HA&A 0020 (CRN 20209) Introduction to Asian Art

Spring Term, 2002

W 5:45-8:10PM and
204 Frick Fine Arts Bldg.

Department of Art History
University of Pittsburgh

Instructor: Prof. Linduff
Office: RM128, Frick Fine Arts Bldg.
Office Hours: By Appointment
(Tel): 412-648-2409

An introductory course in the history of art can have a tremendous impact on students who take one. Even if you have never had another art history course, this will serve as an introduction and guide to a world of visual and intellectual richness that is accessible to you when you give it an earnest effort. Art history is a discipline which demands equal parts of art and science, creativity and organization.

Fine Arts 0020 is a general introduction to the Arts of Asia (India, China, Japan). The works of art are important in their own contexts and we want to learn what they reveal about their parent cultures. We must also keep in mind that this art is comparable to that of other cultures as well, either because its creation was in response to similar needs, as with the art of early cultures (Weeks 1-4), or with a religion such as Buddhism (Weeks 5-6), or because of actual interaction between groups. Seen in this way the art may seem more readily understandable, more sympathetic, more human even if you know nothing about the Asian world when you begin. There are thousands of works of art available for study; they are part of our world heritage. What are they? How are they related to each other? What did they mean to their makers? What do they mean to us today? These are the questions with which we may begin our study.

Entering the world of art is a very special experience. For some of you it will change your lives. All of you owe it to yourselves to enjoy it and to get the most out of it. It is a pleasure to introduce it to you.

Course Format and Requirements
CLASS LECTURES: All lectures will focus on a few works of art which are taken as a key to understanding the period in which they were made. Each "key work" is listed at the top of the lecture outline where it will be discussed and is illustrated on the website. These works will be shown in exams and you will be expected to know all pertinent data (name, artist, date, medium, patron, and place of origin) for each. Other works shown in class will be used for comparison and reference in lectures and exams, but you will only be expected to know the date and culture of origin of those. In addition, all the terms in BOLD in the HA&A 0020 website lecture outlines must be learned and used in writing essays or difinitions in the exams. Attendance in lectures is necessary to learn the material and to pass the exams. The readings will elaborate on ideas introduced in the lectures.

READINGS: The required text is John D. La Plante's Asian Art, (3rd edition, Dubuque, 1992), on sale at the University Book Center. HA&A 0020 website is available at the following address:http://www.pitt.edu/~asian. Each lecture summary in the HA&A 0020 website designates the parallel readings in La Plante. In addition, other readings are listed from books on reserve for this course in the Frick Fine Arts Library. Ask for them at the reserve desk there.

GRADING: The term grade is based on three hour examinations, each worth 100 points, or one-third of your final mark. An optional final essay may be written at the third exam for additional credit (50 points).

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