Undergraduate Seminar: Art and Evolution
Upper Division Seminar: A) Europe and Mediterranean, C) Americas; III) 1800-present. This course explores the profound effect of evolutionary theory on modern art in Europe and the United States. Artists explored new ideas about sexual selection, the struggle for existence, the relationship between humans and animals, the expression of the emotions, metamorphosis in nature, and the purpose of beauty. Classes will focus on diverse case studies including Frederick Church’s landscape paintings, Odilon Redon’s symbolist prints, Louis Sullivan’s architectural ornament, and Gustav Klimt’s art nouveau decoration. During the semester we will consider the theories of evolutionists such as Charles Darwin and discuss questions of aesthetics, race, colonialism, gender, and sexuality.