ARTD1010: Art, Its History and Meaning

Course Info

  • Course Number: ARTD 1010
  • Classroom: Boylan 5145

Section Info:

Instructor Information:

Instructor: Rita Fabris
Office Hours: T/TH, 12:30-1:30 pm or by appt. in 5300 or 5307

Course Description:

What is art? Why is it created? What is its meaning? These are some of the questions we will ponder and discuss in this class… What is art history? This course serves as an introduction to art, with an emphasis on visual literacy and historical context. We will explore major works of sculpture, pictorial art, and architecture drawn from a wide range of world cultures and periods, from ancient times to the present.

Course Objectives are:

  • to read critically and think analytically about art within its historical and cultural context
  • to understand why art historians, consider the works of art we examine to be important
  • to practice writing about art, through visual analysis and by comparing and contrasting works of art
  • to cultivate an appreciation of art and the diverse world cultures for which it was created

Class Requirements and Policies:


  • Attendance is mandatory.
  • I take attendance every class session.
  • More than two absences may result in a lowered grade.
  • More than three absences may result in a failing grade.
  • Once you arrive in class, I expect you to be able to stay in the classroom for 75 minutes.
  • If you must leave the classroom for any reason, please take your things with you and you will be marked absent for that day.
  • If you must be absent for any reason, please contact me in advance via e-mail.
  • More detailed information on non-attendance because of religious beliefs or bereavement further down below in syllabus.


  • Lateness will not be tolerated.
  • Not only does your being late interrupt the lecture, it disturbs other students.
  • If you are late due to circumstances beyond your control you must come see me after class, as you will have been marked absent.
  • Three latenesses will constitute one absence.

Be prepared

  • Come to class prepared.
  • Please bring a notebook, a pencil/pen, and a FOLDER to keep any worksheets.
  • Also, bring any handouts I give you to class to each session as we may refer back to them.

Electronic Devices

  • No electronic devices are allowed in this class.
  • I expect you to listen, to take notes, and to participate.

Textbook and Open Educational Resources (OER):


  • Seating may be assigned. Disruptive students will be reported to the dean and may be asked to leave the class permanently.

Extra Help

  • Students who need extra help may attend group study sessions during my office hours.

Improve Grades

  • Students who would like to improve their grades may attend group study sessions during my office hours.

Accommodations for students with disabilities:

  • In order to receive disability-related academic accommodations students must first be registered with the Center for Student Disability Services.
  • Students who have a documented disability or suspect they may have a disability are invited to set up an appointment with the Director of the Center for Student Disability Services, Ms. Valerie Stewart-Lovell at 718-951-5538.
  • If you have already registered with the Center for Student Disability Services, please provide me with the course accommodation form and discuss your specific accommodation with me.

Nonattendance because of religious beliefs:

  • Students who are unable to attend class because of religious beliefs will not have those absences count, but they must e-mail me in advance.The New York State Education Law provides that no student shall be expelled or refused admission to an institution of higher education because he or she is unable to attend classes or participate in examinations or study or work requirements on any particular day or days because of religious beliefs.
  • Students who are unable to attend classes on a particular day or days because of religious beliefs will be excused from any examination or study or work requirements.
  • Faculty must make good-faith efforts to provide students absent from class because of religious beliefs equivalent opportunities to make up the work missed; no additional fees may be charged for this consideration.
  • If classes, examinations, or study or work requirements occur on Friday after 4 p.m. or on Saturday, similar or makeup classes, examinations, or study or work requirements will be made available on other days, where possible and practical.
  • The faculty and the administration will not allow any adverse or prejudicial effects to accrue to students availing themselves of this regulation.
  • If students have complaints about the application of this policy, they are entitled to bring action or a proceeding for enforcement of their rights in the Supreme Court of Kings County.

Student Bereavement Policy:

  1. Students who experience the death of a loved one must contact the Division of Student Affairs, 2113 Boylan Hall, if they wish to implement either the Standard Bereavement Procedure or the Leave of Absence Bereavement Procedure (see #3 and #4, below). The Division of Student Affairs has the right to request a document that verifies the death (e.g., a funeral program or death notice).
  2. Typically, this death involves that of a family member, in parallel to the bereavement policy for faculty and staff. However, it is up to the discretion of the Division of Student Affairs to determine if a death outside of the immediate family warrants implementation of the student bereavement policy.
  3. Standard Bereavement Procedure:
    • Upon approval from the Division of Student Affairs, the student is allowed one week, commencing from the day of notification to the Division of Student Affairs, of excused absence.
    • Should the student feel that he/she needs additional days, these should be discussed with individual course instructors and/or the Division of Student Affairs.
    • The Division of Student Affairs will contact the student’s faculty and academic staff of the student’s courses.
    • Faculty and academic staff will be advised that extensions must be granted to the student for the period of one week of excused absence.
    • Further extensions may be negotiated with the student when he or she returns to campus.
    • Students are encouraged to discuss options with their instructors.
  4. Leave of Absence Bereavement Procedure:
    • Students may be allowed to withdraw from the semester in which the death occurs.
    • The Bereavement Leave of Absence is for one semester only.
    • Students who have opted to take the Bereavement Leave of Absence and have already attended classes for the semester of the leave will be allowed to re-enter the following semester without having to reapply to the college.
    • Students who wish to take the leave of absence prior to the beginning of the semester will be required to reapply for the following semester.
    • Students who are in good academic standing will be given the opportunity to successfully complete the credits for the semester in which they return.
    • Students will consult with the Division of Student Affairs, on a case-by-case basis, as to whether they should withdraw from their courses during this leave of absence or to request incompletes from the faculty member.
    • Given that there may be a potential impact on financial aid, students who receive financial aid and who take the Bereavement Leave of Absence, upon arrangement with the Division of Student Affairs, will meet with a financial aid adviser prior to taking this option.
  5. As an option, and in consultation with the Division of Student Affairs, students may take the Leave of Absence Bereavement after the Standard Bereavement.
  6. Reference to the Student Bereavement Policies will be noted on course syllabi.
  7. Students requesting a religious accommodation should contact the Division of Student Affairs as well. The chief student affairs officer, or a designee, and the student will engage in an interactive process with the goal of finding an acceptable accommodation.


  • Plagiarism is not tolerated in Brooklyn College.
  • Several of the writing assignments in this class are specifically designed to teach you how to avoid plagiarism, a skill you will need for every class that you will take in college.
  • Academic dishonesty at Brooklyn College is punishable by failure of the “test, examination, term paper, or other assignment on which cheating occurred” (Faculty Council, May 18, 1954).
  • In addition, disciplinary proceedings in cases of academic dishonesty may result in penalties of admonition, warning, censure, disciplinary probation, restitution, suspension, expulsion, complaint to civil authorities, and ejection.”
  • Students should consult the Brooklyn College Student Handbook for a fuller, more specific discussion of related academic integrity standards


  • Reading/Writing Assignments will be announced in advance and are subject to revision


  • Informal in-class writing assignments (worksheets) will be a component of this class.
  • They will be posted on-line, and they may be completed in class in small groups, or as homework.
  • They are useful as study aids, as there will be a mid-term and a final exam.

Formal Papers

  • You will be required to write three formal short papers and one longer final paper.
  • The final paper will be on works of art in the Metropolitan Museum, which you will visit on your own.
  • Details for all writing assignments will be announced in advance.
    • Formal writing assignments (those not done in class) must be typed, proofread, and printed-out.
    • They should be written using Times Roman, Font Size 12, with one-inch margins, double-spaced.
  • If you miss a class on a day that a formal writing assignment is to be submitted, you are still responsible for submitting it to me on the same day it is due via e-mail.
  • However, I expect you to bring a printed-out version of the assignment the next time you attend class. Otherwise, it will be considered a late submission.
  • For every day late, your grade will drop by five points.
  • If you fail to submit a required writing assignment, you will receive a ZERO (F).
  • If you are having any difficulties completing an assignment, please come and speak with me.


Grade Breakdown

RequirementPercentage of Grade
Formal Writing Assignments30%
Mid-Term Exam20%
Participation/Behavior (incl. in-class writing assignments)10%
Final Museum Paper20%
Final Exam20%

Letter grades are determined as follows:

Letter GradeEquivalent number
FBelow 59

In addition:

Check plus = 87-100 / Check = 70-86 / Check minus = 69 and below

Important Academic Calendar Dates:

  • August 27, Tuesday: Start of Fall Term – Classes begin
  • September 2, Monday: College Closed, Last day to add a course, Last day to drop for 75% tuition refund
  • September 5, Thursday: Classes follow Monday schedule
  • September 9, Monday: Last day to drop for 50% tuition refund
  • September 30 & 31, Monday-Tuesday: No classes scheduled
  • October 8 & 9, Tuesday-Wednesday: No classes scheduled
  • October 14, Monday: College Closed
  • October 16, Wednesday: Classes follow Monday schedule
  • November 5, Tuesday: Last day to withdraw from course with a grade W
  • November 28 & 29, Thursday-Friday: College Closed
  • December 13, Friday: Reading Day
  • December 14 & 20, Saturday-Friday: Final Examinations
  • December 20, Friday: End of Fall Term