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ARTH 101: Ancient to Medieval Art

Fall, 2011
Michael Tinkler

Houghton House Room 211
Telephone: (315) 781-3489
Fall 2011 office hours - Houghton House - Wednesday 10.10-12.00
Houghton House - Friday 10.10-12.00
Scandling Center Cafe - Tuesday, 11.30-12.30
or by appointment

Outcomes and objectives
Attendance policy
Grading Scale
Typical graded material
Image Identification Information
Important dates
Online aspects of this course
Image review

Course Description

This course offers a chronological study of principal monuments and developments in painting, sculpture, and architecture from prehistoric to medieval times in Europe.

Students will work to acquire the skills of visual analysis of art objects in different media. They will learn to discuss and to write about art using technical terminology and demonstrating clear thought.


How this course works with the Colleges' 8 Goals:

This course will help students address Goal 1 (Develop skills for effective communication: listening, reading, writing, speaking.), Goal 6 (Develop an intellectually grounded foundation for understanding differences and inequalities of gender, race and class.), and Goal 7 (Acquire critical knowledge of the multiplicity of world cultures.).


From the Art Department Assessment document, spring, 2005:

"In the introductory 100-level courses required of Art History majors, students will perform formal analyses of art objects in a variety of media. They will display familiarity with the technical and critical vocabulary of the history of art. Students will distinguish between media and historic periods and cultural traditions. Students choose two from four 100-level courses in which they develop visual literacy, analysis of form and composition, art historical concepts, principles, and contexts."


Stokstad, History of Art, vol I, 4th ed. (only this edition!)
Barnet, A Short Guide to Writing About Art

Grade percentages

Typical graded material

Typical TEST format
How to do image identifications
Typical WRITING assignments

Attendance Policy

Of course if you don't attend you won't do very well. Visual material will often seem very different in color and in large scale on the wall from its appearance in black and white in a small paperback book, so if you don't see both, your work will suffer.

There will be no make ups for in class work based on attendance other than religious holidays or via notification from the deans. It's up to you. However, if you miss class repeatedly I will notify the Dean's Office of your college.

Attendance and Religious Holidays: "The Colleges accept the responsibility of making available to each student who is absent from class because of religious obligations and practices an equivalent opportunity to make up any examination, study or work requirement missed." To take advantage of this opportunity you must inform me in advance of any religious holidays when you will be out of class. I do my best to avoid religious holidays with regard to tests and due dates, but there are times when that it impossible. Please talk to me if you have any difficulties!

On Writing Assignments

I am always happy to read a rough draft of any writing assignment - either during office hours, by appointment, or via email. A rough draft is a clean, proofread, word-processed copy of what you are working on. Notes are not enough, though I am willing to talk about the direction you are heading in with your written work.
Showing me a rough draft does not guarantee you an A paper. I think it would be hard to show me a rough draft and do the work I suggest and get an F or a D, but I do give a C in that circumstance.

Here are some typical paper assignments

Content Grade Distribution
(before my comments on grammar and style)
A - excellent analysis of the work of art showing thought beyond the assignment to engagement with the artist’s decision-making process.  Fluent expression, especially in the apt use of the technical terms of art history.
B - good  analysis of the work of art and clear engagement with the assignment.
C - competent completion of the assignment, but no more.  Many aspects of the assignment dealt with in one sentence.
D - partial completion of the assignment, without evidence of thought or analysis.  If the assignment demanded that you write about an object the paper shows signs that you wrote about a photograph or paid a very cursory visit.
F - no sign of effort or engagement with a real object. 

On Quizzes

     You will be taking quizzes using Blackboard.  If you are not already familiar with Blackboard become so quickly.  These quizzes count for 5% of your total grade  They can only be taken during a limited timeframe.  If you miss that time frame you will not be allowed to make up the quiz.

On Image Quizzes and Tests

     It is not unhelpful to think of Art 101 as being something like an introductory Biology course - there are lots of new terms to memorize in order to discuss new things.   You do have to do memory work.  You do have to learn to use terms correctly.  Image review - via the online image reviews - will help you memorize images.  My notes on how to identify images will help you know what you should study for the identifications. Online quizzes via Blackboard will help you learn to use technical terms with fluency and accuracy.

Important Dates

Monday, August 29th - First Class
Friday, September 2 - Last day to drop/add courses
October 10 - no class - Midterm break
November 23 & 25 - no class - Thanksgiving Break
December 9 - Last class
Friday, December 16, - 1.30-4.30 - FINAL EXAM
I do not give early final examinations except for CTL accommodation purposes. Make your travel arrangements accordingly.

Online Aspects of this course

We will use Blackboard all the time in this course for gradebook functions, contact functions, discussion boards, and assessments. If you are not a regular email checker, get used to it. I use email constantly and will not accept "but I didn't check my email" as an excuse.

Image review

We offer the possibility for online image review via the Artifact Image Reviews page.


Image review via Artifact

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