AR215 Art History I

for F2T 2012

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Vision Statement: Park University, a pioneering institution of higher learning since 1875, will provide leadership in quality, innovative education for a diversity of learners who will excel in their professional and personal service to the global community.


AR 215 Art History I


F2T 2012 DLA


Beasley, Ardus


Adjunct Faculty


B.A. Art History, William Smith College, Geneva, New York
M.A. Art History, University of Missouri in Kansas City
Four-year Post-Baccalaureate Designation in Interior Architecture and Design from the University of California, Los Angeles

Office Location

My laptop

Office Hours

By appointment

Daytime Phone


Other Phone



Web Page

Semester Dates

October 22 - December 16, 2012

Class Days

All Days

Class Time

All Times


AR115 or per approval

Credit Hours



Art History, Volume 2,   4th Edition 

Marilyn Stokstad

Publisher: Prentice Hall, Inc. 
Copyright: 2011 
Format: Paper; 736pp

ISBN-10:        0-205-74421-4

ISBN-13:        978-0-205-74421-3

Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources: secondary market

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Course Description:
AR 215 Art History I: (LE)) A chronological survey of the history of art from the prehistoric and ancient eras through the medieval. Instruction is not limited to the western tradition but includes sections on Asia, India, Africa, and the Americas. Art is studied within historical and cultural contexts. Gallery tours augument slide-lecture instruction. 3:0:3

Educational Philosophy:

The instructor's educational philosophy is one of interactiveness based on lectures, readings, quizzes, examinations, and gallery/museum tours. The instructor will engage each learner in what is referred to as disputatious learning to encourage the lively exploration of ideas, issues and contradictions.

Art History IS fun. But you must understand the foundations first.

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. Recognize and identify the special stylistic characteristics of the arts from the wide range of civilizations and cultures addressed in this course.
  2. Discuss some of the ways specific civilizations and cultures are directly reflected in their art and architecture.
  3. Use the specialized language of art and architecture, both orally and in writing, to discuss and respond to art.
  4. Observe art with greater perception (a “trained eye”) and an ability to begin interpreting both its form and its content.

  Instructor Learning Outcomes
  1. How to research information
  2. How to think critically
  3. How to organize your thoughts about a work
  4. How to communicate your knowledge to others in a clear, effective manner
Core Assessment:

For a due date, please check the course syllabus or course overview. 

·         The paper should be approximately 750 words in length. (give or take 10% - absolutely no more than 1250)

·         Your focus will be on a single work of art.

·         NO RESEARCH is necessary.

Your Trip to the Museum:

You will choose a work of art from a local museum. (If you do not have access to a museum near you, please choose an object that interests you from a museum or gallery website on-line. If you must work from a photo found on-line, try looking for multiple views or details on multiple sites.) 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.

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 called a response essay. You do not need to research anything. You will visit the museum, choose a work of art, and write the essay based only on what you can see. 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.

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

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

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

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

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. Your own sketch does not need to be professional quality.)

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

Mechanics of the Paper:

·         The paper should be approximately 750 words in length. (give or take 10% - absolutely no more than 1250). This will turn out to be 3-5 pages in length

·        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.  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:

Each week, you will have regular learning activities:

  • Lecture - These will be in the form of multimedia presentations
  • Discussion - Respond at least once to each topic for that week with meaningful responses (i.e. NOT just Yes or No). In addition, for each discussion question, you should respond to at least one other student post.
  • Response Essay Assignment - Discuss a specific art object in a formal essay.

Refer to the Course Schedule in the Course Home menu for more detailed information on the learning assignments and assessments.


  • Participation in Discussions - 80 points
    • Quizzes - 120 points
    • 2 Exams - 100 total points
    • Response Paper - 100 points
    • Proctored Final Exam - 100 points

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).  Students may NOT make up quizzes or exams missed because of an unexcused absence.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

Be respectful of one another, please. And respect the rules of the syllabus.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

The Announcements tool in eCollege is an important way we communicate with you during the course. Please read each of the Weekly Announcements, including the FAQ's and the Home Page for each week in the course. I will be posting updates on that page.

Follow the procedures for submission of electronic assignments.

About the Discussions

At least one substantial response (i.e. NOT just a simple statement) to each discussion topic must be posted by midnight Thursday of each week. I will deduct several points if you do not. In addition, each student should respond to at least one other posting per topic by midnight Sunday.  I will have to deduct a point if you do not. You will get more out of the class in this way and I strongly suggest you log in preferably every other day to keep up with the discussions -- even if you do not post.  Discussion postings should reflect your opinion of the topics. Provide research and reference/citation for critical information that you obtained to back up and support your thoughts. Please give thoughtful substance to your contribution -- brief comments such as "awesome" won't apply. 

In addition, each student should respond to at least one other student posting per discussion board offering substantial topic-related content, data, new research and/or ideas to the discussion. It is also helpful to add a critical question for the other student. Responding to more students and to the professor may increase your grade only if you add even more substantial content to the discussion. No points are earned by simply responding “Yes,” “Good work,” or “I agree,” etc. 

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 students and faculty members are encouraged to take advantage of the University resources available for learning about academic honesty ( or Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 95-96

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. from Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 95

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, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  3. 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".
  4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
ONLINE NOTE: Students must participate in an academically related activity on a weekly basis in order to be marked present in an online class. Examples of academically-related activities include but are not limited to: contributing to an online discussion, completing a quiz or exam, completing an assignment, initiating contact with a faculty member to ask a course related question, or using any of the learning management system tools.

Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 98

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: .

Additional Information:
This is largely a self-study and self-guided class. There is an enormous about of information to learn in a VERY short time. Self motivation is important. I am here to assist and guide you in learning. Please do not hesitate to ask me any questions. 



CompetencyExceeds Expectation (3)Meets Expectation (2)Does Not Meet Expectation (1)No Evidence (0)
  Topic chosen is appropriate; work of art is relevant to course; time AND place fall within parameters of course subject matter Time or place of work of art does not fall within parameters of class 
Application-Objective Info                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
 Mentions all: artist's name (if known); culture of origin; date and era; medium; size; name of museum Missing 1 element of the subject's objective info Missing 2 or more elements 
Introduction grasps reader's attention (engages the reader) and forecasts major points; includes brief overall description and thesis Some introduction; missing no more than one of the following elements: description, thesis, forecast Some introduction; only one of the following elements included: description, thesis, forecast No or poor introduction 
Synthesis-Articulation of Thesis                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
 Clear articulation of thesis or argument Some articulation of thesis No or poor articulation of thesis 
Application-Paragraph Development                                                                                                                                                                                                                          
 Paragraphs are consistently well developed, w/ a clear  topic sentence & appropriate number of sentences that provide examples & develop points Some structure and development of paragraphs and/or some with clear topic sentences or focus, but not consistently Poor paragraphs with no clear topic sentence; multiple topics; little or no development 
Application-Use of Examples                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
 Frequent or consistent use of examples & evidence; example or evidence appears whenever the reader asks, “For instance?” Some use of examples or evidence, but not consistent; no examples or evidence in places where they are needed Little or no use of examples 
 Every paragraph works to support the thesis; “linked” paragraphs Occasional tangents; repetition Lack of coherence; i.e. mismatch between the thesis and the body; tangents 
 A conclusion going beyond summary of what was written in the body of the essay Some summary of points made, but nothing beyond summary; no broad conclusions/lessons No or poor conclusion or summary of argument 
Writing has a compelling opening, an informative middle, and a satisfying conclusion Writing has a beginning, a middle, and an end Organization is rough but workable; may sometimes get off topic Writing is aimless and disorganized 
Skill in Communication-Transitions                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
 Strong and/or consistent transition between points in essay; strong flow Some transition or flow between paragraphs; partial structure to argument Little or no transition between paragraphs; poor flow 
Skill in Communication-Sentence                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
Sentences are clear and complete Sentences are well-constructed; some awkward sentences do appear Sentences are often awkward, run-ons, or fragments Run-on sentences and sentence fragments make essay hard to read 
Skill in Communication-Word Choice                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
Words are striking but natural, varied and vivid Some fine and some routine word choices Words often dull or uninspired, or sound like trying too hard to impress Same words over and over; some words may be confusing or used incorrectly 
Skill in Communication-Conventions                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
Correct grammar, punctuation, and spelling; page numbers on bottom of page A few errors to fix, but generally use correct conventions (1-2) Enough errors in essay to make paper distract a reader (3-4) Numerous errors make paper hard to read (5 or more) 
  No factual errors 1 or more facts wrong 
 675 – 1250 words in length 600 – 675 words; over 1250 words Less than 600 words 
  All references correctly cited; includes image References cited incorrectly or no image included 


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Last Updated:10/17/2012 1:56:45 PM