Brooklyn College

Fall  2018


Art 1010

Art: Its History and Meaning

Art History and Its Others


Instructor:       Prof. Gwendolyn Shaw

Lecture:           Monday/Wednesday 9:30-10:45 am, (Section MW9, number 17902), room 5415 Boylan

Credits:           3

Office hours:   Mondays and Wednesdays, before class; other times by appointment in 5109 Boylan

Contact:           gwendolyn.shaw@brooklyn.cuny.edu


Course website: https://art1010shawfall18.commons.gc.cuny.edu/


Course Description

This course will introduce students to major works of art from cultures around the world, spanning ancient to modern periods.  We will focus on developing skills of formal analysis by closely studying works of painting, sculpture, and architecture.  We will also discuss the objects chosen in their historical, political, sociological, and religious contexts in order to better understand their meaning and significance.



Readings for this course will be distributed as links and PDFs via the course site. Types of sources include primary sources, museum websites, scholarly articles, critical essays, and Smarthistory.org essays and videos.


In addition to the readings, this course will require museum visits, most of which offer free entry with a CUNY (or Brooklyn College) ID card. You will be required to visit some if not all of the following:

  • The Brooklyn Museum
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • The Museum of Modern Art
  • The Whitney Museum of American Art
  • Another museum with an emphasis on a Non-Western art and culture (your choice)



Assigned Papers (formal analysis, pedagogy, etc.)                            15%

Museum Visits, Blog Posts, Comments, and Assignments                50%

Daily activity                                                                                      10%

Midterm                                                                                              10%

Final                                                                                                    15%


Accessibility Policy

I will make any and all reasonable accommodations per Brooklyn College and CUNY policy, as well as on an as needed basis. Please see me or the office in charge of Disability Services for assistance.


Attendance Policy

Not surprisingly, students who attend class often do better than those who do not. Chronic lateness and absences will adversely affect your grade.


Attending class and being present is about more than just being physically in class: when you are distracted by technology, devices, conversations, etc., you are not able to be fully present in class. Please be responsible and respectful with your devices, conversation, and other items that demand your attention.


A note on blog posts: In general, I expect blog posts to be about 200-250 words long. Assigned “papers” and more substantial writings (often ones that have their own assignment page) should be longer and more thoughtful, about 500-600 words. EVERY BLOG POST SHOULD INCLUDE A PICTURE! Be sure to make that picture the “featured image” on the post. Otherwise our site will look ugly. All work for this course should be submitted via the site.


Assignments turned in late will be docked one full letter grade/ten percentage points, meaning that the highest grade you could hope to receive on any late work submitted would be a B. Please be in touch if you are unable to meet due dates for support or an extension.


Course Outline


Unit 1: Introduction 1 Mon 8/27 Introduction
Wed 8/29 No Class (just this one)
2 Mon 9/3 No Class
Wed CUNY Monday 9/5 Critical Pedagogy
3 Mon 9/10 No Class
Wed 9/12 Formal Analysis
4 Mon 9/17 Formal Analysis
Wed 9/19 No Class
Unit 2: That which is said to have happened 5 Mon 9/24 Art of the Ancient World
Wed 9/26 Art of the Ancient World
6 Mon 10/1 Art of the Ancient World
Wed 10/3
7 Mon 10/8 No class
Wed 10/10 Rediscovery of the Ancient World: The Renaissance
8 Mon 10/15 Renaissance
Wed 10/17 Renaissance
9 Mon 10/22 Renaissance and Baroque
Wed 10/24 Renaissance and Baroque
Unit 3: Critical Art Histories 10 Mon 10/29 Art of the Enlightenment
Wed 10/31 Art of the Enlightenment
11 Mon 11/5 Art of the Enlightenment
Wed 11/7 Critical Art Histories
12 Mon 11/12 Critical Art Histories
Wed 11/14 Women and Art
13 Mon 11/19 Women and Art
Wed 11/21 Women and Art
14 Mon 11/26 Colonialism and Art
Wed 11/28 Colonialism and Art
15 Mon 12/3 TBA
Wed 12/5 TBA
16 Mon 12/10 TBA
Wed 12/12 TBA