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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Kathryn Bunn-Marcuse
ART H 233
Seattle Campus

Survey of Native Art of the Pacific Northwest Coast

Surveys indigenous art of the Pacific Northwest Coast from the Columbia River in the south to Southeast Alaska in the north and from ancient through contemporary times. Focuses on the historical and cultural contexts of the art and the stylistic differences between tribal and individual artists' styles.

Class description

This course will be a survey of Native art of the Pacific Northwest Coast. We will study art and culture of the Native people of Puget Sound, British Columbia, and Southeast Alaska from ancient times to the present as well as exploring regional styles, with emphasis on aesthetics, cultural function, and factors of change as well as ceremonial and commercial art. Topics will include sovereignty, colonialism, appropriation and other issues of current concern to contemporary indigenous groups. Each week we will look at a different culture area and focus on particular themes within each area.

Student learning goals

This course has multiple goals. The first is to expose students to the art and culture of the indigenous people and to their particular forms of expression through material culture or "art." In addition to gaining an understanding of this particular kind of expression, we will explore the methodologies of art history: learning to look at and describe a work of art both verbally and in writing. Students will experience how working with classmates can enhance comprehension and raise the level of engagement with course materials.

Students will learn to recognize tribal styles and to analyze artworks on a formal and contextual level. Writing assignments will help to develop the skills of written description and argument. We will practice critical reading skills and comparative techniques and apply them to the objects or practices under examination.

General method of instruction

Class meets M,W,F for a mix of lecture and discussion. Students will work in teams to bring small group experiences to a larger class size.

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading

Daily reading assignments paired with short reading responses. Longer written work reflecting the full spectrum of class content.


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.
Additional Information
Last Update by Kathryn Bunn-Marcuse
Date: 03/26/2013