HA1AC-Makers and Making: artists, architects and their practices

Module Provider: History
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2014/5

Module Convenor: Dr Paul Davies

Email: p.davies@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:
This module considers two closely related themes: the role of artists i.e. painters, sculptors and architects in society (1300-2000) and the other is the practice of their profession.

The module aims to investigate the first theme of role of the artist in society by asking the questions 'what is an artist?' and 'what does an artist do?' It explores how their roles and social status changed in different periods. It examines the shift from artisans to artists during the Renaissance period, before also examining the impact of the rise of the academies and the modern art market on the figure of the artist. Thus it aims to emphasise the problems of the use of the term "artist" as an unchangeable category. The second theme investigates artistic practice by focusing on the question 'how does an artist do it?' In dealing with artistic practice, the module sets out to explore how works of art and architecture are made, whether one or more individuals are involved in the manufacture, what media and techniques have been used, what limitations are imposed by the chosen medium, and how artists have sought to overcome these limitations by inventing new media and new techniques. By constantly juxtaposing makers and making the module highlights their close relationship, drawing out, e.g., how in the Renaissance some technical developments were driven or at least embraced by artists to satisfy their social ambitions, or how changing techniques in the modern period conditioned the perception of the roles of artists.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module it is expected that you will be able to:

  • describe and discuss the changing roles of artists and architects
  • identify and describe a range of different media and techniques in painting, sculpture and architecture
  • discuss these media and techniques within a chronological framework
  • use the basic technical vocabulary associated with the particular forms of artwork correctly, terms such as etching, engraving, fresco, silverpoint etc.
  • organize your material and articulate their arguments effectively in assessed essays

Additional outcomes:
The module also aims to encourage the development your presentational skills. Research and IT skills will be developed by the use of library and relevant Web resources and databases.

Outline content:
The module will consider such topics as the emergence and development of artistic professions (painters, sculptors and architects), the role of academies, artistic collaboration, the artist as individual, as well as the artist as theorist. It will also introduce you to the various media and techniques used by artists such as fresco painting, tempera painting, oil painting, drawing, stone carving, bronze casting, and print making.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Two one-hour lectures per week. You are expected to visit museums or galleries on your own initiative.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20
Tutorials 4
External visits 8
Guided independent study 168
Total hours by term 200.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 50
Portfolio 50

Other information on summative assessment:
Students write two assessed assignments of 1,500 words each. The first is a portfolio to be submitted by the end of the sixth week of term and the second is an essay due by the end of the tenth week of term. The coursework mark is an average of the marks obtained for the two assessed pieces of work.

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:

    Requirements for a pass:
    40% overall

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Re-examination in August / September. Coursework will be carried forward if it bears a confirmed mark of 40% or more. Otherwise it must be resubmitted by 22nd August.

    Last updated: 8 October 2014

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