ART (Div. I)

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**, CHAVOYA, L. JOHNSON, LOW, SOLUM. Visiting Clark Professors: BENSON, WALLACH. Visiting Assistant Professor: JACKSON§§. Senior Lecturers: H. EDWARDS, E. GRUDIN. Lecturers: B. BENEDICT§§, D. JOHNSON, MCCALLUM**, SATTERTHWAITE, STOMBERG§§. Lecturers in the Graduate Program in the History of Art: CONFORTI, CROSS, HOLLY, LEDBURY, MANIAQUE, SIMPSON. Visiting Assistant Professor: JUKOLA. Visiting Lecturers: AMOS, E. JACKSON, M. JONES, LANE. Visiting Part-time Lecturers: LEBOURDAIS, LIEBERMAN. Arthur Levitt Artist in Residence: ZAMMUTO.


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

Sequence courses

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

One 400-level Seminar or Graduate Course

Parallel courses

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 the required Junior major class, ArtH 301 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

Sequence courses

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

Sequence courses

ArtH 101-102 Aspects of Western Art

ArtS 100 Drawing I

One 200-level ArtS course

ArtH 301 Methods of Art History 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

Parallel courses

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.


First Digit

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.


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.

Art History

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.

Art Studio:

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 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 Seminar (ArtH 301) 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.


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). There is a geographical/chronological distribution requirement that these ten courses must fulfill (details available from the Graduate Program Office.) 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").

Senior art majors may enroll in graduate seminars, space permitting, with the permission of instructor.


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. 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 511-512 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 513.

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.