Chair, Associate Professor MICHAEL J. LEWIS
Professors: EDGERTON, EPPING, FILIPCZAK, HAXTHAUSEN, HEDREEN, E. J. JOHNSON, OCKMAN*, TAKENAGA. Visiting Clark Professors: CARPO§§§, CHADWICK§. Associate Professors: GLIER*, JANG, LALEIAN, LEVIN, M. LEWIS, MCGOWAN, PODMORE. Assistant Professors: ALI, CHAVOYA, JACKSON, L. JOHNSON*, LOW, SOLUM. Lecturers: SATTERTHWAITE, L. SHEARER. Senior Lecturer: E. GRUDIN. Part-time Lecturers: B. BENEDICT§§, H. EDWARDS, D. JOHNSON§, MCCALLUM§. Part-time Lecturer in Arts and Humanities: DIGGS. Lecturer in the Graduate Program in the History of Art: SIMPSON. Part-time Lecturers in the Graduate Program in the History of Art: CONFORTI, GANZ, HOLLY, RAND.
Three routes are offered: the emphasis of the first is on the history of art, and that of the second is on creative work in studio. The third route through the major allows students to take courses in both halves of the department in more or less equal numbers.
Note: The Art History and Art Studio routes are strongly recommended for any prospective Art major who is contemplating graduate study in Art History or Art Studio.
Art History Route
ArtH 101-102 Introduction to Western Art History
ArtS 100 Drawing I (or its equivalent as agreed by the department, to be taken by the end of the junior year)
ArtH 301 Methods of Art History (ARTH 428 or ARTH 448 may be taken to satisfy this requirement)
One Seminar or Graduate Course
Any five additional semester courses of art history including three concerned with the following:
1) a period of Western art prior to 1800,
2) a period, Western or non-Western, prior to 1400, and
3) non-Western art.
Art Studio Route
ArtS 100 Drawing I
ArtS 230 Drawing II
ArtH 101-102 Introduction to Western Art History
Any three of the 200-level ArtS (studio) courses in three different media
ArtS 319 Look/See: Strategies in Imaging
Any two of the 300-level ArtS courses
One of the 300-level ArtS courses and ArtS 418T Senior Tutorial
History and Practice Route
ArtH 101-102 Introduction to Western Art History
ArtS 100 Drawing I
One 200-level ArtS course
ArtH 301 Methods of Art History or ArtS 319 Look/See: Strategies in Imaging
One ArtH seminar (400-level) or graduate (500-level) course
One 300-level ArtS tutorial or (with permission) ArtS 418T Senior Tutorial
Any four additional Art Studio or Art History courses. At least one elective must be taken in each wing of the department. At least one of the electives must be an Art History course concerned with a period of Western or non-Western art prior to 1800.
Art History Route: The history of art is different from other historical disciplines in that it is founded on direct visual confrontation with objects that are both concretely present and yet documents of the past. We emphasize analysis of images, objects, and built environments as the basis for critical thought and visual literacy. In addition to formal and iconographic analysis, we use the work of other disciplines to understand visual images, such as social history, perceptual psychology, engineering, psychoanalysis, cultural studies, and archaeology. Because of its concentration on visual experience, the Art History major increases ones ability to observe and to use those observations as analytical tools for understanding history and culture.
ArtH 101-102 introduces students to a series of critical studies of important works selected from the history of Western art from antiquity to the present. The critical approach of the introductory course is maintained in all further courses, especially by assigned study of original works in the Williams College Museum of Art, Chapin Library, the Clark Art Institute, and Mass MoCA.
An introductory studio course, ArtS 100, in which no artistic talent or prior experience are assumed, provides vital training in what is a visual as well as a verbal discipline. The requirement of a course in non-Western art expands majors' geographic as well as cultural horizons, and the requirement of two courses in art from periods prior to 1800 provides a necessary concentration on earlier moments in culture. (As the contemporary architect, Philip Johnson, said, "You cannot not know history.") The junior course (ArtH 301) develops awareness of the theoretical implications, as well as the possibilities and limitations of different art-historical methods. The requirement of a seminar or graduate course in the senior year enables students to apply that knowledge of methodology to their most specialized work in the Art History route.
Art Studio Route: The studio division of the Art major has been structured to foster the development of a critical understanding of making art; to support creative interests and to develop students' perceptions and imaginations as they investigate a variety of visual media. Drawing I, ArtS 100 serves as an introduction to the basic drawing and design principles which establish the foundation for the development of visual expression. ArtH 101-102, an introduction to the history of Western art, provides part of the necessary background in the critical analysis of art. The 200-level ArtS courses provide opportunities to learn the elements of some of the principal visual arts media: architecture, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, and video. These courses combine technical foundations in the medium with analysis of the interrelation of visual form and content. The 300- and 400-level courses place a greater emphasis on the application of appropriate visual skills and strategies to particular thematic concerns, and to the development of the student's individual vision. All studio art seniors exhibit their work in the Williams College Museum of Art as a part of the requirements for the major.
History and Practice Route: This route allows students to study in depth both the history of art and the making of it. It offers considerable flexibility: students may propose courses of study that emphasize particular media, themes or methodological issues. To mention just three examples, students may design sequences of courses that focus on architecture, gender or narration in both the history of art and contemporary practice. And students may take more courses in one wing of the department than the other, as long as the minimum requirements in each wing are satisfied. The History and Practice route is especially well-suited to students interested in arts-related careers outside of higher education, including work in art galleries, art museums, and primary or secondary school education. Courses of study for History and Practice majors must be approved by two members of the faculty, one from each wing of the department. Any changes in a History and Practice course of study must also be approved by two advisors.
History and Practice Faculty Advisors: Michael Glier, Ann McCallum, and Ben Benedict in studio; E. J. Johnson and Michael Lewis in history.
The introductory courses in both Art History and Studio have 100-level numbers and are prerequisites for most other courses in the department. The distinction between 200- and 300-level offerings is either one of difficulty or of the sequence in which material is best taken. Also, lecture courses with no prerequisite have a 100- or 200-level number. The 400-level seminars and tutorials are intended for advanced students, usually senior majors.
Art History (ArtH)
Middle digit distinguishes courses according to geographical area, or time span covered. 0 = general; 1 = Ancient; 2 = Medieval; 3 = fifteenth, sixteenth century; 4 = seventeenth, eighteenth century; 5 = nineteenth century; 6 = twentieth century; 7 = Asian; 8 = African; 9 = independents, honors.
Art Studio (ArtS)
Middle digit distinguishes introductory and general courses from those specialized in different media and arts. 0 = introductory; 1 = general; 2 = architecture; 3 = drawing; 4 = painting; 5 = photography; 6 = printmaking; 7 = sculpture; 8 = video; 9 = independents, honors.
THE DEGREE WITH HONORS IN ART
Students who wish to become candidates for the degree with honors must show prior evidence of superior performance in the major as well as research capabilities to carry out the proposed project.
In order for a project to be considered, the candidate (1) must have arranged for an advisor, and (in consultation with the advisor) a second reader to supervise and evaluate the project (2) should normally have had one course with the advisor. In addition, the topic must be within the advisor's areas of competence and should normally be related to course work which the student has done previously. In the case of an interdisciplinary proposal, the second reader should normally come from the other discipline.
The student submits a 2-page proposal including a statement about the preparation for the project, a description of the topic and a general bibliography. Following approval by the faculty advisor and second reader, this proposal is reviewed by the entire Art faculty, who have the option to request revisions and to refuse the proposal. Students should keep in mind that a thesis in Art History is not necessary for admission to graduate study.
It is the responsibility of the candidate to select one of the following routes and to meet all deadlines. Students who are not making satisfactory progress on their research and writing will not be allowed to continue with the thesis. The completion of the requirements, however, will not guarantee a degree with honors. The degree with honors will be awarded for projects demonstrating a high degree of scholarly achievement and self-motivation. All proposals must be submitted according to the guidelines set out below. The timetable for submission of work, including specific dates, is available in the Art Department office.
Students may select one of the following options:
1) Full-Year Thesis: Research and writing will be carried out during both semesters and WSP of the senior year (students should register for ArtH 493-W031-494). The thesis topic, advisor and second reader must be determined by April 15 of junior year. Students who are on overseas programs junior year are advised to make arrangements prior to their departure, but they may submit a final proposal two weeks before the fall semester of senior year if they have made the necessary arrangements. After the thesis is submitted, the candidate for honors shall present an oral defense before faculty and peers.
2) Half-Year Thesis: Research and writing will be carried out during fall term and winter study or during winter study and spring term (Students should register for ArtH 493-W031 or W031-ArtH 494). For students who choose to complete the mini-thesis in the fall, proposals must be submitted by April 15 of the junior year. For those planning to complete the mini-thesis in the spring, proposals must be submitted by November 1.
A student's project is judged by two members of the department, the advisor and second reader; in the case of an interdisciplinary project, a member of the Art Department and a member of the other relevant department or program function as advisor and second reader. In rare cases, a third reader may be appointed by the department at the request of the advisor or second reader.
All routes require that one course and one WSP, in addition to the ten required courses for the major, be dedicated to the honors project.
Art Studio: (for the Class of 2003)
The Art Studio division of the Art Department offers a specialization route toward departmental honors. This route, which requires the completion of a substantial body of independently produced visual work, consists of two courses constituting a clearly interrelated pattern of study. The first of these must be a WSP 033 in the senior year, followed by ArtS 418T Senior Tutorial.
In the spring of the junior year, the student should consult with a prospective faculty adviser and declare her/his intent to pursue the degree with honors to the department chair. Potential honors candidates should submit a written proposal and visual documentation of prior work in the field, to the faculty adviser, on the first Monday in October, in the fall of the student's senior year. The proposal should outline a concise and specific course of study in media with which the student can evidence prior experience. The evidence is provided by the visual documentation, in the form of a slide portfolio or video tape. Students should seek assistance from their advisers both on the written proposal and the selection of visual documentation. The studio faculty, as a whole, will review the proposals and support materials. The faculty adviser will inform the student of the faculty members' decision prior to Winter Study registration. Students whose honors proposals are approved by the faculty must enroll in WSP 033 and Arts 418T in the spring semester of the senior year. Members of the studio faculty will review the work in progress, at the end of February. Only candidates who succeed to evidence a sufficient amount of work and substantial progress will be allowed to continue to pursue the degree with honors.
To be considered for honors a student must successfully complete all requirements for the major. Each honors candidate will be expected to have demonstrated the ability to work independently and the understanding of what is required to develop a body of work that investigates a thesis. The project will culminate in a presentation agreed upon by the student, the faculty advisor, and the faculty tutor teaching ArtS 418T. All candidates will be required to present the department with a set of no fewer than twenty slides that document the work completed during the project. This documentation will be accompanied by a written description of the project.
The awarding of honors will be decided by the studio faculty of the department, on the recommendation of the student's advisor and the faculty member teaching ArtS 418T, based on performance in the two related courses. Highest honors are normally awarded only to students whose performance in both the honors program and other courses in the major has been exceptional.
Art Studio: (starting with the Class of 2004)
Studio art concentrators who wish to be candidates for honors are required to add a 200-level course, and to take the 400 level senior tutorial. An additional 300 level tutorial or 200 level course must be added for a total of twelve courses.
Honors candidates enrolled in the senior tutorial must "evidence" prior experience in the media chosen for the honors work. This "evidence" may consist of one or more 200-level courses in the medium, course work at the 300 level and/or a slide portfolio demonstrating the student's proficiency in the media chosen for the honors project. This work is presented to the senior tutorial instructor at the start of the spring semester.
At the end of the spring semester, of the senior year, the honors candidate will orally defend his/her work in the senior exhibition at WCMA. The entire studio faculty will attend the defense. Based on the work and the oral defense, the studio faculty (as a whole) will designate honors, high honors or no honors.
History and Practice:
The route to honors is a combination of the Art Studio and Art History honors routes. At the beginning of senior year, a candidate for honors in History and Practice makes a proposal to two faculty members, one faculty advisor from each wing of the department. If both advisors agree to supervise the project, the candidate enrolls in independent study and works through the fall semester and winter study. The progress of the project is assessed by both advisors at the end of winter study; if the project is not well enough developed, the advisors may end it at that time. If the project is allowed to move forward, the student enrolls either in ArtS 418T Senior Tutorial, if the project is primarily a matter of making art, or in an Honors Independent Study, if it is primarily a writing project. The final project is submitted to the two advisors, who will determine whether or not it will receive honors.
GRADUATE COURSES IN ART HISTORY
Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts in Art History
The degree is normally awarded upon successful completion of two years of resident graduate study. To earn the degree the student must earn a grade of at least B- in each of ten courses, at least six of which must be graduate seminars (including ArtH 504). In connection with the preparation of a paper for the Graduate Symposium, students will register for an eleventh course (ArtH 509), to be graded pass/fail, in their fourth semester.
In addition to completing the required courses, students must participate in a group study trip to Europe during winter study period in the first year, complete a Qualifying Paper in January of the second year, and satisfy the language requirement in the manner described below (see "Language Courses").
Reading proficiency in two European languages is required for the M.A. degree in Art History at Williams, and provision for attainment of this qualification is an integral part of the program of study. Of these two, German is required, and French is recommended. Elementary and intermediate undergraduate courses offered by the language departments are open to graduate students, and the graduate program offers advanced, one-semester courses in French and German art-history readings. A student who begins elementary language study after enrollment in the program should expect to take a sequence of courses. Details may be obtained from the Graduate Program office. Entering students with some previous language background will be asked to take a standard reading examination for purposes of placement. A score of 500 is required for admission to the advanced course. Students with scores below 500 will be enrolled in elementary language courses. Students should aim to complete all language work no later than the end of the third semester.
To satisfy the requirement in each of the two required languages, a student must: (a) score 700 or better on the SAT II reading examination upon enrollment in the program or, (b) complete punctually and satisfactorily (B- or better) all assignments and tests in the advanced courses. The same standards and expectations apply to language courses as to other courses and seminars.
Second-year students who have successfully completed German 501-502 and have independently developed their German language skills during the summer may, before the commencement of their third semester of study, arrange to take a two-hour translation examination administered by the Graduate Program. Students who pass the examination are exempted from German 509.
If appropriate to his or her course of study, a student may petition to substitute another language for French. Instruction in Italian, Spanish, Russian, Latin, and Greek is regularly offered in the undergraduate curriculum, whereas independent arrangements must be made for Dutch and other languages.