Fine Arts in the 20th Century

Prof. Sue Lane Talley

Prof. Angela Bowman

FNA 231 NA

 SPR 2005


Fridays, 2 - 4:45, Room 600

Credits:  3 (Satisfies FNA Core requirement)

Professor Sue Talley’s Office Hours:

Rm. 602, Monday 11:30 - 1

Other hours by appointment


Phone: 212 - 625-0500

Cell: 917- 434-9718



Prof. Angela Bowman’s Contact Information:

212.939.0870 (home),

347.251.2006 (cell).


Please call if you are late to a field trip or must be absent from the class.


Class Description: 


FNA 231, Fine Arts of the 20th Century, satisfies the requirement for the Core class in fine arts.  Although visual arts are emphasized, other important media are also studied.  The class begins with a discussion of the performing arts, including an overview of theater and dance, which will both be studied and experienced.  Following that, students will learn of the great art movements which changed the course of art and will study the lives and works of great painters, sculptors, architects, and musicians whose work defined the arts of the twentieth century and continue to influence artists in our own times.


Student Learning Objectives:

Upon their completion of this course, students will be able to:

·        Recognize great art movements of the 20th century

·        Recognize the monumental works of performing and visual art

·        Place the artist within his times to better understand the world

·        Know how the political history of mankind has shaped the art world

·        Know how artists help to shape the political history

·        Place contemporary art within the sphere of Christian experience to better reach out to others.


Information Literacy Objective

            The student will use resources of the New York Public Library, the school library, city museums of art, and the Internet to research 20th century art.


Required  Web sites: 

          Students are required to use the Web sites of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Guggenheim Museum, the Whitney Museum, and the Museum of Modern Art.  Additional course materials and lectures will be posted on the course Web site.


Text:  Loredana Parmesani, Art of the 20th Century: Movements, Theories, Schools, and Tendencies, 1900-2000.  Milan, Italy: Skira Editore, 2000.


Team-Taught Perspective:

            Twentieth Century Fine Arts will be team taught by Profs. Angela Bowman and Sue Lane Talley.  After the Introductory class, Prof. Bowman will teach the January and February classes on the subjects of drama and dance, followed by Prof. Talley teaching the March, April, and May classes on the visual arts and music.  Material from both professors will appear on the Final Examination.


Class Calendar:  As noted, your ongoing Class Journal will be checked on “Journal” days.


Jan 21st:                             Introduction : Prof.s Talley and Bowman


Jan 28th:                            Theater Intro.  Incorporating design elements of the theatre. Looking at form and shape and their relationship with  theatrical productions and the shapes that actors take on stage.


Feb 4th:                             Field Trip: The Metropolitan Museum of Art


Feb 11th:                          Theater Acting


Feb 18:                               Dance Overview


Feb 25:                               Performance



March 4:                              Visual Art: The Long Road from Manet to Picasso!  We will examine art periods of the late 19th and early twentieth century, dwelling upon “groundbreakers” such as the Impressionists, the Post-Impressionists, Expressionists, and the Fauves.  We will see how photography affected the visual arts.  Please take notes and keep them with your Portfolio.



March 11 (Journal):      The Politics of 20th Century Art.  We will examine these questions: How has art been affected by war?  How have dictators and presidents used art as a powerful “propaganda machine?”  These are important questions to consider which will certainly affect the future, as they have the past.  We’ll look at the propaganda of China, Russia, Germany, and even the way we were encouraged to think of our role in the world wars.  Music will also be briefly presented.


March 18:                             TBA.  (Chorale trip to Puerto Rico!) 


March 25:                             GOOD FRIDAY.  NO CLASS.


April 1:                                    Overview of Art Movements in preparation for next week’s field trip to the Museum of Modern Art.  Homework: Visit and look at the Collection and online projects (especially the preservation of Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon).  Choose five objects that you anticipate seeing at the Museum and copy the background material you find about them.  You can also copy their pictures.


April 8:                                    FIELD TRIP, MUSEUM OF MODERN ART.  You are to bring paper and pencil and make notes about the five objects of special interest.  Especially answer the question:  How did seeing the object differ from seeing it on the Web site?  Please attempt to critique the museum as a whole: its architecture, layout, and the works you see there.  What is art?  Does each object you have chosen match your definition of art? Why or why not?


April 15: (Journal):                 20th Century Architecture Several important people in the history of architecture will be highlighted.  What brought on high-rise architecture?  How did Frank Lloyd Wright seek to harmonize dwellings with the environment?  Who is Buckminster Fuller? Maya Lin? I. M. Pai?  From the buildings around us in Lower Manhattan to new opera houses, museums, and civic structures around the world, we will look at the innovations in 20th and 21st century architecture.


April 22:                                  Field trip, Architecture and the Environs of Downtown ManhattanMay be postponed if the weather is not cooperating.  We will tour the environs of our area on foot, especially dwelling upon the sculpture and architecture of downtown Manhattan, which is a literal history of 20th and 21st century architecture.  Bring a notebook and possibly a camera.


April 29:                                  Review for Final Exam and Journal check.  A visual exam will cover the main periods and a few of the individuals we have studied in 20th Century Fine Arts. Journals will be received and graded.


May 6:                                     Final exam.  Journals will be returned.



Course Policies and Procedures:


Students are expected to attend class and to arrive on time.  Attendance will be taken within the first fifteen minutes of class and persistent late arrivals will mean a reduction in the final grade.  Excused absences are permitted, but the student is expected to call before the class or bring in a note from a health professional and not just assume that he or she is excused.  Only one unexcused absence per semester is permitted.


Students are expected to turn in any required papers on time and return any rewrites within a week of receiving them back.  Papers are to reflect the student’s own thinking.  Plagiarism (copying straight from a source without giving the proper credit) is not permitted and school policy demands that consist and deliberate plagiarism receive retribution in the form of failing grades or even possible expulsion.  Don’t copy without attributing credit in a footnote, even if you are asked to copy from a Web page.


Grading Policy:


A portfolio will form the ongoing journal for this course.  It will be checked approximately every three weeks, and will include:

·        An annotated CD with your Power Point presentation of the artworks discussed in class (visual and architecture),

·        Class notes,

·        papers, photos and pamphlets from field trips,  

·        examples of the artists’ works taken from museum Web sites, personal sketches, or photographs

·        four two-page biographies of composers, choreographers, painters, or musicians of the twentieth century, as studied.

·        audiotaped musical examples with the biographies of musicians 


Grading Criteria:


Grades are given with this understanding:


A :   90-100% (90 - 93, A-)

B:    80-90%    (88 - 90 B+;  80 - 83 B-)

C:    70-80%    (78 - 80 C+;  70 - 73 C-)

D:    60-70%    (68 - 70  D+; 60 - 63 D-)

F:       0-60%

WD: Given if a student withdraws from the course within the acceptable withdrawal period.  The student MUST request a WD.

FX:   Given if a student fails to withdraw and misses three classes in a row without presenting written excuse.  The Registrar is then notified. 

INC:  Given ONLY if cataclysmic difficulties or serious illness prevent the student from completing the normal course of study.  The student must apply for this grade and complete the work within 30 days of the end of the class.


Distribution of grades will be as follows:


50%    Course portfolio, including written work and performance

15%    Review of Prof. Bowman’s classes, midterm journal check

20%    Final

15%    Class participation (promptness, contribution to the class)


Students with Learning Disabilities:


Any student eligible for and requesting academic accommodations due to a disability is required to provide a letter of accommodation from Academic Support Services within the first two weeks from the beginning of the class.