AH 52 Latin American Art Syllabus

ART-H 52                Section 101900                                       Spring 2018                     


 Tuesday 7-10 PM Room A150 Watsonville Center  Dr. Brian Legákis. 

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

Cabrillo phone 479-6368            Home phone - 688-1325   

E-mail –  brlegaki@cabrillo.edu   or   qtermile@me.com

Ancient Art Website – www.cabrilloarthistory.com



Latin American Art explores the art of Latin America from the period of European exploration and colonization through the Modern era.  The focus of the course will be on New World artists of the period of liberation from ca 1800 to the present. Art and architecture will be introduced in lectures illustrated with slides and literature, with assigned readings.


Dawn Ades, Art in Latin America, 1989 -  out of print   Find online


Text readings - for class, exams, and essays.

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

Essay - Brief 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 terms, concepts, techniques and materials included in the study of Latin American art.

2. Decide the identity of known and unknown works of Latin American art in terms of the historical periods, locations, and subject matter.



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.  3 absences would be cause for concern. Over 3 absences 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.

Any time that a student misses three consecutive class periods, without contacting me, may be dropped from the course.

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.

Credit/No Credit - is by permission of the instructor and granted only during the first week of class.



Class attendance is critical 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.



Students needing accommodationsshould contact the instructor ASAP.

                               AH 52  Calendar Spring 2018


JAN                 30        Introduction to Course                          Buy text and skim

                                    Pre-Columbian Background 1              


FEB     A1        6          Pre-Columbian Background 2                                      

                                    Quiz 1 Review


                        13        Pre-Columbian Background 3              



            Quiz 1  20        Colonial Art                                         Exam review


                        27        19th c and Independence                    Text 7-25

                                    Academies and History Painting          Text 27-39


MARCH            6         Exam                                                  Lectures + readings


                        13       19th c Traveler Artists                           Text 41-61

                                    Nature and Science                             Text 63-99


                         20       19th c Jose Maria Velasco                   Text 101-109

                                    Posada and Graphic Art                       Text 111-123

                        27        Spring Break – Campus Closed


APRIL              3          20th c. Modernism                                Text 125-149

                                    Mexican Muralists                                 Text 151-179

                                    20th c Graphic Art                                 Text 181-193


                        10        20th c Surrealism                                 Text 215-239

                                    Frida Kahlo   


                        17        Frida in Film 


                        24        Native Roots + Folk Art + Exam Review            Text 195-213

                                       Current Trends + Photography             Text 241-280


MAY     A2        1         Salgado  The Salt of the Earth +   Amazonia        


                        8         Amazonia part 2


                      15        Final Exam 1 +  Final Exam 2   in class regular time last week of class

                                  Will take entire class period o finish

No Final Exam during Finals Week and No Class Meeting


Assignments and Exams Spring 2018


Quiz on lectures and handouts



Midterm examination

The first exam includes slide identifications from lectures.  A review list will precede exam. 


Final Exam

Last Day of Class   Based on material since midterm exam but also comprehensive.  Slides with review given out one week before.  No exam given during final Exam week.



Are due on the date they are announced or as stated on the calendar and below.   All papers are collected before class and within the first five minutes of the class meeting.


A1 - Due 2nd class Period

A 1 Questionnaire –Download questionnaire from Course Website into an Office Word file or any .doc or .docx file and email with Photo.


A2 Final essay Due 5/1

Theme: The Biographies of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo through their art.  You will reconstruct the life stories of Diego and Frida – the two most famous Latin American artists – and couples only through their art.  You select four works of art by each artist to tell something about their lives, art or personality.  You will find the works of art in museums and in private collections.  A list of excellent online sources to these collections will be provided to you on your website.  The paper has the following 6 parts.


  1. Title Page - Name of student.  Title of paper, course name, date  - Font size -12.  Your name and title appears nowhere else in this paper.


  1. Introduction to paper explains the Theme of the paper.  Briefly explain what you intend to do in this paper regarding these two artists.  5-8 sentences needed.  Note this is page one of your paper and no information from the title page appears here.  Start your Intro from the top of the page.  Set your margins at 1 inch all the way around – font size 12 or less, double-spacing.  Explain what you have in mind listing the titles of all 8 works of art in your paper. Do not start your paper with a general statement or quote about art. 


  1. Body of Paper – this is where you will separately discuss the lives of Diego and Frida only through their art.  You must select four works of art by each artist to explain something of their lives.  Identify each work of art briefly by title, medium (painting technique – oil, fresco, watercolor, drawing etc) dimensions, museum or collection location and date.  Select one or two things to say about their lives revealed in the art works – using first the factual information provided for you by the museums.  Only after you have provided that, then add your own views. Do all four works by each artist and then move on to the next artist.


  1. Conclusions – Summarize the lives and personalities of each person only from the works of art you used in the paper. You now have a total of four art work observations to sum up the lives for each artist. How were these two artists different from one another. Do they approach life or art in a different way.  If they do approach art in a different way, does that say something about them as people?


  1. Bibliography at the end. Note – No encyclopedias are used for this paper.  Wikipedia as a source will automatically give you an F on this paper. Web sites require site title + web address.


6       Illustrations of all objects are placed at the end of the paper with captions – artist, title, museum


Did you do this???

7    Proof read carefully No quotes, unless it is an ancient person 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 at the end of your paper with a pencil check near each item.


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 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