Art History & Art Conservation

Department of Art History & Art Conservation

Art History Graduate Courses

MA students may take one graduate course in another department as a part of their degree. You need to consult with that professor and department to get permission to take the course and follow the registration procedure for that course/department.

Courses at the 800 and 900 levels (purely graduate courses) are available to MA and Ph.D. students. You can check times for these courses on SOLUS. To register, please contact the Art History assistant, Dawn Lloyd (art.history@queensu.ca). Courses at the 400/800 level are open only to 4th-year undergraduate students and MA students (not to Ph.D. students). There are only four spaces for graduate students in each of these courses, which is generally sufficient, but we will consult with the instructor if necessary. If you wish to do an internship at the Agnes, you should consult with the relevant curator as soon as possible (the deadline for applying for Winter term is in October).Art History MA and Ph.D. students may also take the Art Conservation courses listed below, with permission of the instructor. These are Art History & Art Conservation courses and therefore do not count as a course from another department.

Graduate Seminars 2019-2020

FALL TERM:

Studies in the History of Prints and Drawings: The Quest for Colour

ARTH 496/802 (3.0)

Students in this class will work together to organize an exhibition to open at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre in December 2019. The Quest for Colour: Five Centuries of Innovation in European Printmaking will present 12 to 15 works on paper from the museum’s collection, selected by students in consultation with Dr. Dickey and Agnes curatorial staff, that chart the development of European printmaking from the 16th to the 20th century. The range of works presented will explore how printmakers have sought to rival the pictorial effects of painting through the invention of processes for printing tone in black and white and the introduction of coloured inks. Students will participate in researching individual objects, writing wall text, and planning the layout of the exhibition while learning about the history of printmaking and the development of processes such as woodcut, engraving, etching, mezzotint, lithography, and silkscreen. Some class meetings will take place at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre.  

Instructor: S. Dickey

Studies in Italian Renaissance Art: A Material History of Italian Renaissance Sculpture

​ARTH 485/840 (3.0)

This course will explore the materials of Renaissance sculpture, both such well-known and prestigious media as marble and bronze and cheaper materials, such as clay, wax, cloth, stucco, cork, and wood. We will also focus on gilding and tempera and oil paint, as most Renaissance sculptures were vividly coloured, masking the sculptural materials beneath with fictive flesh. Artists experimented with media, often mixing materials, by, for example, covering a sculpture made of wood, cork and tow with gesso, painting it, and then clothing it in fabric dipped in more gesso. Jewels and colored glass were inserted into bronze and marble sculptures and painted panels, and sculptures made of tinted wax were given human hair. We will explore such questions as the ways in which cost of materials, their geographical sources, and methods of manufacture relate to meaning, examining how the heterogeneous stuff of Renaissance art conveys notions of class, gender, physical beauty, and spiritual power. This course thus challenges the traditional idea of the Renaissance as a succession of realistic perspectival paintings that create a window onto the world, in which the materiality of the work is irrelevant. We will explore instead a messier, more physical side of Renaissance art. Integral to this course will be the collaborative creation of an online virtual exhibition, which will be researched, written, and curated by the students and published at the end of the course.

Instructor: U. D'Elia

Studies in Modern Art: Bodies, Medicalized

ARTH 864 (3.0)

This course will explore how art and visual culture has presented, represented, and invited critiques about increasingly medicalized modern bodies. We will be concerned with how art responded to and at times promoted rapid change in the field of modern medicine, with the proliferation of visual cultures of medicine especially in the realm of photography and film, with the relationships between the professionalization of medicine and the patronage of modern art, and above all with how art and visual culture have constructed and deconstructed modern subjectivity in relation to the medicalization of modern life. The course focuses on modernity primarily in Europe and North America, c. 1800 to c. 1950, but will range both geographically and temporally. Over the term, we will be particularly concerned with art’s engagement with medical modernity’s gendered, queer, trans, and racialized bodies. 

Instructor: A. Morehead

Topics in Contemporary Art II: Art, Pedagogy and Social Practice - Histories and Methods

ARTH 869  (3.0)

This seminar explores the intersections between art and experimental/alternative/radical approaches to education in the 20th and 21st centuries. From Black Mountain College (founded in 1933) to the Malmö Free University for Women (founded in 2011), we will study the rich transnational history of artists’ experiments in pedagogy, curriculum development, alternative or DIY art schools, and the recent “educational turn” in art practice and curating.  Often linked to social or political movements, such experiments envision art and exhibitions as spaces for imagining creative solutions to society’s problems, either directly or by challenging hegemonic modes of perceiving and relating to one’s historical contexts and communities. In doing so, they position artists and art students as potential contributors to a diverse public beyond conventional institutions of art. 

Instructor: J. Kennedy

Agnes Etherington Art Centre Practicum

ARTH 880 (3.0)

Fall, winter, or summer. Various instructors.

​Directed Research in a Cultural Institution

ARTH 890 (3.0)

This course is intended to provide graduate students an opportunity to undertake a directed research project in an art gallery, museum, or archive. The research will focus on some aspect of the chosen institution's collection and will be supervised by a specialist in that area who works at the institution or co-supervised by such a specialist and a faculty member. Fall, winter, or summer.

Directed Reading

ARTH 897 (3.0)

Individual directed reading course under the guidance of a faculty member in an area of the instructor's expertise. Fall or Winter. Offered by permission of instructor only. Students interested in pursuing a Directed Reading should contact the faculty member they would like to work with to discuss a possible topic and work plan.


WINTER TERM:

Materials and Techniques in Early Netherlandish Painting, with a focus on Pieter Bruegel

ARTH 402/807  (3.0)

Early Netherlandish paintings, as material objects, are complex layered structures that were produced with a broad range of materials in distinct stages. Methods of technical examination, such as Xy radiography and  infrared reflectography, provide complementary information about these objects and their production. This course surveys how Netherlandish paintings were produced, and why this information can be of critical importance for art historians. Topics will include: the division of labour within a workshop, how to ‘read’ Xy radiographs and infrared reflectograms, and how to interpret the results of dendrochronological analyses. The goal of the course is to provide the necessary toolset to critically read publications in the fast emerging field of Technical Art History, with a special focus on the techniques applied by Pieter Bruegel and his workshop. Although the painting examples used in this course will be limited to Netherlandish painting, many of these skills and concepts are applicable to other fields within the history of art.

Instructor: R. Spronk

Afro-Brazilian Art

ARTH 810 (3.0)

Description Required.   

Instructor: TBA

Cultural Heritage Preservation I: Europe 1910 - 2000 

ARTH 860 (3.0)

This graduate seminar will focus on cultural heritage preservation in Europe during the 20th century, charting the enormous impact of the two world wars (1914-18 and 1939-45) and the Balkans Conflict (1990s). We will examine the protection of treasures of cultural patrimony in preparation for war, the damage and destruction of stationary monuments during war, and the confiscation or theft of portable works of art and antiquities. Among the responses to heritage damage that we will consider are: the documentation of damage in written reports and photographs, attempts to recover looted objects, approaches to the repair and reconstruction of art and buildings, the development of legal agreements and heritage organizations to curb cultural destruction and looting, and emotional responses to cultural loss, both personal and collective. The readings will include extracts from war diaries and novels to provide a sense of how individuals lived amidst the destruction. Although the material under inquiry does not encompass more immediate events of cultural damage in the world today, as a by-product of armed conflicts in areas of the Persian Gulf, the Middle East, Central and Southern Asia, and Africa, numerous precedents were set during the years we will study. 

Instructor: C. Hoeniger

Decolonization the Museum - Cultural Heritage and First Peoples

ARTH 434/876  (3.0)

Given the colonial roots of western museums, the historical relationship between museums and Indigenous communities has been fraught with conflict, disjuncture, and political interventions. Over the past several decades, new exhibitions and curatorial practices have attempted to “decolonize” museums. This has fostered new understandings of collections, insights into the core function of contemporary curatorial work, innovative models of partnerships, progressive policies, and collaborations. These encounters have called into question the role of museums, and the disciplinary formations that are associated with them. Is it even possible to “decolonize” the western museum or art gallery? To what degree is power shifted or shared in these new arrangements? How do cultural institutions navigate an ethical minefield to find workable pathways to reconciliation? Drawing upon Indigenous and non- Indigenous writers, this course explores different case-studies, theories, and histories to track and critically appraise the evolving relationship between Museums and Indigenous peoples in order to contextualize and understand the emerging issues in contemporary curatorial and museum practice. Topics covered include representation, repatriation, sacred materials, and the management of tangible and intangible cultural heritage.   

Instructor: N. Vorano

Agnes Etherington Art Centre Practicum

ARTH 880 (3.0)

Fall, winter, or summer. Various instructors.

Directed Research in a Cultural Institution

ARTH 890 (3.0)

This course is intended to provide graduate students an opportunity to undertake a directed research project in an art gallery, museum, or archive. The research will focus on some aspect of the chosen institution's collection and will be supervised by a specialist in that area who works at the institution or co-supervised by such a specialist and a faculty member. Fall, winter, or summer.

Directed Reading

ARTH 897 (3.0)

Individual directed reading course under the guidance of a faculty member in an area of the instructor's expertise. Fall or Winter. Offered by permission of instructor only. Students interested in pursuing a Directed Reading should contact the faculty member they would like to work with to discuss a possible topic and work plan.


Art Conservation Courses open to Art History graduate students (with permission of the instructor): 

Conservation Principles

ARTC 801
* Permission of the instructor needed

Coordinator: Fiona Graham

Fall and Winter Terms (please note that this is a 3.0 credit course spread over two terms)

Imaging and Documentation

ARTC 810

Instructor: Norman Paul

* Permission of the instructor needed. Please note that special arrangements for access to the photography studio can be arranged but availability of facilities is restricted.

Fall 2018

History, Technology and Conservation of Paintings I

ARTC 821

* Permission of the instructor needed
Instructor: Patricia Smithen

Fall 2018

History, Technology and Conservation of Paintings II

ARTC 822

* Permission of the instructor needed

Instructor: Patricia Smithen

Winter 2019

History, Technology and Conservation of Paper Objects I

ARTC 831
* Permission of the instructor needed
Instructor: Rosaleen Hill

Fall 2018

History, Technology and Conservation of Paper Objects

ARTC 832

* Permission of the instructor needed

Instructor: Rosaleen Hill

Winter 2019

Prerequisite: ARTC 831