Introduction to Art

I.     Course Prefix/Number: HUM 123

       Course Name: Introduction to Art

       Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 0 lab)

II.    Prerequisite


III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course provides a survey of the visual arts (painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture and architecture) emphasizing how art transmits cultural traditions and aesthetic values. Content includes the historical, social and technological factors that contribute to understanding the function and meaning of works of art.

IV.   Learning Objectives

  1. Learn the time frame and location of each major culture important to Western Art.
  2. View the characteristic art and architecture of each culture to enjoy their visual diversity and understand their historical context.
  3. Increase visual memory and the ability to see & evaluate small visual differences.
  4. Understand and use visual language, historical context, and personal aesthetic judgements in written assignments.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

  1. Prehistoric Art
  2. Egyptian Art
  3. Mesopotamian Art
  4. Aegean Art
    1. Cycladic Art
    2. Minoan Art
    3. Mycenaean Art
  5. Etruscan Art
  6. Greek Art
  7. Roman Art
  8. Medieval Art
    1. Early Christian Art
    2. Barbarian Art
    3. Byzantine Art
    4. Romanesque Art
    5. Gothic Art
  9. Renaissance Art
    1. Italian Renaissance
    2. Northern European Renaissance
  10. Mannerist Art
  11. Baroque Art
    1. Italian Baroque
    2. Dutch Baroque
  12. Rococo Art
  13. Neoclassic Art
  14. Romantic Art and Romantic-Realism Landscapes
  15. Realism
    1. French Realism
    2. American Realism
  16. Impressionism
  17. Post-Impressionism
  18. Twentieth Century
    1. Fauvism
    2. Cubism
    3. Dada
    4. Surrealism
    5. Abstract Expressionism and Abstraction
    6. Pop Art
    7. New Realism
    8. Post-Modernism

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Slides, lectures, movies, field trip, text and handouts
Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

  1. Satisfactory class attendance insures the visual experience of individual art works
  2. 12 to 15 pages of writing
  3. Required tests taken
  4. Other required assignments completed.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

  1. Slides
  2. Test, current text is Art Past, Art Present by Wilkins/Schultz/Linduff
  3. Movies
  4. Handouts

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

  1. Exact Attendance Policy, perhaps giving the number of absences allowable or a point value for viewing slides and participating in class discussion or another policy which you justify and clearly explain.  The following is an example of a grading structure.
  2. Point value for each test and quiz.
  3. Point value for each writing assignment.
  4. Your points will be totaled and divided by [varies by instructor] to reach your final grade.
  5. Grading Scale:
    1. A is a grade between         and        
    2. B is a grade between         and        
    3. C is a grade between         and        
    4. D is a grade between         and        
    5. F is a grade below

XI.   Other Course Information

  1. Your exact attendance policy if you did not cover it in the grading section.
  2. Your grading and standards for papers.
    1. Special instructions on style and content.
    2. Instructions on form, perhaps you want papers to be typed &  double spaced.
    3. Policy on late or missing papers.
  3. Your policy on missing or make-up quizzes or tests, such as a time limit for retaking the test or points subtracted for make-up tests.
  4. Your policy on extra credit - how much is extra credit worth & when can students do it.  If you offer extra credit, it should be available to every student.
  5. Your policy on incomplete grades, perhaps you don't give incomplete grades or you do but only to students missing only one assignment or in cases of personal illness.

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.