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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Nancy Bishop
ART H 309
Seattle Campus

Topics in Art History

Topics vary.

Class description

Art History 309, Spring 2011. Introduction to Western Medieval Art. This course introduces students to many of the major issues in medieval art: the legacy of and departure from classicism in representational styles, iconoclasm and the role of Christian spirituality in art, and the impact of political and social upheaval on art and architecture. Many vivid illuminated manuscripts survive from the early period, revealing stylistic elements from Celtic and Germanic cultures, long considered marginal. The cult of saints grew over the centuries, driving a new architecture and artworks to decorate and fill it. With the Gothic era came greater complexity and sophistication as artists and designers became known as the geniuses responsible for their masterpieces. Rather than being the “down time? maligned by Renaissance thinkers, the European Middle Ages was a period of cultural transformation wherein the blending of northern and Romans legacies created a cultural map of Europe that remains recognizable today

Student learning goals

A principal goal is to deepen student appreciation for the complexity and diversity of cultural and artistic production in the so-called Middle Ages.

General method of instruction

Methods of instruction: lectures and discussions of assigned readings.

Recommended preparation

Art History 202, or other courses on medieval art/literature/history would provide useful background for the course.

Class assignments and grading

Assignments may include: discussions of weekly readings, quizzes, written examinations (midterm and final), short papers.

Grading will be based on the level of contribution to class discussions and the quality of written work, such as quizzes, exams and papers.


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 Nancy Bishop
Date: 03/10/2011