Skip to Main Content

ARHI.2210: Twentieth Century Art

spiral jetty
Spiral Jetty, Robert Smithson (1938-1973)
Used under Artstor Terms and Conditions

This course surveys developments in modern art and architecture from the late 19th century through the 1960s. In the first part of the course, we will focus on artistic and cultural developments that originate in France and Germany, including Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, Art Nouveau, Fauvism, Cubism, Constructivism, German Expressionism, the Bauhaus, Dada and Surrealism. In the second part, we will focus on developments in the second half of the 20th century in the United States and Europe, such as Abstract Expressionism, Fluxus, Pop Art, Minimalism, Performance art, and Land Art, studying artists, artworks, and the theoretical and philosophical underpinnings of these modern, and post-modern, movements. 

The history of 20th century art and architecture encompasses Europe, Russia and the U.S.S.R., and the United States and must be seen in the context of the era’s massive social and political upheavals: the Franco-Prussian War, the World Wars (with a special emphasis on Germany), the Russian Revolution, the Cold War, the Civil Rights Movement, and the Vietnam War. We will seek to understand the engagement of artists with their social and political situations.

Required Text: ​H.H. Arnason and Elizabeth C. Mansfield, History of Modern Art, 7th edition (Prentice Hall, 2013).