ARTH 554
The Matrix and the Market: Printmaking and Photography in the Nineteenth Century Spring 2017
Division I
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During the last half of the 19th century, technical, commercial, and aesthetic approaches to printmaking and photography experienced dramatic paradigm shifts. Etching, for example, simultaneously functioned as a reproductive medium and one that carried experimental, vanguard associations. Practitioners of lithography strove to distance themselves from denigrating commercialism and raise the medium’s status to a respected art form. Photography, in turn, negotiated the boundaries between “documentary” and “artistic.” This seminar will address the complex issues that swirled around printmaking and photographic matrices, critical responses to the various processes, artist-driven initiatives, and the formative role of the art market and book trade in shaping popular opinion. We will consider these topics across political and geographic borders from Europe to the United States, reading both primary and secondary sources. The class will be held in the new Manton Study Center for Works on paper with visits to Chapin library and the Williams College Museum of Art likely.
The Class: Type: seminar
Limit: 12
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: students will be responsible for readings and involved class discussion; several short and one long presentation; and a final paper (20-25 pages)
Enrollment Preferences: Graduate Program students and then to senior Art History majors
Distributions: Division I

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