2017-2018 Catalog

ARTH 291 Arts in Los Angeles

A 2-unit seminar course to be taught by visiting curators, critics, art historians, or artists, focused on some aspect of the arts in Los Angeles. Topics will change in light of availability of top quality visiting faculty and will engage directly with current exhibitions, events, and issues relevant to the artistic culture of Los Angeles. 

History of Green Architecture 

This course will pursue and, ultimately, aim to reconcile two separate questions about sustainability and architecture. To begin with, what makes a particular building - house, office block, or skyscraper - green? Second, and more fundamentally, how has our understanding of the relationship between architecture and nature shifted over the centuries? The course will begin by looking at a range of depictions of that relationship, in art, architecture, literature, and philosophy, before moving on to examine architecture's role in the nascent environmental movement of the 1960's and 1970's. It will consider the rise and increasing codification of green architecture in the last 15 years in the U.S. and Europe, isolating certain buildings as case studies and assessing, in some depth, recent debates over the American green-design rating system known as LEED. Finally, we will ask what green architects might learn from the ways that other sustainability movements - in transportation, product design, clean-energy, and food policy - have matured over the years. Students will visit a number of built examples of green architecture in and around Los Angeles. No prior study of architectural history is required. 

Art and Crime: Plunder, Fakes, and Forensics 

This course explores the increasing use of forensic science to evaluate issues of authentication, sourcing, and repatriation of works of art. From the uncovering of forgeries and looted antiquities to the return of art stolen during WWII, science and history, law and ethics, intersect in increasingly complex and interesting ways in this interdisciplinary Art History course. Art crime has received increasing attention over the past decade, especially in Southern California. Los Angeles museums (the Getty, Bowers, and Norton Simon), dealers, and collectors all face increased scrutiny as an ongoing series of scandals highlight weak points in our authentication systems. Forensic science and technical art history have helped address these important issues in art history and material culture. This course encompasses issues such as how forgers are unmasked and how plunder is sourced and when it should be returned. These questions often lead to larger discussions - the limits of expertise and science, the nature of authenticity, what is valuable and why, and who owns the past - that bring together art and science, material culture, and sustainability.


2 units