Course Code Credits

First-Year Seminar: Art Now! Contemporary Trends

Students will investigate trends in recent art through engaging with theoretical and critical writings, in-class discussions, presentations by artists and critics, and visits to galleries and museums, such as the new contemporary wing of the Museum of Fine Arts, the Institute of Contemporary Art, the DeCordova Museum, and Mass MoCA. Limited to 16.

VPH110 4

First-Year Seminar: Boston Buildings: Inside & Out

Boston is home to many exquisite private urban dwellings: Paul Revere House, the Harrison Grey Otis House, the Gibson House, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and Gropius House. In addition Boston boasts some of the most cutting edge public buildings such as the Boston Public Library, Trinity Church, and Boston City Hall. This course will introduce students to Boston's private living spaces and how they reflect the people who lived in them and its historic public buildings that reflect the city who commissioned them. On site visits, guest curators and critical readings will all contribute to a new understanding of Boston architecture. Open to First-Year Students only. Limited to 16.

VPH111 4

History of Art I

This one-semester survey explores major developments in art and architecture from Antiquity through the 19th Century, considering historical events and ideological shifts which contributed to the stylistic changes. Trips to Boston museums enhance class content. Limited to 25.

VPH181 4

Introduction to Arts Administration

The course will introduce students to the many facets of arts administration in the visual and performing arts. Topics to be investigated will include: the role of arts in society; management strategies; funding venues; and legal and ethical issues in the arts. Limited to 25.

VPH184 3

History of Photography

History of Photography is a general survey of photographic practice from 1839 to the present. Through lectures, exhibition viewings, class discussion and student-led presentations, students will explore the aesthetic, social and conceptual underpinnings of the medium throughout the last 170 years.

VPH209 3


Philosophical principles of art and beauty. Review of major classical and modern theories. Discussion of specific works of art from different historical periods. Cross-listed in the Philosophy Department as PHL 283. Pre-requisite: GENP 100 or GENP 140. Limited to 25.

VPH212 3

The Age of Cathedrals

Examines the rise of the Gothic Cathedral from its roots in the Ottonian and Romanesque periods. Great European Cathedrals like Chartres, Notre Dame, Strasbourg, Salisbury, are discussed in detail. Limited to 25.

VPH214 3

Early Renaissance Art: Italy and the North

Introduction to the art of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries in Italy and the North. Students explore different types of art such as altarpieces, civic art, and court art. Artistic exchanges between Italy and the North are examined, and the roles that patrons, the economy, and the military played are investigated. Limited to 25.

VPH215 3

Nineteenth Century Art: Neoclassicism to Post-Impressionism

An analysis of various stylistic developments which occurred at a time when conceptual shifts and innovative techniques brought about dramatic changes in the nature of painting and sculpture. Neoclassicism, Romanticism, Realism, Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, and Symbolism are considered and placed in their appropriate socio-economic, political, and aesthetic contexts. Limited to 25.

VPH216 3

Early Modern Art: 1900-1945

Some of the most profound innovations in art occurred during the first half of the Twentieth Century. In this course, students study major developments including Fauvism, German Expressionism, Cubism, Dada and Surrealism in terms of style and theory and within cultural, social and political contexts. A trip to the Museum of Modern Art in New York City enriches classroom curriculum. Limited to 25.

VPH217 3

Art Since 1945

Major movements such as Abstract Expressionism, Pop Art, Minimalism, Super Realism, Neo-Expressionism as well as works which go beyond traditional media (earthworks, video art, performance art, digital imaging). Day trips to museums and galleries complement class material. Limited to 25.

VPH218 3

From Bernini to Vermeer: Art of the Baroque

Survey of the visual arts in Italy, France, Spain, Flanders, and Holland during the Seventeenth Century. Students consider some of the world's most evocative and emotionally stirring art that was shaped by the demands of monarchs and popes. Also explored are cultural, religious, and scientific factors which influenced changes in artistic style and technique. Limited to 25.

VPH220 3

Art of the City: Greece & Rome

Urban architecture, sculpture and painting in Greece and Rome. All aspects of city life during Antiquity will be explored: religious, civic, domestic, and social. Students will gain a deep knowledge of life in the ancient world through the study of its cities and citizens. Limited to 25.

VPH225 3

Art for Public Spaces: Issues & Trends

Students will be introduced to the changing trends in public art, focusing on developments since the mid twentieth-century. New definitions of art for the public realm will be examined. Controversial public art projects will be discussed as well as the complexities of public commissions and the shifting focus of funding organizations. Limited to 25.

VPH226 3

Modern American Architecture

This course examines twentieth and twenty-first century architecture in America and its European roots. Through classroom instruction via digital images, readings and field trips, students will focus on issues such as function, style, technology, urbanism, and regionalism in order to understand the forces that shape modern architecture. Limited to 25.

VPH227 3

Masters of the Renaissance: Leonardo, Michelangelo & Raphael

An in-depth study of the works of these three High Renaissance artists, the evolution of their respective styles, and the environment in which they worked. Specific scholarly issues are discussed in student presentations. Limited to 20.

VPH314 3

Art & Gender

Issues of gender as explored by artists throughout the centuries. Notions of femininity and masculinity, sexual identity, and challenges facing women artists are among the TOPICS discussed. Limited to 20.

VPH316 3

Art & Psychology

The relationship between works of art and scientific inquiry into the human mind. Artworks which reflect psychological content are discussed in depth (for example, psychoanalytical interpretations of Van Gogh's paintings; Surrealist painting and Freudian theory). Therapeutic uses of art are explored in a workshop with an Art Therapist. Limited to 25.

VPH317 3

Topics in European or American Art

In this seminar students will investigate focused topics in European or American art from Antiquity through the Modern era. The topic will change each time the course is offered. Recommended for Art History, History, and American Studies Majors. Course may be taken twice under different topics. Limited to 25.

VPH330 3


This course explores the history, theory, philosophy, and practice of museums. Students will study exhibition approaches and strategies of display; collection development and conservation; and educational programming. Visits to Boston-area museums will enhance class material. Limited to 16.

VPH332 3

Exhibitions & Collections: An Inside Look

An inside look at the art world. Visits to art galleries, museums, auction houses, and corporate and private collections acquaint students with a variety of art institutions and professions. Students curate an exhibition at the Cushing-Martin Gallery: they visit artists' studios to choose work; organize the exhibition; hang work in the gallery; write a catalogue and press releases; and plan a reception. Capstone course for Art History Concentration. Limited to 15.

VPH440 3

Research Seminar in Art History

Examines specific TOPICS in Western art, applying art historical methodology and critical approaches to in-depth research with primary and secondary sources. Topic will change each time the seminar is offered. Students will produce an extensive research paper and give an oral presentation. Strongly suggested for Art History majors and minors. Pre-requisites: VPH 181 and one 200 level Art History course. Limited to 25.

VPH441 3

Internship in Art History

An internship in a professional arts institution provides students with invaluable experience in the field. An intern typically works 8-10 hours per week on site. Internships are available at various galleries, museums and companies.

VPH475 3