Janaan Banner Frederik Meijer Honors College

Art Courses

Some Honors students take a Foundational Interdisciplinary sequence that does not fulfill the art requirements. In order to cover this requirement, we offer the following Honors Art Courses

Fall 2014

HNR 280 20: History of Collecting

Schedule: TR 2:30-3:45pm HON 219

Requirements Fulfilled: Honors Art

Eric Gollannek, Professor

From the British Museum’s History of the World in 100 Objects to the Antiques Roadshow, artifacts and collections offer exciting ways to engage viewers with the past. What stories can we tell through artifacts and how have different collectors thought about objects over time? This course explores the history, theories, and practices of collecting focused on the cabinet of curiosity, art gallery, and public museum from the ancient world through to the present day.  Hands on opportunities include fieldtrips to work with collections at GVSU as well as institutions such as the Grand Rapids Public Museum, Frederik Meijer Gardens, and Muskegon Museum of Art.


HNR 280 29: SWS Art and Money

Schedule: MW 3:00-4:15pm CAC 1311

Ellen Adams, Professor

November 2013: Over the course of two evenings—a mere four hours total—New York auction houses Christie’s and Sotheby’s sold over one billion dollars’ worth of contemporary art. The sales smashed records for both living and dead artists, with hedge funders, “international trade” groups, and art dealers furiously bidding up lot after lot. Long-time art world observers proclaimed, in apocalyptic terms, the end of art for the public (museums were conspicuously missing among the buyers). Yet the sales represent the logical culmination of market forces brought to bear on the buying and selling of works of art.

These same forces are not recent developments, and this class will trace the convergence of art and money from its historical origins to the present day world of galleries, art fairs, and auctions. Focusing primarily on the 19th through the 21st centuries, we will study the production, sale, and exchange of works of art as well as the patrons, artists, and collectors who participate in this economic, social, and political form of taste-making and aesthetic valuation. Topics will include philanthropy, both local and national; public funding for art; fakes, fraud, and forgeries; museums and collecting; and the development of an international market for art.


Winter 2015

HNR 280 20: Art and Empire

Schedule: TR 2:30-3:45pm HON 219
Requirements Fulfilled: Honors Art, World Perspectives, SWS

Eric Gollannek, Professor

The notion of ‘empire’ readily calls to mind thoughts of Imperial Rome and the British Raj.  In the struggle to make sense of the new millennium, in a post-9/11 age of globalization, the term gained renewed currency as a way to understand the uneasy blend of cultural, political, military and economic power.  This course explores the meaning of empire from the ancient world to the present day through attention to art, architecture, film, and music.  Through critical readings and careful looking, we will examine how culture not only reflects imperial ambition and the power of central authority, but how art itself shaped such desires, testing the ideas of British artist William Blake who said, “Empire follows art and not vice versa as Englishmen suppose.”


HNR 280 19: Modernism

Schedule: MW 1:30- 2:45pm HON 148
Requirements Fulfilled: Honors Art, SWS

Ellen Adams, Professor

This course addresses some of the significant movements and developments in art, literature, theater, and thought between 1860 and 1960. This period witnessed a radical expansion in the definition of artistic, literary, and other cultural practices as well as a search for new modes of expression.  Debates in Europe and the United States will be discussed in relation to a historical framework of cultural changes brought about by capitalism, industrialization, war and revolution. We will consider the various meanings of modernism and will discuss a wide range of related issues, including the relationship between “high art” and mass culture; representations of sexual and racial identity; the social and political functions of cultural spaces and commentary; the evolving relationship between modern culture and its audience; and the concept of an avant-garde. Analysis of individual works of art, literature, film, music, and primary texts forms the basis of the course.

Glenn A. Niemeyer Learning and Living Center • Allendale MI 49401
Phone 616-331-3219 • honors@gvsu.edu