Syllabus Information

Official Syllabus Spring 2016

Spring 2016 Schedule

Course Components


Formal Analysis Essay

Useful Information

Building Good Slide Lists

Media: An Organizational Worksheet

Writing About Art

Style Guide

Research Resources

Important Links

Metropolitan Museum of Art's Heilbrunn Timeline of
Art History

Art History Basics (Khan Academy)

Highly Recommended Reading

How to Never Forget Anything Ever Again, by Martin Griffel (, March 25,

What's Lost As Handwriting Fades, by Maria Konnikova
(New York Times, June 2,

Better Ways To Learn, by Tara Parker-Pope (New York Times,
October 6, 2014)

"How to Teach in an Age of Distraction," by Sherry Turkle. Chronicle of Higher Education, October 2, 2015. Available through AiDallas Library.

The following information will augment the syllabus and offer general advice on how to succeed in this class. It will also provide information on basic procedures in case this is your first encounter with my version of the art history sequence. Specific assignments and other detailed information are available through the links on the home page and on the Schedule.

Much of what you will need to know to make it through this course is provided through the eBook version of Gardner's Art Through the Ages: A Global History, fifteenth edition, edited by Fred S. Kleiner. Specific information on how to access the textbook is available on your syllabus, and on the eCompanion site available through the student portal.

For students new to the on-ground AiDallas version of art history: It will take time to familiarize yourself with my approach to this material. Since you probably lack some of the background assumed for this course, it might be helpful to review the topic essays for Art History 1. A look at the study guides linked to exam weeks will give you an idea of what I expect my students to know. Please feel free to consult me when things seem too complicated. I can usually show you a simpler path.

Use of electronic devices for taking notes in this class is prohibited unless you present documentation from disabilities services in the office of the Dean of Student Affairs. A year-long experiment with allowing lap-tops provided ample evidence that those who rely on them do not learn as well as those who take notes by hand. Students who took notes electronically performed measurably worse on exams than those who wrote information down on their slide lists. Some of the evidence from cognitive science to support this practice is linked to the side bar.

Most images and basic information on movements and periods are available in Art Through the Ages, although I do not simply lecture from the text. We will occasionally consult other sources, such as videos, the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History, and the Khan Academy's art history website. All additional material for which you are responsible on exams will be linked to the weekly slide lists and/or to the weekly topic pages. Because of copyright issues the eBook may be missing some images, but I will either find alternative sources or simply include them on the relevant slide list. The textbook's resources for modern art are slender, and because of this we will spend a limited amount of time on art after the two world wars.

The links on the home page will connect you with the materials necessary for successful completion of this course. These pages are designed to support the syllabus and the digital textbook.

I have provided a worksheet (Movements/Characteristics/Media) that can help you sort out artists and their associated movements. It can expand to fit the information you insert, or can serve as a guide to what you should have in your notes. Please let me know if you find it useful, and offer suggestions for how to improve it.

Slide lists: Each week's discussion images will be listed on a table that provides spaces for basic information, images, and notes. You are responsible for maintaining your lists in good order and completing them in a timely fashion so that they will both facilitate learning and enable you to complete exams successfully. Completed slide lists may be used to answer questions on the midterm and final exams. Through long experience I have observed that students learn much more deeply when they encounter information repeatedly and are asked to make connections--rather than simply memorizing assorted facts and regurgitating them on tests. The more you actually use information, the more likely it is that you will turn it into knowledge. See my handout on how to build good slide lists, linked at left.

Please be aware that the use of slide lists and notes on exams is a privilege available to few art history students in this universe. Therefore, collaborative efforts are discouraged except during reviews for exams, when I do encourage students to discuss the material. But you may not simply divvy up lists among your friends, re-use lists from students in previous quarters, or copy completed slide lists wholesale.

Given the nature of this assignment (to help you learn the material more easily and thoroughly), violating its spirit (and my generosity) is considered cheating, and violates the "Acts of Dishonesty" clause in the syllabus. I am required to report such violations to the Dean of Student Affairs. I frequently change my mind about what images to use, and examples on exams must come from the material covered, so treat this aspect of the course with appropriate academic honesty.

The topic essays linked on the schedule act as introductions to the week's material and clarify the direction of each discussion. Slide lists for each week will be linked to topic pages only. Interested students can also find additional resources to help satisfy curiosity and facilitate research. Particularly if you miss a class, these topic pages will help you understand the material.

Workbook: Your syllabus, completed slide lists, additional notes, video worksheets, and handouts distributed in class must be collected in a three-ring binder, dedicated to this class, and arranged in an orderly fashion (weekly dividers help). Only materials contained in a workbook (a three-ring binder, not a manila or pocket folder!) can be used on exams. My classes are often large, space is at a premium, and you will not be able to spread random stuff all over the desk during exams. Again, treat this aspect of the course as a privilege and a gift. Take advantage of my generosity, but do not abuse it.

Workshops: There are six workshops that contribute both to your understanding of the material and provide evidence of participation in the course. Three of these are required (and related); for bonus points you may also complete one of the three additional workshops associated with movements and topics discussed in class. In addition to basic criteria (following directions, submitting work on time), additional points are awarded for work that exhibits critical and/or creative thinking skills, originality, and professionalism.

Workshops must be submitted on time to be eligible for full points, and none will be accepted more than two weeks late without prior approval. Only one bonus workshop may be submitted for credit, and all bonus workshops are due week 11, although they may be submitted earlier.

Formal Analysis Essay
: As part of the Art Institute's institutional effectiveness assessment (through which we measure how well students are achieving course and program learning objectives), students in second-level art history courses are asked to visit an art museum and analyze a specific work. This analysis consists of an essay that describes the formal aspects of a painting on exhibit at the chosen museum. Complete instructions are available at the link

Week 8 has been reserved as "Museum Field Trip Week" so that students can use the time to either visit a local museum (the Dallas Museum of Art is open until 9 pm on Thursdays) or to clear their schedules in order to visit a suitable museum elsewhere. Check museum websites for operating hours early in the quarter so that you can plan ahead.

Midterm and Final Exams
: the largest number of points in this class can be earned by demonstrating your understanding of the works, concepts, and terminology associated with art history, as well as the cultural, technological, and cosmological contexts in which art has developed through human history.

Exams consist of visual identification, vocabulary, multiple-choice, and short-answer segments primarily designed around charts that require you to arrange information. Study guides are linked to the schedule, but doing well on exams depends largely on good note-taking skills, accurate slide lists, comprehensive notebooks, completed assigned readings and effective critical thinking.

Detailed instructions about how to complete all of the components listed above are linked at left.

If you have any questions regarding any of the assignments, grading policies, etc, please see me during office hours, or e-mail me at the address noted on the syllabus or via eCompanion.

At any time you can check your current point totals by consulting the Gradebook on eCompanion. All other materials, except for the eBook and syllabus, are accessible only through this course website.