Think Canadian Art History is Boring? Think Again!
You are invited to explore the rich tradition of visual expression in Canada, from early portraits of the country’s original Indigenous inhabitants to images of slaves, from the history of early photographic studios, the nude, radical modern landscape paintings to bold abstract artworks! There is more to it than meets the eye…
ARHI 3240: Canadian Art up to 1960
Instructor: Devon Smither
Thursdays, 6-8:50 PM
Prerequisite(s): Art History 1000 AND 15 university-level courses (a minimum of 45.0 credit hours)
This course examines the art, artists, and art institutions in Canada from pre-contact to the establishment of the French and English colonies, up to the advent of abstraction in Canada. We will evaluate key practices and art historical moments in Canadian art using a variety of critical texts focusing on post-colonial issues of nationhood, constructed narrative, and identity. Through readings, written assignments, class discussions, in-class exercises and lectures, students will become familiar with key Canadian artists, artworks, and art writers. Issues of race, gender, nationalism, and colonialism will be addressed. From Paul Kane’s exploration of the country by canoe and horseback, to images of early slaves in Montreal, the landscape paintings of the Group of Seven and Emily Carr, nude painting and photography in the early 20th century, and experimentations in abstraction by Canada’s first avant-garde groups in Toronto and Montreal, learn about the country’s deep cultural history through its art.
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