Chair, Professor ZIRKA FILIPCZAK
Professors: EPPING***, FILIPCZAK, GLIER*, GOTLIEB, HAXTHAUSEN**, HEDREEN*, JANG, E. J. JOHNSON, LALEIAN, LEVIN, M. LEWIS, MCGOWAN*, OCKMAN*, PODMORE, TAKENAGA. Associate Professors: ALI***, L. JOHNSON, LOW. Assistant Professors: CHAVOYA, SOLUM. Visiting Clark Professors: LAWAL, OKEKE-AGULU. Visiting Assistant Professor: JACKSON§§, THOMPSON. Senior Lecturers: H. EDWARDS, E. GRUDIN. Lecturers: B. BENEDICT§§, CORRIN§§, D. JOHNSON, MCCALLUM§, SATTERTHWAITE, STOMBERG§§. Lecturers in the Graduate Program in the History of Art: CONFORTI, GANZ, HOLLY, LEDBURY, SIMPSON. Visiting Lecturers: CHAN, ERICKSON§§, RAJA. Arthur Levitt Artist in Residence: YBARRA§§.
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 Aspects of Western Art
One of the following courses in Studio Art to be taken by the end of the junior year: ArtS 100, 101, 102, 109
ArtH 301 Methods of Art History (ArtH 448 may be taken to satisfy this requirement.)
One 400-level 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 of Western or non-Western art, prior to 1400, and
3) non-Western art.
Although the structure of the art history route allows for flexible scheduling, the faculty strongly recommends that students proceed through the major in the recommended sequence. Introductory 100 and 200 level courses should be taken in the first or second year. So that they are prepared for the research requirements of the seminar classes that cap the sequence, majors are required to take one of the required Junior major classes, ArtH 301 or ArtH 448 during their junior year. If the student is studying abroad for the entire junior year, this requirement may be filled in the senior year (see STUDY ABROAD policy of the Art Department for more information.)
Art Studio Route
ArtS 100 Drawing I
ArtS 230 Drawing II
ArtH 101-102 Aspects of Western Art
Any three of the 200-level ArtS courses in three different media or
any one 100-level course (except Arts 100, Drawing) and any two 200-level courses in two different media
ArtS 319 Junior Seminar
Any two of the 300-level ArtS courses
One of the 300-level ArtS course and ArtS 418T Senior Tutorial
History and Practice Route
ArtH 101-102 Aspects of Western Art
ArtS 100 Drawing I
One 200-level ArtS course
ArtH 301 Methods of Art History, ArtH 448 Art About Art, 1400-2000 or ArtS 319 Junior Seminar
One ArtH seminar (400-level) or one 500-level graduate course except 508
One 300-level ArtS course 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 one's 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 late 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, Aspects 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 students taking ArtS418 are required to exhibit in the spring of their senior year at the Williams College Museum of Art or other appropriate venues. Students who choose to take two 300 level classes do not exhibit at WCMA in the spring of the senior year.
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. 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.
Unlike the history or studio routes, acceptance into the History and Practice route is not automatic. The student must first submit a written application in two copies, one for each advisor from the two wings of the department, as well as a list of proposed courses; this application and list of proposed courses must be given to the department secretary before registering for the major.
The application must provide a narrative statement of the theme of the major, and why it cannot be accommodated in either history or studio. It is not enough to submit a list of courses; the student needs to show the coherence and integrity of the plan of study, and how it develops the theme of the proposed major.
Some students will be attracted to both wings of the department but will not have a field of study that falls between the two. In these cases, it is better for the student to choose between history and studio-taking additional courses from the other wing as desired. In short, the History and Practice route is reserved for students with a strong record of achievement who cannot be accommodated in the two wings of the department.
History and Practice majors do not participate in the senior studio exhibition at the end of the year.
History and Practice Faculty Advisors: Michael Glier, Ann McCallum, and Ben Benedict in studio; E. J. Johnson, Peter Low and Michael Lewis in history.
The 100 level courses in both Art History and Studio are introductions to the field and emphasize visual and critical analysis. These courses do not require previous experience in the subject and they are often prerequisites for other courses in the department; 200 level courses are introductions to specific fields; 300 level courses prepare students for independent research; 400 level courses emphasize independent research, oral presentation, and active participation and are intended for advanced students, usually senior majors.
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.
For students in the graduating class of 2008:
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-W31-494). 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-W31 or W31-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 functions 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.
For students graduating 2009 and later:
To graduate with honors in art history, students are to enroll in the Senior Honors Seminar during the Spring semester of their senior year, where they will develop an original research paper based on prior research. To be admitted to the seminar, students must have completed ArtH 301 in their Junior year. To enter the class, students must either be nominated by a faculty member, or apply independently to the Department Honors Committee for admission. Students who have been nominated, as well as students who wish to apply for admission to the Honors Seminar, must submit an original research paper that was completed in a prior art history class. The paper must be properly formatted and include illustrations, a bibliography, and an abstract of not more than 250 words. These documents are to be turned in to the Department Secretary no later than the end of the exam period of the Fall semester. The department Honors Committee will invite students (no more than 10) to enroll in the Honors Seminar based on the quality of the original research, the student's GPA within the major, and the willingness and availability of appropriate faculty advisors. Notification of admission to the seminar will be sent to students by early January. Since enrollment is by invitation only, students should pre-register for four classes and, if invited, drop one of them and add the Honors Seminar during drop-add period. The Honors Seminar is to be taken in addition to the required courses for the major. Once in the seminar, students will revise, refine and expand on previous research and produce a paper of approximately 25 pages and present a shortened version of the paper to the faculty and public at the Williams College Museum of Art.
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.
Although the Art Department encourages students to travel and study abroad, we feel that it is very important for students to begin their major with a required seminar in their Junior year. The Junior seminars, ArtH 301, ArtH 448, and ArtS 319, prepare students for independent research and/or independent artistic production which is the focus of the senior year.
a. Studio Art Majors must take the required Junior Seminar (ArtS 319) in their junior year unless they are planning to study abroad for a full year; in that case they may take the required class in their senior year.
b. History and Practice students must include their Study Abroad plans in their application to the major and discuss them with their advisor.
c. Art History students must take one of the required Junior Seminars (ArtH 301 or ArtH 448) in their junior year unless they are planning to study abroad for a full year; in that case they may take the required class in their senior year.