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HA4584: AMERICAN MODERNISM (2017-2018)

Last modified: 25 May 2018 11:16

Course Overview

This course traces the twentieth-century rise of American painting, in relation to contemporary developments in Europe. Beginning with America's own art tradition and its initial responses to European Modernism, the course will capture the spirit of 1920s’ Realism and 1930s’ Regionalism and Social Realism before the outbreak of World War II. We will examine how the Abstract Expressionism of Pollock and Rothko made post-war New York the new centre of Western art.  Finally, the course will consider 1960s’ Pop Art and the arrival of the post-modern climate.


Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 4
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 30 credits (15 ECTS credits)
Campus None. Sustained Study No
  • Dr Mary Pryor

Qualification Prerequisites

  • Programme Level 4

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)
  • History Of Art (HA) (Studied)

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?

  • HA3084 American Modernism (Studied)
  • HA3584 American Modernism (Studied)

Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

This course concentrates on twentieth-century American painting from the Armory Show in 1913 onwards. It considers the rise of American painting in relation to contemporary developments in Europe, from America's indigenous tradition and its initial responses to European Modernism, the Realism of Hopper, the Regionalism of Wood and Benton to the Abstract Expressionism of Pollock. The factors governing the triumph of American painting are examined. It then considers the works of Pop Art and Super-Realism and culminates in the post-modern climate of the 1990s.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

More Information about Week Numbers

Details, including assessments, may be subject to change until 31 August 2023 for 1st half-session courses and 22 December 2023 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments

1st Attempt: 2 written assignments of 3,500 words (30% each); 1 visual-based test of one hour (30%); class participation (10%).

ResitNormally no resit is available.

Formative Assessment

Group and individual verbal and written feedback will be given on the seminar presentations and discussions.

Individual verbal and formal feedback will be given on each of the two course essays. In order to focus feedback more directly on issues that concern individual students there will be a self-assessment form for each essay, which should be completed and submitted along with each essay.



Course Learning Outcomes


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