ARTH 103
Survey of Western Art I

Fall 2006
Tuesday 10-12:45. Oliver Hall 1031


Dr. Dina Bangdel
Department of Art History
Virginia Commonwealth University

Office: Buford Hall 302

Office Hrs.  Thurs. 1:30-3:30 or by appt.
Phone: 628-7037
Email: dbangdel@vcu.edu

Course Objectives:
This course covers the history of Western Art from the prehistoric era through the Gothic period that is roughly 25,000 BCE to the 14th century.  The images, artworks and artifacts reproduced in the textbook comprise just a small selection of the total visual environments of these periods, but are considered the most characteristic or representative of their societies.  Our task is to assess the meanings and impacts these images had for their audiences by trying to understand them from the perspective of the people who made and used them.  To do this, we will place the artworks within the broader social, political, religious and artistic contexts of their culture; at the same time, we will see how the work of art both “fits” within that culture and gives expression to it.
Course Format:
Since we meet only once a week, we will have 2 1/2 hours of class that will be a combination of lectures, video, and discussion.  Attendance will be extremely important to get a good grade in the course.

Art History, Revised Second Edition, Volume One,  Marilyn Stokstad, 2005.
Cabell Library has one non-circulating copy available in the Reference section. Copies may be purchased at the VCU Campus Bookstore at 1111 W. Broad Street. Specific readings are listed on the Lecture Schedule.
The course will draw heavily upon this text and its pictures.  The student should keep up to date with the reading assignments and study the pictures closely.  You should prepare for each class by reading thoroughly the introductory sections for each chapter and then read concentrating your reading on the works given in the monument list. Be sure to include all the bold faced words in the chapter, which provide essential vocabulary for the discussion of art; a glossary is located at the end of the Stokstad text. 

Monument List:
There are more than 1600 illustrations in your textbook!  I have chosen only about 100 works of art from your text that I will focus on throughout the course.  I have made a list of these works with the facts that I want you to memorize, such as title, artist, period or style, date, media, and locations.  Each period also has a list of vocabulary words that you should know. 

Blackboard and Website:
Powerpoint class lectures will be posted on Blackboard. Copies of the complete syllabus are available through the Blackboard web site at http://blackboard.vcu.edu/, under this course listing. Students should check the Blackboard site periodically for course announcements.

The works of art that you are required to know for the class will also be on the web under ARTH 103. The URL is: http://www.people.vcu.edu/~dbangdel/

There will be 4 exams throughout the semester (See Lecture Schedule). Exam questions are drawn from reading assignments, required images and terms lists, and lecture topics, so assigned readings and regular lecture attendance is required for a good grade in the course. These exams will be computer-graded multiple-choice tests. The final exam is not cumulative, but the critical techniques and terminology taught in the course and the concepts discussed are interdependent and will naturally build as the course progresses.
You may also choose to do one short written assignment, as extra credit assignment to improve your grade. The score for the extra credit will be based on the overall improvement of tests, rather than solely for the written assignment.

There will be NO make-up exams, except in the case of a illness or family medical emergency.  You will need a signed excuse from your doctor or family member.

Attendance is required at all scheduled class meetings, and roll is taken at each class. You are allowed two (2) unexcused absence during the entire semester. Additional absences will result in the lowering of the final course grade by one full letter grade for each excessive absence. The only acceptable excuse for an absence is a dated note from a certified medical doctor or facility, or a note of excuse from the Dean of the School of the Arts; no other excuses will be allowed.
Exam 1:                                               22%
Exam 2:                                               22%
Exam 3:                                               22%

Final Exam                                          22%
Attendence/Discussion:                       12%

            Total:                                       100%


The VCU Honor System:
All students are subject to the policies and regulations of the VCU Honor System. It is the student’s responsibility to familiarize themselves with the honor system as presented in the Schedule of Classes, the VCU Resource Guide, and the Undergraduate Bulletin, or on the VCU web site at:

NOTE: Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 require Virginia Commonwealth University to provide academic adjustments or accommodations for students with documented disabilities. Students seeking academic adjustments or accommodations must self-identify with the Coordinator of Services for Students with Disabilities on the appropriate campus. After meeting with the Coordinator, students are encouraged to meet with instructors to discuss their needs and, if applicable, any laboratory safety concerns related to their disabilities. Academic Campus Coordinator of Services for Students with Disabilities: 828-1139


Lecture Schedule (note: subject to change)

WK 1: August 29       Introduction/Prehistoric Art in Europe
                                    (I am in Tibet for a research trip; will meet the class next week)

WK 2: Sept 5  Ch. 1 Prehistoric Art in Europe (cont’d)
                                    Ch. 2  Art of the Ancient Near East

WK 3: Sept 12:           Ch. 2  Art of the Ancient Near East (cont’d)
                                    Ch. 3  Art of Ancient Egypt

WK 4: Sept 19            Ch. 3  Art of Ancient Egypt (con’d)

WK 5: Sept 26            Exam I (First hour)
                                    Ch. 4: Aegean Art

WK 6:Oct 3                Ch. 5  Greek Art I

WK 7: Oct 10 Ch. 5. Greek Art (cont’d)
                                    Ch. 6  Roman Art

WK 8: Oct 17 Ch. 6 Roman Art (cont’d)

WK 9:Oct 24              Exam II (First Hour)
                                    Ch. 7 Early Christian/Byzantine


WK 10:Oct 31            Ch.7 Early Christian and Byzantine Art (cont’d)
Ch. 14 Early Medieval Art in Europe

WK 11:Nov 7 Ch. 14 Early Medieval Art in Europe (cont’d)
Ch. 15 Romanesque Art

WK 12: Nov 14          Exam III (First Hour)
                                    Video: Gothic Art

WK 13:Nov 21           Gothic Art
WK 14: Nov 28          Ch. 16. Gothic Art (cont’d)
                        Ch. 17. Early Renaissance


WK 15: Dec 5 Ch 17.  Early Renaissance