ARTH 1103-D413 Introduction to the History of Art Fall 2019 SYLLABUS

DOWNLOAD ARTH1103-D413 Intro Art History SYLLABUS

Professor Sandra Cheng
Office Hours:   Tu/Th 9:00-10:00 am and by appointment
Office: Library 642
Email: (best way to contact me)
Phone: 718-260-5003 (not a good way to contact me)

Class Time/Location: Monday 11:30 – 2:00 pm, Library 631

Pathways: World Cultures and Global Issues

Course Credits: 3 credits

Catalogue Description: An introduction to art and architecture from ancient to modern times. The art of Western and Eastern cultures is considered.

Additional description for this section: This course is designed to get you thinking about art. What is art? How is art produced? What is the function of art? Art is a record of culture and civilization, often it is the sole way we can understand what was meaningful to people separated from us by time, language and technology. Art also helps us understand our own time and culture. This course connects art to past histories, and introduces students to the visual language of art from ancient to modern times, in order to increase the recognition and understanding of references in advertisements and posters, on clothing, and in film and other media. The course introduces a wide variety of methodologies and topics of current debate in the field of art history, including: style, technique, patronage, iconography (subject matter), social context, race, and gender.

Course Reading:  The material for this course is online and located on the OpenLab. Readings are posted online over the course of the semester. If you wish to have a hard copy of an art history textbook, I recommend purchasing old editions of standard art history textbooks by Laurie Adams, Gardner, Stokstad, or Janson.

Learning Outcomes:

Students will,

  • learn the analytical techniques used by art historians,
  • become familiar with key works of art, their artists, styles, materials and working methods,
  • become knowledgeable about the major works of art linked to historical events, intellectual history, and scientific and cultural trends,
  • acquire a working knowledge of the specialized vocabulary used in art history,
  • enhance their visual literacy and critical thinking skills


Class Expectations: Look and think about what you’re looking at!

  • Students are responsible for: images, names, and vocabulary on the slide lists, information presented in lecture and assigned readings, including the general historical context.
  • Good note-taking skills are essential to passing the class. My PowerPoint files are NOT posted online. Text on the PowerPoints are provided as a model for note-taking from the textbook.
  • Participate! Practice mindfulness and be aware of your surroundings, tune in rather than tune out, and interact with your classmates and the art

Website: This course utilizes two websites, the main one on the OpenLab and the secondary one on Blackboard. You must access the class’s OpenLab website by logging into CityTech’s OpenLab via /. Instructions on how to signup are on the OpenLab homepage. To access the OpenLab, you will need to register with your CityTech email account (if you have not activated your CityTech email, you need to go to a student helpdesk—i.e., 6th Floor Computer Lab in the General Building). Once you register on the OpenLab, locate Professor Cheng’s course Intro to Art History (Humanities Department, Fall 2019) and ask to join! You need to “join” to be able to post!

Blackboard is used ONLY for submitting papers and checking your grades.  All class files are found on the OpenLab, therefore, familiarize yourself with the OpenLab ASAP.


Slide lists for the lectures will be posted online. You will need a password to access slide lists and readings (passwords will be provided in class). Go to the Class Downloads tab on the website. The slide lists have the works of art and vocabulary that you are responsible for on the exams.  Although I will occasionally show slides that are not on your slide lists, these unlisted works will not be on the exams. You will also find additional information to help you study for exams (see Quizzes/Exam & Study Guide online).


Quizzes                                                                                  35%

Final Exam                                                                            15%

Formal Analysis                                                                   10%

Narrative Art (4 Icon Challenge) Assignment        15%

Museum Paper                                                                     15%

Homework                                                                             10%

PLEASE NOTE:  Failure to turn in the paper or submit an exam, plagiarism, and cheating will result in a zero (0), not F for the assignment/exam.

Class participation will be considered in determining final grades. 

Important Dates:

Sept 23, Monday                              Quiz 1

                     Oct 7, Monday                                  Paper 1 DUE

                      Oct 16, Wednesday                         Quiz 2

Nov 4, Monday                                 Quiz 3 and Paper 2 DUE

Nov 5, Tuesday                                Last day to withdraw with W grade

Nov 11, Monday                               Paper 2 Presentations DUE in class

Nov 25, Monday                               Quiz 4

Last day to withdraw with W grade

Dec 9, Monday                                 Paper 3 DUE

Dec 16, Monday                               Final Exam, 11:30 am – 1:00 pm

no incomplete work accepted after this date

Quizzes: You will take a quiz approximately every 3 weeks at the beginning of class. ARRIVE EARLY! There are 4 quizzes listed on the schedule but I may add an additional quiz during the course of the semester. Quizzes may consist of slide identifications (artist name, title of works, stylistic period, approximate dates, location if in situ, significance of work-function, context, etc.), short answer questions, vocabulary, or comparison essays.. Make-up quizzes will only be given for reasons of documented emergency.

Final Exam: The final exam is NOT cumulative. The Final Exam follows the format of the quiz but is longer.

Papers and Presentation:  This course has 3 paper assignments (each are approximately 2-3 pp in length). Papers are worth 35% of your grade. One paper requires a short 2-min presentation of your work. Information on required papers are given in separate handouts.

You can find a “Grading Rubric for Papers” on the class website under Class Downloads. Your paper grade is an evaluation of content, organization, style, and grammar.

Homework: Homework is worth 10% of the grade. Most homework consists of writing homework posts on the class website or the completion of worksheets. Students are responsible for submitting homework posts (min. 200 words). Instructions on how to post are located online under Posting Guidelines. Homework is mandatory not optional.

In-Class Assignments: You will have the opportunity to work in small groups for in-class assignments throughout the semester. Participation in class exercises is mandatory not optional.

Extra Credit:  You have the option to do extra credit projects worth 1-5 points each.  The projects are due by the last lecture. Some are short written assignments of approx. 500 words, and one is an extensive digital project. If you complete all the projects well, it is possible to increase your final grade average by 10 points. You will find extra credit assignments posted after the midterm on the class website.

Attendance:  Students are expected to attend all classes. Excessive absences will affect your grade adversely. Excessive lateness will affect your grade.

If you arrive late, please enter the room quietly in order to not disturb your classmates’ learning time. It is the student’s responsibility to inform the instructor of their late arrival, otherwise, you will be marked absent for the class.

Decorum:  Please turn off your cell phones, beepers, alarms, etc. and no sleeping, internet surfing, txt msgs while in lecture. If you use a laptop, do not work on assignments for other courses during class time.

Plagiarism and Cheating: Presenting work by others as your own is completely unacceptable. Plagiarism includes using material from books or the Internet without acknowledging the source as well as submitting something written by someone else.  Either will result in a 0 (zero) for that particular assignment/exam. A second instance will result in an automatic F for the course. See City Tech’s Academic Integrity policy below.

Department and College Policies


Students and all others who work with information, ideas, texts, images, music, inventions, and other intellectual property owe their audience and sources accuracy and honesty in using, crediting, and citing sources. As a community of intellectual and professional workers, the College recognizes its responsibility for providing instruction in information literacy and academic integrity, offering models of good practice, and responding vigilantly and appropriately to infractions of academic integrity. Accordingly, academic dishonesty is prohibited in The City University of New York and at New York City College of Technology and is punishable by penalties, including failing grades, suspension, and expulsion.


It is the conviction of the Humanities department that a student who is not in a class for any reason is not receiving the benefit of the education being provided. Missed class time includes not just absences but also latenesses, early departures, and time outside the classroom taken by students during class meeting periods. Missed time impacts any portion of the final grade overtly allocated to participation and/or any grades awarded for activities that relate to presence in class.


The Humanities Department complies with the college wide nondiscrimination policy and seeks to foster a safe and inclusive learning environment that celebrates diversity in its many forms and enhances our students’ ability to be informed, global citizens. Through our example, we demonstrate an appreciation of the rich diversity of world cultures and the unique forms of expression that make us human.

Disability/Medical Accommodations Statement

City Tech is committed to supporting the educational goals of enrolled students with disabilities in the areas of enrollment, academic advisement, tutoring, assistive technologies and testing accommodations. If you have or think you may have a disability, you may be eligible for reasonable accommodations or academic adjustments as provided under applicable federal, state and city laws. You may also request services for temporary conditions or medical issues under certain circumstances. If you have questions about your eligibility or would like to seek accommodation services or academic adjustments, please contact the Center for Student Accessibility at 300 Jay Street room L-237, 718 260 5143, or
N.B., Students who miss a scheduled presentation or exam due to illness or medically-related emergencies will be referred to the Center for Student Accessibility. The CSA will review any documentation requested and give the student a letter to share with the relevant instructor if accommodations need to be made.

TENTATIVE lecture Schedule




1 9/5 (THURSDAY follows a MONDAY schedule) Introduction: Looking at Art

Ancient Art and Architecture

2 9/9 Egyptian Art and Architecture
3 9/16 Ancient Greek Art and Architecture
4 9/23 QUIZ 1

Ancient Roman Art and Architecture

5 10/7 Paper 1 DUE

Early Christian and Byzantine Art, Architecture in South and East Asia

6 10/16  5 (WEDNESDAY  follows MONDAY schedule) QUIZ 2

Islamic Architecture

7 10/21 QUIZ 2

Medieval Art and Architecture

8 10/28 Renaissance Art and Architecture
9 11/4 Quiz 3

Paper 2 DUE

Mannerism and Baroque Art and Architecture

10 11/11 Paper 2 DUE

Rococo and Neoclassicism

11 11/18 Paper 2 Presentations In Class

Realism and Romanticism

12 11/25 Quiz 4 Impressionism and Post Impressionism
13 12/2 Early Modernism and American Art
14 12/9 Paper 3 DUE

Highlights from Abstract Expressionism to Contemporary Art

15 12/16 Final Exam