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Special Topics in Art History - Art and the Environment is a Course

Special Topics in Art History - Art and the Environment

Feb 1 - May 11, 2019

Spots remaining: 3

$1,080 Enroll

Full course description

Art and the Environment

What is nature? What is civilization? How can the two co-exist? Art has been proposing a series of answers to these questions since long before the crisis of climate change. This workshop, focusing on Europe and North America since the advent of industrialization, studies art as an important means by which human beings produce and understand such fundamental concepts as nature, wilderness, the human being, civilization, and the world. Looking especially at paintings, photographs, sculptures, films, and songs that represent the landscape, the workshop will consider the history of these key concepts as they pertain to the sustainability of life on earth. How has art ended up enabling environmental degradation and hastened climate change? How might it model a more sustainable set of relationships between the human and the non-human? Our work will include frequent in-person study of art at the Phillips Collection. The course includes five units: What Does Art Have to Do with the Environment?; Modernity, Modernism, and Nature; Deserts and Desertification; Cities and Suburbs; and Globalization and Climate Change.

  • Date and Time: February 1 - May 10, 2019: Fridays, 1:00pm - 3:30pm
  • Meeting location: The Phillips Collection, Center Studio, 1600 21st Street, NW. Washington, DC 20009
  • Offered By: Department of Art History and Archaeology, University of Maryland College Park
  • Instructor: Dr. Joshua Shannon
Workshops do not post to the UMD transcript and do not count towards a student's academic record. Neither grade nor credit is earned. Students do not receive a University ID card and will not have access to University facilities such as recreation, transportation, and campus events. Workshop students may access UMD Libraries as “Visitors”; see

November 1, 2018 to January 24, 2019
Non-member Fee: $1,080.00
Members of The Phillips Collection Fee: $360.00
*Members of The Phillips Collection should contact Victoria Hagar at to receive the promo code required to receive the discounted rate.