ARTH 558 Fall 2012 Reading Impressionism

In this seminar we study the rich and often provocative critical literature focused on the French Impressionist movement, from its emergence in Paris in the 1870s up to the present day. Our focus will be on essays, books, and exhibition catalogues that address Impressionism as a whole, rather than studies of the work of individual artists. We will address a variety of critical and historical issues: How do we define Impressionism? Which artists can be included under the term "Impressionist?" What were the first critical responses to Impressionism in the 1870s? Is Impressionism a matter of technique or subject? How has our understanding of Impressionism changed along with the discipline of art history? Readings will draw upon early critical reviews of the eight Impressionist group shows held between 1874 and 1886; formalist critiques of the first half of the twentieth century (and later); biographical approaches; studies of technique and artistic practice; and social histories of art. We will pay special attention to the role played by exhibitions and exhibition catalogues in our evolving understanding of Impressionism.
Class Format: seminar
Requirements/Evaluation: based on class participation, weekly summaries of readings, reading reports (distributed in advance and discussed in class) and one short, end-of-semester paper of 10-15 pages based on a work of art
Additional Info: reading knowledge of French is helpful.; a field trip to New York is likely
Additional Info2: not available for the Gaudino or Pass/Fail options
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preference: preference given to Graduate Program students and then to senior Art History majors
Department Notes: satisfies the seminar requirement for the undergraduate Art History major
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Distribution Notes:
Divisional Attributes: Division I
Other Attributes:
Enrollment Limit: 14
Expected Enrollment:
Class Number: 1806
ARTH558-01(F) SEM Reading Impressionism Division 1: Languages and the Arts Richard Rand
M 1:10 PM-3:50 PM Clark Art Seminar Room 1806
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