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Throughout the 2021-22 academic year, we will be prioritising face to face teaching as part of a blended learning approach that builds on the lessons learned over the course of the Coronavirus pandemic. Teaching will vary between online and on-campus delivery through the year, and you should read guidance from the academic department for details of how this will work for a particular module. You can find out more about the University’s overall response to Coronavirus at: https://warwick.ac.uk/coronavirus.

HA1A1-30 Introduction to Art History: The Natural World and the Arts of Modernity

Department
History of Art
Level
Undergraduate Level 1
Module leader
Sarah Walford
Credit value
30
Module duration
10 weeks
Assessment
100% coursework
Study location
University of Warwick main campus, Coventry
Introductory description

This module comprises a series of lectures and related seminars which look at the two themes of The Natural World and The Arts of Modernity. Covering a period from the eighteenth century to the present day, the module will provide a historical survey of western art which - instead of a conventional canonical and chronological approach - employs one which encourages stimulating cross-comparisons across time and space.

Module aims

This module will introduce students to the broad spectrum of images, ideas and approaches which the history of art comprises. Students will acquire a basic grasp of the essential areas which they will need to use as reference points for other modules in the degree. It will also provide a useful introduction to the history of art for students outside the department.
Students will gain a broadly chronological foundation in the relevant factual material and learn core skills of visual analysis, use of specialist vocabulary and methodology, essay writing and seminar presentation essential to their progress.

Outline syllabus

This is an indicative module outline only to give an indication of the sort of topics that may be covered. Actual sessions held may differ.

Landscape Painting in 18th century Britain
Art, Enlightenment and Revolution
Romanticism and the Cult of Nature
The Pre-Raphaelites and Landscape
Painting Modern Life - the Impressionists
Cezanne, Seurat & Symbolism
Cubism
German Expressionism
Berlin Dada
Bauhaus
Brutalism
Abstraction
Conceptual Art
Art and Race
Land Art
Art and the body
Art and the moving image

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students should be able to:

  • Command a broad understanding of key ideas concerning the natural world and the industrialised world in art and art history.
  • Demonstrate an ability to situate these ideas and works within a broader cultural context.
  • Demonstrate familiarity with a range of analytical tools to engage with more specialised, period- or genre-specific courses in the second year.
  • Initiate and sustain group discussion through intelligent questioning and debate at an appropriate level
  • Show understanding of diverse viewpoints and of interpretation in the history of art
  • Ability to undertake research and to write up the results in the form of a well-structured argument at an appropriate level
  • Familiarity with essential ICT skills
  • Ability to collaborate effectively with others
  • Ability to find, select, organize and synthesize evidence
  • Ability to formulate a sustained argument
  • Think conceptually and independently at an appropriate level
  • Sophisticated visual analysis
  • Bibliographical skills at an appropriate level
  • Critical analysis of works of art in their context
  • Interpretation of works of art at an appropriate level
Indicative reading list

Malcolm Andrews, Landscape and Western art (1999)
Mark Antliff and Patricia Leighton, Cubism and culture (2001)
A.Belloli, ed. A day in the country: Impressionism and the French landscape (1985)
Ann Bermingham, Landscape and ideology: the English rustic tradition (1987)
Claire Bishop, Installation Art: a Critical History (London: Tate Publishing, 2005)
Yves-Alain Bois, Benjamin Buchloh, Hal Foster, Rosalind Krauss, Art Since 1900 (2005)
T.J.Clark, The Painting of Modern life (1984)
Neil Cox, Cubism (2000)
Thomas Crow, Modern art in the common culture (1996)
Thomas Crow, The rise of the sixties (1996)
Stephen Eisenman, Nineteenth-century art: a critical history (1994)
Jonathan Harris, The global contemporary art world (2017)
Elaine O'Brien (ed), Modern art in Africa, Asia, and Latin America : an
introduction to global modernisms (2013)
Paul Smith, Impressionism: Beneath the Surface (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1995)
Allen Staley, The Pre- Raphaelite Landscape (2002)
Keith Thomas, Man and the natural world (1983)

View reading list on Talis Aspire

Research element

Completion of Art Historical Study Skills course run concurrently with this module

Subject specific skills
  • Command a broad understanding of key ideas concerning the natural world and the industrialised world in art and art history.
  • Demonstrate an ability to situate these ideas and works within a broader cultural context.
  • Demonstrate familiarity with a range of analytical tools to engage with more specialised, period- or genre-specific courses in the second year.
  • Demonstrate visual literacy.
  • Demonstrate critical analysis of cultural artefacts in their context.
Transferable skills
  • With guidance, the ability to gather, select, organise and synthesise visual and textual information.
  • Present an argument, initiate and sustain group discussion through intelligent questioning and debate.
  • Demonstrate academic skills: ability to undertake research and to write up the results in the form of a well-structured argument at an appropriate level.
  • Familiarity with essential ICT skills.
  • Ability to collaborate effectively with others.
  • Demonstrate understanding of historical context and evidence.
  • Think conceptually and critically.
  • Show understanding of diverse viewpoints.
  • Ability to find, select, organize and synthesize evidence.
  • Ability to formulate a sustained argument.
  • Demonstrate bibliographical and other academic skills

Study time

Type Required
Lectures 18 sessions of 1 hour (6%)
Seminars 10 sessions of 2 hours (7%)
Fieldwork 1 session of 2 hours (1%)
Other activity 13 hours 30 minutes (4%)
Private study 246 hours 30 minutes (82%)
Total 300 hours
Private study description

Required and recommended reading for seminar preparation, research for written assessments and revision for examinations.

Other activity description

Art Historical Study Skills

Costs

No further costs have been identified for this module.

You do not need to pass all assessment components to pass the module.

Students can register for this module without taking any assessment.

Assessment group A1
Weighting Study time
1500 word essay 35%

Assessed Essay

Study Skills Exercise 5%

Painting Review

Slide Test 20%

Image Analysis Exam

Online Written Assignment (Open Book) 40%
Feedback on assessment

Written feedback and dedicated feedback tutorials

Courses

This module is Core for:

  • Year 1 of UHAA-V401 Undergraduate History of Art
  • Year 1 of UHAA-V402 Undergraduate History of Art with Intercalated Year
  • Year 1 of UHAA-V3R3 Undergraduate History of Art with Italian
  • Year 1 of UHAA-V3R4 Undergraduate History of Art with Italian with Intercalated Year
  • Year 1 of UITA-R3V3 Undergraduate Taught Italian and History of Art

This module is Core optional for:

  • Year 1 of UHAA-V41P Undergraduate History of Art