Introduction to Art History II: Renaissance to the Modern Age

May 2021

I had high hopes for this class given that Prof. Higonnet is considered a legend at Barnard, but maybe it was zoom/covid/TA strike/every other problem of the Spring 2021 semester but I was left disappointed. The zoom lectures left something to be desired. She was hard to follow at times and moved around the set works without doing deep into any one. I came in with some knowledge of art history, so maybe that's why this course didn't really satisfy me. I think it was interesting that she brought in a number of modern works throughout the course. If you are taking it on zoom be aware that there will be two breakout rooms each class with a random assortment of people from a 300 person lecture. The grading policy was all over the place. Some TAs were nice some TAs were mean. There was no overall grading policy and they were very heavy-handed. I would not say that this was as much of a cakewalk as I had hoped. Also, you didn't even need to attend the lectures to write the papers, they were 100% analytical. Can't really speak on the final because it was canceled due to the TA strike. As an individual, Prof. Higonnet was very accommodating to the strike, shifting the point values around, setting up some limited in-person events, but overall, I wasn't "changed" by the class. The grading policies and lack of really getting into the material makes it less likely I would take this class again.

Jul 2017

Anne Higonnet gets a 10/10 in my book. She is the spitting image of a classic art historian. She loves all the details, inner workings, historical contexts and it is so fun to watch her get all worked up over things most of us had never noticed! A previous review called the class boring. That's the kind of basic response I would expect by those who sit in the back row shopping on Zara or scrolling through FB for the 10000000th time that day. In fact, this is a rich class which leaves you with a broad but strong knowledge of the art history you NEED to know in order to understand references and stay relevant. Sections and Lectures are in perfect synchronicity (better if you have a good TA). Readings were long (sometimes tough) but I literally think about them almost every day. Tests, with the many identification slides and 3 minute short answer sections, were tough and there's no way around them if you don't keep up in class. That said, if you're an effective student, there's no reason why you cannot get a stellar grade in this class. What's more, you'll be better for taking it in the long run.

Sep 2016

Isabella was a wonderful TA for Intro Art History I with Anne Higonnet, and one of the reasons I decided to minor in Art History. I got into her section last minute and I feel so grateful that I did. She's smart, competent, engaging, and made section something I looked forward to every week. That class can be unbearable if you have a bad TA - they grade all your papers/tests, you interact more with them than with Higonnet - but I lucked out. She cares about the students and is invested in their success throughout the course. I managed to make some of my required trips to the Met with her as well, and her tours were actually interesting (a feat for those trips). She met with me to discuss my papers any time I wanted/needed to, and her comments actually made me think and definitely improved my writing. If you get the chance to have her as your TA, go for it!

Apr 2016

I liked Professor Higonnet—her lectures were clear. The workload is fairly manageable—she recommends that you do the reading, but honestly, I did no reading at all and did very well on my midterm. All this class requires in terms of testing is memorization, and if you don't go to lecture, make sure to look up the key works (3 or 4 per class) and write down historical significance/any other important information. I skipped 1/3 of the lectures, maybe more, and did great, but I did go to discussion section every week. The essays are not as easy, but if you pay attention to her methods of analyzing the art work, you will do fine—just stand in front of the assigned art for an hour and jot down everything that comes to mind. Take the testing advice with a grain of salt, because memorization is my forte. If you aren't good at that, you will have a hard time on the midterm and final.

Aug 2008

I took both semesters of Art History with Patrick, one of the most helpful, energetic, and interesting teachers I've had at Barnard. Not only was he incredibly intelligent and excited about what he was teaching, but he also pushed all of us to really think about works of art and probe deeper. He was always willing to listen to different ideas and never acted condescending; he was really down to earth and made an effort to get to know everyone in my section. He also was very helpful and available outside of class (I probably went to him for help with papers at least 5 times) and was always willing to read and give feedback on drafts. If you're taking Intro to Art History at Barnard, definitely try to get him as a TA.

May 2003

This was the most boring class I have ever taken. I fell asleep every other class, and skipped just as many. The problem, however, is not Professor Hutchinson's. It is a very detailed topic, given at a bad time, in a large, dark, room. The readings are unnecessary and the sections a waste of time. The format of many different lecturing professors makes it hard to follow, you never really get a feel for a single professor. On the one hand you ocassionally get great lecturers, but more often than not you have no idea what they are saying, and they presume upon a base of knowledge (especially in the second semester) that you may not have. This class is NOT an easy A.

Jan 2000

The class is set up as a series of guest lectures, but the creme de la creme of the class is Moxey himself. Not only is he sexy and has exquisite clothing tastes, but he also looks like Sean Connery, and has the same accent. Beam me up, Scotty; this class rules.