Art History

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Students work closely with faculty as they learn about the relationship of art to fields such as anthropology, sociology, music, dance, literature, science and engineering.

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Meadows art history professors closely mentor their students, offering help and guidance with classes, internships, jobs and grad programs.

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The art history department offers curriculum in Hispanic art from both sides of the Atlantic. Pictured: The Meadows Museum, holding one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of Spanish art in the world.

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Faculty members are recognized nationally and internationally as expert researchers, speakers and authors. Connections in the U.S., Mexico, South America and Europe help foster networking and internships for students.

Ancient Art History Classes

Please note that not all courses are offered every semester. This listing is not considered authoritative. Please visit Access.SMU for authoritative course offerings including meeting times, professor, and more.

ARHS 3303: Archaeological Field Methods of Italy
Archaeological field experience in classical archaeology in Italy. Students will be introduced to the principles of archaeological field method through lectures and field experience. Lectures on Etruscan history, art and culture also will be provided. 

ARHS 3306: Mummies, Myths and Monuments of Ancient Egypt: Art and Expression of Eternal Egypt
Mummies, magic, pyramids and pharaohs provide the focus for a survey of the exotic world of the ancient Egyptians as seen through their brilliantly preserved art and architecture along the banks of the Nile. Egyptian artistic developments from Pre-Dynastic times through the New Kingdom are followed in the context of their political and cultural backgrounds. 

ARHS 3307: Art and Society in Late Antiquity, 300-700
This class studies the complex artistic, religious and cultural transformations that occurred in the territory of the Roman Empire from the time of Constantine to the rise of Islam. Lectures will focus on the era’s artistic and architectural creations; readings will include selections from its major primary documents. 

ARHS 3311: Mortals, Myths and Monuments of Ancient Greece
A visual analysis of the rich tapestry of ancient Greek culture, fountainhead of Western civilization, with emphasis on mythological, archaeological and historical settings in which the art and architecture occur. Touches on various aspects of ancient Greek life including religious practices, Olympic contests, theatrical performances and artistic perfection, among others. 

ARHS 3312: Roman Art and Identity
This course examines the various contexts of Roman art, literature, and material culture, including the built environment, from the early Republic to the 4th century CE. Special emphasis is placed on the social aspects of Roman art in both the public and private spheres and the way that material culture shaped the ideologies of the Roman state and its citizens. Issues of periodization, social class, sex and gender, cultural identity, geographic diversity, and ethnicity are examined in the context of current scholarly trends and debate.

ARHS 3313: The Etruscans and Iron Age Italy
The art and architecture of early Italy, including Etruscan art, early Roman art and “Italic” art will be studied with respect to the cultural context and environment. 

ARHS 3314: The Art and Architecture of Ancient Pompeii
A survey of the history, monuments and society of Campania from the Iron Age to AD 79 as reconstructed from the excavations of Pompeii, Herculaneum and neighboring sites. The influence of the Pompeian discoveries on 18th- and 19th-century art will also be discussed. 

ARHS 3315: Classical Sculpture
A study of the styles, subjects and techniques of the sculptor’s art during the ancient Greek, Hellenistic and Roman eras. Focuses on the functions of sculpture in the round and in relief, free-standing and in architectural settings, with particular attention to historical background. 

ARHS 3316: Art in Rome
A broad survey that explores the wide range of art works from four major periods in Rome: Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque. Art historical methodologies are stressed in looking at painting, sculpture and architecture. Includes on-site lectures. (SMU- in-Rome)

ARHS 3603: Archaeological Field Methods of Italy
Archaeological field experience in classical archaeology in Italy (SMU-in-Rome). 

ARHS 5304: Seminar in Ancient Art
Specific topics for investigation chosen by the instructors. Student reports will be discussed by seminar members.

ARHS 5305: Seminar in Greek Art
Specific topics for investigation chosen by the instructors. Student reports will be discussed by seminar members.

ARHS 5307: Seminar on Classical Art and Theatre
A comparative examination of art, architecture and theatre in Classical Greece, with particular attention to representational structures and strategies in classical performance and the visual arts. Topics will include the uses of art and performance as a forum for addressing issues of local and universal concern and for reflecting upon mythic and historical events. Taught jointly by faculty in art history and theatre.

ARHS 5308: Seminar in Etruscan Art
Specific topics for investigation chosen by the instructors. Student reports will be discussed by seminar members.

ARHS 5309: Seminar in Roman Art
Specific topics for investigation chosen by the instructors. Student reports will be discussed by seminar members.

ARHS 5310: Seminar on Classical Myth in Art
The myths of the Greeks and Romans provide a lively commentary on the beliefs and feelings of those peoples, founders of Western civilization, whose art and literature continue to have profound effects today. The course is designed to study the origins, developments, iconography and interpretations of classical myth through the painting and sculpture of the Greeks and Romans. It also will focus on the treatment of classical myth in subsequent periods of Western art up to and including the 20th century.

ARHS 6303: Archaelogical Field Methods of Italy
Archaeological field experience in classical archaeology in Italy.

ARHS 6311: Mortals, Myths and Monuments of Ancient Greece
A visual analysis of the rich tapestry of ancient Greek culture, fountainhead of Western civilization, with emphasis on mythological, archaeological and historical settings in which the art and architecture occur. Touches on various aspects of ancient Greek life including religious practices, Olympic contests, theatrical performances and artistic perfection.

ARHS 6312: Estruscan and Iron Age Italy
A survey of the art, architecture and material culture of Etruscan and Roman Italy from about 800 B.C. to the advent of Christianity. Begins with the Etruscans and their neighbors in Iron Age Italy and ends with Roman art in the age of Constantine. Special emphasis placed on the interpretation of art within the historical, social and cultural context of ancient Italy.

ARHS 6313: The Etruscans and Early Italy: Art and Culture
The art and architecture of early Italy, including Etruscan art, early Roman art and “Italic” art, will be studied with respect to the cultural context and environment.

ARHS 6314: The Art and Architecture of Ancient Pompeii
A survey of the history, monuments and society of Campania from the Iron Age to A.D. 79 as reconstructed from the excavations of Pompeii, Herculaneum and neighboring sites. The influence of the Pompeian discoveries on 18th- and 19th-century art will also be discussed.

ARHS 6315: Classical Sculpture
A study of the styles, subjects and techniques of the sculptor’s art during the ancient Greek, Hellenistic and Roman eras. Focuses on the functions of sculpture in the round and in relief, free-standing and in architectural settings, with particular attention to historical background.

Areas of Study

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Art History

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Ancient Art History Classes

Directed Topics in Art History Classes

Medieval Art History Classes

Renaissance and Baroque Art History Classes

Modern Art History Classes

British and American Art History Classes

World Art History Classes

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