AH 18 Syllabus

                     ART IN AMERICA TO 1900 COURSE SYLLABUS

ART-H 18                            Section 94618                            Fall 2016      

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

Office Hours Monday-Thursday 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            

American Art Website – www.cabrilloarthistory.com



The course ART IN AMERICA TO 1900 is offered to students who wish to explore the native arts and European traditions of the United States.  Art 18 is thus a geographical and historical combination of  “Indian Art” and “American Art.”  This course complements Art 19 and 52, Precolumbian Art of the Latin Americas and Latin American Art.  The native arts lectures and readings will correspond to broad geographical areas and periods: Eastern Mound Builders of the Midwest and South, The Southwest, The Northwest Coast, etc.    European American arts will emphasize periods, artists, regions, landscape, crafts, and architecture but will focus on painting.  Links between the two halves of the course will be commonplace. 


Title: Native North American Art | Edition: 2

Author: Janet Berlo, Ruth Phillips

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780199947546


Title: American Art and Architecture

Author: Michael J. Lewis

Publisher: Thames & Hudson

ISBN: 9780500203910



Text readings - For class, exams, and assignments.

Written assignments – A paper is due at end of semester, see Assignment 2.

Quizzes – Three in class quizzes are planned based on lectures and readings.  Unannounced online quizzes will also be offered.  There are announced only on the course website.

Examinations - Two based on the readings and lectures.  The Final examination will cover the entire course. Applied knowledge will be assessed through Student Learner Outcomes in Exam number one.  Instructions and a review sheet will precede examination. 

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



1. Write an essay that synthesizes non-Western and Western artistic style traditions in U.S. and Canada.

2. Decide the identity of known and unknown works of Pre-Columbian native arts in terms of subjects and styles.



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

2 absences is reasonable for a semester course of 16 class periods. 

Over 2 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.


House Rules

VAPA 1001 is a state-of-the-art Art History lecture hall, emphasizing superior acoustics and visual clarity. Anything that distracts from that experience hinders student learning.  Cell phone use of any kind, non -note-taking laptop use, talking in class and other disturbances are prohibited and will be enforced daily.


Students needing accommodations should contact the instructor after they have registered with the Assessibility Support center on campus.  A written form from the center is provided to the student to present to their professor early on in the course. 



AH 18                           Calendar Fall 2016


Date      Due      Lecture Topic                            Text readings, etc.                    

8/29                  Introduction to Course                  Berlo – Native North American Art            

8/31      A1        Settlement of Americas                


9/5                    Labor Day – Holiday – Campus Closed                              

9/7                    Moundbuilders +Eastern Woodlands                      


9/12                  Plains 1                                    

9/14                  Plains 2 + A2 instructions


9/19                  Southwest                                             

9/21      Quiz 1  Southwest


9/26                 Northwest Coast 1                      

9/28                  Northwest Coast 2


10/3                  Northwest Coast 3

10/5      E1        Examination


10/10                Eskimo                                     

10/12                California, Canadian Woodlands   


10/17                Native Revival                           

10/19                Native Americans in Photography  


10/24                American Art Intro                       Lewis, American Art and Architecture

10/26                Colonial Period 1                                  


10/31                Colonial Period + New Republic   

11/2                  Landscape Painting + Nature                                                                                                                                            

11/7                  Photography

11/9                  American Themes                       


11/14                American Sculpture +                  

                        American West                                      

11/16                Later 19th Century


11/21                Folk Art           

11/23    A2        Open Lecture   


11/28                19th Century Architecture             

                        The Whitehouse                                                 

11/30                Art of California  + Review         


12/5                  California 2 + Conclusions           

12/7      Exam   Final Examination

12/15-27  Final Exam Week – no Exam and no class meeting


AH 18                          Assignments Fall  2016

AH 18 students should expect to complete 25 pages of writing during this semester

 Examinations and Quizzes see calendar for dates – neither notes nor open text used for exams

Quizzes - minimal review sheets. Quiz 1 – slide and term identification covering American Indian art through lectures and readings

Quiz 2 – – slide and term identification covering art through lectures and readings

Online quizzes will be based on lectures and online materials.

Midterm Exam – lectures and Readings through Northwest Coast.  Detailed Review – closed notes

Final Exam –comprehensive – detailed review –

 A1 –Form is online on course website.  Fill it out and email with photograph to me at qtermile@me.com

 A2 – Due 11/23

Two Western Views of American Indians: Bill Holm and George Catlin  

Explain how American Indians were expressed in very different ways by these two artists. 

Select four examples total by these artists, 2 by Holm and 2 by Catlin that provide a range of attitudes and interpretations of American Indians in art.  You are encouraged to select additional works of art by other artists from this course to compare with these.

Research the history of each artist but remember to keep any biographical information to a minimum.  Your paper is evaluated on the discussions from the art objects you choose. You may bring history in to your paper but the art objects themselves will receive most of the focus.  The emphasis comes from the art as evidence. Font size 12 or less.  No quotes unless they are by 19th century people.  3 pages min.  One-inch margins.

Your paper needs to include:

1. Title Page – The only place for your name and title is on the first title page.  This information is not repeated anywhere else on the paper.

2. Introduction – Tell me what you are about to do.  This paper is your comparison of two artists (Bill Holm and George Catlin) artistic views of American Indians. Collect the type of characteristics and views your artists demonstrate later on in the paper.  Identify these traits in the introduction but do not assign these to either artist.  I repeat – do not give your paper away yet - your introduction will clearly state your definitions of these characteristics or views (without an artists name attached) and finally include the list of your four objects by name, two by each artist. You should probably wait to write this until after you finish the Body of the paper.

3. Body of Paper will have at least four detailed paragraphs, one for each art selection and should include:                 Identification of work by name, museum, or location and medium.

Description. Three to five sentences describing the object and pointing out the emphasis and                  point of view of the artist. It is advised to follow one work by one artist with another by the other       artist.  Describe it as well and follow the two works with a one on one comparison.

4. Conclusions: This is a summary of each artists views of the American Indian through a collection of all that you discovered in the body of the paper. Make this a factual conclusion.  

5. Sources. Cite all sources with a 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. Illustrations of all selections at the end are helpful for the reader but not required.

6. Your paper will be written in your own words. Plagiarism even of three to four word phrases will result in a considerable grade deduction, and in clear cases will give a failing grade to the paper. No quotes unless they are by an historical person from the past.


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. 





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