Sample Syllabus

(Check with instructor for updates.)

Instructor: Edna Williams
Office: 124D Art Building
Office Phone: 581-2450
Office Hours: By appointment


Art Appreciation, 3 hours credit. An introduction to various aspects of the visual arts with illustrated lectures and studio demonstrations. Lecture 3 hours.


  1. To develop a knowledge about art objects in your culture and past cultures, and develop the ability to judge art products critically.
  2. To acquaint the student with the three main fields of the visual arts:
    1. Studio, or the making of art
    2. Criticism, or the verbal evaluation of art
    3. History, the chronology and the geography of art.
  3. To introduce the student to seeing and feeling visual relationships.
  4. To develop critical thinking skills and an ability to articulate with precision of language and thought.


This course offers a broad introduction to the nature, vocabulary, media, and history of art through a wide variety of cultural examples and creative work. We will study the function of art in various societies and cultures and try to establish connections to our culture through research, discussion, creating art, and writing. Hopefully through the progression of this course you will begin to understand and think about art as a form of communication, individual expression, personal development, and creative process.


Living with Art, Rita Gilbert, Alfred A. Knopf Publishing Company.

The textbook is your basic reference for study and guidance through this course. In general, the divisions and topics covered during the semester will follow the specific topics from the main text. Films will also be presented to further illustrate portions of the text. Students will be responsible for all material presented in class, and accurate notes are of critical importance. Chapter outlining and completion of study guides will result in better performance on text exams. Due to the diverse subject matter to be covered and the organization of the text, chapters will not always be presented in chronological order.


You are required to:

  1. Keep a "loose-leaf" Journal documenting assigned projects, class notes, study guides, and individual research. This notebook / idea book /journal will provide the instructor with insight of your progress and understanding of the content material as well as your observations and involvement in the course. Please have lined and unlined paper available for each class. Creative projects will be assigned periodically. Materials will be requested prior to the designated class.
  2. Complete all class projects, and assignments (inside and outside).
  3. Complete a vocabulary test, all text exams, and a final examination.
  4. Attend class regularly.
  5. Present a critical study (paper) featuring an artist, art period, art technique, or art discipline (your choice). Specific criteria to be discussed.
  6. Read the assigned material prior to coming to class. Participation is a combination of discussion, answering questions in class, occasional exercises in class, and notation of lectures.


You will be graded using a numerical scale on the following:

  1. Class assignments and projects.
  2. Art Journal / Notebook (to be evaluated at the end of semester).
  3. Class participation and attendance.
  4. Case study on artist, art movement or art technique.
  5. All text exams. Exams will cover distinct sections of the text in addition to lecture materials and slide identification. The tentative exam schedule includes approximately four section tests and one final exam.


Attendance is of utmost importance. Due to the extensive nature of the material which will be presented and discussed in class, excessive absences will adversely effect the quality and completion of your Art Journal / Notebook and the accuracy of your class notations. It should be noted that absences may cause difficulties for the student on special days when films and gallery assignments are scheduled.

If you miss a class due to illness, it is your responsibility to contact me or a classmate and obtain the missed information and note any assignments for the next class.

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