Introduction to Visual Arts
Fall  2000


Work in Teams of Two: You will study
St. Matthew's Church, Southbridge Street, Worcester
HOURS  Mon-Wednesday 9-3 Thurs. 11-3 Saturday Mass 5:00 Sunday: services at 8 and 10 AM; 11:10-12:00 Coffee hour when you are welcome to look at the church.
St. Joseph's Chapel, College of the Holy Cross
Your "team" papers will deal with both churches.  You have two choices
1. You write two separate papers.  One paper deals with St. Mathew's;' one deals with St Joseph's.  Both papers demonstrate that you have discussed the issues communally.
2. You can write a single paper jointly signed, that deals with the issues through both churches.

Select the elements of the building that you feel are most significant.  Construct a 3-4 page paper (5-7 total) describing how these aspects of the building serve, or try to serve, the building's purpose.  You MUST, in some way, demonstrate that you are aware of the reasons behind the specific historic models that the builders selected for the two buildings, and how these choices reflect the purpose.  Feel free to criticize this purpose and the elements of the building.

FIRST  Look, study, describe:  Using note cards list the qualities of the buildings.  Note cards will facilitate your reordering ideas and grouping concepts to build an argument.
REVIEW (as your lectures have emphasized in describing other buildings)
Purpose: Function served by the building patrons and users, size of edifice for its purpose
Site: Where located.  Relationship to site (landscape or other buildings), "vista"
Materials:  Types of materials used in construction and engineering principles exploiting those materials.  Natural or applied colors and textures.  "Faux" work: illusion of materials or building principles.
Building itself:  Relationship of exterior to interior, proportion and scale (elements of the building as well as relationship to the size of the person in the space)
Furniture: All of the objects assembled within or without the building
Décor/Iconography:  The meaning of the imagery incorporated within the space, such as carvings, stained glass, mosaics, paintings, etc.


St. Matthew’s was founded in 1871; the present building was constructed in 1895.  The design is by Stephen Earle, a prominent Worcester architect.  The principle donor was Matthew J. Whittall, owner of the surrounding carpet mills.  Since the mill workers were predominantly English immigrants, the building reflects the tradition of 15th-century English country churches.  Whittall's home was located across from the entrance, where the supermarket was built.  The church's walls are grey rusticated stone with darker colored stone trim.  The interior has a single wide nave, dark timber hammerbeam roof, and a recessed chancel.  A small narthex allows a transition from the exterior to the worship space.  See for comparison, the Model Parish church in the Website Mapping Margery Kempe
The stained glass is almost all produced by the Tiffany Studios, pioneers in a new kind of material called opalescent glass. Louis Comfort Tiffany and John La Farge, introduced new processes and techniques: the glass shows variegated colors, like a marble.  The glass is often textured and even pulled into ridges to emulate drapery folds. These techniques became extremely popular throughout America through the early years of the twentieth century.  The window over the altar (Ascension) and entrance (Nativity) are the most complicated and were installed when the church was built, the others, around 1915.

1924-1925. Architects: Maginnis and Walsh, Boston
St Josephs’s was influenced by “Jesuit Baroque” style of Il Gesu, Rome, by Giacomo Vignola 1568, (facade) Mother Church of the Jesuit order.  Il Gesu shows the Jesuit emphasis on preaching reflected in the church’s wide nave, barrel vault, even lighting, and small side chapels/aisles.   Il Gesu can be seen at another site. Note:
            Il Gesu, Rome: exterior, facade, designed 1568. completed ca. 1575- 1584 A.D.
            Il Gesu, Rome: interior, crossing and dome, view towards E. from nave, paintings
                  17th century.

See also Renaissance Architecture on the Saskia Website:  Santo Spirito: Interior (Brunelleschi),  San Giorgio Maggiore (Palladio)  Church of Santa Maria della Salute (Longhena)

The stained glass studio for St. Joseph’s was Walter G. Ball & Co., 64 Stanhope Street, Boston.  The windows were designed and fabricated before December 1925 and installed by August  1926.  By the 1920’s, the opalescent “pictorial” style of Tiffany was no longer favored by most architects.  A Gothic and Renaissance Revival used traditional “painted” designs on uniform colored segments of glass.  These styles moved away from three-dimensional realism for a more abstract system of figures set against the mosaic-style backgrounds.

Website for Chartres Sculpture


Saskia Images

SYLLABUS for Fall 1999

Virginia Raguin (Fenwick 407)                                                                           Mary Ann Powers (O’Kane 456)

Text:  Richard Lewis, Susan Lewis, The Power of Art.
           SASKIA website:
(a collection of high-quality digital images that supplements our teaching).
           Website Mapping Margery Kempe (a project of Sarah Stanbury and Virginia Raguin, technical implementation Robert Henry. Supported by grants from the Hewlett Mellon Fund of the College of the Holy Cross and a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Parish and Cathedral section).
           Additional readings will be available on reserve or as handouts.
           There are required class trips, films and/or guest lectures. These may be scheduled outside of class time. They are considered an essential part of the course.

Written Assignments: Each student is required to complete five (5) short essays (1-2 pages in length), and a final project (minimum 10 pages). All essays are to be kept in a folder and submitted with the final project at the end of the semester. A separate assignment sheet for each essay will be distributed in class.

Structure:  This course meets Tuesday/Thursday.  At designated times both sections will meet in Stein 133. At all other times, sections will meet individually in their assigned classrooms.
                    Prof. Raguin’s section (VAHI-101-01) meets 11:00-12:15 in Stein 133.
                    Prof. Powers’ section (VAHI-101-02) meets 11:00-12:15 in O’Kane 495.

The following schedule corresponds for meetings of both sections.

Aug.  31  Introduction. Read Power of Art, pp. 2-59.

Sept.   2  Tour of College Campus.

Sept.   7  Revealing the human: the classical nude. Read Power of Art, pp.108-123, 198-199, 202-204, 215-217. Both sections meet in Stein 133.

Sept.   9  Worcester Art Museum Visit: sculpture. Read Hawthorne on the Venus de Medici and Pater on The Sculptures at Aegina.

Sept. 14  Living in stone: the medieval façade.  Website for Chartres Sculpture  and Read Power of Art, pp. 234-243. Both sections meet in Stein 133.

Sept. 16  Class debate: “The Battle of the Davids.” Verrocchio, David with the Head of Goliath (SASKIA Lid-0135); Donatello, David with the Head of Goliath (SASKIA Lid-0166); Michelangelo, David (SASKIA Lid-0320); Bernini, David (SASKIA Mid-0016-0021). Read Power of Art, pp. 255, 262-263, 291-293 and the story of “David and Goliath” from the Old Testament.     PAPER #1 DUE

Sept. 21  Architectural materials and methods.  Read, Power of Art, pp. 125-149 and Ackerman, “Listening to Architecture.”

Sept. 23  The Past made Present: the Acropolis and the Getty Center. Read Power of Art, pp. 129-132, 190-198 and Lewis’ review of the Getty Center. Both sections meet in Stein 133.  See Getty Museum Website for Architectural Tour of new museum and an independent interactive Site by Matt Wolf Adventures See also the Old Museum based on a Roman Villa.

Sept. 28  “For Whom the Bell Tolls”: the Cathedral vs. the Parish Church. Read Power of Art, pp. 135-137, 234-247; see website: Mapping Margery Kempe: Parish and Cathedral  Both sections meet in Stein 133.

Sept. 30  The structure and art of stained glass windows. Read Power of Art, pp. 156- 158, 242-243, 459-463. Both sections meet in Stein 133.

Oct.    5  Tour of St. Matthew’s Church, Worcester.

Oct.    7  Engaging the viewer: the Baroque Church. Read Power of Art pp. 145-147, 292-294, and Wittkower on Bernini, from H. Spencer, ed. Readings in Art History Vol. II (2nd ed.) pp. 191-208.
                 PAPER #2 DUE


Oct.  14  Group Website presentations

Oct.  19  Group Website presentations

Oct.  21  The Architectural/ Devotional Image. Read “Donor Portraits” in Devotional Images section of Mapping Margery Kempe: Both sections meet in Stein 133.

Oct.  26  Modern Portraits of the Rich and Famous. Read Power of Art, pp. 64-83.

Oct.  28  The Artist’s self-portrait. See Power of Art, figs. 12-30(Durer); 13-1 (Parmigianino); 13-16(Velasquez); 13-20(Rubens); 2-1,13-27,13-37(Rembrandt); 13-40 (Vigèe-Lebrun); 14-57 (van Gogh); 15-5(Kirchner); 3-4(Kollwitz). Both sections meet in Stein 133.

Nov.   2  Class presentation/discussion of essays on portraiture.
            PAPER #3 DUE
Nov.   4  Worcester Art Museum Visit: painting.

Nov.   9  Feast for the eyes: still-life painting. Readings TBA.

Nov.  11  Landscapes real and imaginary. Read Power of Art, pp. 327-328, 334-335, 346-347, 370 and Cole on landscape painting.
               PAPER #4 DUE

Nov.  16  Printmaking: the image becomes many. Read Power of Art, pp. 85-107. Both sections meet in Stein 133.

Nov.  18  No class. Throughout the week of Nov. 16th students will be attending one evening printmaking demonstration/talk. A corresponding essay assignment must be completed for class discussion on Nov. 23rd.

Nov.  23  Class presentation/ discussion of essays on printmaking.
                PAPER #5 DUE


Nov.  30  Discussion.
               Required evening lecture, “Art of the Jesuit Missions” Stein 116  7-8 PM .

Dec.    2  The Power of Place: Tiananmen Square, Beijing. One hour tape of news coverage of the Revolution in Tiananmen Square followed by class discussion. Both sections meet in Stein 133.

Additional dates:

               Dec.  2  PIZZA and PAPERS: presentation of designated student papers from Art History courses. Kimball cards can be canceled. Pizza dinner served. All are welcome. Time: 5:00-6:15 p.m.

               Dec. 10  FINAL STUDENT PROJECTS: due at 12 noon.