American Art to 1865

A540 — Fall 2024

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Melody Barnett Deusner
Radio/TV 226
Days and Times
MW 11:30am-12:45pm
Course Description

Look closely, and you will find that some of the images and symbols you associate most immediately with the United States of America- from the gleaming white-columned Capitol to the engraved portrait of George Washington in your pocket- had their origins in the years before the US Civil War. This course takes you even deeper into the complex visual history of this place, from the first documented artifacts of European and Native American contact to photographs of the dead at Anteitam. Through classroom discussions and museum field trips, we will explore paintings, architecture, furniture, prints, quilts, city plans, and more. These resources will help you develop your critical looking and reading skills; take-home exams and short paper assignments will enable you to reflect upon what you are learning. Previous experience in American art and material culture not required, curiosity a must.