OSHR 1796 - Art and the American Journey

  • Noncredit
  • Fort Collins

This course is offered through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at Colorado State University. You must be a member of Osher to enroll in this course.

The visual arts have played an important role in the many stages of North American history. Before the arrival of Europeans there were many flourishing artistic traditions created by the indigenous peoples of the Americas. The sophisticated designs of Native American pottery and weaving contrasted sharply with European styles of portrait and landscape painting brought by settlers just as the influence of Spanish Colonial architecture remains to this day. As American artists began to develop their own identity, many aspiring painters felt it necessary to study in Europe as a form of validation while European landscape painters such as Albert Bierstadt were drawn to the majestic beauty of the American west. European Academic art purchased by wealthy Americans became accessible to the general public as museums opened in our growing cities. Modern art innovations originating in 19th and early 20th century Europe expanded here. After World War II, New York replaced Paris as the art center of the world and American artists were recognized as the groundbreakers of new artistic styles.

This course will explore the development and energy of modern American art styles. Examples of Abstract Expressionism, Pop Art, Op Art, Minimalism, Environmental Art, Installation Art and Interactive Multimedia forms will be presented and discussed with the goal of adding context and structure to our museum and gallery experiences.

Noncredit courses do not produce academic credit nor appear on a Colorado State University academic transcript.