AR316 Modern Art

for FA 2007

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AR 316 Modern Art


FA 2007 HO


Buckingham, Leslie Lynn


Senior Instructor, Art & Design


M.A. in Art History
B.A. in Art History

Office Location

MA430C (in Interior Design)

Office Hours

by appointment

Other Phone



Semester Dates

August 21 - December 16

Class Days


Class Time

1:00 - 2:15 PM

Credit Hours



Modern Art, Revised and Updated, 3/E
View Larger Cover Image

Sam Hunter, Professor Emeritus, Princeton University
John Jacobus, Dartmouth College
Daniel Wheeler

Publisher: Prentice Hall
Copyright: 2005
Format: Paper; 480 pp

ISBN-10: 0131895656
ISBN-13: 9780131895652

I highly recommend the following pre-packaged books, and have ordered them from the bookstore for you.


© 2005 | Prentice Hall | Kit/Package/ShrinkWrap | Instock
ISBN-10: 0132323370 | ISBN-13: 9780132323376
Package consists of:
Looking and Writing: A Guide for Art History Students
Modern Art, Revised and Updated, 3/E

Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources:

McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.
Career Counseling - The Career Development Center (CDC) provides services for all stages of career development.  The mission of the CDC is to provide the career planning tools to ensure a lifetime of career success.
Park Helpdesk - If you have forgotten your OPEN ID or Password, or need assistance with your PirateMail account, please email or call 800-927-3024
Resources for Current Students - A great place to look for all kinds of information

Course Description:
The study of modern painting, sculpture, and architecture from the late nineteenth century to the present. Gallery tours are combined with slide-lecture instruction. 3:0:3

Educational Philosophy:

The instructor's educational philosophy is one based on interactive learning based on lectures, readings, examinations, and gallery tours.

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. Use the specialized vocabulary of art and architecture to discuss, both orally and in writing, their responses to art.
  2. Recognize and identify the special stylistic characteristics of the arts from the late nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries.
  3. Recognize artistic quotations as used in a wide variety of contemporary American media (film, advertisements, and product design).
  4. Connect modern/contemporary art to specific historical events, culture, religion, and literature.
  5. Observe art with greater perception (a “trained eye”) and an ability to begin interpreting both its form and its content.
  6. Respond critically to works of art.

Core Assessment:

·        The paper should be 5 –10 pages in length. (double-spaced, 12 pt Arial or Times New Roman font)

·        Your focus will be on a single artist, and preferably focused on a single work of art by that artist, though other objects may be discussed comparatively.

·        RESEARCH is necessary, as well as a trip to the museum of your choice. If you have a slightly different type of subject in mind, you must clear this with me first.


Your Trip to the Museum:

You will choose a work of art from the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art or the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art. You can find directions to the museums and a list of their operating hours at or The Nelson-Atkins museum is NOT open on Mondays. You will need to bring:

·        a pad of paper

·        a pencil - The museum will not allow you to use a pen in the gallery. 

·        a few extra sheets of paper for sketching. Your sketches do not need to be professional or finished, so any blank sheet of paper will do. 

·        the handout I will give you, copied from A Survival Guide for Art History Students, by Christina Maranci. Chapter 3, “Putting Words to Images: Mastering the Response Essay,” pp. 33 –70. This will help you with note-taking particularly.


Choose an appropriate work of art! The date, period, and place of origin should be relevant and fall within the parameters of our class. Choose a work of art that engages you intellectually or emotionally.

Plan on spending a minimum of 40 minutes with the object you choose.  This is 40 minutes of quality looking, not discussion with a friend. My suggestions will take you 45 minutes to 1 hour:


1.      look at the object for at least 15 minutes (no notes yet)

2.      then take as many notes as you can (to make things easier, the Survival Guide handout has listed questions to ask yourself while taking notes)

3.      take a break to walk around, stretch, get a drink

4.      look at the object again for another 15 minutes (you will be more perceptive the second time around)

5.      take notes again

6.      try sketching the object (this doesn’t have to be good but will miraculously seem to point out to you additional observations about the object) 


It is often helpful to come back another day to look again, but this is not necessary to complete the assignment, particularly if you follow my suggestions and take good notes.


The Paper Itself:

This exercise is partly a response essay and partly a research paper. You will visit the museum, choose a work of art, and write an analytical essay based on what you can see, and then place that work within the artist’s overall career. 


Looking is not as simple as you may think. Rather than merely describe the object, you will want to analyze its form. You need to ask yourself the questions:

·        “What is this doing?”

·        “Why do I have this response?”

The challenge is to analyze a work of art, separating its parts in order to understand the whole. You must resist the urge to merely describe, and instead evaluate the object.   Further insights and instructions can be found in A Survival Guide for Art History Students, by Christina Maranci. Chapter 3, “Putting Words to Images: Mastering the Response Essay,” pp. 33 –70.


The research is going to be fairly straightforward and simple. Research the artist’s life and other works of art you can find by that artist. Relate your work to others by that artist and/or by other artist’s in his time period.


If you already had something else in mind, please advance your ideas to me by e-mail. I am flexible regarding this paper as long as you have a special interest in changing the subject type or format. Some of you have already discussed these ideas with me.


Your book Looking and Writing will be extremely helpful to you in this enterprise!





Sample Organization of the Paper: (further explanations and examples can be found in the Survival Guide handout)

1.      The Introduction

a.      Write a Short Description of the Work You Have Chosen. Include identifying subject matter or forms, setting or space, color, and medium.  

b.      State Your Main Argument. A thesis statement related to the overall effect or meaning of the object.

c.      State (Briefly) the Ways in Which You Will Prove It.

2.      The Main Body (a detailed description/analysis including, but not limited to, the following):

a.      The work of art you are focusing on

                                                              i.      Discuss the Medium, the medium’s traits, and the artist’s use of the medium.

                                                            ii.      Discuss the relevant formal elements (i.e.: line, shape and space, composition and relative scale, light and color, style)

                                                          iii.      Discuss the composition (i.e.: unity/variety, balance, emphasis, focal point)

                                                           iv.      Discuss the relationship the formal elements and composition have to the subject’s meaning (or overall effect).

b.      The artist

                                                              i.      Brief discussion of artist’s life and career

                                                            ii.      Comparison to a few other works of art by our artist (if relevant)

                                                          iii.      Comparison of his work to the work of other artists (if relevant)

3.      The Conclusion.

a.      Restate the Main Argument

b.      Place this work of art into the big picture. Relate it to a larger issue, art-historical movement, etc.

4.      Attach an image of the object (This can be a postcard purchased from the museum bookstore, a photograph, or your sketch.)


Don’t forget to include the objective information somewhere within the paper: creator (artist/culture/period); date; medium; size; exhibition/museum/collection. Most, if not all, will be available on the museum label found near the object.






Mechanics of the Paper:

·        5 –10 pages in length

·        Double-spaced

·        12 pt. font, Arial or Times New Roman

·        Pages numbered

·        Proper organization, complete sentences, grammar, punctuation, spelling and word choice


Remember that less-than-graceful writing will count strongly against you, as well as misspellings and typos and other signs of carelessness. Nothing puts a grader in a worse mood than the evidence that the writer has so little self-respect or respect for the reader that she or he hasn’t bothered to correct the smallest of mistakes.  Proofread.  It helps to have someone read over your “final” version before you print it out.  You’d be amazed at what you miss. 



You can find further hints on writing art papers from these sources on reserve:

A Short Guide to Writing about Art, by Sylvan Barnet. 3rd edition.


A Survival Guide for Art History Students, by Christina Maranci. Chapter 3, “Putting Words to Images: Mastering the Response Essay,” pp. 33 –70.


Look! The Fundamentals of Art History, by Anne D’Alleva. Chapter 3, “Writing art-history papers,” pp. 64 –69.

Link to Class Rubric

Class Assessment:

Text and related readings, lectures, discussions, tests identifying visual images, research assignments and projects, oral presentations to class



32 pts

= 6.4%

450-500 pts = 



Discussion Questions (17 @ 4 pts)

68 pts

= 13.6%

400-449 pts =



Exams (2 @ 100 pts

200 pts

= 40%

350-399 pts =




100 pts 

= 20%

300-349 pts =

60-69% =D
Response Essay/Core Assessment

100 pts

= 20%

299 and below =

59% and below =F


500 pts

Late Submission of Course Materials:

Assignments will be accepted up to one week after their due date, but will be penalized one letter grade (10 percentage points).  Exams missed with a valid excuse (approved by instructor in advance) can be made up in the testing center.  Students may NOT make up exams missed because of an unexcused absence.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

Please turn cell phones and pagers off during class.  Students who disrupt class with these items will be asked to leave and could suffer appropriate penalties for tardiness (see attendance policy).  Please be respectful.  Loud, abusive, and disrespectful commentary will not be tolerated.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

PAY ATTENTION IN CLASS. Dates for exams and assignments are subject to revision!! This is an intensive reading class. YOu are asked to read the appropriate sections of your textbook for the subjects listed. These readings should be completed prior to the class for which they are assigned. I do not often give written assignments in this class. Study and review the material on a continuous basis and keep up on your readings. I cannot emphasize this enough. If you wait to begin your readings or to begin serious study until exam time, you will perform poorly in this class. I can almost guarantee it.








August 21






August 23 Thursday



Chapter 1
Modernism and Its Origins in the 19th Century


pgs 9-22


August 28 



Chapter 2
Seurat, Cezanne, and the Language of Structure


pgs 23-33


August 30








September 4 



Chapter 3
Gauguin, van Gogh, and the Language of Vision


pgs 34-53


September 6 



Chapter 4
Art Nouveau in Painting and Design


pgs 54-60


September 11



Chapter 5
Early Modern Sculpture: From Rodin to Brancusi


pgs 61-80


September 13





September 18



Chapter 7
Expressionism in France: Matisse and the Fauves


pgs 101-111


September 20




Chapter 8
Expressionism in Germany: The Bridge and the Blue Rider


pgs 112-131


September 25





September 27




Chapters 1-5, 7-8



October 2 



Chapter 9
The Cubist Revolution: Braque and Picasso


pgs 132-147


October 4 



Chapter 10
From Cubism to Abstract Art: Futurism, Suprematism, De Stijl


pgs 148-162


October 9 



Chapter 11
Dada and Fantastic Art


pgs 163-177


October 11 




Chapter 12
Surrealism: The Resolution of Dream and Reality


pgs 178-195


October 16 








October 18








October 23 





October 25 



Chapter 14
The School of Paris between the Wars


pgs 215-233


October 30 



Chapter 15
International Abstraction: Constructivism and the Bauhaus


pgs 234-246


November 1 



Chapter 16
American Art in the Wake of the Armory Show


pgs 247-264


November 6





November 8 Thursday




Chapters 9-12, 14-16



November 13 Tuesday



 Chapter 17
The New York School: Abstract Expressionism



November 15 



  Chapter 18
The Postwar European School: L'Art Informel, Expressionist Figuration, Welded Sculpture  
  pgs 285-297


November 20 



 Chapter 19
American Art of the Sixties:
Pop Art and Minimalism
 pgs 298-328
November 22 





November 27 



Chapter 20
Europe's New Realism, Pop Art, and Abstraction

pgs 329-339 

November 29 



 Chapter 22
The Post-Minimal/Post-Modern Seventies: From Conceptual Art to New Image  
 pgs 357-387


December 4 



 Chapter 23
The Post-Modern Eighties: From Neo-Expressionism to Neo-Conceptualism

 pgs 388-412


December 6 Thursday




 Chapter 24
A New Fin de Siecle/A New Century


 pgs 413-438

December 11 Tuesday




Chapters 17-20, 22-24







Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life.   Park University 2007-2008 Undergraduate Catalog Page 85-86

Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. Park University 2007-2008 Undergraduate Catalog Page 85

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  3. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  4. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "F".
  5. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  6. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  7. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

Park University 2007-2008 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87-88
In case of illness or emergency, the instructor must be notified prior to class by leaving an e-mail message.  With this prior notification, individuals are allowed 2 absences which will be recorded as Excused.  Additional absences will hurt your grade dramatically.  Your final semester grade will be lowered for each additional absence from class.

A professional and respectful attitude toward the instructor and fellow students is expected.  Two instances of the following will count as one absence:  tardiness of more than 10 minutes, leaving before class is dismissed, falling asleep in class, and other class disruptions (i.e. phone calls, etc.). These will be noted and reflected in the final grade.

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: .

Response-Research Essay Specifics and Rubric

Response Essay Reading Part 1

Response Essay Reading Part 2


CompetencyExceeds Expectation (3)Meets Expectation (2)Does Not Meet Expectation (1)No Evidence (0)
Discusses all relevant formal elements: line, shape and space, composition and relative scale, light and color, style. Discusses all relevant composition or design principles most significant for work: unity/variety, balance, emphasis, focal point. Discusses some formal elements.

Discusses some composition or design principles.

Mentions some formal elements, no discussion.

Mentions some composition or design principles, no discussion.

Does not mention formal elements.

No mention of composition or design principles.

Introduction contains good brief overall description: identifying subject matter or forms, setting or space, color, medium, and main argument Introduction contains both description and main argument, but description is missing basic components or main argument is inappropriate. Introduction is missing either the description or the main argument altogether. No description or argument. 
Explains special properties of the medium and analyzes the artist's use of medium. Explains properties of medium but no analysis of artist's use of medium. No understanding of medium employed; incorrect facts. No discussion of medium (even if mentioned). 
All 3 are relevant

Appropriateness of the object: date, period, and place of origin are relevant and fall within parameters of class.

2 of the 3 are relevant. 1 of the 3 is relevant. No relevance. 
Content of Communication                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
All objective information included: creator (artist/culture/period), date, medium, size, exhibition/museum/collection.

Image included by postcard, photo, or sketch.

Only one omission from the objective information. Two or more omissions from the objective information. No objective information. 
Technical Skill in Communicating                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
Met all the parameters of the paper: 2-5 pages, double-spaces, 12 pt Arial or Times font.

Complete sentences, grammar, punctuation, spelling and word choice. Meaningful organization of content: clear introduction, main body, and conclusion.

2 of the 3 parameters met.

2 to 3 errors

1-2 errors

1 of the 3 parameters met.

4 to 5 errors

3 or 4 errors

No parameters met.

Over 5 errors

More than 4 errors.



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Last Updated:8/14/2007 7:52:42 PM