Studying the Artistic and Architectural Gems of Grinnell

May 14, 2022

Introduction to Art History (ARH 103) is a foundational course that makes active use of the Grinnell College Art Collection, exhibited and housed in the College’s Museum of Art. According to Professor Jenny Anger, much of the coursework is based on the close study of these works of art. As a student in ARH 103, you’ll also learn about Grinnell’s architectural gems, such as Louis Sullivan’s Merchants’ Bank.

Professor and students examine art prints

ARH 103, which is taught by all four art history faculty members in rotation, focuses on 13 exhibited works of art from around the world to delve into the meaning of art and its role in culture and society. This thematic and cross-cultural course examines the relationship of art and architecture with diverse social, intellectual, religious, and aesthetic values.

Anger says she hopes students in ARH 103 will be so intrigued by what they learn about the important role art plays in culture, they will want to continue to study art history. In this course, you’ll gain an objective appreciation for the artworks you study, develop a deeper curiosity about the art world, and expand your critical thinking skills.

Exhibit at Louis Sullivan's Merchants' Bank

Your readings for this course will expose you to in-depth scholarship in the field of art history. You will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of these readings, which address art from diverse academic perspectives, such as philosophy and political science. This academic diversity is emblematic of Grinnell College’s liberal arts ethos. The course material will open your mind and expand your curiosity; you’ll come away with an understanding of how the various disciplines interact, and you’ll learn to ask questions that will lead in you in exciting new directions.

Learn more about studying art history at Grinnell

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