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General Information

Course name

Arts and Culture of the USA


ECTS Credits

4

Semester

winter




Aims

The aim of this course is to develop and improve essential analytical skills in dealing with American culture and art, and to acquire knowledge of historical development of the Fine Arts in USA. The course is designed to provide students with information about the most vital eras important in the overall development of a distinctive American tradition in Arts, and to incite students‘ very own interpretation of individual works of art and. The course embraces eras and periods starting from Colonial America until late 20th century contemporary USA, focusing on both mainstream and ethnic traditions, and all means of artistic production (visual art as well as audiovisual art of the 20th century). In its essence, the main objective of the course is to present information about the development of art in coherence with wider social, cultural but also political contexts that substantially continue to contribute to the expression of American art.

Contents

Week 1:
Introduction


Week 2:
The Art and Identity in the British Colonies in America Portraiture – Ch.W.Peale, J.S.Copley, G.Stuart The Grand Tour – Benjamin West Reading – Of Plimoth Plantation Extra – Potraiture


Week3: Post-Revolutionary America
The Hudson River School and Landscape Painting
Folk Art
American Scenes of Everyday Life
Reading – Alexis deTocqueville, The Influences of Democracy upon Science and the Arts, Two Weeks in the Wilderness
Extra – American Treasury, Landscape Painting


Week 4:
America comes of Age 1876-1900
American Impressionism - Childe Hassam, M.S. Cassatt
Gilded Age and Realism
The Ashcan School – R.Henri, G.Bellows, G.Sloan
Extra – American Ephemera


Week 5:
Photography
The Daguerreian Era and the Rise of Amateur Photography
Pictorialism
A.Stieglitz and His Circle
Reading – Susan Sontag, America seen through Photographs, darkly
Extra – More than Mere Photographs


Week 6:
Presentations


Week7:
Tutorials


Week 8:
Avant-Garde – M.Duchamp
Modernism – Ch.Sheeler, G.O’Keeffe
Geometric Abstraction
Reading – Walt Whitman, Give Me the Splendid Silent Sun


Week9:
New Deal - Social Realism and Utopia
Documentary imagination and Early Documentary Photography – D.Lange
Regionalism and Ethnic Pluralism


Week 10:
Abstract Expressionism – J.Pollock and the NY School
Pop-Art, The post War print Renaissance
Conceptual Art and Photography – J.Johns Minimalism
Reading – Allen Ginsberg, Howl

Week 11:
Feminist Art
Black Art
1980s and Contemporary Art

Week 12:
Basquiat, The Radiant Child Essay


Week 13:
Discussion


Week 14:
Tutorials



Evaluation

1. Attendance - students are expected to attend each class according to the schedule. No transfers among the groups are allowed. Should the student miss three or more classes, he/she will not receive credits for the course no matter what his/her overall results are. Student must be on time for class or he/she will be marked as absent.


2. Continuous assessment:
Students are expected and required to actively participate in each lesson (active participation = participation in discussions based on having read the required texts and articles), and to present a paper on a chosen topic. Should students fail to provide a presentation, they will not receive credits. Students are required to read all texts given by the lecturer in order to participate in discussions - if they fail to participate in discussions they will be marked absent.


Final assessment:
The final grade will be calculated as a sum of grades - active class participation and presentation (30%), essay (30%) and panel discussion (40%)
FINAL EVALUATION :
A 93-100%
B 86-92%
C 78-85%
D 72-77%
E 65-71%
FX 64 and less


Bibliography

Recommended literature:


Doss, Erika. Twentieth-Century American Art. 1st edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press,2002.


Taylor, Joshua C. The Fine Arts in America. Chicago: The University Press of Chicago, 1979.

Orvell, Miles. American Photography. 1st edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003.

Zinn, Howard. A People's History of the United States. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2003.


The American Art Book. Phaidon. 1999


Sontag, Susan. On Photography. London: Penguin Books, 1978.


Recommended documentary:


Hughes, Robert. American Visions: The Epic History of Art in America. BBC, 1997. Film.

Useful links:
http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hi/te_index.asp?i=America




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