Leonora Carrington, And Then We Saw the Daughter of the Minotaur, 1953 © 2019 Leonora Carrington / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Course Description

This introductory course offers various windows into the development of human expression through the arts, spanning prehistory to the 21st century. Using art from diverse cultures and time periods, we will explore the way that art functions within broader societal trends and ideas, both reacting to and influencing major historical moments. Students will become comfortable with speaking and writing about specific art historical styles, issues and key terms, and be able to approach art in both a formal/visual and historic context. They will also learn how to navigate and explore their own specific interests within the history of art and become aware of resources that will guide them to further complexify their own research and writing.

Course Expectations

This is a challenging class designed to help you improve your writing and analytical skills. I welcome you to come speak with me at my office hours about any concerns or problems that come up throughout the semester. We will move quickly through a variety of cultures, time periods and key themes, so reading assignments, class attendance, and active note taking are all integral to success in this course.


Attendance is mandatory. I do not accept any unexcused absences. If you miss a class, it is in your best interest to seek out lecture notes and any other materials from the professor or a classmate.

I ask that students inform me beforehand if they absolutely need to miss a class and receive an excused absence. If it is an emergency and it is not possible to notify me in advance, please let me know as soon as possible via email. Remember, coming to class is as much a benefit to you as it is to your classmates. Everyone is valued in this space and collaborative participation is one way we can meet our collective and individual goals for the course.


I strongly encourage that students get to class on time, even five minutes early if possible. If you are not able to get to class on time for valid reasons, you need to notify me so that your grade will not be affected. I understand that life happens and sometimes (ok, a lot of time) the MTA sucks, but please plan ahead! Getting to class on time allows everyone to feel ready and open to be actively engaged. We only have so much time together, let’s make the most of it!

Two late arrivals equal one unexcused absence. Your attendance/participation grade is worth 15% of your total grade.



Please come to class having done the reading and ready to participate in class discussions. This is the most important part of the entire course and it worth 15% of your grade.



Introduction & Free writing Assignment: 10%

February 6 (1-2 pages)

Quiz 1: 5%

February 13

Formal Analysis Museum Paper: 30%

March 19 (3 pages)

Quiz 2: 5%

April 23

Research, Citation, and Bibliography Exercise: 10%

April 2 (2 pages)

Final Exam: 25%

May 21 6-8pm

Attendance/Participation: 15%

  • Extra Credit Assignments (boost your participation grade!): 5-10%


Grading will follow the standard scale:

90-92.9   A – 93-100  A Above 100 A+
80-82.9   B – 83-87.9  B 88-89.9      B +
70-72.9   C – 73-77.9  C 78-79.9      C +
60-62.9   D – 63-67.9  D 68-69.9      D +
Below 60 F


Don’t buy a textbook for this class! Readings will be available through the Brooklyn College Blackboard page, which can be accessed through the WebCentral Portal. Readings are sourced from one of the following:

  • Smarthistory: open access (free!), web-based, art history textbook.
  • Metropolitan Museum’s Heilbrunn Timeline (free!).
  • Assorted additional readings uploaded to Blackboard (also free!).

Blackboard and Art 1010 Student Site

ALL readings, PowerPoint presentations, assignment details and other supporting documents will be posted on blackboard as well as the Art 1010 Student Site (where you are now!). Please check your email regularly to be notified of any updates or changes to the syllabus (which will be posted on Blackboard).

Campus Resources

 For help with writing assignments: Brooklyn College has its own Writing Tutor for Art History, Christopher Workoff.  Christopher holds hours in the Art Library. In order to make an appointment, please sign your name on a weekly sign-up sheet, which will be posted on the door of the art library. If you need to contact Christopher: Brooklyn College also provides free tutoring and general advice on coursework at the Learning Center (Boylan Hall 1300).

Student Accommodation

If you require certain accommodations (e.g., additional time on tests), please read this statement from the Center for Student Disability Services:
“In order to receive disability-related academic accommodations students must first be registered with the Center for Student Disability Services. Students who have a documented disability or suspect they may have a disability are invited to set up an appointment with the Director of the Center for Student Disability Services, Ms. Valerie Stewart-Lovell at 718-951- 5538. If you have already registered with the Center for Student Disability Services, please provide your professor with the course accommodation form and discuss your specific accommodation with him/her.”

If you qualify, then you need to notify the professor to make arrangements for a quiz/exam in the testing center at least one week before the exam/quiz date.

*No special accommodations will be made for anyone unless there is a documented reason.

Plagiarism & Academic Integrity 

Cheating and plagiarism will not be tolerated and will be reported immediately. Exams and papers found to have any plagiarized content will be given a 0. To avoid plagiarism, you must provide full citations for all types of sources. If you do not understand how to do this, or have questions/concerns, please make an appointment to see me.

You must abide by the University’s rules of Academic Integrity as outlined in the CUNY Policy on Academic Integrity:

The CUNY Policy on plagiarism says the following:

Plagiarism is the act of presenting another person’s ideas, research or writings as your own. The following are some examples of plagiarism, but by no means is it an exhaustive list:

  1. Copying another person’s actual words without the use of quotation marks and footnotes attributing the words to their source.
  2. Presenting another person’s ideas or theories in your own words without acknowledging the source.
  3. Using information that is not common knowledge without acknowledging the source.
  4. Failing to acknowledge collaborators on homework and laboratory assignments.
  5. Internet plagiarism includes submitting downloaded term papers or parts of term papers, paraphrasing or copying information from the internet without citing the source, and “cutting and pasting” from various sources without proper attribution.

Safer Spaces Policy

This policy intends to be a positive, pro-active, preventative step towards making our classroom spaces safer. I use the word ‘safer’ to acknowledge that no space can be entirely safe for everyone and not everyone experiences spaces in the same way. This policy is not about policing others – it is about people monitoring themselves.

I ask my students to follow this policy because we live in a white supremacist, patriarchal capitalist society, in a city that is stolen from Indigenous people. This means that anyone who benefits from this privilege has more power over those that do not. Those who benefit from this privilege must be aware of how much space they are taking up, regardless of intent.

My classes do not tolerate any form of sexual assault or harassment, creepy, predatory and/or sleazy behavior, racism, ageism, sexism, misogyny, homophobia, queerphobia, transphobia, transmisogyny, whorephobia, ableism, classism, sizeism, cultural appropriation, or any other behavior or language that may perpetuate oppression. I encourage students to contribute to safer spaces inside and outside of the classroom, but please expect that any violation of this policy in class will have consequences that could affect your participation and grade in the course.

Class Schedule & Assignments


(Topics are liable to change based on our collaborative engagement – in the event of a change to the syllabus, I will notify the class and post the new syllabus on Blackboard)


Note: All readings listed under a given day are on Blackboard and to be completed for that day’s class.

Class Schedule 


(Topics are liable to change based on our collaborative engagement – in the event of a change to the syllabus, I will notify the class and post the new syllabus on Blackboard)

Note: All readings listed under a given day are on Blackboard and to be completed for that day’s class.


Week 1___________________________________________________________________________

January 30 – Introduction Sheet, Syllabus review

        Formal Analysis exercise in class (graded)

       Take home free writing exercise (due February 6th)

Week 2___________________________________________________________________________

February 6 – Egypt and Ancient Near East

ASSIGNMENT DUE via Blackboard: Take Home Writing Exercise

This assignment is a free writing creative exercise that can be on any topic of your choice. It will only be graded based on completion. Please take this exercise seriously and use it as an opportunity to explore your voice as an author. See Blackboard for more details under “Take Home Writing Exercise”. 

Week 3___________________________________________________________________________

February 13 – Greek and Roman Art

Quiz #1

Week 4___________________________________________________________________________

February 20  – Early North African and Zen Buddhist Art


Week 5___________________________________________________________________________

February 27 – Early and Late Renaissance


Week 6___________________________________________________________________________

March 5 – Baroque & Rococo



Week 7___________________________________________________________________________

March 12 – European Neoclassicism & The French Revolution

Week 8___________________________________________________________________________

March 19 – Impressionism & Post-Impressionism: The Industrial Revolution and Worker's Rights

ASSIGNMENT DUE IN CLASS TO ME. Formal Analysis Museum Paper. See “Formal Analysis Museum Paper” for more details on Blackboard.


Week 9___________________________________________________________________________

March 26 – Research Activity


IN-CLASS ASSIGNMENT (graded): Research, Citation, and Bibliography Exercise. This assignment is aimed to help you plan ahead for your final essay exam. I encourage you to research and cite sources that are within your interests of the class. If you are having trouble picking a topic, please come see me. 


Week 10__________________________________________________________________________

April 2  – Cubism & Early Abstraction

    Murals and Social Change: Mexico & the United States in the 1930s 


Extra Credit Assignment Due: Go find and document a mural in the city and bring it to share with the class. Send to me via e-mail for credit. 5 points. 


Week 11__________________________________________________________________________

April 9  – Dada & Surrealism


Week 12__________________________________________________________________________


Week 13__________________________________________________________________________

April 23 – Quiz #2, Italian Futurism & Russian Constructivism

Week 14__________________________________________________________________________

April 30   – Early and Modern Photography

Week 15__________________________________________________________________________

May 7  Shifts in the Post-War Art World: Art, Documentary, and Activism

Week 16__________________________________________________________________________

May 14  Writing Seminar

Week 17__________________________________________________________________________

May 21  FINAL EXAM 6-8pm – in class-essay format (bring outline and sources)