AH 14 Syllabus



Modern Art – Course Syllabus

AH 14                                                Section 97797                                           Fall 2017


Monday Wednesday  9:30 AM -10:50 PM Room VAPA 1001  Dr. Brian Legakis. 

Office Hours M-Th 8:30-9-30 AM   W 6:00-7:00 PM Wat

Cabrillo phone 479-6368    Home phone - 688-1325   

E-mail –  brlegaki@cabrillo.edu        Ancient Art Website – www.cabrilloarthistory.com



Modern Art is a course that is designed to survey the art of Europe and the United Stats from 1850 to 1945.  Every effort will be made to establish a historical and cultural background for the art and artists discussed in the slide illustrated lectures and readings in order to depict an integrated picture of the art and life of this period.  The lecture themes are often centered on a major artist such as Jacques Louis David, Pablo Picasso, or Frida Kahlo.   The characteristics of Modern Art styles will be explored according to the criteria of the times, as well as the artistic and cultural foundations of the preceding Renaissance and Baroque periods on later Modern art. 



Title: Art History Portables Book 6 | Edition: 5

Author: Marilyn Stokstad, Michael Cothren

Publisher: Pearson

ISBN: 9780205877560



Text readings - for class, exams, and essays.

Exams and quizzes - all are announced and on your calendar.  Extra credit quizzes are not announced.

Essay – Term paper essay assigned on the readings and museum/gallery viewings, as well as special topics.    

Grading - Letter grades will be given to all exams and most essays.   The course grade is based on the final exam, midterm exams, quizzes and essays, as well as attendance and participation.

Student Learner Outcomes – Individual student activities with measurable results

1. Write an essay that synthesizes the vocabulary terms and concepts included in the study of Modern art.

2. Decide the identity of known and unknown Modern art works in terms of period, iconography, form and style



Attendance:  Students are expected to attend class on time and remain for the duration of a class period.

2 absences are reasonable for a semester course of 16 class periods but 3 absences would be cause for concern and may result in the lowering of a grade, or in dropping the student, not simply as punishment, but as a result of missed lecture material that will be used in quizzes and exams. Late students to class can be marked absent.

Assignments: All written assignments are expected to be turned in on time in the first 5 min. of class.  If you have a problem, contact me. Late papers are accepted - with one half grade marked down per day late.

Quizzes and Examinations: It is especially important not to be absent for a quiz or an examination.  It is unlikely that a make up will be granted to a student.  The examinations are not to be missed.

Pass – No pass - is by permission of the instructor and granted only during the first week of class.



Class attendance and note taking is crucial.  Cell phone use during lectures is not permitted. Reading assignments completed on time will aid the student in the lectures.  Students must check in with course website often.


I ACCOMMODATE STUDENTS WITH DISSABILITIES Students needing accommodationsshould contact the instructor ASAP.


AH 14                         Calendar Fall 2017            

Date      Due      Lecture Topics                                       Text Readings

8/28                  Introduction + Art History Background       Read Chapter  23

8/30      A1        Rococo               


9/4                    Labor Day Holiday

                        Social Background to the Modern               Read Chapter 24

9/6                    Neoclassical                                                       


9/11                  Romantic

9/13                 Realism 1


9/18                  Realism 2

9/20      Quiz     Early Photography                                   Read Chapter 25


9/25                  Pre-Raphaelites              

9/27                 Pre-Raphaelites + 19th Century Women


10/2                  Impressionism                                        Read Chapter 26 

10/4      EXAM  Midterm Examination                           


10/9                  Impressionism                                                               

10/11                Post Impressionism                                            


10/16                Post Impressionism                                 Read Chapter 27

10/18                Symbolism                   


10/23                Rodin   

10/25                Art Nouveau                  


10/30                Late 19th Century Architecture

11/1                  Matisse                                     


11/6                  Picasso                                                  Read Chapter 28

11/8                  Futurism, Dada                                      


11/13                Surrealism                     

11/15                Art Deco, Mexican Muralism Exam Review                       


11/20                Frida Kahlo, 20th Century American                                   

11/22      A2          Open Lecture


11/27                20/21st century Photography

11/29                Conceptualism + Earth Art                        Read Chapter 29                         



12/4                  Modern Art since 1980                             Read Chapter 30

12/6      EXAM  Final Exam In class normal class time


12/11-12-16        Finals Week -  No Class No Exam          

AH 14 Modern            ASSIGNMENTS AND EXAM SCHEDULE                Fall 2017


Examinations and Quizzes see calendar for dates – no notes or text allowed.  Reviews Presented

Quiz 1 – slide and term identification covering Through Pre-Raphaelites

Midterm Examination 1 slide and term identification covering Post Impressionism

Final Examination – Comprehensive Exam on Course

Assignment Essays A1 Questionnaire –Download questionnaire – email with Photo.


Term Paper Due 11/22 Theme: A small exhibit of the History of Modern Art through 5 Narratives. You will be selecting and organizing a small museum exhibit by “borrowing” five works of art that represent the major Artistic Innovations of Modern Art using narratives, or stories tod in art.  Your descriptions of each art work will require research.  Where do you find the information to write the descriptions? Museums tend to have excellent websites that provide you with important background information on the objects of art.  Each museum description is a summation of conventional wisdom.  You must use this information as the basis for your descriptive analysis of each work. The paper is a minimum of 3 pages in length,  double spaced, size 12 font or less with one inch margins.  It will be printed and presented the first five minutes in class on 11/22.  For your paper all items below are required.


1. The Title Page is required. No pictures, size 12 font, name and title and course number and date.  This information is not repeated anywhere else in your paper.


2. The Introduction to paper restates the theme topic stated below in your own words, explaining what you are trying to accomplish. A small exhibit of the History of Modern Art through 5 Narratives.   Explain where the exhibit will take place and the criteria for selecting the objects.  Then list all five objects of art in your report. Please do not start your paper off with a general statement about art such as “of the many wonders of Modern Art we have today one can only imagine the greatness of artist invention.” You will be marked down for general art statements or quotes as your topic sentence.


3. The Body of Paper contains detailed descriptions of your five examples of Modern art all “borrowed” from museums, only one object allowed per museum. Your complete Descriptive Analysis of each work of art will have the following 3 parts: 1. Label. Title, artist, medium, museum, size. 2. Descriptive Analysis Describe the object in detail, including the iconography and style using the museum supplied information retold in your own words.  Allow the object to remind you what topics to cover.  3. Selection Rational – This is where you explain why this work had to be selected to illustrate your history of Modern Art exhibit.  Be specific.


4. The Conclusions to paper. Your Conclusions are your summary.  Think of it as an abstract of the entire paper. You need to be precise, accurate and brief including the following 3 items. 1. Intro Explain again what you said in the Intro about the purpose of the paper and your criteria for selection.  2. Exclusions Write a few sentences on what areas of Modern Art you did not represent and why.  3. Major Ideas. Lastly explain what are the 2-3 major ideas you want your audience to take away when they leave your exhibit.


5. Bibliography – a collection of all sources in your paper.  Expect to include a minimum of 8 sources not including my lectures or course textbook.  Your web sources need to be identified by both website title as well as web address.  Encyclopedias or Wikipedia citations must not be used. “Safe Web Sources” will be provided. Any bibliographic format is accepted.


6. Illustrations of all selections with captions are placed after the Conclusions. They may fit on one page.


7  Proof read carefully No quotes, unless it is a Modern artist speaking.  Write paper in your own words.  Whole line or even half line copy/paste selections from an author is considered plagiarism and you will want to stay away from that. 


8. Include this list in your paper at the end with a pencil check off of every item to show you read this carefully before turning this paper in.

          Note Taking and Preparing for Art History Courses


How do you prepare for Art History courses?  Most of you are new to Art History courses.  Even those who have had Art History before or even my own courses might take a moment to read these tips. 


Art History may be studied in many different ways.  Naturally it is about art objects of great beauty and inspiration.   Some students feel that to be able to appreciate art it requires a natural talent.  Natural talent always helps.  Art Studio majors take Art History as part of their training for their major as artists, and their contributions in class are always helpful.  The study of Art History clearly encompasses the things working artists deal with daily – design and composition, line, shape, color, textured surfaces, and much more.  Art History also covers the subject matter and the stories around these subjects.  These discussions take us into the life and history of the period and the experiences of artists.   In talking about the artists we look into their favorite methods of creating, which brings us back to the art objects themselves.  As you can see, we often move back and forth between art and people and places.  There are things to observe, measure, and describe in great detail – just as in science, anthropology or history classes.  Art History is factual, and it is about much more than just dates and titles.


How do students learn the facts and methods of Art History?  Some are able to learn entirely on their own through their own research.  Many, however, find it overwhelming to get through the terms and names and subjects by themselves.  Taking this course assumes you would like to learn in a classroom atmosphere.  Each day you will see and learn about new art from exotic places.   My lectures are full of stories and experiences.  You may want to sit back and take it all in for the moment, but it is likely you will forget the details unless you take notes – really good notes.


You will need to take notes for quizzes and exams and for yourself.  I used to give out elaborate handouts only to find that students stopped taking notes.  Now my handouts are on the slide images, around them, above and below.  My stories need to be taken down as well because I weave all the information together into a whole.  Don’t make choices.  Everything is important and every slide you see could end up on an exam.  They will not all be used as there are too many, but you will not know which ones we will examine until you receive the exam review sheets.  I do not know myself until I actually make up the exams.


So, every day in class come prepared with your notebook and take everything down.  Date the top of each page, include the slide number at the bottom of each slide and at some point put the subject or artist above each page so you can find it quickly at a later date for study or to clarify your answer in a quiz.    Ideally you would read these notes after each lecture but I know that is not always possible.  The lecture slides are labeled and available online.  Check the online support for this class often.  It will help you in many ways, but it cannot substitute for great notes.   With all that you have invested in your notebook, ID it clearly.


    Fastest contact email is qtermile@me.com