Art documents a particular culture, its goals, its standards of beauty, and serves as a window to another time and place. This introductory survey course focuses on works of art and architecture created by the cultures we will encounter on our voyage and relates them to their historical, political, religious and social contexts. We will also examine innovations in technique, style, and aesthetics that place key objects and monuments in the larger course of global culture and art history.
Using illustrated lectures and classroom discussions, we will learn by means of visual analysis how to identify formal methods and materials of artistic expression based on culturally specific definitions of a particular ideal. We will study the basics of world religions as expressed in art and architecture, including Islam and Christianity, as well as indigenous and blended traditions, dating from ancient to modern times.
Field WorkCountry: Greece
Day: 1 - Tuesday, 6 October
This field lab will visit a series of sites associated with classical Greek civilization. We will tour the Acropolis, a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site that includes the Parthenon and the Temple of Athena Nike. During our visit, we will study the different styles of classical architecture as well as later phases of construction and modification. After lunch, we will visit the National Archaeological Museum, where we will use first-hand examination to learn how to better identify artworks of early Mediterranean civilizations, including the Minoan, Mycenean, and Egyptian, in addition to objects created in classical Greece. The field lab will expose students to the differences between original and secondary contexts, as well as to associated concerns such as restoration, conservation and repatriation of cultural heritage objects and monuments. Academic Objectives: 1. To identify the ways in which power and religious beliefs were communicated through early Greek architecture 2. Study and analyze the similarities and differences in the visual material produced by early Mediterranean cultures 3. Learn to recognize characteristics of classical art and architecture, and understand their significance in their respective religious, social and political contexts.