History of Art and Architecture



HAA 0010: Introduction to World Art

What is art? This introductory course, designed for students with no previous background in art or art history, is intended to probe this question – and challenge traditional assumptions -- while providing students with the skills to interpret works of art and architecture from a diversity of world cultures. The course is designed to demonstrate some of the basic tools of analysis with which to approach works of art as material and aesthetic objects while also examining them as productions that negotiate with historical and cultural contexts. The course also thinks pointedly about cultural difference and the ways in which art has been employed to define communities as radically particular while also answering basic human needs that connect people living in different times and places.  This is the foundational core course required of all HAA majors.

HAA 0018: Death in the Ancient World

The death of a loved one is an emotional and powerful occurrence that provokes a variety of human responses. In addition to writings describing their funerary practices, the civilizations of the ancient Mediterranean region have left artistic representations of death and dying, built tombs, and objects associated with funerary rituals. The study of these texts, images, structures, and objects allows us to better understand ancient attitudes and reactions to death. This undergraduate lecture focuses on the visual and material evidence of funerary practices and beliefs in ancient Egyptian, Greek, and Roman societies. The subject will be approached thematically. First, we will explore how archaeologists discover death-related artifacts and how scholars approach the study and reconstruction of ancient death rituals. Ancient practices and beliefs regarding the mummification, the funeral, commemorative strategies, visits to the grave, and the afterlife will be explored, and images found on specific media (vases, sculpture, built tombs, paintings) will be discussed in depth. The course will conclude with discussions of the roles that sensational topics, like fear of the undead (zombies, vampires, and ghosts) and spectacles of death (gladiatorial contests and public executions), played in ancient Mediterranean civilizations.

HAA 0105 Art and Empire

This course is an introductory survey of the art and architecture of historic imperial powers. Rather than viewing the phenomenon of empire as it is reconstructed from texts, this survey will emphasize the comparative cultural profiles of these empires as they are known from visual evidence. The course will examine the imagery, artifacts, monument types and architectural sites that were made to advertise the success and promote the continuity of the regime beyond the lifetime of its founder, the use of regional themes to establish continuity with the historical past, and the cultural impact of empires on those who belonged to them and those who did not. Special attention will be paid to imperial powers of the ancient world, in particular those of the Near East, Greece and Rome, but the course will also cover the Spanish and Inkas in Peru, Napoleonic Europe, the Mughals and British in India, and Nazi Germany. This course will draw on the expertise of faculty across the History of Art and Architecture department who will provide guest lectures.

HAA 0380 Art of the Spanish World: Religion, Identity, and the Art of Accommodation, 1200 - 1700

Spain underwent a series of radical transformations in the period from about 1200-1700 CE. The peninsula was first the center of Muslim empire that controlled much of the Mediterranean. This gave way to a Catholic empire that then expanded across the Atlantic Ocean to encompass most of the New World. This succession of ambitious kingdoms gave rise to some of the most unique artistic expressions at the time. This class will examine the art produced in Spain and Spanish realms in this period. Because of the unique interreligious history of Spain, its art tends to sit uncomfortably with the art produced elsewhere in Europe and its empires. This course will recuperate some of the fascinating strangeness of Spanish images by focusing on the frictions created by the enhanced flow of peoples and the cultures with which they came into contact during the early modern period. As Iberian powers expanded into Latin American and south Asia, European cultures increasingly came into tension with indigenous cultures and forms of image production. Rather than leading to “imperfect” or “deformed” art, though, this friction led to the creation of novel images that show how cultural hybridity was both a coping mechanism and a productive artistic strategy. This course will examine works produced by some major artists in Spain. However, we will also look at how the concept of “the artist” evolved in Spain during the period in question. This we be supplemented by looking at how local modes of artistic production developed in the New World came into tension with Spanish ideas about art and aesthetics during the period of colonization. These cultures often lacked a strong notion of “the artist,” and we will consider how differing modes of creation helped produce a hybrid style of art the forces a reconsideration of the how we define colonial European art within a global context.

HAA 0425 Digital Humanity

How have computational devices affected the way we think about our own humanity? This course prepares students to critically examine the intersections between digital devices and human life. Covering topics such as the relationship between computers and humans, surveillance, big data, and interactivity and games, we question what it means to be human in a space of pervasive digitality. Assessment will be based on regular online posts, a midterm examination, a final curation project, and class participation, both digital and face-to-face. This course fills the Philosophy General Education requirement and meets three times per week: twice for lecture, once for recitation/lab.

HAA 0460 Public Art

This course is an introduction to the social, political, and artistic issues surrounding the creation and interpretation of public monuments and public art.  We will focus on our local urban environment, particularly the rich collection of works in and around Oakland, but we will also put these local works in larger national and global contexts.  The course emphasizes hands-on learning, through multiple site visits, encounters with the works of art in their real urban contexts, and individual and group exercises building on these encounters.

HAA 0520 Art and Politics in Modern Latin America

This course examines the development of modern and contemporary art in Latin America in relation to broader political, social, and economic forces. Latin America offers rich examples of artists and architects who worked in the service of governmental regimes during the twentieth century, such as Diego Rivera in Mexico and Oscar Niemeyer in Brazil. However, we will also consider cases in which artists employed artworks to challenge or subvert political repression, as occurred in Ecuador in the 1930s and in Chile during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. Beyond politics, this course focuses on the tensions—indigenous vs. cosmopolitan, urban vs. rural, and rich vs. poor—that have informed the production and reception of art and architecture in Latin America since the nineteenth century. Visits to local museums will provide opportunities to consider the contributions of artists from Latin America to the production of global modern and contemporary art.

HAA 1020 Museum Studies Exhibition Seminar

Students will have the unique opportunity to assist in the planning and implementation of an exhibition that will be held in the Frick Fine Arts Building's gallery space. In fall 2016, the exhibition will focus on how ephemeral and participatory artworks are exhibited, with an emphasis on efforts that emerged in Latin America during and after the 1960s. There will also be a general introduction to key concepts within museum studies and curatorial discourse so that students may gain a broad understanding of the many facets of successful exhibition planning, design and implementation. In addition to helping to organize and install the exhibition, students will be expected to participate in class discussions based on weekly readings, attend several required fieldtrips to local museums, and submit a final portfolio of materials created during the class. Beyond the usual course workload, this seminar requires a significant commitment of time outside of class, including team meetings, installation, and de-installation responsibilities. In fall 2016, this course is open to both undergraduate and graduate students, and will include sufficient coverage of Latin America to toward the Certificate in Latin American Studies.

HAA 1030 Special Topics Museum Studies – Inside the Carnegie Museums

This course will explore the ways museums seek to co-create programming and exhibition projects with their audiences through evaluation and visitor studies by working with the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh as a laboratory. We will spend class time engaging with the history and theory of visitor studies and the ways in which museums and audiences interact, and in practicum through evaluating past, present, and future projects at the Carnegie Museum of Art and Natural History in the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh’s Oakland campus. We will learn museum evaluation through conducting informal and formal audience evaluation and visitor research in conjunction with the temporary exhibit Iris van Herpen: Transforming Fashion and for projects in CMNH’s Walton Hall of Ancient Egypt and CMOA’s Art before 1300 gallery, the Hall of Architecture, and the Forum Gallery.

HAA 1050 World Art: Contact and Conflict

This course, an advanced undergraduate seminar, is a counterpart to the introductory course Introduction to World Art and invites students to think more critically about “World Art” as a disciplinary enterprise as it emerged in the last several decades with the “global turn,” post-colonialism, and a call for art history to be more inclusive.  Students will be introduced to key terms that are employed by this discourse (contact zones, world-picturing, cosmopolitanism, planetarity, indigeneity, and others).  The course works through these ideas by focusing its attention on specific sites and art objects, case studies that explicitly circulate within or take as their subject the meeting point of different cultures and groups.  First and foremost, this course regards “the contact zone” as a messy and complicated place.  To inhabit earth as a human being, people encounter, perceive, collaborate with and often resist others.  Through the spaces and material objects humans create, boundaries are established and individuals and communities are defined and circumscribed.  Art objects and constructed spaces not only arise from, but define the contact point of individuals or groups occupying different worlds.  By studying these works as a space of encounter, students will learn that boundaries between people are porous, with cultural contact a zone of potentially productive collaboration but also power inequity and strife.  How do works of art and built spaces incite, mediate, or instantiate such conflict?  How have people, traditionally perceived to reside at the periphery, employed artistic expression to subvert existing power structures (the center) and formulate identity? 



HAA 0010 Intro to World Art

HAA 0020 Intro to Asian Art

HAA 0030 Intro to Modern Art

HAA 0040 Intro to Western Architecture

HAA 0070 European Visual Traditions

HAA 0101 Foundation in Art History

HAA 0102 Pro-Seminar for Undergraduate Majors

HAA 0302 Renaissance Art

HAA 0425 Digital Humanity

HAA 0480 Modern Architecture

HAA 0640 Art of Japan

HAA 0940 Approaches to the Built Environment

HAA 1010 Approaches to Art History

HAA 1020 Museum Studies Exhibition Seminar

HAA 1025 History and Ethics of Collecting

HAA 1030 Special Topics Museum Studies

HAA 1040 Architecture: Image, Text, Theory



HAA 0050 Intro to Medieval Art

HAA 0090 Intro to Contemporary Art

HAA 0105 Art and Empire

HAA 0150 Ancient Art

HAA 0160 Ancient Empires

HAA 0380 Art of the Spanish World

HAA 0470 Photography and Art

HAA 0520 Art and Politics in Modern Latin America

HAA 0620 Art of China

HAA 0810 Experimental Cinema

HAA 1050 World Art: Contact and Conflict

HAA 1103 Religions of Ancient Egypt (a Religious Studies course that is cross-listed with our department)

HAA 1105 Jerusalem: History and Imagination (a Religious Studies course that is cross-listed with our department)

HAA 1160 Roman Architecture

HAA 1230 Pagans and Christians: The Early Middle Ages

HAA 1240 Romans after Rome

HAA 1304 Leonardo, Michelangelo and Raphael: Painting in 16th-c. Italy

HAA 1305 Early Renaissance Architecture

HAA 1306 High Renaissance Architecture

HAA 1490 Art since 1945

HAA 1510 Pittsburgh Architecture and Urbanism

HAA 1530 Early American Architecture

HAA 1531 American Architecture Since Industrialization

HAA 1652 Japan: Buddhist Art and Ritual

HAA 1656 Japan: Architecture as Performative Space

HAA 1692 Buddhist Civilization along the Silk Road (a Religious Studies course that is cross-listed with our department)

HAA 1820 Documentary Film

HAA 1907 Architecture and the City in Central Europe (Summer course, taught in Vienna, Prague, Zagreb, and Ljubljana)

HAA 1922 Preservation: Texts and Theory

HAA 1920 Intro to Historic Preservation



HAA 0220 The Medieval Book

HAA 0221 Medieval Architecture

HAA 0240 The Medieval Patron

HAA 0310 Northern Renaissance Art

HAA 0350 Baroque Art

HAA 0460 Public Art

HAA 0490 Contemporary Art

HAA 0501 American Art 

HAA 0690 China: Landscape Painting and Nature

HAA 0820 World Film History

HAA 1250 Constructing the Gothic

HAA 1404 Modern Sculpture

HAA 1407 Architecture and Enlightenment

HAA 1410 Realism and Impressionism

HAA 1440 Expressionism

HAA 1441 Dada and Surrealism

HAA 1450 Art in the Weimar Republic

HAA 1455 Art in the Third Reich and Memorializations of the Holocaust

HAA 1475 Modernity, Modernism and Housing

HAA 1480 Architecture since 1945

HAA 1512 American Sculpture 

HAA 1605 Early China: Power and Identity

HAA 1630 China: Village and Urban Architectural Space

HAA 1640 20th century Chinese Art

HAA 1650 China's Archaeological Past

HAA 1653 Ancient East Asian Visual Traditions

HAA 1654 Early Japan: Material Culture and Ritual

HAA 1655 The World of Japan

HAA 1659 Language of Japanese Aesthetics

HAA 1660 Japan: Text and Image in Handscrolls

HAA 1675 Japan: Landscape Painting and Nature

HAA 1680 Japan: Artist and City

HAA 1806 American Independent Film

HAA 1810 Experimental Video

HAA 1880 World Cities

HAA 1923 Global Preservation