IN PERSON: How does the history of American art reveal the changing character of the country? This course surveys the beginnings of art in what is now the United States. We will start with work that is almost 15,000 years old, created by the country’s indigenous people. After our review of American art prior to 1492, we will then examine how the European traditions in art developed in this country, first as expressions of our ties to the Old World and then as declarations of our rejection of those ties. In this art, we will see the invention of that new identity we call American. Through this journey we will also learn how Americans grew to understand what art is, how it became an important signifier of prestige and power, and how it was used to help us coalesce into a united country with a unique character built on shared experiences and aspirations. This is the first part of a three-term survey that explores the connections between art and American identity from prehistory through modern times. | Lecture + Q&A.
Max enrollment: 24.
James Boyles is a retired professor from NC State University, where he taught history of art. With an M.A. and a Ph.D. in art history, his teaching and research have focused on American, modern and contemporary art, with the occasional venture into the medieval period and the 18th century.