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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Mary L Hu
ART 354
Seattle Campus

History of Body Adornment

Covers jewelry and other body adornment from Neolithic times to the present, worldwide. Discusses social and cultural relevance of forms, uses, and materials. Emphasis on today's studio craftspeople who make jewelry as a form of aesthetic expression outside the fashion mainstream.

Class description

The topic is vast, as it can be argued that body adornment was man's first visual art form after tool making. An understanding of the roles that jewelry and other forms of body adornment have played in forming and announcing peoples' beliefs, status and personal identity throughout history will be discussed. Although this course is taught from the perspective of a practicing artist-goldsmith and so will focus on jewelry, it will also look briefly at clothing, hairstyles, tattoos, make up and other ways that people over the ages have adorned their bodies to conform to or rebel against social customs. Some time will be spent at the end of the quarter to familiarize students with the contemporary studio jewelry movement in the United States and abroad.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Slide lectures and discussions. This is a broad survey course. Many slides will be shown each lecture period - (Tuesdays and Thursdays), with discussion sessions on Fridays.

Recommended preparation

Interest in the way people visually present themselves, along with an interest in their social and religious beliefs. A knowledge of world history.

Class assignments and grading

Weekly reading assignments plus 2 research papers, one a traditional research of literature, the other includes an interview of a living practitioner.

2 papers,quizzes on reading assignments and class discussions, participation in discussions.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Mary L Hu
Date: 02/10/2006