900 State Street
Salem, Oregon 97301
This course is the first in a three-semester series intended to introduce the major protagonists, monuments and themes of Western art, architecture and visual culture. Chronologically, it will explore the production of architecture and artworks in diverse media from approximately 25,000 BCE to about 1300 CE, from the Paleolithic to the Gothic period. The course explores the visual cultures of prehistoric Europe, and Ancient Near East, Egypt, Greece, Etruria, Rome and Byzantium, as well as Early Christian and Medieval Europe. The course will provide foundational skills of visual analysis as well as archaeological and historical interpretation in order to critically locate and understand the creation, reception and diffusion of visual codes, styles and techniques in an era prior to the modern conception of fine art. Some specific themes that will be explored include the representation of fertility and the female form, the commemoration of the dead, the employment of portraiture to convey political power, the creation of images of the divine, the use of the human body as a vehicle of expression, and the construction of sacred spaced.
Mode of Inquiry: Interpreting Texts