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Art and the Power of Place: Site, Location, Environment

Course Description: 

Many iconic works in the history of art draw their power and significance from the place in which they are sited or installed. The cave paintings of Altamira, Spain; Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel and the monumental "earthworks" made in the deserts of the American Southwest during the 1960s are just a few examples showcasing the important relationship between art and place. In this seminar we will explore how works of art throughout history create a sense of place; and how place, in turn, changes the interpretation of works of art. We will learn how to analyze works of art in terms of their immediate contexts and surroundings, whether temples, museums, spaces of the city or unexpected environments, charting the historical meanings of place in the process. We will look at a range of examples throughout time, from prehistory to the present day. A critical feature of the seminar will be to consider works of art outside the classroom, on both the Stanford campus and beyond. Possible field trips include visits to Alcatraz Prison (where the famous Chinese artist, Ai Weiwei, will install a new work in the fall of 2014)

Subject: 
ARTHIST
Subject (Full): 
Art History
Academic Year: 
2014-2015
Geography: 
Altamira
Altamira
Altamira
Altamira
Altamira
Spain