Introduction to Art History I

Dec 2020

Horrible class to take with him, especially virtually. He rambles and no one ever knows the point of what he's saying. He is way too specific on what he wants in the midterm and my TA personally said he wants this to be a hard class to get an A in. (The TA herself is amazing though, I'm quite sure they all just want us to do well.) That being said, I don't think there are any other professor options for this class right now, but avoid if you can.

Jan 2020

Bryda is a nice guy, don't get me wrong. He seems like he has a light spirit about him and definitely is very passionate about art history. HOWEVER, that said, DO. NOT. TAKE. THIS. CLASS. WITH. HIM. As a fourth year art history student, has already taken Intro II, and received a 5 on his/her AP AH exam, Bryda's course is needlessly pedantic. He requires memorization of the strangest grouping of works, is incredibly finicky when it comes to theory analysis, and overall is just too much of a hardo for an intro level class. WORST OF ALL...this guy cannot teach!!! He refuses to use PowerPoints for some reason and doesn't list the title of the works under the slides so figuring out what is what is a nightmare. What makes it worse is that objects are grouped by theme rather than culture or date, so you're constantly jumping back and forth between eras and countries! He also dwells on very minute ideas for much longer than needed, and is very redundant in his driving points (sometimes a good thing). I'm sure he has it more together in a northern renaissance class (his concentration), but when it comes to survey courses there is just too much material for him to handle.

Nov 2019

Some people worship Prof. Bryda, but I personally do NOT like him. People may say that he's engaging because he asks questions, but how am I supposed to take notes on the 20 minutes of questions that he posed to us on the first day of class?? He rambles a lot about an artwork, often describing its *beauty* and importance and then doesn't come to a conclusion (a lot like my papers, but I'm not a college professor). Also, he never posts the notes before class, so I'm often scrambling to look up pictures of the work to put in my notes. He also CONSTANTLY forgets to upload the Slide List(list of works that we will discuss in class), so sometimes I don't even get the name of an artwork until much later!! And the slide lists aren't even entirely on the midterm and final!!! He does take some out, which I appreciate, but often doesn't include some important info on that final list??? On the midterm, he asked for dates but they weren't given in advance, so you gotta google!!! Khan Academy saved me in this class. There's really no alternative to Intro if you want to go more into Art History, so just brace yourselves folks. You're in it for the long haul.

Dec 2018

Professor Bryda is a great professor! He is funny and has a clear passion for what he is teaching. His lectures are interesting, and he explains each work of art in extensive detail. If you show up to lecture and do the readings, the midterm and final are fairly easy. This is a reading heavy class, but you really only have to do the starred readings for discussion sections (the essay on the final is chosen from those readings). However, Professor Bryda provides all the readings onlinre, so you don't have to buy any books for the class, which is nice. There are two required trips to the MET throughout the semester, and you have to visit the MET once on your own for the research paper. Overall this is an interesting class and fairly easy if you put in a reasonable amount of effort.

Dec 2018

DO NOT TAKE THIS CLASS. Definitely the worst class I've taken here so far. I'm writing this instead of studying for the final because I'm filled with rage over how much this class sucked. Boring lectures where it's very hard to tell what's actually important. There's literally no direction on how to write an art history paper or anything like that, which feels weird for an intro-level class. I only took this class because the early stuff is relevant to my major but I thought maybe it would get me into art history and I was SO SO SO wrong. Only when I was studying for the final and searching art on Wikipedia did I realize that some of it could have actually been interesting had I had a different professor. BAD.

Dec 2017

I really really liked Prof. Ackley!!!! Very young but really passionate about what he does. I really recommend his course if you're interested in Art History. HOWEVER, if you're not interested in the material, the memorization will be too much.

Dec 2017

Joseph Ackley is a monotone professor. His lectures will make you fall asleep no joke.By registering for this class, you will also be mandated to take a discussion section outside of the class.It's ok to skip class because he uploads IDs which are pretty much the thing you have to remember to do good on his tests.

Dec 2016

I found this class to be quite challenging and a lot of work. It is pure memorization,. There are three short response papers, a final paper, and two midterms and a final. There are four museum trips outside of the class, twice by yourself and twice with a TA. I found it interesting, but as a non-Art-History major quite challenging.

Nov 2016

Professor Ackley is an extremely warm and kind person and a great lecturer. He definitely knows how and when to joke around, and he's not pretentious or intimidating at all. For me, his lectures went at a good pace, not to fast or slow, and were interesting, detailed, and helped me prepare for his exams. He was very attentive to students needs and always provided as much information as relevant/possible in his lectures and elsewhere. I feel confident in my knowledge of the material covered throughout the course and would recommend him to anyone interested in taking an Art History course. (Also, Prof. Ackley has to be the most polite teacher I have ever had. He always apologized for inconveniences and thanked his students for their patience. )

Jan 2014

Although this might be interesting for an Art History major, I personally found it pretty boring, and I would not recommend this as the class you take to fulfill your art requirement. It's very difficult to do well in that for the exams you have to memorize the name of the piece, artist, time period, culture in which it was founded, and medium. You also have to memorize all of these ridiculous details about the work of art that are based on these far reaching concepts like "materiality" and "form" and "directionality." Basically if you show up to class and write everything down that Moxey says, and show up to discusson and write down everything the TA says, you should be okay, it's just really hard to concentrate. Moxey drones on and on, mumbles under this delusion that everyone can hear him, and barely teaches; the class is basically taught by a host of guest lecturers who each assign a ton of readings. The class begins with Moxey giving a short history over the topic of the day, saying he knows nothing about the topic, then handing it onto the guest lecturer, who says the same thing he does only in more detail, leading to your notes becoming very disorganized given the fact that one piece of art can be spoken about multiple times. The TAs are pretty helpful and willing to meet with you, and are especially nice if you seem like you're interested in the topic (just pretend; it's worth it). Just go to class and write down everything everyone says and memorize most of it the night before and you can skate by with a B.

Dec 2013

I have very mixed feelings about this class after having just taken the final. This is an intro class, and so at least twelve "types" of art are introduced over the length of the semester, with a focus on one each week. Professor Moxey only lecturers at the beginning of the semester and at the end, and introduces each guest lecturer while providing a quick summary of what the guest will cover. Depending on the lecturer, a week can be fantastically interesting or painfully boring. It's gold when the head of a department from the Met comes -- but that isn't always. The midterm and final are very straightforward, and as long as you make flashcards or find a way to memorize the art's relevant information (which is all provided prior to the exam in a handy powerpoint format) you will do fine on the exams. I stopped reading the weekly assignments and had no problem grasping the material. Weekly hour-long discussion sections sound brutal, but my TA was fantastic and made the exams that much easier. This class is great if you aren't an Art History major -- but be warned that you cannot hear Moxey if you sit more than five rows back, and at times his lecturing can sound entitled and pretentious. Not an easy A, but attainable if you put a bit of effort in. Positives: If you have a nice TA and prepare for the exams, the class is close to a breeze. Also, you actually learn something. Negatives: The first 15 minutes of class are an utter waste of time, and by the end of the semester you'll wonder if it was worth it in the end.

May 2010

This class is the biggest and saddest joke in the history of education. It only proves why art historians to art is exactly what oil is to fresh seawater. I will demonstrate why you should spend your $5000 on another 4-credit class and avoid this dull train-wreck of a course. I did manage to get a decent grade in this class (considering the amount of effort I put in) but I don’t think it was worth the agony that this pointless course put me through. We can start with the $88 xerox-copied reader/text (a collection of articles written by other academics) we had to buy, which just glorifies these other art historians and their infinite, regurgitated theories and opinions from dull and pointless textbooks. We only really needed to know two or three of them, which could have probably been googled. I did not even bother to buy the main pricey text “Art History Vol 1 3rd Edition by Marilyn Stokstad”. I should use that money for therapy after this class. The guest lecturers were mediocre for the most part. I didn’t sit through any lectures that were life changing. The lecture on gothic architecture with Amiens Cathedral was very refreshing due to this British speaker who never tripped over words but then again… something as amazing as that cathedral should be easy for anyone to teach. The teaching assistants were nice but as boring as one may come to expect and none of them displayed any real passion for their field of study or their focused period of art. They all treat Moxey like some kind of God. It is pretty humorous….and sad. I will never forget when a student asked him a question and he just quickly diverted it to one of the teaching assistants. This guy chose the most boring works of art to represent the social situations of the Renaissance (I am huge on the Renaissance) and then he didn’t even back up any of his half ass profound statements. Moxey continues to talk about how these images are powerful and hold so much power…but why Moxey?? He tells us that these images haunt us..but why?? This leading professor emphasizes such things as “the horizontal size of the cathedral represents the town’s prosperity.” Wow…I used to always think poor towns could afford colossally sized cathedrals. The midterm and final is very difficult…you really need to know every single date, artist and period and exactly what they said about the works. Most of the art chosen for this class was very boring. This class should be called “Intro to Architectural History” because most of what we covered was architecture anyway. They should not even be allowed to have the word “Art” associated with anything they do. My friend teaches art history at a community college and her classes greatly surpass anything that this huge waste of time has to offer as far as enjoyment and educational benefit. The “seeing in and seeing as” concept is a joke and further reinforces how little art historians know when it comes to perceiving art. They continue to tell us that the information is on our handout like it is some sort of gift. What a waste of time, money and mental health in general. This class is a cash cow and completely pointless as well as one of the best kept secrets ready to be exploited at this school.

Jan 2010

The course consists of: several professors to teach (varying on the era being taught), one large textbook to be read, one large reader, and discussion sections. The class itself is interesting. I've taken art history classes before and the subject is always interesting, but i find that these professors don't focus on the most important notable pieces of each era. You learn a lot about art, its history, new cultures, etc. You definitely have to have an interest for the subject to be able to sit and bare through the material. The course consists of: several professors to teach (varying on the era being taught), one large textbook to be read, one large reader, and discussion sections. The class itself is interesting. I've taken art history classes before and the subject is always interesting, but i find that these professors don't focus on the most important notable pieces of each era. You learn a lot about art, its history, new cultures, etc. You definitely have to have an interest for the subject to be able to sit and bare through the material. The course consists of: several professors to teach (varying on the era being taught), one large textbook to be read, one large reader, and discussion sections. The class itself is interesting. I've taken art history classes before and the subject is always interesting, but i find that these professors don't focus on the most important notable pieces of each era. You learn a lot about art, its history, new cultures, etc. You definitely have to have an interest for the subject to be able to sit and bare through the material.

Dec 2008

This was the biggest mistake I have ever made! this class was horrible. Every 3 classes is taught by a different lecturer and some of them have accents that are impossible to understand. the material was so boring.

Dec 2008

I really liked Intro to Art History. Professor Moxey was an excellent lecturer and was often quite funny when he could not figure out how to use the computer correctly! I really learned a lot about history, not just art, and about how to look at art. The lecture part of the class consists of a number of guest speakers, some of whom are much better than others. There is also a once a week discussion section with a TA that helps solidify the massive amount of material that this course covers. However, the TA’s seem to vary a lot. I enjoyed the guided museum visits and I found the lectures to be generally interesting and informative. This class would have been a lot easier if I had a broader knowledge of Christianity.

Dec 2008

The course started out nicely..Moxey was the first to lecture, and did a series of lectures that were really interesting. The rest of the lectures (except for a few at the end on the Renaissance) were taught by different instructors who specialized in that area. A couple of them were pretty good, but for the most part, the class went downhill from there. With so many different lecturers, the class became inconsistent and the general ideas were lost as we kept transitioning from one person to the next. There were definitely a few lectures that were still interesting, but overall the class was confusing and I felt as though I never really had the whole scope of what was going on. The textbook was absolutely useless and sometimes even more confusing. The articles we had to read additionally in the reader were actually pretty interesting, (although several were completely irrelevant and confusing). A discussion section was held ever week as well, and that really depended on your TA (I would suggest Joyce).

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.

Aug 2007

I had to review in response to what someone had said about this class being a grade ruiner. While Professor Higonnet does expect a lot of slide memorization for the midterm and final, she tells you exactly what she's looking for. Really, art history has to have a lot of memorization and slides. It's not her fault. Aside from that, I agree that she is a good lecturer, but sometimes the guest lecturers are a little boring. I didn't attend class/discussion section enough so I deserved my B+. Basically, go to class and you'll be surprised at what you remember, when it comes down to studying or taking the exams. Take a laptop with you, since she posts the powerpoint slides sometimes only minutes before class is due to begin.

Apr 2007

This guy was one of the lecturers for our Intro. to Art History class at Barnard. What a joke. "I know I'm not explaining Cubism very well for you here...but you'll just have to trust me...well, anyway, you can't really explain cubism anyway, you just have to puzzle it out..." WTF? I think that a professor of art history at Columbia should, at the very least, be able to give students some indication of what a major topic in the history of art might be about. And, hey, thanks for basing your entire lecture on the Krauss essays we were assigned in other classes! And, yeah, we've already read them although they weren't assigned by you. Patronizing and simplistic.

Mar 2007

Wondeful professor and material covered. Unfortunately, endless memorization for the midterm and final ruin the class. Higonett seems to assume her class is the only class you are taking which is not only frusterating but also detrimental to your grade in other classes. It's a shame.

May 2006

it's quite possible that he won't be here next year, but if he is, take his section. genius, quirkily hilarious, dry sense of humor, yet backed up with actual information. a delight.

May 2006

my life will be complete when this man gets down on one knee and proposes. and he's probably about 62 years old. he is extremely intelligent, yet accessible, presents the material in an extremely straightfoward way, and whenever he has an especially convoluted or complicated point to make, he walks the entire class through step by step until, all of a sudden at the end of the lecture, you want to leap out of your seat screaming "I get it!" and feeling quite intelligent and excellent about yourself. this is also a requirement course, so there's really no way around it for the major, but if you aren't an art history major and have any inkling toward the appreciation of art, take this man's class. i highly recommend it.

Dec 2005

Moxey is such a great guy... very approachable and easygoing. However, his voice is very, very mellow and could easily put you to sleep if you aren't listening to the lectures. If you are interested in the general study of art, i highly recommend this class. Workload is extremely light. Although it may seem like you don't really need to go to lecture, it definitely helps to go and take notes for when it comes time to study for the midterm and final (each requires about 60 slides memorized).

Jun 2005

Not an easy class due to the huge amount of information you must perfectly memorize (i'm not joking) and the fact that there was only one lecturer who wasn't entirely soporific.. and he wasn't that rude, boring, dry old man "running" the show. The plus side: many times neither the TAs nor the lecturer could get the projector working and so class was either canceled or at least a lot of time that would've otherwise been used for droning was wasted. Don't take this class as your first foray into the study of Art History, or like me, you will hate the subject forever after. I DO reccomend this if you have taken other art hist classes because then you can be one of the few people who actually talks during your section with your TA. If you do take this class, try to stay awake and take notes bc then you can laugh as you compare the dates and facts you got in the lecture with the ones printed in the textbook which, in their turn, contradict those posted on the ill-maintained website. Have fun.

Apr 2005

oh please. i remember this woman. she was my TA for second semester intro art history section. my success in the class had absolutely nothing to do with her; if it weren't for the mandatory section attendance rule, i would have gladly skipped the boring torture and saved myself some brain cells. take careful note of what she says, and make sure to barf it back to her in some form or another in the papers. as with most art history TA's, always remember just how much smarter she is than you. write precisely and clearly but don't swoop in with any brilliant insights of your own, because no one here wants that from an intro student. </bitterness>

Jan 2005

This woman is incredible. As others have said about the course, your TA will have a large impact on your experience and knowledge gained in the class. Melanie will beautifully clarify anything that was confusing in lecture, although there is only room for one correct answer. She has reasonable expectations, friendly to talk with after sections, and is sometimes intimidating. Don't be afraid to add to discussion. Her sections were overflowing in the beginning, so do your best push your way in. An educator at heart. Highly recommended!!!

Jan 2005

The class begins and ends with a few lectures by Professor Moxey, while the bulk of information is taught by Columbia University faculty. Each time period (ending with the Renaissance) depends greatly on who teaches them and the readings that professor assigns, but each lasts around two weeks at most. In the end, you end up with not only a survey course in art history, but of the Columbia art history professors which will pay off later. The most important piece advice I have is to choose your TA wisely. Anything the guest professor fails to explain but Professor Moxey still thinks important, your TA will be the one teaching it to you. Visit all the sections and petition if you have to, your TA is the defining factor of your experience in the class. Recommended, I was impressed.

Dec 2004

This class really varied in quality, depending on which professor was giving a lecture. Moxey was in charge of the course as a whole, and coordinated different professors to come in for their given subject area. As a result, some lectures (like those from Bahrani, Kampen, and Dehejia) were excellent, while I found others (Klein, McCormick) lacking. As for Moxey himself, he usually gave introductory lectures and concluding lectures (Prehistoric Art, Renaissance Art) that wrapped up concepts really effectively. His mellifluous voice, mixed in with his mysterious accent, can sometimes put you to sleep, but the material of his lectures are actually really interesting. Class was a good, comprehensive intro to art in general. Definitely suggested.

Nov 2004

Professor Higonnet is a great professor. Her lectures are always clear, informative, and engaging (although the same cannot be said of many of Intro to Art History's guest lecturers). Higonnet is truly passionate about what she teaches, and her love of the material is evident in the power and excitement of her lectures. I would highly recommend her to anyone with an interest in the subject.

May 2004

Prof. Higonnet is a great professor. She is funny, intelligent, and curious. She is totally interested and passionate about what she is teaching. She can be a little repetetive sometimes and occaisionally disorganized, but I think a lot of it has to do with the TA strike. Anyway, she is definately a character, always arriving to class in interesting, cool outfits- she's sort of like the aunt you always wish you had.

Apr 2004

I would have to disagree with the last review, I think Vered is an excellent TA. She's extremely knowledgable, is great at faciliating discussion, and lectures better than some professors I've had. It's true that she is a little intimidating at first, but it turns out she's a very fair grader. Above all though, Vered really prepares you for the exams well and does a really, really helpful overview of the material right before the test. Sign up for this excellent section if you actually want to learn something.

Jan 2004

Like any halfway decent supporting actor, Moxey was short on screen time, but when he was lecturing, every eye and ear was on him. Perhaps it was the accent, perhaps it was the Sean Connery-esque look, perhaps it was because he was just a good lecturer; either way, Moxey teaches you the basic themes and ideas you need to know for each era. The class itself, when Moxey isn't around, can get pretty boring, as revealed by the snoring that often accompanied lectures. It should also be noted that just because this course is labeled intro does not make it easy; in fact, because of the wide span of time this class covers, it is probably more difficult than other higher level courses. But if you've studied enough and memorized the basic facts, the class should not be too challenging.

Dec 2003

I feel there is really no basis for my review of Professor Moxey considering the class is really based on the guest lecturers which vary each year and the TA. Though Moxey usually starts the term with a couple lectures and ends it as well. He's an unbelievable lecturer with simple humor and makes it interesting. I can't stress enough how important the TA is though, considering he/she will be reading/grading your essays and your participation during discussion as well as grading you midterms/ finals.

Nov 2003

She is tough. Seems very intelligent and has potential to be a good TA, but she's on a bit of a power trip and likes to make you feel like you're four. Not the best thing. Overall, sign up for a different TA's section if you can.

Jun 2003

Professor McCormick seems ok at first but after about five minutes she gets really boring. She obviously knows a lot about Japanese art but she fails at making it interesting for the students. however, her lectures, though boring, were extremely organized and easy to follow.

May 2003

Foxy Moxey... He's got style, he's got grace... and that's pretty much just about all you've got going for you if you take this course. Don't be fooled; Intro to Art History is a tough, time-consuming class that involves endless memorization of countless images and dates. Moxey's lectures (of which there were only a few, disappointingly enough) were entertaining but the midterm and final were another story. Must've been SOME curve at the end of the class, though, coz most of us made it out of there with A's and B's.

Apr 2003

Moxey is the moderator for this class and only gives a handful of lectures, but they're definately among the highlights of the course (the other being the absolutely wonderful Natalie "Tally" Kampen). Moxey is straightforward, clear, and sometimes a bit boring but he doesn't sidetrack you with ridiculous things you don't need to know. He's quite nice, makes amusingly bad jokes, and is in general a rather good lecturer. The rest of the course really depends, since it's a series of guest lectures. If you're thinking of taking it, get the first day syllabus and look up the individual professors.

Nov 2002

Well, what can you say about him since you hardly get a chance to hear his lectures, until the end. He is however, a gorgeous man with a hot accent. I love this guy. Its nice to hear his voice before the lecture begins as he introduces the various professors. Definetly a cool class since you get a taste of some amazing and not so amazing professors/speakers.

Mar 2002

The class features a number of guest lecturers, most of whom are quite good. The trouble with the class is the grading - God forbid you try to analyze a work of art in a way the professor or T.A. hasn't considered - they'll mark you down instantly. Even if you're intelligent it doesn't matter - when you write papers, you have to say what the profs and T.A.s want to hear. And you can't just learn the names of, say, Baroque paintings - you have to make sure to question whether "Baroque" is an appropriate word to describe the period. Also, if you don't insult the Metropolitan in your first paper (where you review a work of art there) you will be marked down - they want to hear that the Met is wrong (because why would the Met know what it's talking about?) Basically, a frustrating class filled with rote memorization and annoying graders. But the guest lecturers are really good. Moxey himself is a bit boring.

Nov 2001

Prof. Kampen is an excellent, engaging lecturer, with a wealth of knowledge in so many areas, though she passes the course over to other specialized professors for most of the sessions. It seems that her focus is in Ancient Greek, Roman, and Jewish work, but I've found her helpful across the board. One note: she hates people leaving mid-lecture-- don't do it! You won't want to anyway.... Plus, she incorporates NYC into the curriculum with Museum visits and relevant papers.

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.