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Registration > Courses: Fall Session One 2017

Passport to the Entire History of Art  

Karen Lee McSorley An encyclopedic review of the history of art from cave dwellings of early hominids to the present-day Instagram & Snapchat obsession across planet Earth. However, there’s a twist! In order to accommodate the enormous investigative possibilities, we will tackle the subject matter one continent at a time. Blending visual presentations, thematic readings, and interactive class discussion, we begin our travel adventure. Week 1: Europe -- Art funded/promoted by religious/monarchical power Caves at Lascaux & Altimira, (France & Spain) Ancient Pottery (Greece) Ancient Roman Architecture (Italy) Book of Kells (Great Britain & Ireland) Hagia Sophia Church (Turkey) Gothic Churches (Germany) “The Big Five” Renaissance (Italy) Royal Portraits (Netherlands) Cafes & Salons (France) Reading: Excerpt from Emile Zola’s “The Kill” Week 2. Africa -- Art from natural materials for utilitarian purposes The Pyramids (Egypt) Nok Culture (Nigeria) Royal Arts (Benin) Kente Cloth & Textiles (Ghana) Basket Weaving (Sudan) Maasai Beads (Kenya) Churches & Stele (Ethiopia) Printmaking during Apartheid (South Africa) Contemporary Photography (pan-continental) Reading: Chapter from Oguibe Olu’s “The Culture Game” Week 3. South America -- Art before and after political/social independence Raimandi Stela (Peru) “Virgin of Carmel” (Peru) Machu Picchu/Inca Art (Peru) Religious Iconography (Venezuela) Customs & Genre Painting pre-Independence (Argentina) San Ignacio Mini (Argentina) Santa Maria de Lereto (Chile) Cathedral of Brasilia (Brazil) Lygia Clark (Brazil) Reading: Collected articles on South American independence movement Week 4. Australia & Antarctica Tribal art from isolated lands Maori Carvings & Ta Moko (New Zealand) Western Desert Acrylic “Dot” Paining (Australia) Explorer Art: James Cook (Australia/New Zealand) Polynesian Art (Easter Island, Fiji, Hawaii) Heidelberg School (Australia) “The Antipodean Manifesto” (Australia) Art & Technology (Antarctica) Reading: Hinemoa and Tutanekia: A Maori Legend Week 5. Asia -- Art of dynasties and feudal societies Jade Ornament (China) Hanging Scrolls (China) Samurai Culture (Japan) Ukiyo-E Woodblock Prints (Japan) Islamic Ceramics (Turkey, Syria) Dome of the Rock (Jerusalem) Bezalel Academy of Fine Arts (Israel) Bengal School of Art (India) Taj Mahal of Agra & Harmandir Sahib of Amritsar (India) Buddhas Galore (Nepal) Reading: Excerpts from Murasaki Shikibu’s “Tale of Genji” Week 6: North America -- Art as a reflection of the human spirit Petroglyphs (Utah, California, Nevada) Pre-Columbian Murals & Figurines (Mexico) Story Poles (First Nations: Northwest Coast Region: Canada) Yakima Indian Two-Hide Dress (present USA:Canada) Handcrafts & Folks Art (Mexico) Hudson River School (USA) Frida & Diego (Mexico) Abstract Expressionism (USA) Photography & Digital Arts (USA) Climate Change Photography (Arctic Arts Project) Reading: Collection of NYT articles Karen Lee McSorley can recall her early art experience during regular weekend visits to The Met as a very young child. Since then, she has earned advanced degrees in Art History and Economics from both Northwestern and Yale. Her passion for these combined fields led to decade-long service at SFMOMA. IF YOU SIGN UP FOR THIS COURSE AFTER MONDAY 8/21, EMAIL TO BE SURE YOU RECEIVE EMAILS WITH COURSE DETAILS.


Passport to the Entire History of Art

Item # 17FA1I

Meeting Schedule

W 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
8/23/2017 - 9/27/2017 (6 Meeting Days)


Karen McSorley


Downtown Campus
Room 677

Note: Class in session.

  • Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at San Francisco State University
    835 Market Street, Sixth Floor, San Francisco, CA 94103
    Phone: (415) 817-4243 Website: