ARTH 282 Spring 2017
COURSE DESCRIPTION This course examines the development of the visual arts in Western Europe from 1830 to 1900 as it relates to two concepts, modernity and modernism. Modernity generally refers to a perceived rupture with the immediate past evident in the formation of new political systems, industrialized labor relations, urban expansion, increasingly rapid forms of transportation and communication, ever-changing fashions and entertainment, shifting gender roles, and a growing sense of alienation. In the visual arts, modernism denotes artists that aspire to voice and contest, through innovative visual languages, these hallmarks of modernity.
Organized chronologically, the course focuses on the modern art of France throughout the nineteenth century but, at key moments, also surveys the emergence of modern art elsewhere in Europe. Though paintings constitute the primary visual material for the course, significant developments in photography, posters, and sculpture are the subject of several lectures and readings. More broadly, the course considers three central themes: the relationship between modernity and its visual expression, the social and political contexts that illuminate the circumstances of artistic production, and changing approaches to art-historical interpretation.
COURSE GOALS 1. To recognize and comprehend major issues of scholarly interest in European modern art of the nineteenth century, including overarching themes, movements, and signal artists and artworks. 2. To understand the complexity both of the past and of interpretative approaches to it. 3. To combine different forms of analysis—visual, textual, and contextual—to produce sophisticated interpretations of artworks. 4. To develop research skills in the history of art. 5. To improve communication skills, both written and oral.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS 1. Regular course attendance (graded indirectly). 2. Participation in class discussions (10%). 3. Critical summaries of five readings, each one to two pages in length (5%). 4. Four-page primary document exercise, due February 13 (15%). 5. Midterm Exam, March 6 (20%). 6. Research Paper, consisting of an annotated bibliography and a set of research questions, due March 27 (5%), and a final paper of six to eight pages, due on April 17 (20%). 7. Final Exam, May 2 at 12 noon (25%).
COURSE SUPPLEMENTS Students are expected to familiarize themselves with the information contained in this syllabus and in other course documents, all of which will be posted on the Sakai site. Those documents include but are not limited to the “Writing Guide,” “Chicago Style Citation Guide,” assignment specifications, and messages sent from Sakai.
FORMAT Each week is structured as two lectures and one discussion (marked “D” next to the date on the schedule), though the particular configuration of a given week may vary. Occasionally lectures may carry over to discussion days and discussions may resume before scheduled lectures begin, as I deem appropriate.
READINGS Readings should be completed by the dates indicated on the schedule. Students are strongly encouraged to bring hard copies of the readings to discussions. As this course is reading intensive, I advise you to take thorough notes on all the readings.
Available for Purchase at Student Stores and on 4-Hour Reserve in Sloane Art Library Mary Tompkins Lewis, ed., Critical Readings in Impressionism and Post-Impressionism: An Anthology (CR) Michelle Facos, Symbolist Art in Context (Facos)
Availability of Other Texts Sources other than those noted above will frequently be the focus of discussion and will be available through the electronic course reserve, via Sakai.
COURSE REQUIRMENT DETAILS Additional specifications for assignments will be posted on Sakai and announced in class. Students are responsible for checking their emails regularly.
Late papers will be marked down one-third of a letter grade per day.
Extensions and make-ups are granted sparingly and only at my discretion. Contact me at least one week in advance to discuss an extension, unless related to serious illness or family emergency. Sufficient documentation will be required for any consideration for a make-up exam or quiz.
Attendance Students are expected to attend all class meetings, with no penalty for up to two unexcused absences. Each unexcused absence beyond two will result in the reduction of your final grade by one-third of a letter grade (e.g., from a “B” to “B-“). Instances of repeated or excessive tardiness will be similarly marked down. Reasons for excused absences include religious observance, participation in approved university activities, illness, and family emergencies. Absences due to religious observance and university activities require advanced notice of at least two weeks. Illnesses require a note from a healthcare worker, and family emergencies must be documented by email. For the university’s policies on class attendance, see http://www.unc.edu/ugradbulletin/procedures1.html#class_attendance.
Participation Students will be graded according to both the quantity and quality of their participation on a three-tier scale (unsatisfactory, satisfactory, superb). Failure to contribute to discussions will constitute unsatisfactory participation, the equivalent of a “C” for this component of your final grade. Infrequent remarks of sufficient quality will qualify as satisfactory and receive a “B”. Regular and outstanding participation will be marked superb, which will receive an “A.”
All forms of participation are encouraged during lectures and discussions. Please speak to me if for any reason you believe you will have difficulty participating in class.
Critical Summaries Students will select five readings assigned for discussion and write a one- to two-page critical summary of each. These summaries should paraphrase the thesis of the text and the major arguments the author uses to support it. They should also consider the kinds of evidence used and how they facilitate or, in certain cases, detract from the argument. As critical summaries, these papers should explore the implications of these arguments and the questions they raise but do not explicitly address.
Summaries must be submitted on the day the text you address will be discussed. Three of the five summaries must be submitted before the midterm exam; the remaining two will be submitted after the midterm exam but before the final day of class. Only one summary may be submitted per week.
Primary Document Exercise This exercise requires students to compare and contrast two primary texts associated with major avant-garde groups. Using these texts, students should form an argument about the authors’ competing conceptions of art, the place of artists in society, and the relationships among art, theory, and history.
Midterm Exam The midterm exam consists of four parts: slide identifications, term identifications, short answers, and an essay question. You are responsible for knowing the artist, title, medium/media, and approximate date (within the decade of its production; e.g., 1870 for a painting produced in 1878) of the artworks included in the weekly review PowerPoints on Sakai, regardless of their inclusion in lecture.
Research Paper In the research paper students will explore a topic chosen in consultation with me, focused either on a particular artwork and its relation to the artist’s aesthetic, social, or political position and thought or on a problem evident in a set of works. Students will first submit a bibliography with brief, three to four-sentence annotations, and a set of questions devised to guide research. The final paper should explicitly state how it addresses the research questions and advance an original, logically developed argument.
Final Exam The final exam will be two hours-long and will follow the same format as the midterm, except for the inclusion of a long essay in which students will respond to one of several pre-circulated questions based on the overarching themes of the course.
GRADES This course adheres to the university’s undergraduate grade definitions (see http://registrar.unc.edu/academic-services/grades/explanation-of-grading-system/#details-0-1). All assignments will be evaluated on a scale of 1-100. The numeric scale for letter grades is defined thusly: A = 100-93; A- = 92.9-90; B+ = 89.9-87; B = 86.9-83; B- = 82.9-80; C+ = 79.9-77; C = 76.9-73; C- = 72.9-70; D+ = 69.9-67; D = 66.9-60; F = 59.9 and below.
ACCOMMODATIONS Students are responsible for volunteering information about conditions that may require special accommodation and must contact the Accessibility Resources and Service Office (ARS) to make those arrangements. Accommodations take time to implement fully, so please speak to ARS and me at the beginning of the semester to ensure their timely approval.
HONOR CODE Students are expected to be familiar with and abide by the Instrument of Student Judicial Governance, available online at http://instrument.unc.edu/instrument.text.html. Section II.B clearly prohibits academic dishonesty, forms of which include plagiarism, unauthorized assistance or collaboration, and cheating. See Section II.B for further explanations of the University’s policies. If you have questions about what constitutes plagiarism, please see me.
Students are encouraged to seek help from the Writing Center for all papers.
ELECTRONICS POLICY Students are not permitted to use electronic devices during lectures, though they may use computers or tablets to consult readings during discussion. Student who violate this policy may be asked to leave for the remainder of the class period or counted as absent for the day. Taking notes, and the synthesis it requires, is an important skill best learned by hand. Students are encouraged to bring hard copies of the readings and related notes for all discussions.
SCHEDULE This schedule is subject to change for a number of reasons, not all of which are foreseeable. To the extent of my ability I will announce changes one week in advance through UNC email.
Week 1 Jan 11 Introduction: Art, History, and Modernism Jan 13 The Academy: An Institution under Pressure
Week 2 Jan 16 No Class, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Jan 18 Modern Media: Prints and Photography Jan 20 (D) Commercialism, the Flâneur, and the City Richard Wrigley, “Unreliable Witness: The Flâneur as Artist and Spectator in Nineteenth-Century Paris,” Oxford Art Journal 39, no. 2 (2016): 267-284. David Harvey, Paris, Capital of Modernity (New York and London: Routledge, 2003), 209-224.
Week 3 Jan 23 Realism and Revolution Jan 25 Courbet, Millet, and “The Art of the Moderns” Jan 27 (D) In Search of an Avant-Garde Linda Nochlin, “The Invention of the Avant-Garde,” in her The Politics of Vision: Essays on Nineteenth-Century Art and Society (Boulder, CO: Icon Editions, 1989), 1-18. Théophile Gautier, “Art in 1848,” in Art in Theory, 1815-1900: An Anthology of Changing Ideas, eds. Charles Harrison, Paul Wood, and Jason Gaiger (Oxford: Blackwell, 1998), 315-320. Champfleury, “The Burial at Ornans,” in Art in Theory, 366-70.
Week 4 Jan 30 British Art between Tradition and Innovation Feb 1 The Art and Politics of Orientalism Feb 3 (D) Empire and Photography Linda Nochlin, “The Imaginary Orient,” in her The Politics of Vision: Essays on Nineteenth-Century Art and Society, 33-59. Luke Gartlan, “Dandies on the Pyramids: Photography and German- Speaking Artists in Cairo,” in Photography’s Orientalism: New Essays on Colonial Representation, eds. Ali Behdad and Luke Gartlan (Los Angeles: The Getty Research Institute, 2013), 129-152. Week 5 Feb 6 Modernism and the Reinvigoration of Tradition: Manet and Degas Feb 8 Scandal, Politics, and History in Manet’s Painting Feb 10 (D) Forms of Exclusion: Censorship and the Salon John House, “Manet’s Maximilian: History Painting, Censorship, and Ambiguity,” in Manet and the Execution of Maximilian: Painting, Politics, and Censorship, ed. Juliet Wilson-Bareau (London: National Gallery Publications, 1992). Patricia Mainardi, Art and Politics of the Second Empire: The Universal Expositions of 1855 and 1867 (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1987), 135-150.
Week 6 Primary Document Exercise Due: February 13 Feb 13 The Emergence of Impressionism Feb 15 Impressionism for or against the Salon Feb 17 (D) Painting the Market, Marketing Painting CR, Nicholas Green, “Dealing in Temperaments: Economic Transformation of the Artistic Field in France during the Second Half of the Nineteenth Century.” Carol Armstrong, “Counter, Mirror, Maid: Some Infra-Thin Notes on A Bar at the Folies-Bergère,” in 12 Views of Manet’s Bar, ed. Bradford R. Collins (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1996) 25-46.
Week 7 Feb 20 Impressionist Motifs: Recording Modernity in the City and Landscape Feb 22 Impressionists at the Margins Feb 24 (D) Space and Time in Impressionism CR, T.J. Clark, “The Environs of Paris.” Marnin Young, Realism in the Age of Impressionism: Painting and the Politics of Time (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2015), 53-90.
Week 8 Feb 27 Women, Gender, and Class in Impressionism Mar 1 (D) Gender and Impressionism Griselda Pollock, “Modernity and the Spaces of Femininity,” in her Vision and Difference: Femininity, Feminism and Histories of Art (London and New York: Routledge, 1988), 50-91. CR, Tamar Garb, “Berthe Morisot and the Feminizing of Impressionism.” Mar 3 Impressionism Floundering
Week 9 Mar 6 Midterm Exam Mar 8 Nineteenth-Century Sculpture Mar 10 (D) Art in the Shadow of Two Defeats: The Franco-Prussian War and the Commune André Dombrowski, “History, Memory, and Instantaneity in Edgar Degas’s Place de la Concorde,” The Art Bulletin 93, no. 2 (June 2011): 195- 219. Alastair Wright, “Mourning, Painting, and the Commune: Maximilien Luce’s A Paris Street in 1871,” Oxford Art Journal 32, no. 2 (June 2009): 223- 242.
Week 10 Mar 20 Reactions to Impressionism: Seurat and the Neo-Impressionists Mar 22 Research Session Mar 24 (D) The Radical Politics of Neo-Impressionism Richard Thomson, “Ruins, Rhetoric, and Revolution: Paul Signac’s Le Démolisseur and Anarchism in the 1890s,” Art History 36, no. 2 (April 2013): 366-391. CR, Linda Nochlin, “Seurat’s Grande Jatte: An Anti-Utopian Allegory.”
Event: Art Student Graduate Organization Symposium, “Art, Media, and Social Unrest,” March 24 and 25. Keynote Speakers art historian Hannah Feldman, Northwestern University, and digital artist Hasan Elahi, University of Maryland-College Park
Week 11 Annotated Bibliography Due: March 27 Mar 27 Cézanne’s Beginnings Mar 29 Maturing Modernism: Cézanne after 1877 Mar 31 (D) Sex and Form in Cézanne’s Painting CR, Richard Shiff, “Mark, Motif, Materiality.” Meyer Schapiro, “The Apples of Cézanne: An Essay on the Meaning of Still-Life,” in his Modern Art: 19th and 20th Centuries, Selected Papers (New York: George Braziller, 1979), 1-38.
Week 12 Apr 3 Impressionism Past Its Prime: 1890s on Apr 5 Symbolism: Gauguin in Pont-Aven Apr 7 The Beginnings of Symbolism Fred Orton and Griselda Pollock, “Les données bretonnantes: la Prairie de Représentation,” in their Avant-Gardes and Partisans Reviewed (Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press, 1996), 53-88. CR, Deborah Silverman, “At the Threshold of Symbolism.”
Week 13 Apr 10 Symbolism: Van Gogh and the World as Self Apr 12 (D) Defining Symbolism: Movement or Sensibility? Facos, Introduction and chapters 1 through 3. Peter Cooke, “Gustave Moreau and the Reinvention of History Painting,” Art Bulletin 90, no. 3 (September 2008): 394-416. Apr 14 No Class, University Holiday
Week 14 Research Paper Due: April 17 Apr 17 Art Nouveau and International Modernism Apr 19 (D) International Inspiration Anna Jackson, “Orient and Occident,” in Art Nouveau: 1890 – 1914, ed. Paul Greenhalgh (London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 2000), 100-113. Beth Irwin Lewis, Art for All? The Collision of Modern Art and the Public in Late-Nineteenth-Century Germany (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2003), 267-311. Apr 21 Fin-de-Siècle Print Culture
Week 15 Apr 24 Painting the Decorative: Vuillard and Bonnard Apr 26 Painting the Primitive: Gauguin and Rousseau Apr 28 (D) Modernism at the End of the Century Abigail Solomon-Godeau, “Going Native: Paul Gauguin and the Invention of Primitivist Modernism,” in Modern Art and Society: An Anthology of Social and Multicultural Readings, ed. Maurice Berger (New York: Icon Editions, 1994), 73-94. Gloria Groom, “Coming of Age: Patrons and Projects, 1890-99,” in her Beyond the Easel: Decorative Painting by Bonnard, Vuillard, Denis, and Roussel (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2001), 31-57.
May 2 Final Exam, 12 noon