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 Department: School of Visual Arts
Faith and politics: The socio-political discourses engaged by Mexican ex-voto paintings from the nineteenth-century and beyond.

Faith and politics: The socio-political discourses engaged by Mexican ex-voto paintings from the nineteenth-century and beyond.

Date: May 2006
Creator: Hamman, Amy
Description: The Universalis Ecclesiae of 1508 authorized Spanish colonization of the Americas in return for the conversion of native populations to Christianity. From its inception therefore, the Mexican nation lived an alliance between Church and State. This alliance promoted the transfer of Castilian Catholicism to American shores. Catholic practices, specifically the ex-voto tradition, visualize this intermingling of religion and politics. The ex-voto is a devotional painting that expresses gratitude to a religious figure for his/her intervention in a moment of peril. It is commissioned by the devotee as a means of direct communication to the divine. This project analyzes 40 Mexican ex-votos for their reflection of political issues in Mexico. I assert that the Mexican ex-votos engage discussions of social politics. To support this argument, visualizations of socio-political discourses such as the Virgin of Guadalupe as a national religious symbol, police action and economic disparity were examined.
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The Flora and Fauna in Eighteenth-Century Colonial Mexican Casta Paintings

The Flora and Fauna in Eighteenth-Century Colonial Mexican Casta Paintings

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Date: May 2006
Creator: Torres, Anita Jacinta
Description: The primary objective of this thesis is to identify patterns of appearance among the flora and fauna of selected eighteenth-century New Spanish casta paintings. The objectives of the thesis are to determine what types of flora and fauna are present within selected casta paintings, whether the flora and fauna's provenance is Spanish or Mexican and whether there are any potential associations of particular flora and fauna with the races being depicted in the same composition. I focus my flora and fauna research on three sets of casta paintings produced between 1750 and 1800: Miguel Cabrera's 1763 series, José Joaquín Magón's 1770 casta paintings, and Andrés de Islas' 1774 sequence. Although the paintings fall into the same genre and within a period of a little over a decade, they nevertheless offer different visions of New Spain's natural bounty and include objects designed to satisfy Europe's interest in the exotic.
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Opening the Door to Meaning-Making in Secondary Art History Instruction

Opening the Door to Meaning-Making in Secondary Art History Instruction

Date: May 2006
Creator: Stroud, Elizabeth J.
Description: Each day countless numbers of high school students remain standing at the threshold of the door to meaningful learning in art history because of traditional authoritative instructional methods and content. With the keys of feminist pedagogy, interactive teaching methods, and the new art histories, the teacher can now unlock that door and lead students to personally relevant learning on the other side. A case study using both qualitative and quantitative research methods was conducted in a secondary art history classroom to examine the teacher's pedagogical choices and the degree to which they enable meaningful and relevant student learning. The analysis of multiple sources of data, including classroom observations, revealed statistically significant correlations between the teacher's instructional methods and the content, as well as their impact on student meaning-making.
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Personal Passions and Carthusian Influences Evident in Rogier Van Der Weyden's  Crucified Christ between the Virgin and Saint John and Diptych of the Crucifixion

Personal Passions and Carthusian Influences Evident in Rogier Van Der Weyden's Crucified Christ between the Virgin and Saint John and Diptych of the Crucifixion

Date: May 2006
Creator: Smith, Tamytha Cameron
Description: This thesis examines Rogier Van Der Weyden's two unique fifteenth century Crucifixions, The Crucified Christ Between the Virgin and Saint John and The Diptych of the Crucifixion, in light of Carthusian beliefs, practices and relevant devotional texts. The specific text used to support this examination is the Vita Christi by Ludolph of Saxony, which in part deals specifically with the Hours of the Passion. Ludolph's text is given visual form in Rogier's paintings and supports the assertion that Rogier and Ludolph were connected by a shared belief and worldview. Key aspects of Rogier's life, supported by original documentation- familial ties, associates, patrons, use of finances, and his close involvement with the Carthusians-- support this assertion. Other models of connections of belief, evidenced through artist's work, are corroborated in the work of Grunewald, Sluter and Durer.
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Theory in Practice: Constructivism and the Technology of Instruction in an Authentic Project-based Computer Class

Theory in Practice: Constructivism and the Technology of Instruction in an Authentic Project-based Computer Class

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Date: May 2006
Creator: Esmaiel, Yousef Esmaiel
Description: While literature in areas of constructivism learning theory, use of computer technology in education, and the implementation of project-based learning in the classroom have received widespread attention, there is no reported research that specifically examines the effectiveness of using a project-based learning model for computer technology instruction for pre-service teachers' programs in general, and in art education in particular. Thus, the research problem was to examine through pre- and post-test control-group experimental research design whether two different teaching methods, constructivism teaching approach (project-based learning) and traditional (step-by-step) teaching approach, result in significant differences in learning computer usage, the application of computer technical skills, design projects, and attitudes toward using of technology. The research was conducted at University of North Texas during the fall semester of 2004. Both quantitative and qualitative methods were used to collect the data. The quantitative data, collected from a pre-post test and pre and post questionnaire, was analyzed using a t-test. No significant difference was found between the groups as it relates to computer usage, one aspect of the application of computer technical skills (Photoshop usage), and attitudes towards technology. There was, however, a statistical difference between the groups in the use of the other aspect ...
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Art Criticism and the Gendering of Lee Bontecou's Art, ca. 1959 - 1964

Art Criticism and the Gendering of Lee Bontecou's Art, ca. 1959 - 1964

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Date: December 2005
Creator: Estrada-Berg, Victoria
Description: This thesis identifies and analyzes gendering in the art writing devoted to Lee Bontecou's metal and canvas sculptures made from the 1959 - 1964. Through a careful reading of reviews and articles written about Bontecou's constructions, this thesis reconstructs the context of the art world in the United States at mid-century and investigates how cultural expectations regarding gender directed the reception of Bontecou's art, beginning in 1959 and continuing through mid-1960s. Incorporating a description of the contemporaneous cultural context with description of the constructions and an analysis of examples of primary writing, the thesis chronologically follows the evolution of a tendency in art writing to associate gender-specific motivation and interpretation to one recurring feature of Bontecou's works.
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Complementary Dualities: The Significance of East/West Architectural Difference in Paquimé

Complementary Dualities: The Significance of East/West Architectural Difference in Paquimé

Date: August 2005
Creator: Hughes, Delain
Description: This thesis provides the first formal and phenomenological analysis of the architecture in Paquimé, otherwise known as Casas Grandes, Chihuahua, Mexico. The eastern and western halves of the city are divided by a stone wall and reservoirs. The monuments on the east are rectilinear, puddled adobe structures used primarily for domestic and manufacturing purposes. The buildings on the west, on the other hand, are open earth mounds lined in stone for public displays. This thesis analyzes each building individually, the relationship of the structures to one another, and the entire layout of Paquimé in order to better understand Paquimian visual culture.
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Beads on a String: Extended Portraits

Beads on a String: Extended Portraits

Date: December 2004
Creator: Kolčavová, Gabriela
Description: When I was first introduced to photography, I was mainly drawn to landscape imagery. I enjoyed being a solitary spectator. Over time, inclusions of figurative elements became more and more apparent in my work. I purposefully began to incorporate a figure into my landscapes, ascribing to it a certain nostalgia and a sense of isolation I was experiencing on many levels at that time. Before long, I felt disconnected from these images because of their ambiguity and generalization. I found myself craving more content and personal commitment in my photography. At the end 2003, I started experimenting with a 4" x 5" format camera, which forced me, to some extent, to change my way of photographing and seeing. That is how the beginning of this new body of work was born. I was accustomed to shooting with a 35 mm camera, which allowed me to be spontaneous, quick and immediate. I permanently switched to a large format. I could see myself benefiting from this change. I lost some of the spontaneity that a 35 mm format offers but I gained the beauty of working with larger negatives and the endless possibilities of view camera movements. Thanks to this technical transformation, ...
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Passionate transformation in vernicle images.

Passionate transformation in vernicle images.

Date: December 2004
Creator: Hoffman, J. Starr
Description: This thesis will examine the iconography of late-thirteenth- through fifteenth-century images of St. Veronica's veil, also known as vernicles. In the late Middle Ages, vernicle iconography changed from iconic representations of Christ's face toward graphic imagery of Christ's suffering during his Passion. These passionate transformations, as I have called them, were affected by the Roman Sudarium relic, popular devotion to Christ's suffering and humanity during his Passion, and the Catholic ritual of Mass. This thesis will consider how the function of vernicle images during Mass was reflected in their iconography throughout Europe between 1250 and 1500.
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Transplants

Transplants

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Date: December 2004
Creator: Holden, Susan Morrow
Description: The body of work originating from this Problem in Lieu of Thesis consists of paintings on canvas that incorporate representations of plant material. The impetus for the paintings was black and white photocopies created from mounds of plant material placed on a copy machine. The resulting copies contained forms that were organic in appearance, but unrecognizable as known objects. Parts of the most interesting and ambiguous copies were used to develop the imagery of the paintings. The new forms served the purpose of creating visual interest from unexpected images. Combined with traditional painting techniques, the selected forms produced paintings of mysterious and playful worlds similar to those parts of the environment not readily accessed, such as galactic space, microscopic organisms, and ocean depths.
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