Art History Courses

Our courses are offered on a rotating basis. For information on courses being offered in the current or upcoming academic terms please consult WebAdvisor, or the Timetable

The Calendar contains the most up-to-date course descriptions. For additional course information including course outlines for current and past courses please contact the History Office, 204-786-9382 or history@uwinnipeg.

Courses

HIST-1011(3) Cross Currents in Global Art
(Le3) This course provides an overview of the major periods and styles in the history of art from the paleolithic period to the present.  Art, architecture, and cultural artifacts from around the globe are analyzed within their historical and cultural contexts, with the intention of making connections among cultures and across time periods.  Constructs such as authorship, patronage, politics, gender, colonialism and national identity may be highlighted.

HIST-2801(6) Rethinking Canadian Art
This course is a critical survey of Canadian art from the early contact period (ca. 1500) to the present. Perspectives of Indigeneity, gender, nationalism, regionalism, and ethnicity are used to examine Canadian art and craft in a variety of media.

HIST-2802(3/6) Art in Non-Christian Religions REL-2901(3)
(Le3) This course explores the intrinsic links within non-Christian religious traditions between beliefs and social systems and the art produced in those contexts. It focuses on the art and architecture of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam. Students explore art's implicit and explicit messages about the religious beliefs of its producing society, how art functions within the context of religion, and how one "reads" religious art. The class investigates the impact of social, economic, and power structures on religious art, and the role of patronage in art production. CROSS-LISTED: Religion and Culture REL-2901(3). RESTRICTIONS: Students may not hold credit for this course and REL-2901.

HIST-2804(3) Secret of Museums: A Critical Inquiry into the Origins and Culture of Western Museums
(Le3) Since the Enlightenment, museums have developed into centers of learning, entertainment and even shopping. But the main goal of the modern museum is to educate citizens about history, culture and ideology. This course will prepare students and tourists alike to visit destination European museums with a critical and historical point of view. Important collections such as the Elgin Marbles at the British Museum, the Egyptian wing at the Louvre, and the collection of Modernist art in the former Parisian train station, now the Musée d’Orsay, will be contextualized through contemporary theories of collecting and display. Some classes will be held in the Winnipeg Art Gallery.

HIST-2805(3) Power of Art: Visual Worship & Violence
(Le3) This course introduces students to two fundamentally opposed responses to visual modes of communication in the arts and architecture: iconoclasm (destruction of images/monuments) and iconophilia (worshipping of images/monuments). The course explores various topics from Prehistory to the Modern era.

 HIST-2812(3) Art and Empires in the West 1: Origins to Renaissance
(Le3) This course surveys some of the most significant monuments created over the course of Western civilization, from nascent empires to the Renaissance period. Art and architecture are introduced chronologically, as well as within their historical and social contexts. One theme is how art and architecture are used in the creation of political empires. Critical art history theories are introduced so students gain confidence in analyzing iconic works of art located in popular Western art museums. Students work with artifacts from local collections learning to handle objects, and art history terminology and methodologies. RESTRICTIONS: Students may not hold credit for this course and HIST-2800.

HIST-2813(3) Arts and Empires I the West 2: Renaissance to Present Day
(Le3) This course surveys some of the most significant monuments created over the course of Western civilization, from the Renaissance period to contemporary times. Art and architecture are introduced chronologically, as well as within their historical and social contexts. One theme will be how art and architecture are used in the creation of political empires. Critical art history theories around race, gender and patriarchy are introduced so students can gain confidence in analyzing iconic works of art located in popular Western art museums. Students work with artifacts from local collections learning to handle objects, and art history terminology and methodologies. RESTRICTIONS: Students may not hold credit for this course and HIST-2800(6).

 HIST-2814(3/6) Modern Architecture and Design
(Le3) This course examines the major monuments, architects, and theories of nineteenth and twentieth century architecture, urbanism, landscape design and interior design. The discussion topics include the architectural responses arising from the issues of “modernity” such as industrialization, new technologies, nationalism, and constructs of “nature”. RESTRICTIONS: Students may not hold credit for this course and HIST-3829.

HIST-3805(3/6) Arts of the Arctic
(Le, S3) The course is an introduction to the arts in the Canadian Arctic. It covers briefly the prehistoric and historic periods with a particular focus on post 1949 and contemporary visual arts. The course familiarizes students with the diversity of indigenous art – and more specifically Inuit art - in a range of media including sculpture, prints, drawings and textiles, video, film and digital media as well as contemporary performance practices. The history of the development of these art forms is studied in their social, political, economic and cultural context. Local collections are extensively utilized. RESTRICTIONS: Students may not receive credit for both the 3 credit and 6 credit version of this course.

HIST-3807(3/6) Topics in Twentieth and Twenty-first Century Canadian Art
(Le, S3) This is an advanced lecture/seminar course examining various areas in twentieth and twenty-first century Canadian art. The course addresses issues such as the taxonomy of style - realism, abstract expressionism, minimalism; problems of value - dealers, galleries, craft, design and electronic imaging; and the politics of art - feminism, regionalism, First Nations, ethnicity, ordinary people and government funding. The course investigates issues that affect the country as a whole, within the global context. Assignments focus on art historical writing and criticism. The latter part of the course deals with aspects of Manitoba's culture, for example, women artists. This involves individual student projects and primary research in local archives and collections. RESTRICTIONS: Students may not hold credit for this course and HIST-3821 | HIST-3822.

HIST-3809(3/6) Art in the Age of Revolutions 
(Le, S3) This lecture/seminar course focuses on the major artistic movements of Neoclassicism, Romanticism, Realism, Impressionism, and Post-Impressionism within the context of the social and political upheavals of the late-eighteenth and nineteenth century. The course explores the relations between popular culture and the fine art of the ruling class, between ideology and artistic practice, between the revolution of the avant-garde and of the people, and among industry, exploitation, and empire, and between women as artists and as subjects of art. RESTRICTIONS: Students may not hold credit for this course and HIST-3817 | HIST-3818.

HIST-3810(3/6) Art in the Twentieth Century
(Le, S3) This course introduces the development of abstraction and expression in art from 1900 to 2000, particularly the relation of artistic movements to the political and historical context. The roles of war, sexuality, money, and the cult of personality in the production and reception of art are addressed within a framework of critical analysis, including formalism, Marxism, the feminist critique and post-modern deconstruction. A wide range of media is explored including the arts of film, dance, sculpture, painting and architecture. RESTRICTIONS: Students may not hold credit for this course and HIST-3819 | HIST-3820.

HIST-3811(6) Women, Art and Society 
(Le, S3) This lecture/seminar course considers the new approaches offered by critical theory, psychology, postmodernism, and feminism to the practice of art history and to the history of art in a wide selection of different cultures and periods. The role of women in the production of art will be re-evaluated, the rediscovery of forgotten arts and women artists will be studied, and the representation of women in art will be analyzed. The creative process, art history as a discipline, and the role of art in society from traditional craft and "fine" art to film and advertising will be explored in the light of women's experience.

HIST-3813(3) Art History in Focus I
(Le, S3) This lecture/seminar course offers students the opportunity for intensive study of a single artist’s work or artistic movement on whose work there is a significant body of art historical writing and criticism. Each time the course is offered the name of the artist or movement in focus will be listed in the Timetable.

HIST-3814(3/6) Indigenous Art
(Le, S3) This lecture/seminar course offers an introduction to the arts of indigenous peoples with a focus on contemporary First Nations and Métis art in Canada. Students explore critical approaches to the social and political issues surrounding tradition, appropriation, modernity and personal identity in our survey of visual art. Forms examined may include painting, sculpture, print making, installation, dance, music, theatre, new media and performance. Local artists, exhibitions and collections offer students first-hand experience of current art production in Manitoba.

HIST-3816(6) Art and Architecture of Pilgrimage
(Le, S3) This course is an introduction to the history of pilgrimage art and architecture from the Middle Ages to the Modern era. Medieval and Post-Medieval pilgrimages are used as a laboratory for investigating the topic of the journey to a shrine for the realization of spiritual benefits or the fulfillment of personal motives. Class discussions and lectures on the experience of pilgrimage and its visual ways of expression might include: the major pilgrimages to Christian, Muslin, Hindu and Jewish sites, and the later pilgrimages to North-American shrines.

HIST-3825(3/6) Theories and Methods for Art History
(Le, S3) This lecture/seminar course explores various traditional art historical and critical approaches to the study of art including visual analysis, biography, iconography, and more recent theories such as historiography, feminism, and postmodernism. Museums, galleries, and the art market as well as techniques and conservation are also considered. Research methods for art historians are put into practice in written assignments and, whenever possible, field trips to local sites and exhibitions take place during class time.

HIST-3826(3) Art History in Focus II
(Le, S3) This lecture/seminar course offers students the opportunity for intensive study of a single artist’s work or artistic movement on whose work there is a significant body of art historical writing and criticism. Each time the course is offered the name of the artist or movement in focus will be listed in the Timetable. This course may be repeated for credit when the topic varies.

HIST-3828(3/6) Dada and Surrealism: Art of the Unconscious 
(Le, S3) This course examines the art and ideology of the Dada and Surrealist movements in the twentieth century. Dada and Surrealist artists rejected Enlightenment values, which they felt had led to World War I, and instead celebrated the irrational side of the mind. Dada artists experimented with elements of chance in order to devalue the role of the artist, and the Surrealists explored the unconscious mind using automatic drawing techniques and dream inspired imagery. These movements were interdisciplinary, and in that spirit, we examine art, literature, performances and films. Emphasis is also given to the role women artists played in these movements. RESTRICTIONS: May not hold credit in this course and HIST-3813 if the topic was Dada and Surrealism.

HIST-3832(3) Art, Design, and the City
(Le, S3) This lecture/seminar course examines ideas about cities and urban life. Topics may include Indigenous understandings of place and space, colonialism, public art and urban design, race, gender, disability and sexuality, Modernist utopias of the city, urban landscape and contemporary theories, and practices of urban planning. The course investigates concepts of the land and landscapes as frameworks for both the natural and built environment. The course examines how humans have transformed and manipulated space over time, while simultaneously developing cultures that encompass a range of ideas and attitudes towards landscape, place, identity, narrative and community.

HIST-3833(3) Indigenous Film and New Media Art
(Le, S3) This course explores how Indigenous artists have used digital technology, video, and film to engage with colonization, assimilation, residential schools, and other government policies in Canada and across the globe. The course themes are examined through the theoretical frameworks of visual, cultural, queer, and gender studies. These frames assist in analyzing how Indigenous artists create a visual language of resistance, revitalization, and decolonization. Artists explore topics such as the land, language, identity, sovereignty, environmental racism, economic development, health, music, art, dance, human rights, and spirituality through various media and artistic practices.

HIST-3834(3) Beyond Wilderness: Visual Culture in Canada
(Le, S3) This lecture/seminar course examines the central role of the wilderness and concepts of landscape in historical and contemporary Canadian art. We explore how notions of wilderness and landscape have been constructed, circulated, gendered, and overturned in art history discourse. Manifestations of the wilderness and place in art are examined through social, economic, political, and cultural factors. Historical and intellectual frameworks might include nationalism, feminisms, colonialism, industrialism, events such as Railway construction, Wembley Exhibition, Oka Resistance, key individuals and groups of artists, social movements, and other key events in Canadian history

HIST-3840(3/6) Seventeenth Century Art
(Le3, SV) This course explores the visual arts of Italy, France, England, Spain, and the Netherlands against the background of the social, economic, political and religious change in the seventeenth century. Some of the topics we consider include the position of women artists, the cultural effects of colonialism, the natural sciences, art collecting and the emergence of the art market. RESTRICTIONS: Students may not hold credit for this course and HIST-3803.

HIST-3841(3/6) Arts of the Middle Ages
(Le3, SV) This lecture/seminar course is an introduction to the study of medieval art and architecture in Europe, from the demise of Late Antique traditions up to the Renaissance. In the context of a thematic survey, students are introduced to the terminology, methods, materials, subject matter and function of medieval art and architecture. Since the largest proportion of surviving materials is religious, this includes a firm grounding in the medieval Christian tradition and the nature of the prominent institutions of Church and State. Secular art is considered where possible or appropriate, and broader issues of material culture are explored.

HIST-3842(3/6) Italian Renaissance Art
(Le3, SV) This lecture/seminar course is an introduction to the study of Italian Renaissance art and architecture in the context of the social, political and economic circumstances of this time. This course traces the history of painting, sculpture and architecture of the mid-14th to the 16th century. More specific topics explore the virtuosity and philosophies of realism, the discovery of linear perspective, the artists’ social and intellectual status, art patronage, and gender issues (women artists and women’s art patronage). Some artists/art patrons are considered more in depth, such as Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Isabella d’Este, among others.

HIST-3843(3/6) Northern Renaissance Art
(Le3, SV) This lecture/seminar course is an introduction to the study of art and architecture of the mid-14th to the 16th century Northern regions of Western Europe (France, England, Germany and the Netherlands) in the context of the social, political and economic circumstances of this time. More specific topics should capture our attention, such as the development of panel and manuscript paintings, prints, the raise of realism and secular subjects in the arts, the transformation of the artist’s status and art patronage.

HIST-4800(6) Tutorial
(T) This is a reading course in History of Art, taken by individual senior students with the instructor of their choice. RESTRICTIONS: Written permission from instructor and Department Chair required.

HIST-4801(6) Special Topics in Art History
(S3) This is a seminar devoted to specific issues in or related to art history. The nature and range of topics will depend upon the instructor. Written information about the course for any given year will be available to the student from any Art History Instructor. RESTRICTIONS: Honours form required.

HIST-4803(3/6) Gothic Revival Art & Architecture in Winnipeg
(S3) This course introduces students to a critical history of Gothic Revival architecture in Winnipeg (c. 1830 to 1930). We explore - through the writings of its initiators - the origins of the Gothic Revival movement in Europe and North America, and examine how it reached Winnipeg in the 19th century. Students are introduced to the notion of style, forms and function in architecture, learn to work with archival material (primary and secondary sources) related to historical architecture, to document and comprehend a building and its ornamental components (painting, sculpture, and stained glass), and to write about heritage art and architecture. RESTRICTIONS: Honours Form Required. Students may not hold credit for this course and HIST-4891.

HIST-4815(3/6) Cultures of the Past: Art History & Memory
(S3) This course brings students into first hand contact with selected art objects from the past centuries. Students are introduced to the concepts of periodization and conservation of old art objects, and learn how to document, analyse and write about the art objects which are kept in local institutions. The class examines works in their social, historical and artistic contexts, using primary and secondary sources and technical resources available locally. Students learn the practical aspects of art historical work. RESTRICTIONS: Honours form required.

HIST-4830(3/6) The Idea of the Museum
(S3) Museums and galleries do more than collect and exhibit objects; they participate in the packaging and presentation of the materials and ideas of culture, engaging with a diverse public and multiple stakeholders. Students examine the collecting, exhibiting and presentation practices of European and North American museums and galleries over the last two centuries with the goal of understanding their evolving role. The class explores how museums developed in response to the ideas of collecting and connoisseurship, the disciplines of art history and museology, and how these institutions reflect or relate to different ideologies, such as nationalism and colonialism. Note: This used to be titled The History of Museum and Collecting.
RESTRICTIONS: Honours form Required.

HIST-4831(6) Practicum in Curatorial Studies
(A6) This course combines the theory and practice of curatorial work, public history and experiential learning for students interested in achieving a university credit by working with a local museum or art gallery. The Practicum provides opportunities to explore a range of placements with host institutions in order to learn about being a curator. Students are expected to work 6-8 hours a week in the host institution. Program partners will provide training for the interns who have chosen to work with them. Partnership opportunities include, but are not limited to Winnipeg Art Gallery, Plug In Contemporary Art Institute, Buhler Gallery, and other local galleries and museums.
RESTRICTIONS: Honours form required.

HIST-4833(3/6) Indigenous Theory & Curatorial Practices
This seminar examines critical theories and practices in Indigenous contemporary art and curatorial methods. Topics may include Indigenous theory, curatorial methods and methodologies, concepts in art history, museum studies, colonialism, place, race, gender, ability, and sexuality. The course concentrates on galleries, museums, and contemporary arts institutions within Canada. RESTRICTIONS: Honours form required.


Experimental Courses 

HIST-2806(3) Monstrous Art

(Le3) This course introduces the representation of fantastic characters of monsters, demons and strange creatures in the arts from the Middle Ages to the early 20th century. We seek to define the concept of monstrosity in opposition to that of beauty, and to better understand the sources and motivations behind the creation of monstrous figures in art. Students learn how and why images of monsters have been used as means of control and demonization of the ‘others’, and how they served to give form to the intangible, for instance, in the light of Romanticism and psychoanalysis at the beginning of the 20th century.

HIST-2807(3) Art & Science in the Modern Period

(Le3) This course examines the relationship between art and science from the late seventeenth through to the early twentieth century. Through the investigation of a wide range of images, texts, and objects, we explore how the two disciplines overlapped, how artists understood orthodox and nonorthodox scientific theories and in the process shaped popular conceptions of time, vision, the body, psychology, and the natural world.