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Australian Art (AHIS20002)

Undergraduate level 2Points: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelUndergraduate Level 2
Subject codeAHIS20002
Semester 1
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

This subject provides a scholarly introduction to the history of art in Australia, at the same time incorporating new perspectives, approaches and ideas. It demonstrates ways of interpreting Australian art through its relationship to historical events and contemporary thought. Topics considered will include the perceptual values known as the picturesque and the sublime in topographical and landscape painting respectively, the concept of terra nullius and how the indigenous inhabitants were represented, women artists of the 19th and early 20th centuries, Australian Impressionism, artists abroad, neo-classicism, the art of war and the Anzac legend, modernism in Sydney and Melbourne and the growing awareness of new European movements such as Expressionism, Cubism, and Surrealism. A lively and comprehensive look at what's topical in Australian art history, including the art polemics of the 1940s and 1950s, Australian Pop Art and the swinging 60s.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should have:

  • an understanding and visual knowledge of the development of the concept of "Australian art" and how this amalgam was constructed from the mid 19th century to the 1960s;
  • familiarity with the key written and visual sources centering on major themes and have an understanding of how this imagery was developed and manipulated to meet the concerns of the day; and
  • the ability to conduct independent research on artists and issues of the period using primary sources.

Generic skills

At the completion of this subject, students should gain the following generic skills:

  • be able to research through the competent use of the library and other information sources, and be able to define areas of inquiry and methods of research in the preparation of essays;
  • be able to conceptualise theoretical problems, form judgements and arguments and communicate critically, creatively and theoretically through essay writing, tutorial discussion and presentations;
  • be able to communicate knowledge intelligibly and economically through essay writing and tutorial discussion;
  • be able to manage and organise workloads for recommended reading, the completion of essays and assignments and examination revision; and
  • be able to participate in team work through involvement in syndicate groups and group discussions.

Last updated: 10 August 2019