HUAS 6330 Studies in the Visual Arts


-Fall 2010 Majesty, Memory and Mourning in the Late Middle Ages by Richard Brettell, in collaboration with Bonnie Wheeler, Jeremy Adams, the Dallas Museum of Art and SMU

This course focused on the interdisciplinary context of The Mourners Tomb Sculpture from the Burgundy Court. Part of a major exhibition at the Dallas Museum of Art, The Mourners are a sequence of masterful alabaster funerary sculptures from Dijon France, that embody the courtly, chivalric, monastic and artistic aspects of the Burgundian court, which was among the most brilliant in late Medieval and early Renaissance Europe. Professor Brettell met his class weekly at the Dallas Museum of Art to study the interwoven development of the political, social, religious, literary and artistic strands of human culture in medieval France and in neighboring countries embodied by these funerary sculptures. In an effort to provide students with as wide an understanding of the implications of this piece, Rick Brettell highlighted the specifics of the visual components at play, while Bonnie Wheeler provided the literature and Jeremy Adams the historical aspects tied to this work. The course was open to graduate students and Museum members fostering an open exchange of ideas across different age groups.

-Fall 2012 Art/Action/Options by Greg Metz (shall we keep this one?)
This course looked at the recent past and current strategies and tactics of how artists contributed to critical creative research and problem solving through the expanding fields of relational aesthetics, intervention and design innovation. Also examined closely was the production of objects/images/assemblages, media, public art, social interfaces, text, differing environments and sound. The themes explored revolved around an artist’s self-authority and branding, the construction of an artist statement and proposal, spatial practices, research and funding sources and alternative and artist-run spaces and residences. A visit from Roger Malina, the Distinguished Chair in Arts and Technology and Professor of Physics at UT Dallas, helped give insight to students early on during the course. Malina’s achievements and insight guided students through his concepts of efficiency and acceleration when a collaboration between the arts, humanities and engineering work are combined.

Photograph courtesy of Musée des Beaux-Arts de Dijon, France