Survey of the Decorative Arts, Design History, and Material Culture I


Fall 2014


Lecture Hall


Deborah L. Krohn

This two-semester, team-taught course, required of all entering MA students, and PhD students who have not taken a course deemed comparable, traces major historical developments in the decorative and applied arts, landscape design, and material culture from antiquity to the present. Weekly lectures familiarize students with significant forms, materials, sites, styles, designers, and craftsmen, while introducing a variety of scholarly approaches to recovering meaning from material artifacts through a study of function, technology, iconography, and patronage. Small-group discussion seminars provide opportunities for closer analysis of selected objects, readings, and themes. At the end of the two-semester sequence, students will have a working visual and historical vocabulary of significant designed/ manufactured objects and spaces from a wide range of civilizations and periods, and a better awareness of the areas they might pursue at the BGC. 3 credits.