1945. 3 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: The Visual and Performing Arts (ART).
Not offered during 2021-22 academic year.

Introduction to the history of art in post-war Europe and the United States from 1945 to the present, emphasizing questions of methodology of modernist studies and the diversity of theoretical approaches.

AHIS BC3675 Feminism and Postmodernism and the Visual Arts: The 1970's and 1980's. 3 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: The Visual and Performing Arts (ART).
Not offered during 2021-22 academic year.

Examines art and criticism of the 1970s and 1980s that were informed by feminist and postmodern ideas about visual representation. Explores postmodernism as (1) a critique of modernism, (2) a critique of representation, and (3) what Gayatri Spivak called a radical acceptance of vulnerability. Studies art informed by feminist ideas about vision and subjectivity. Places this art in relation to other aesthetic phenomena, such as modernism, minimalism, institution-critical art, and earlier feminist interventions in art.

Fall 2021: AHIS BC3675
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 3675 001/00215 T Th 1:10pm - 2:25pm
Room TBA
Rosalyn Deutsche 3 60/60

AHIS BC3681 Directions in Contemporary Art. 3 points.

Not offered during 2021-22 academic year.

Introduces the history of contemporary artistic practices from the 1960s to the present, and the major critical and historical accounts of modernism and postmodernism in the arts. Focusing on the interrelationships between modernist culture and the emerging concepts of postmodern and contemporary art, the course addresses a wide range of historical and methodological questions.

AHIS BC3682 Early Modernism and the Crisis of Representation. 4 points.

Prerequisites: 20th Century Art recommended.

The artistic phenomenon that came to be called Modernism is generally considered one of the most pivotal in the history of late nineteenth and twentieth century art. This course studies the emergence and development of Modernism in all of its complexity. Particular attention will be paid to the ways in which Modern artists responded to the dramatically changing notions of space, time and dimension in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. What impact did these dramatic changes have on existing concepts of representation? What challenges did they pose for artists? To what extent did Modernism contribute to an understanding of the full consequences of these new ideas of time and space? These concerns will lead us to examine some of the major critical and historical accounts of modernism in the arts as they were developed in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.

,

The course will focus specifically on the interrelationships between modernism and the expanding mass cultural formations of the industrial societies in Europe to address a wide range of historical and methodological questions. These include the emergence of modernism in the arts, the collapse of previous modes of representation, the development of new technologies of cultural production, the elaboration of the utopian projects of the avant-gardes, the unfolding of abstract art, the materialization of the readymade, as well as the transformation of concepts of artistic autonomy and cultural institutions.

,

We will first investigate key modernist concepts developed in the late nineteenth century, as well as the crucial work of some of the artists of that moment. This will lead to an examination of the unfolding and consolidation of Cubism in the first decade of the twentieth century, followed by the development of Synthetic Cubism early in the 1910s. The third part of the course will study the impact of Cubism on artistic production in the following decade, focusing primarily on the Italian artists of Futurism, the German avant-garde in the context of Weimar culture, Dadaism, and the Russian and Soviet avant-gardes in the 1910s and 1920’s

AHIS BC3687 Modern Japanese Art. 3 points.

Not offered during 2021-22 academic year.

This class will explore Japanese painting, prints, photography and performance art from the mid-19th century to the present. We will consider artists' responses to rapid modernization, debates over cultural identity, and the ever-changing role of "tradition" in modern art practice. We will also discuss the impact of natural disaster and war on the arts, and the role of art in mediating social conflict. There are no prerequisites, but the survey of Japanese art history and classes in modern Japanese studies would provide useful background.

AHIS BC3698 American Monument Culture. 4 points.

Class will meet twice a week plus digital workshops to be arranged.

The nation is currently caught up in a vital debate about how historical figures and events should be recorded in the public square.  Cities, institutions and impassioned individuals are pulling down and removing statues of Confederate leaders and other individuals implicated in the history of slavery even as objections are raised to these actions from both the left and the right.  This activism led to the formation of a commission to study New York City’s built environment and to commit to both taking down and putting up monuments here.


Why are Monuments so important?  How have they been used historically to assert political and social power?  This course introduces the history of monument culture in the United States, focusing on monuments related to three controversial subjects:  the Vietnam War, the Confederacy, and the “discovery” of America.  We will study when, why, and in what form these monuments were erected and how artists and audiences of the past and present have responded to them.  The assignments will mirror this structure: through an essay and two multimedia projects, students will both present an analysis of existing monuments and make a proposal for new ones.


Class meetings will combine lecture and discussion.  In addition, students must attend two two-hour digital workshop.  We will take two field trips and assignments will involve visits to offsite locations in New York City.

AHIS BC3841 REFRAMING OLD MASTERS. 4 points.

This course historicizes the medium of painting and the institutional frame of the art museum in order to posit new solutions for presenting Old Master painting.  At an art historical juncture in which medium-specificity and national traditions are increasingly rare and at a political juncture attuned to unequal histories of race, class and gender, how to engage with these works?  What is the potential for subverting longstanding assumptions about the role of art by reframing the Old Masters through innovative juxtaposition, installation and interpretation by contemporary artists, curators and the public?  This course, led by a curator in European Paintings at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, takes place primarily at the museum.  Assignments take the form of acquisition and exhibition proposals.

AHIS BC3842 Design Designing . 4 points.

Everything we contact has been designed. Design makes and unmakes desires on a global scale. It organizes our lives—from the way we move to the interface that tracks our movements. We’ve trained for the end for a while now, apocalypse is announced on every image channel. In a world, soon impossible to physically inhabit, the things we consume now consume us. The stakes have never been higher. To make a new world, we must use design.


Our planet need not be disposed. It is an infrastructure for another one. To make contact with it we need to understand design as a value system for propelling possibility, not possession. The designed world requires new relation to things and fullness of use. As we read, write, experience and make our own projects, Designing Design helps us: acquire intimate knowledge of how we got here, recognize our historical allies and foes, and foster imagination and intelligence to live and make responsibly.


This course requires no prior design experience.

AHIS BC3844 Revolution and Art. 4.00 points.

In 1789, a French revolution shook the government foundation of Europe, and with it, all the arts. The principles of monarchy were rejected, women gained unprecedented freedoms, and French slavery was abolished. How did the arts express those upheavals? By 1805, areaction against the Revolution. An emperor crowned himself, women’s rights were revoked slavery was reinstated. How did the arts deal with this backlash?

Spring 2021: AHIS BC3844
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 3844 001/00134 W 10:10am - 12:00pm
501 Diana Center
Anne Higonnet 4.00 9/12

AHIS BC3846 Designing Design II. 4.00 points.

The way an environment is made remains deeply embedded within it. Our environments shape us like our families, they nourish and educate us, they prejudice us. What if they were not a given? If our relationship to them was something we choose and shape, less of a blood relation, more of a lifelong friendship? A friend is an equal with their own agency and act as, a partner in play and life. Friendship is a place where we interact, welcome each-other and make the world together. The common task of this class is to devise a studio for making living environments to study how we could make, exhibit and live with art. Through a variety of individual and group readings and assignments, in-class case-studies and interviews we will test our preconceptions of space and time so that we may experience and inspire the state of being present. We will study and practice presence to form intimate bonds with interior, exterior, bodily and narrative environments already in existence and of our own making

Spring 2021: AHIS BC3846
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 3846 001/00133 M W 9:10am - 11:55am
Room TBA
Irena Haiduk 4.00 9

AHIS BC3851 What is Art For?. 4.00 points.

Does art matter? How does it think of people and things, materials and minerals, the dead and the living? Can anything be art? Is art a part of life? Can it love? Can it bring change? Should it? Who can make art? Who is art for? Should art be public? Should art be free? How should art be traded? What desires should it power? How is art related to politics? Are they immediate family or distant cousins? Where and how does art live? How do artists live? What do artists want? What do we want from artists? What is art for? This seminar returns to the basics. During the COVID pandemic, the time of retreat, we embrace the opportunity to rethink our values. Our course is a stadium for posing vital questions about art from the diverse perspectives of five practicing artists. They are our weekly guests whose life and wisdom finds form in the act of making. In this class we read, write, debate and work toward understanding and putting to use the boundless resourcefulness of art

AHIS BC3853 Exhibiting Modern Inuit Sculpture. 4.00 points.

In this seminar, students will create a physical and digital exhibition of stone sculptures produced by Inuit artists in the late twentieth century for exhibition and sale outside their communities. The physical exhibition in 2021 will be installed in the rotunda of Low Library on the Columbia campus and will feature ten pieces owned by Columbia Art Properties; the exhibition will open in late June. The digital exhibition will be centered on a timeline that puts the Columbia works in historic context. To broaden and deepen the experience of artists, subjects and art centers, I have selected approximately 40 pieces of Inuit sculpture and graphic arts from the Brooklyn Museum which students will study during our visits there and which can be used in the online exhibition

AHIS BC3865 Paris: Capital of the 19th Century. 4 points.

APPLICATION DUE TO 826 SCHERMERHORN.Not offered during 2021-22 academic year.

The Impressionist painting movement was committed to the representation of modern life.  What did modern life mean to the Impressionists, and how did they represent it?  How did Impressionist paintings interpret mid-nineteenth-century ideas about empirical observation, the re-design of Paris, urban spectacles, fashion, and the new reproducible media of their moment?  Each student will choose one painting in the Met collection on which to give two presentations and write a final paper. Through close visual analysis, students will put their painting in its historical context, using comparisons with other works of art, as well as both primary and secondary sources included in the assigned reading.

AHIS BC3910 CONTEMPORARY PHOTOGRAPHY AND RELATED MEDIA: THE POLITICAL EXHIBITION. 4 points.

An introductory survey of contemporary photography and related media through the framework of current exhibitions in New York City. Exhibitions of photography and video play a particular role in mirroring the present moment, which finds political themes front and center. Prevalent are exhibitions that redress (art) historical erasure, present counter histories, or take direct aim at specific governmental policies.  Through group outings to NYC galleries and museums (approximately 8 trips) we will take stock of which artists are showing, in what contexts, and unpack both artistic and curatorial strategies. In addition to class discussion of what we’ve seen, during our time in the classroom we will look back at the select landmark photography exhibitions, to chart evolutions in the medium and their interrelation with politics.

Spring 2021: AHIS BC3910
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 3910 001/00694 Th 12:10pm - 2:00pm
Room TBA
Joanna Lehan 4 10/15
Fall 2021: AHIS BC3910
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 3910 001/00750 W 12:10pm - 2:00pm
Room TBA
Joanna Lehan 4 0/15

AHIS BC3928 Dutch Seventeenth Century Art. 4.00 points.

This course is devoted to a close examination of Dutch art of the seventeenth century, one of the most celebrated chapters in the history of art. Students will be exposed to seminal art historical texts on the period, at the same time as they receive exposure to connoisseurship, conservation, and technical art history

Spring 2021: AHIS BC3928
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 3928 001/00135 M 10:10am - 12:00pm
502 Diana Center
Adam Eaker 4.00 12/17

AHIS BC3929 Fashion Revolution, Instagram Art History. 4 points.

Not offered during 2021-22 academic year.

This seminar launches on Instagram the most radical and influential fashion plates in European history, from the Journal des Dames et des Modes.  A rare complete set of the Journal’s revolutionary 1797-1804 plates has recently been rediscovered at the Morgan Library, and digitized. The Morgan has generously allowed us to be the ones to release the plates online.


The French Revolution of 1789 promised that women and men could completely reinvent themselves, with the help of a total style transformation.


Between 1797 and 1804, after the political crisis of the first revolutionary years and before Napoleon became Emperor, the Journal des dames et des modes showed all Europeans how to look, read, and entertain themselves as modern individuals. It rejected the dress rules and materials that had signaled static social rank in favor of mobile self-expression through consumer choice. The change was so radical for women that it was partially reversed after 1804, but for men it endured.

AHIS BC3931 The Body in Medieval Art. 4 points.

Not offered during 2021-22 academic year.

This seminar explores how the body, broadly defined, was represented, stage, and theorized in the art of medieval Europe.  The bodies discussed include human, divine, demonic, fleshly, corruptible, saintly, sexed, and raced bodies.  The seminar will thematically approach these different body genres via painting, sculpture, architecture, and the precious arts.

AHIS BC3933 BUOYANCY. 4.00 points.

“Be like a duck. Calm on the surface, but always paddling like the dickens underneath.”,Michael Caine , We do not live our own desires. Pressing ourselves into heavy molds not made for our bodies compresses us, tears our skin, and bruises our features. It is hard to breathe. We sink. Weight harbors the downward pull. It attaches itself in many ways but there are countless ways to set it down, to be free. This takes practice and skill. The common task of this visual arts seminar is to distinguish ourselves from the weight we carry. Through a variety or reading, writing, and making activities we shall seek out and contact levity: that gravity that changes our bodies, make us light of touch, aerates and propels us toward the state of buoyancy. Not for the faint of heart

Spring 2021: AHIS BC3933
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 3933 001/00136 M W 1:10pm - 3:55pm
Room TBA
Irena Haiduk 4.00 21

AHIS BC3934 Dada and Surrealism. 4 points.

Course Limited to 15 Students with Instructor's Permission. Application due 11/13/15. Go to the BC AH website for more information and to download an application. www.barnard.edu/arthist

Of all the prewar avant-garde formations, it is perhaps Dada and Surrealism that loom the largest in the Western imaginary. Perhaps most impactful of all, these were the movements that surrounded one Marcel Duchamp, an artist whose work was central to both. In this seminar, we will trace the entwined histories of these vanguard groups—Dada in its various centers (Zurich, New York, Paris, Berlin, Cologne, and Hanover), and Surrealism, whose zeal for Paris could not prevent its forced, if temporary, dislocation to the United States. We will look to these formations in their aesthetic, theoretical, and political complexity, with special attention to the indispensable role played by women, especially Hannah Höch, Emmy Ball Hennings, and Claude Cahun.

AHIS BC3939 Contemporary Photography. 4 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: The Visual and Performing Arts (ART).
Undergraduate seminar course. Course limited to 15 Students with instructor's permission. Application process required. Applications are due in the Barnard Art History office April 7th.Not offered during 2021-22 academic year.

This undergraduate seminar will explore key texts that have informed the current condition and possibilities of the medium of photography.The course readings will consist of writings by critics and historians which reflect the unstable status of the photographic object between: technology and culture, mass culture and avant-garde art, discourse and documentation, analogue and digital.

AHIS BC3949 The Art of Witness: Memorials and Historical Trauma. 4 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: The Visual and Performing Arts (ART).
Undergraduate seminar course. Course limited to 15 Students with instructor's permission. Application process required. Applications are due in the Barnard Art History office April 9, 2015.

Examines aesthetic responses to collective historical traumas, such as slavery, the Holocaust, the bombing of Hiroshima, AIDS, homelessness, immigration, and the recent attack on the World Trade Center. Studies theories about trauma, memory, and representation. Explores debates about the function and form of memorials.

AHIS BC3951 Contemporary Art and the Public Sphere. 4 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: The Visual and Performing Arts (ART).
Not offered during 2021-22 academic year.

Prerequisites: AHIS BC1001 - AHIS BC1002 or equivalent. Enrollment Limited to 15 students. Permission of the instructor. Preference to seniors and Art History majors.

Critically examines contemporary debates about the meaning of public art and public space, placing them within broader controversies over definitions of urban life and democracy. Explores ideas about what it means to bring the term "public" into proximity with the term "art." Considers the differing ideas about social unity that inform theories of public space as well as feminist criticism of the masculine presumptions underlying certain critical theories of public space/art.

AHIS BC3952 Art and Mass/Popular/Everyday Culture: 1850 to the Present. 4 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: The Visual and Performing Arts (ART).
Not offered during 2021-22 academic year.

Prerequisites: AHIS BC1001 - AHIS BC1002 or equivalent. Enrollment limited to 15 students. Permission of the instructor. Preference to seniors and Art History majors.

Examines interactions between art in Europe and the United States during the 19th and 20th centuries, on the one hand, and non-art forms of culture that are called variously "mass," "popular," and "everyday" culture, on the other. Places art/mass culture interactions within the rise of bourgeois society, the invention of democracy, and relations of class, gender, sexuality, and race. Studies major critical theories and debates about the relationship between art and mass culture.

AHIS BC3957 1980s Feminism and Postmodernism in the Visual Arts. 4 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: The Visual and Performing Arts (ART).
Not offered during 2021-22 academic year.

Prerequisites: AHIS BC1001 - AHIS BC1002 or equivalent. Enrollment limited to 15 students. Permission of the instructor. Preference to seniors and Art History majors.

Examination of art and criticism that is informed by feminist and postmodern ideas about subjectivity in visual representation which first achieved prominence in the late 1970s and 1980s, exerting a profound influence on contemporary aesthetic practice. Explored in relation to earlier concepts of feminism, modernism, social art history, and "art as institution." Artworks discussed include those of Barbara Kruger, Cindy Sherman, Louise Lawler, Krzysztof Wodiczko, Hans Haacke, Mary Kelly, and Catherine Opie, among others.

AHIS BC3959 Senior Research Seminar. 3 points.

Prerequisites: Course open to Barnard Art History majors only.

Independent research for the senior thesis. Students develop and write their senior thesis in consultation with an individual faculty adviser in art history and participate in group meetings scheduled throughout the senior year.

Fall 2021: AHIS BC3959
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 3959 001/00211 T 6:10pm - 8:00pm
Room TBA
Rosalyn Deutsche 3 16

AHIS BC3960 Senior Research Seminar. 3 points.

Prerequisites: Course open to Barnard Art History majors only.

Independent research for the senior thesis. Students develop and write their senior thesis in consultation with an individual faculty adviser in Art History and participate in group meetings scheduled throughout the senior year.

Spring 2021: AHIS BC3960
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 3960 001/00137 T 6:10pm - 8:00pm
Room TBA
Rosalyn Deutsche 3 25

AHIS BC3968 Art/Criticism I. 4 points.

Undergraduate seminar course. Course limited to 15 Students with instructor's permission. Application process required. Applications are due in the Barnard Art History office April 9, 2015.

This course is a seminar on contemporary art criticism written by artists in the post war period.  Such criticism differs from academic criticism because it construes art production less as a discrete object of study than as a point of engagement.  It also differs from journalistic criticism because it is less obliged to report art market activity and more concerned with polemics.   Art /Criticism I will trace the course of these developments by examining the art and writing of one artist each week.  These will include Brian O’Doherty/Patrick Ireland, Allan Kaprow, Robert Morris, Yvonne Rainer, Robert Smithson, Art & Language, Dan Graham, Adrian Piper, Mary Kelly, Martha Rosler, Judith Barry and Andrea Fraser.  We will consider theoretical and practical implications of each artist’s oeuvre.

Fall 2021: AHIS BC3968
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 3968 001/00216 T 11:00am - 12:50pm
Room TBA
John Miller 4 13/15

AHIS BC3969 Art/Criticism II. 4 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: The Visual and Performing Arts (ART).
Course Limited to 15 Students with Instructor's Permission. Application due 11/13/15. Go to the BC AH website for more information and to download an application. www.barnard.edu/arthist

This course is a seminar on contemporary art criticism written by artists in the post war period.  Such criticism differs from academic criticism because it construes art production less as a discrete object of study than as a point of engagement.  It also differs from journalistic criticism because it is less obliged to report art market activity and more concerned with polemics.  Artists will include Ad Reinhart, Daniel Buren, Helio Oiticica, Juan Downey, Hollis Frampton, Victor Burgin, Jeff Wall, Mike Kelley, Coco Fusco, Maria Eichhorn, Jutta Koether, Melanie Gilligan.

AHIS BC3970 Methods and Theories of Art History. 4 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: The Visual and Performing Arts (ART).

Prerequisites: Barnard Art History Major Requirement. Enrollment limited only to Barnard Art History majors.

Introduction to critical writings that have shaped histories of art, including texts on iconography and iconology, the psychology of perception, psychoanalysis, social history, feminism and gender studies, structuralism, semiotics, and post-structuralism.

Fall 2021: AHIS BC3970
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 3970 001/00210 T 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Room TBA
Alexander Alberro 4 15/15
AHIS 3970 002/00619 Th 10:10am - 12:00pm
Room TBA
Jonathan Reynolds 4 8/15

AHIS BC3971 Rococco and It's Revivials. 4 points.

Not offered during 2021-22 academic year.

The useful arts of eighteenth-century France – furniture, interior decoration, clothing etc.. --  have always been considered among the masterpieces of decorative arts history.  A revolution in scholarship has made it possible to understand how these objects inaugurated some of modernity’s key values: individualism, private home life, consumer culture, women’s involvement in the arts, global capitalism, and an orientalist fascination with the Near and Far Easts.  Several class sessions will take place in the great decorative arts galleries of the Metropolitan Museum and the Frick Collection, where students will give presentations on individual objects.

AHIS BC3976 Japanese Photography. 4 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: The Visual and Performing Arts (ART).
Not offered during 2021-22 academic year.

This course will examine the history of Japanese photography from the middle of the 19th century to the present. The class will be organized both chronologically and thematically. Throughout its history, photography has been an especially powerful medium for addressing the most challenging issues facing Japanese society. Among the topics under discussion will be: tourist photography and the representation of women within that genre in the late 19th century, the politics of propaganda photography, the construction of Japanese cultural identity through the representation of  “tradition” in photography, and the interest in marginalized urban subcultures in the photography of the 1960s and 1970s. Although the course will be focused on Japan, the class will read from the literature on photography elsewhere in order to situate Japanese work within a broader context.

Spring 2021: AHIS BC3976
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 3976 001/00138 Th 10:10am - 12:00pm
Room TBA
Jonathan Reynolds 4 13/15

AHIS BC3977 THE BIENNIAL MATRIX OF CONTEMPORARY ART. 4 points.

This seminar introduces the relationship between contemporary artistic practices and the landmark survey shows of international contemporary art that are commonly known as “biennials,” but which encompasses not just exhibitions that recur every two years but also triennials, irregular mega-exhibitions known as manifestas, and the quinquennial survey exhibition, documenta. These regularly recurring exhibitions have come, since the late 1980s, to define contemporary art. They are one of the most ubiquitous and celebrated exhibition formats across the globe, appearing in cities as different as Saõ Paulo, Istanbul, Havana, Dakar, Seoul, and Kochi. A large art public encounters contemporary art solely within the frames of these exhibitions, while the constellation of artists and art from diverse cultures and places that these exhibitions feature has generated vital intercultural dialogues.

AHIS BC3984 Curatorial Positions 1969 to the Present. 4 points.

Course Limited to 15 Students with Instructor's Permission. Application due 11/13/15. Go to the BC AH website for more information and to download an application. www.barnard.edu/arthist

Contemporary exhibitions studied through a selection of great shows from roughly 1969 to the present that defined a generation.  This course will not offer practical training in curating; rather it will concentrate on the historical context of exhibitions, the theoretical basis for their argument, the criteria for the choice in artists and their work, and exhibitions’ internal/external reception.

Spring 2021: AHIS BC3984
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 3984 001/00139 T 10:10am - 12:00pm
502 Diana Center
Valerie Smith 4 12/15


Cross-Listed Courses

Art History and Archaeology

AHIS V3250 Roman Art and Architecture. 3 points.

Discussion Section Required
Not offered during 2021-22 academic year.

The architecture, sculpture, and painting of ancient Rome from the 2nd century B.C. to the end of the Empire in the West.

AHIS W3904 Aztec Art and Sacrifice. 4 points.

SEAS Interdisciplinary Course
Not offered during 2021-22 academic year.

This seminar explores the issues of art and sacrfice in the Aztec empire from the points of view of the 16th century and modern times.

Asian and Middle Eastern Cultures (Barnard)

AHUM V3342 Masterpieces of Indian Art and Architecture. 3 points.

CC/GS/SEAS: Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement, Discussion Section Required
Not offered during 2021-22 academic year.

Introduction to 2000 years of art on the Indian subcontinent. The course covers the early art of Buddhism, rock-cut architecture of the Buddhists and Hindus, the development of the Hindu temple, Mughal and Rajput painting and architecture, art of the colonial period, and the emergence of the Modern.