LS 212 Introduction to the Arts
F2J 2009 PV
Miriani, Dr. Ronald
Instructor/Adjunct/Retired Professor of History at Park U.
Ph.D. (History) The University of Michigan
October 20th to December 8th
5:30 - 9:50 PM
Textbook: None. It is assumed that students have access to the internet.
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Educational Philosophy: We learn by reading, observing and listening to each other; we also learn by expressing our own opinions in public andd private discussion.
Learning Outcomes: Core Learning Outcomes
Class Assessment: There will be three quizzes, on classicism, romanticism and modernism. Students will make three brief oral presentations on a person or subject relating to each of these three periods. Students will submit a term paper (with an oral presentation) on a subject approved by the instructor. A guide for writing the term paper will be provided by the instructor. Each student will visit the Nelson-Atkins Museum at some point in the term.
Grading: Attendance (20%), Participation (20%), Quizzes (20%), brief oral presentations (15%), Term Paper (25%).
Late Submission of Course Materials: Late submission of any material must be with the permission of the instructor.
Classroom Rules of Conduct: Students must arrive on time for class and observe courtesy towards the instructor and other members of the class. It is hoped that we will form a learning community. Cell phones are to be shut off.
Course Topics and Dates:
I will hand out a more detailed outline for each class period as we meet, including a list of sources, videos, etc.
Organization of the Course
What is art?
The many uses of art.
Three Western periods/styles of art: Classic, Romantic, Modern
October 27th: Classicism in Antiquity (roughly 750 B.C.-400 A.D.)
Bring to class some object to which you attribute beauty and usefulness.
Using the internet or a text book, come to class prepared to discuss:
The art of the ancient Egyptians and Greeks of the Mycenaean period (before 750 B.C.)
The creation of city states in Greece (c. 750-400 B.C.)
Politics (polis or city state), economics, warfare, religion (and its art), athletics (Olympics), theater
The design of temples, theaters, sport arenas (the Coliseum in Rome) and sculpture
The importance of the Greek defeat of the Persian Empire (c. 500-479)
Alexander’s conquest of Egypt, Iran, creating a grand “Hellenistic” world to the East.
The spread of Greek ideals throughout the Mediterranean: Rome imitates Greece?
What are the elements of classicism? What makes it so attractive even today?
Decline of classicism with barbarian invasions of the Roman Empire.
Meanwhile, in China we find Confucius and the Tao. In India we find Buddhism and the Baghavad Gita. Chinese and Indian sculpture. The sari for women’s dress.
November 3rd: Classicism in the Renaissance and Enlightenment (roughly 1300-1800)
Survival of (some) classicism in Europe through the action of the Christian Church.
The rediscovery of serious classicism in Italy during the 13th to 15th centuries.
Churches, Sculpture, Dress, Science—geography, exploration, Copernicus
The Reformation sets progress back—like fundamentalism today
The peak of European classicism: The Enlightenment: 1650-1800.
The beginning of the industrial revolution creates a wealthy middle class in England
Wealth and new knowledge through exploration and trade
The birth of science as we know it: Newton, Galileo, Harvey (human anatomy)
“Absolute” monarchies—which were not really absolute: Louis XIV
The art of the “old regime:” Dress, architecture, music, painting, sculpture.
Haydn and Mozart
The most Enlightened of Men: The American Thomas Jefferson.
The birth of European (democratic republics): The American and French Revolutions.
Meanwhile, in Japan (and China), temples, calligraphy, the tea ceremony (as an art). In the Muslim East, the great romantic poets Rumi and Hafiz.
November 10th: Early Romanticism (roughly 1800 to 1850)
Revolutions begin intellectually but become emotional, nationalistic and violent.
The French Revolution and its effect on all of Europe
The Revolution in poetry, painting, music, even dress!
Wordsworth in England, Beethoven in Europe, Emerson in America
The Hudson River School revolutionizes the American psyche
November 17th: Later Romanticism, roughly 1850 to 1880s (and Contemporary Romanticism)
The successes and failures of the French Revolution and “democratic” Europe
The Revolution of 1848 ends political romanticism
The map of Europe from 1848 to 1880.
Still, romanticism continues in art, music, and continues through the 20th century,
Especially in popular music—Van Morrison, etc. The American musical stage: Rogers & Hammerstein, Jerome Kern, George/Ira Gershwin. Movies (chick flicks?)
Romanticism and the Catholic Church—“the sacred heart of Jesus.” Protestant pietism.
Revival of Gothic churches, making an emotional statement
Why is romanticism still relevant?
November 24th: Early Modernism (roughly 1850 to 1914 & World War I)
The development of powerful, large contemporary states with powerful economies
Esp. the rise of modern Germany.
Science benefits life (pasteurization, inoculation from smallpox, etc.) but challenges
the classical and romantic views of the world and the Bible (Darwin)
Large scale industrialization (steel, railroads, even brewing!, skyscrapers, huge cities) brings people from country to city. Creates wealth, poverty & changes how people spend time
Modernization of painting (impressionism, etc.) vs. photography
Modern dress—out with impractical clothes.
Modern architecture—can you build a large, interesting building? Modern houses?
Housing for the middle class in Kansas City c. 1920s.
Night life and art
December 1st: Later Modernism, Since World War I (and Contemporary Modernism)
The World Wars challenge the belief in progress
The Depression (1929-39) challenged faith in capitalism & the economic system
The Holocaust challenges faith in human nature and has great effect on the arts
Painting departs from all earlier models—abstract expressionism, dada, Picasso
American jazz comes from lower classes and threatens traditional music everywhere
As time goes on, jazz becomes incomprehensible too!
Authoritarian regimes (Nazi & Communist) have their own official art policies
Science (which made sense in the day of Newton) becomes incomprehensible:
Einstein, Heisenberg (quantum mechanics), string theory? The more we know the more complimented our knowledge gets: DNA.
Atomic & Nuclear explosions scare everybody
Establishment of a peaceful Europe after 1945. Peace means wealth and faith in democracy.
European countries become increasingly socialistic.
Revived capitalism in America threatens democracy. The G-20 and the riots that accompany all meetings.
Meanwhile, Japanese and Indians adopt a lot of Western political and economic institutions and technology, while keeping cultural core culture. World music?
Term Papers Due
December 8: Student Presentations & Term Papers Returned.
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Last Updated:10/11/2009 2:22:22 PM