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- Changing Perceptions of Heraldry in English Knightly Culture of the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries
- The purpose of this thesis is to analyze and discuss the changing ways in which the visual art of heraldiy was perceived by the feudal aristocracy of twelfth- and thirteenth-century England. It shows how the aristocracy evolved from a military class to a courtly, chivalric class, and how this change affected art and culture. The shifts in the perceptions of heraldry reflect this important social development of the knightly class.
- Conversations with the Master: Picasso's Dialogues with Velazquez
- This thesis investigates the significance of Pablo Picasso's lifelong appropriation of formal elements from paintings by Diego Velazquez. Selected paintings and drawings by Picasso are examined and shown to refer to works by the seventeenth-century Spanish master.
- The Desires of Rebecca Horn: Alchemy and the Mechanics of Interpretation
- The purpose of this thesis is to analyze the use of alchemy within the work of Rebecca Horn, to elucidate its presence in her work, and to illuminate its purpose as a personal philosophy and as a creative tool. The use of alchemy within Horn's work occurs as a process of revelation and transformation. Alchemy is revealed as a spiritual philosophy and as an interpretative system through the changes that occur in Horn's oeuvre. Throughout Horn's career, alchemy has developed into an interpretive system, a type of spiritual and cosmic perspective, that allows the artist to study, access, and meld diverse realities (sacred and profane) and diverse social systems (religious and scientific) into a more holistic and spiritually infused reality for herself and society-at-large. The purpose of her work is to help reinvest contemporary life with a spiritual presence by offering a model and a means of bringing the sacred into the profane.
- Exploration of Sculpture
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The images that I sculpt deal with reflections of human traits. Wood lends itself to this endeavor, offering minimal resistance to manipulation. Keeping the origin and qualities of the material while manipulating it into another object is a statement within itself. Letting the wood do what it does naturally keeps the viewer in touch with the fact it is still just an object of nature. Wood does not make itself any less real because of the relationship of the sculpture to it as wood.
- Hojas Volantes: José Guadalupe Posada, the Corrido, and the Mexican Revolution
- This thesis examines the imagery of Jose Guadalupe Posada in the context of the Mexican Revolution with particular reference to the corrido as a major manifestation of Mexican culture. Particular emphasis is given to three corridos: "La Cucaracha," "La Valentina," and "La Adelita." An investigation of Posada's background, style, and technique places him in the tradition of Mexican art. Using examples of works by Posada which illustrate Mexico's history, culture, and politics, this thesis puts Posada into the climate of the Porfiriato and Revolutionary Mexico. After a brief introduction to the corrido, a stylistic analysis of each image, research into the background of the song and subject matter, and comments on the music draw together the concepts of image, music, and text.
- The Human Object: Explorations of the Figurative Toy
- This Problem in Lieu of Thesis documents the thought processes that led to the completion of a series of five interactive sculptures. Each piece incorporates a part of the human body taken from its normal context and placed into the context of children's playground equipment.
- Pieter Bruegel the Elder's Apocalyptic Fortitude
- This thesis examines Pieter Bruegel the Elder's Fortitude, 1560, a print from the Seven Virtues series. Fortitude stands out as an anomaly within the cycle because it contains several allusions to the Book of Revelation. The linkage of Fortitude to the writings of St. John is important because it challenges previous iconographic and iconological analyses of the composition. Analysis of Fortitude's compositional elements is provided, along with an examination of the virtue tradition. Additionally, an exploration of sixteenth-century apocalypticism is included, as well as an examination of the artistic influences that may have inspired Bruegel. This thesis concludes that Fortitude's apocalyptic allusions do not seem unusual for an artist familiar with St. John's prophecies, influenced by Hieronymus Bosch, and living in an age of apocalypticism.
- Southern Genre Painting and Illustration from 1830 to 1890
- The purpose of this thesis is to give a concise view of stylistic, iconographical, and iconological trends in Southern genre paintings and illustrations between 1830 and 1890 by native Southern artists and artists who lived at least ten years in the South. Exploration of artworks was accomplished by compiling as many artworks as possible per decade, separating each decade by dominant trends in subject matter, and researching to determine political and/or social implications associated with and affecting each image. Historical documents and the findings of other scholars revealed that many artworks carried political overtones reflecting the dominant thought of the white ruling class during the period while the significance and interpretation of other artworks was achieved by studying dominant personal beliefs and social practices.
- Synthesis of the Personal and the Political in the Works of May Stevens
- This thesis is an investigation of the way in which the painter May Stevens (b. 1924) synthesizes her personal experiences and political philosophy to form complex and enduring works of art. Primary data was accumulated through an extended interview with May Stevens and by examining her works on exhibit in New York and Boston. An analysis of selected works from her "Big Daddy" and "Ordinary/Extraordinary" series revealed how her personal feelings about her own family became entwined with larger political issues. As an important member of the feminist art movement that evolved during the 1970s, she celebrated this new kinship among women in paintings that also explored the contradictions in their lives. In more recent work she has explored complex social issues such as teenage prostitution, sexism, and child abuse in a variety of artistic styles and media. This study investigates how May Stevens continues to portray issues of international significance in works that consistently engage the viewer on a personal, almost visceral level.