01:30 PM to 04:15 PM R — Robinson B333
What makes a work of art “valuable”? How does the cultural and social significance of a work relate to its price? How did artists carve out niches in a growing art market by generating distinctive products? This seminar examines concepts of value in the art of Early Modern Europe by addressing these questions. We will investigate how Brunelleschi, Botticelli, Raphael, Michelangelo, and Titian negotiated the system of patronage in Renaissance Italy. Working for prominent families in the communes and the noble courts, they created works that communicated specific artistic, cultural, and political values to a diverse audience. The rulers in Northern Europe likewise underscored their status through the visual arts, and were prepared to handsomely reward their favorite artists. We will consider how artists like Titian and Rubens mythologized the monarchical power of their patrons, and at the same time asserted their own financial and social successes. This period also saw the rise of a market for finished works of art in parts of Europe. Focusing on Netherlandish artists such as the Brueghel family, Rembrandt, and Vermeer, we will explore how artists adopted different creative and marketing strategies in an increasingly complex art market. This course will also ask how the production of copies, spin-offs, and forgeries can, paradoxically, tell us about the changing value of originality in this period.
07:20 PM to 10:00 PM M
The turn of the 19th century marked an abrupt shift in human experience. Ordinary life changed radically from 1880-1920, more dramatically than at any other time in human history. Some saw progress as dazzling but benign while others sought to preserve the past, but the shock of new technologies, new peoples, new patterns of living forced Americans to react boldly. This course will explore the cultural history of the gilded age and progressive eras, focusing on the ways American tried to make sense of, to order, to moralize rapid change. This course fulfills the “1861 to 1914” distribution requirement in US history.
Nicole A. Roth
PhD History, MA History & MA Art History
George Mason University
4400 University Drive, MS 3G1
Fairfax, VA 22030
Mason Staff Senator