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, Anna Fischer (aljf@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 2020-2021

FALL TERM:

Studies in Modern Art II: Bodies, Medicalized

ARTH 421/865 (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. We will explore the proliferation of visual cultures of medicine especially in the realm of photography and film. We will examine the relationships between the professionalization of medicine and the patronage of modern art. Most importantly, we will think about 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. Contemporary artists’s responses to the current global pandemic will undoubtedly frame our work.

A detailed list of readings and requirements will be available by the first class. We will be experimenting with various forms of remote delivery, both asynchronous and synchronous, probably in small groups. You should expect approximately 1 hour of synchronous learning per week. Guided by the instructor, students will come up with a unique set of assignments developed from a menu of options, which may include reading or film responses, an annotated bibliography, research proposal, recorded presentation, and final research project.

Instructor: A. Morehead

Gothic Wonder: British Art and Aesthetics c. 1200-1350

​ARTH 837 (3.0)

This course explores British art in all media from c. 1200-1350 in its social, political, and literary contexts.

By many accounts, the distinct mode of art produced in Britain (the so-called “Decorated Style”) would be one of the most influential modes of art making in Medieval Europe from c. 1300. But such views—correct though they surely are—beg the question not only of why but how this was so. This course takes the “long-view” of British art and locates its major expressions within profound changes in the nature and status of the artist, the shifting nature of patronage, and the poltical contexts of colonial encounter (particularly in Wales which was formally subsumed under English rule in the 1280s). We will explore key works of art such as the De Lisle Psalter, St Davids Cathedral, the sculptural program of the west façade of Wells Cathedral, the Holkham Picture Book, etc. We will also explore the literary contexts of art making, including texts such as the Roman de Reynard, The Metrical Life of St Hugh, and The Mabinogion.

Instructor: M. Reeve

Studies in Italian Renaissance Art: Objects for the Home

ARTH 841 (3.0)

This course explores a more intimate side of the Renaissance, the home, focusing on the sculpted objects that filled Renaissance houses, and how men, women, and children interacted with them. Upper class women, in particular, were largely confined to the home. We will look at both secular works, such as mirror frames and portrait busts, and religious objects, such as miniature personal crucifixes and the reliefs of the Madonna and Child that would hang in a bedroom. We will plumb primary and secondary sources in order to discuss personal devotional practices, gender relations, household management, notions of privacy, the education of children, and the organization and furnishing of Renaissance homes. “Home” here is defined broadly, referring not only to private houses, but also to such institutional homes as orphanages, nunneries, and monasteries. 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. As we will be meeting remotely, each from our own homes, I envision the course and the resulting exhibition as a way to engage with the Renaissance home but also to think about our current sense of home and the objects with which we live.

A detailed list of readings and requirements will be available at the first class. In addition to discussion of readings and individual essays, the students will produce a collaborative virtual exhibition.

Instructor: U. D'Elia

Contemporary Art and Digital Culture

ARTH 422/868  (3.0)

Well before the outbreak of COVID-19 in early 2020, artists, art historians, and arts institutions increasingly relied on digital technologies––from familiar social media apps to custom-designed tools and platforms––to produce new works, engage audiences, augment learning in exhibitions, and increase accessibility, among numerous other outcomes.  Since early April, however, experiments with, and debates about, these technologies have both spread and intensified as they have been used to replace experiences (visiting the museum, for example) that they were often intended to enhance. This course examines the profound effects of digital culture on contemporary art and contextualizes them within a longer history of experimentation going back to the mid-20th century. We will examine analog precursors (mail art, fluxus, early telecommunications art, video art, zines), the digital revolution (net art, social media, post-internet art, digital curatorial tools, AI, VR, and digital humanities), and emerging debates about art and digital culture in times of social distancing.

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:

Exhibition Dilemmas: African Art/ifacts in the West

ARTH 810  (3.0)

The course explores the history of African art history through a selection of key publications and exhibitions that, for different reasons, shaped the dominant perspectives, approaches and methodologies to African art studies over the last century. Events such as the punitive expedition to the kingdom of Benin in 1897 and the "discovery" of Ife art in the first decade of the 20th Century, for example, were decisive for the acknowledgement of African material culture as “art” in the West. Throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, scholars and curators have been struggling to define and redefine African objects as “art”, while resignifying objects through new approaches in publications and exhibitions. How did authorship, creativity and invention start to be considered an important issue in African art studies? How did exhibitions such as “Primitivism” in 20th Century Art (MoMA, 1984) and Art /Artifact (Center for African Art, 1988) promote positive and negative reactions, and also new paths in African art studies? These and other issues will be addressed over the course, which presents some of the current debates, research and curatorial trends, in order to help students build inter-cultural competence as a key attribute of any contemporary curatorial practice.

Instructor: J. Bevilacqua

This winter 2021 seminar will be fully synchronous, held at the scheduled time

Cultural Heritage Preservation II: Europe 1910-2000

ARTH 861 (3.0)

This seminar will examine aspects of cultural heritage preservation in Europe during the 20th century, charting the impact of the two world wars (1914-18 and 1939-45) and the Balkans Conflict of the 1990s. We will examine the protection of cultural objects in preparation for war, the damage and destruction of monuments during war, and the looting of works of art. Among the responses to heritage damage to be considered are: the documentation of damage in written reports and photographs, attempts to recover looted objects, approaches to the restoration of art and buildings, the development of legal agreements and heritage organizations to curb destruction and looting, and more emotional responses to cultural loss. 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 what is happening today as a by-product of armed conflicts in countries including Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and the Yemen, numerous precedents were set during the years under consideration.

The syllabus will be available at the beginning of the course. The assignments will involve: readings and discussions, in-class projects, oral presentations, library and on-line research, and written assignments.

Instructor: C. Hoeniger

Winter 2021 course will be fully synchronous, at the scheduled course time.

Taking Rococo Seriously: French Rococo Painting and Decor and Its International Diffusion

ARTH 854  (3.0)

Now is a very exciting time in the scholarship on Rococo world-wide. The first style in the Western Canon to originate in decor, Rococo has suffered from a persistent reputation for frivolity through it's association with the aristocracy in pre-Revolutionary France, and it has been discarded as a merely ornamental derivation of the Baroque, and the antitheses of the Enlightenment. However this attitude is changing quickly as scholars are revealing Rococo artists' preoccupations with consequential themes relating to polite society such as conversation, decorum, absorption, and spiritually, as well as Enlightenment values such as emotional love as defined by Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Denis Diderot. Indeed, although born in the private aristocratic Parisian home, Rococo quickly transformed into one of the world's most important styles for adorning large, sacred, public spaces from Germany to Brazil. This course will explore in particular Rococo's links with sociability and the institution of the salon, with the role of women in society, with ideas of health and euphoria, and with spirituality. 

A detailed list of readings and requirements will be available during the first class. This course will be a Seminar, with discussions. The requirements will include a minimum of two oral presentations and a term paper.

Instructor: G. Bailey

Winter 2021 course will be fully asynchronous

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

Instructor: Fiona Graham

Fall Term 2020

History, Technology, and Conservation of Artifacts II

ARTC 812

Instructor: Emy Kim

* Permission of the instructor needed. 

Fall Term 2020

History, Technology, and Conservation of Artifacts III

ARTC 813

Instructor: Emy Kim

* Permission of the instructor needed. 

Winter Term 2021

History, Technology, and Conservation of Paintings I

ARTC 821

Instructor: Patricia Smithen

* Permission of the instructor needed. 

Fall Term 2020

History, Technology, and Conservation of Paintings II

ARTC 822

Instructor: Patricia Smithen

* Permission of the instructor needed. 

Winter Term 2021

History, Technology, and Conservation of Paper Objects I

ARTC 831

Instructor: Rosaleen Hill

* Permission of the instructor needed. 

Fall Term 2020

History, Technology and Conservation of Paper Objects II

ARTC 832

Instructor: Rosaleen Hill

* Permission of the instructor needed

Winter Term 2021

Prerequisite: ARTC 831