Greek Art and Architecture

May 2013

This class was incredible - being Greek myself and being taught by a Greek professor while learning about Greek art and archi was a real pleasure. His lectures are engaging, I went to all of them, and he only calls on you if you raise your hand. Participation is encouraged though as he will ask your name when he calls on you and the more the answer, the more memorable you are, and the more he will like you. He corrects the papers himself, so recognizing your name will definitely help. I never did any of the readings but the lectures prepare you perfectly for the exam and midterm - he tells you what he wants you to know. A LOT of memorization is involved though. this is an intensive art hist course in the sense that he will ask you the exact date of the berlin painter`s vase and in what decade this particular minoan house was created. every date, name and artist has to be remembered, he doesnt create a list of 40 pieces to study for the exam for example, KNOW EVERYTHING.

Aug 2011

I can critique this class only on two aspects - content and presentation. For the former, I learnt many things that I was not aware of before this course. Every class taught me something new, every hour was useful. Because Prof Mylonopoulos keeps on highlighting the differences between different pieces of art, it is not difficult to remember the material after class. At the end of course I was able to look at a piece and tell its approximate age, in addition to my opinion whether it was an original or Roman copy. As far as presentation goes, Prof. Mylonopoulos had the class' undivided attention because he would bring a mundane piece to life by telling interesting stories and events. At times I was so spellbound by his teaching that would not realize that an hour had passed by. He made very interesting observations on questions like - Is geometric period primitive? Was Alexander's conquest of East justified because what ancient Persians did to Greek temples? Questions like these made me see not only Greek but also Meso-American art in a different light. The visits to MET were icing on the cake. To sum up - Of the 5 courses that I took last Fall, including graduate level IEOR courses, this was the one which I enjoyed and learned from the most. Although I did not have much interaction with TAs, they seemed to be helpful to other students.

Apr 2011

Prof. Mylonopoulos was a good professor and I would recommend him. His lectures were extremely organized and English language skills very good. He was easy to understand and follow. One of the problems with his lectures was that at times he tried to cover way too many slides and did not have enough time to go deep into each one of them. He gave an overview of too many things and facts during lectures, and sometimes missed the big pictures. He kept saying in class how the material required many more lectures. He has trouble cutting out stuff from his lectures for an intro course. He is a very detail oriented professor and wants to see as much information as possible in the exams. However, during the lectures he covers so much materials he barely has time to really analyze one object or monument. This is not a bad thing though...We really got to see lots of slides and learnt a lot about the material, we developed an eye for recognizing certain themes in Greek art, etc. He also wants the class to pay attention and calls on people. He probably knew everyone's name by the end of the semester, at least everyone who had said something in class. How many professors do that in a class of 65+? Name calling kept most of us awake and interested during lectures and I appreciated that he cared about us learning the subjects. It was in a way his way of communicating with his students and connecting with them. Readings were useless and not interesting. The lectures were a must and he takes attendance anyway. The lecture summaries he posted online were very helpful, particularly for the exams. There is no discussion section. He does tend to treat his students like kids, I guess that is his style...but I found him to be very approachable, organized and a good professor.

Jan 2010

This was a great class taught by an even greater professor. The class includes material about early European civilizations, serving as a preface to Greek art up until Roman times. Ioannis is a nice guy, very approachable and helpful, and he manages the class to be fun and informative. Every class begins with a recap of the recent sessions, sometimes presenting material side-by-side to create a fuller picture of the trends and shifts in art, sometimes serving as a pretext for the new topic to be introduced. He asks students questions to sort of wake up the brain and not start a class on a "clean slate," which I found very helpful. He's very nice when asking students and isn't intimidating; he'll try to work with you to get to the right answer but won't press if he senses you'd like to pass on the opportunity to answer. The class covers a lot of topics, but some are covered in much more depth than others. For example, art in early European civilizations were covered lightly compared to classical Greek sculpture or black and red figure vase painting. This is also reflected in the exams: in fact, you can actually sense (and if you don't, the TAs will point it out :) that some of the topics interest the Professor much more than others and are more likely to be the focus of one of the two exams. The class is aimed at students who are interested in the material. There is no homework nor are the readings necessary; they seem more of an "added value" sort of thing if you're interested in further reading. There are two exams (midterm and final) which are graded 20% and 40% respectively. The idea is that when you do the midterm it's your first time confronting an exam on this course and too big of a weight might offset your grade. (I thought it was very considerate.) The structure of the two exams is the same; basically a bunch of questions to which your answer should be short and to the point. (You do need to remember some dates, but that's not difficult if you try to learn the style rather than memorize things.) Up to the midterm the focus is on Greek sculpture, and afterwards it shifts to vase painting. I have to admit that I personally found the first part of the course much more interesting... Vase paintings is a subject of archaeological importance to us, but to them those were everyday objects. (I always imagined a museum in the year 4500 presenting pieces from the "Ikea" workshop...) In between also covered are temple architecture, city planning, and Greek theaters to name a few. The Professor uploaded a bunch of slides with a lot of images to narrow down what we have to "memorize" for the exam, but again, if you pay attention to what he focuses on, or (as I found out too late) go to exhibitions he recommends (especially if they are in the school) you'll have a much better idea of what are the likely images for the exams. The remaining 40% of the grade is a paper that is fun to do. You get to pick a topic out of 40 or so sculptures, vases, etc. at the beginning of the semester and once he approves your organization (basically, the "chapters" or the "main parts" of your paper) you can start working... He stressed that he doesn't care about anything but a few basic things -- description of the piece, what makes it special, along with some of your own analysis -- so you don't have to worry about questions like fonts, citation format, and so on. I think he puts more emphasis on the critical analysis so a huge bibliography is probably not important as long as you get the most widely known sources. (Also, throughout class he often touches subjects of the various papers, which I guess is helpful.) Finally, the best part about this class is the museum trips. You get two of them, and whether you like museums or not, he makes it a different experience. (I'm inclined to say "if anything, take the class pass/fail just for them." :) One more thing I have to add that made an impression on me is that he gives a lot of room for individual thought. When presenting the "official" version (or versions) for the meaning of something, he always says that we can't know for sure, obviously, and encourages you to take it with a grain of salt and think for yourself. Just because something is written in a book or is his opinion that he presents in class doesn't mean it's final... That is an attitude I wish more professors (and fields) would adopt. Overall, this is a fine class and an excellent professor. Highly recommended.

Jan 2010

Maybe I'm in the minority, but I would avoid Professor Mylonopoulos. Yes, he is bright (maybe even brilliant) and interesting (he cracks some good jokes), but he hasn't been approachable or supportive! I'm sure most students don't mind this... But I didn't like that he never gave us a prompt for the research paper (one paper, 40% of our grade) and when students frantically emailed him asking how to structure the paper (what he wanted, etc.) the last couple weeks of class, he decided to announce that he wasn't responding to any student emails anymore. He acted like he had no time for his students! The majority of his students genuinely needed direction. I'm not sure why a teacher wouldn't realize that there was a problem that needed to be addressed (maybe he should have written a prompt, for example). I don't want to go into the pointless details, but let's just say that this teacher didn't make me feel at home in his class. The semi-daily "quizzes" or drills when Prof. called on people he knew the name of made me want to hide instead of participate. Maybe I'm just not as competitive as most people. But more to the point, why were dry things like the dates and periods of objects valued SO much? I would have liked to learn about more interesting things. It's not that I don't think dates and periods and vase shapes are important, it's just that I would have liked to have learned more on top of that. There wasn't much substance. In the same vein, we saw a TON of images. This was great because I think I've been exposed to just about every ancient Greek artifact. That's nice! But we didn't go into much depth! We were racing through this stuff. And then when it came time for the midterm, we had to know EVERYTHING we had seen. That meant memorizing hundreds of slides. For the final there were five ppts that made up the "study guide". It was a huge amount of memorization and we had often learned nothing about the art piece except its date and one or two sentences of information! Good in some ways, bad in others. This was a good class because I learned a lot. But it was definitely rushed and the Prof. was kind of harsh and unapproachable (in my opinion). I only missed two classes, but when I went to talk to him in his office hours the first thing he said to me was, "I've never seen you before" with an accusatory tone.... Remember, I mentioned I "hide" in class because I try to avoid the "quizzes." I really didn't know what to say to defend myself (but seriously, does he really think he knows everyone's face in a class packed with 40 people?) and as a result I was pretty nervous the whole time we were talking. Okay, I sound pretty pathetic. I just don't think he trusts his students! I don't think he likes his students! He may like some individuals that he gets to know, but he seems determined to think that we are all lazy slackers! It's not that I didn't do well in the class, it's just that he kind of sucked some of the enjoyment out of it. My advice is: get on his good side and do everything months ahead of time. If you suck up to him, he'll love you!

Mar 2009

Professor Mylonopoulos was a great professor. One of my favorites from last semester, if not my favorite. I had taken Professor Di Angelis's Roman Art class before and had gotten used to that sort of Art History class and it was great but when I went to Professor Mylonopoulos's class, I was pleasantly surprised. The midterm and final was an actual test with short answer questions. The Professor actually invests time and energy into this class and two museum visits are mandatory in which as a small group, students have to speak about pieces that we mostly have never seen before. He truly wants to see that you understand and cares about how much you have learned. His lectures are always interesting and they are very enlightening. You can tell that he enjoys teaching, not just teaching because he has to. He teaches so well sometimes you don't even know it. Even if you don't think that you are learning anything, when you start studying for his tests, just by going to his lectures, you'll see that you know more than you thought you did just by listening to him speak. He has one paper due in the class and he is always willing to become involved in the writing, from the topic you pick to the actual writing process. He even makes it a point to announce in class the fact that you SHOULD go and ask him about your paper and that he wants you to talk to him about it. I found him to be very accommodating when I had hundreds of questions about the paper. He even responded to an email I wrote at 3 in the morning five minutes later and always responded to any email with any amount of questions I had to throw at him. I highly recommend this class to any person with an interest in Art History.

Dec 2008

Professor Mylonopoulos is absolutely fabulous-and in the context of this class, he can basically be classified as a Greek god. In addition to being quite attractive (a characteristic which definitely helped him hold my attention during lectures) he is also a very good speaker despite not having a perfect command of English. I learned so much because of this class, and feel like I could go to an art museum tomorrow with the ability to explain and contextualize every piece of ancient Greek art in the place. I am such a fan of him that I am planning to take another class he's teaching next semester, and am very much looking forward to it. In short, if you care at all about art history, I highly recommend this professor!

May 2008

Prof. de Angelis is great. I wasn't super excited to take an ancient art class, because I didn't like studying antique art in high school. However, de Angelis made the subject material really interesting. I really enjoyed the course, and even liked writing my term paper for it.

Dec 2007

I love de Angelis. He is unbelievably knowledgeable and funny as well. There is not much work required of you, so you can really focus on learning things in the lectures rather than trying to get a good grade. While there are regular readings for the lectures, they are mainly unnecessary, and just repetitive, so really you just need to study for the midterm and final, and put some effort in to the term paper. The exams are not too difficult and as long as you pick a specific essay topic, he is a pretty generous grader. Take this class if you are at all interested in the subject, or just like to learn about ancient greece, because sociological aspects are included with the study of the art.

Jan 2007

I thoroughly enjoyed this class and Professor De Angelis' instruction. Yes, he does have an accent, but this in no way impaired my understanding of his lecture or the material; instead, it made me enjoy the lectures more. He is obviously incredibly intelligent, and very knowledgable about the subject, which isn't even his specialty (Roman art is). In addition, I was very impressed by his level of involvement with the students. Although he had two TAs, he graded all of the midterm exam essays himself, and graded the term papers singlehandedly. When I went to discuss my work on the midterm with him, he was familiar with my IDs and essay without me even showing him my exam to remind him. Professor de Angelis is not a super easy grader, but is not too hard either. I would say this is a good thing, as he will let you know what was good and what needs work. I would not hesitate to recommend Professor de Angelis to anyone interested in this subject.

Jan 2007

I was a little apprehensive going into this class based on other reviews of Professor de Angelis. I had the impression that he was hard to understand, unorganized, and not helpful outside of class. All of those assumptions were completely WRONG. I might be slightly biased because I'm an Art History major, but this was certainly the most organized art history class I've taken. Each lecture was illustrated with a power point with clearly labeled slides which was posted to courseworks immediately after the lecture. A couple times I couldn't open the courseworks powerpoints for some reason and Professor de Angelis was very very very helpful and even spent time splitting them into multiple files so that he could email them to me. He was very friendly outside class time and always said hello when I saw him around campus. His accent might be difficult to understand for 5 minutes of the first class, but otherwise it's really not an issue. If you cant understand a word, ask him and he is happy to annunciate. He obviously really cares about teaching and is extremely knowledgeable about Greek art. I highly recommend this class or any of his others.

Dec 2005

I didn't realize it until I was doing research for his paper, but Marconi is one of the preeminent scholars in his field, and the amount of material that the guy has published is ridiculous. Needless to say, he knows everything that there is to know about Greek Art. I found the class very interesting for the most part, except that the nature of Greek Art causes its study to sound a little bit repetitive sometimes -- subject matter and medium experience only subtle changes throughout hundreds of years. However, Marconi does a decent job at keeping your interest -- he has a quirky personality and, though his accent takes some ear training to understand, he's fun to listen to. He constantly makes jokes about himself which will entertain and sometimes shock the class. Marconi is very thorough with his explanations and with visual and contextual analysis. He is also very organized in his presentation of material -- his slides are always labeled, and he'll show you the location on a map of the region before talking about its context, etc. He's also very good about making a balance between the different art forms of the time -- vase painting, urban plan, architecture, etc. In general, a very good professor, though the material might get a bit redundant at times.

Dec 2005

Prof. Marconi is likely to be one of the best teachers in the entire art history department at Columbia. He knows just about everything that has to do with Greek Art, and is effective at conveying all the information to students in an organized and systematic way. He definitely takes his field seriously, but he likes to make lots of jokes in class to set a friendly and fun learning environment. Overall a good course to take. Facts are very well presented, and historical context is easy to follow. Also, it seems that some previous reviewers have suggested that you need to do a lot of reading, but I don't think that's the case. As long as you pay attention in class and take good notes, you should never actually have to open the required texts, except to supplement your own notes. This will only happen if 1) you weren't paying attention in the first place or 2) he didn't talk about it enough. Seriously, my point is, take good notes. I paid about $20 dollars for 'Art in the Hellenistic Age' only to look at two pages in it. Prof. Marconi does a very very good job of presenting the information (especially in the latter half of the course) so if you really wanted to, just buy Pedley.

Dec 2005

I loved this man as an instructor. While his thick Italian accent takes a little getting used to at first, he knows the information backwards and forwards. He is witty and draws constant comparisons to earlier works in his lecture which comes in very handy on the final and the midterm, both of which aren't particularly hard, but certainly not easy. The final essay (8-10 pages) is leniently graded as long as you put in work. Prof. Marconi was relatively accessible, though the T.A.'s might be a better immediate resource. Overall, it was a wonderful class and I reccommend it, especially to art history majors.

Jan 2005

Wow, I couldn't believe my eyes after reading the reviews about how Prof. Marconi is open-minded, friendly, and accessible.. because.. he certainly WAS NOT to me! In fact, I'm jealous of them! Professor Marconi alotted 2 min. open-office hours with me. When I met him the third time about my troubles with the final paper, he verbally divulged a convoluted one sentence comment in a thick Italian accent: "ok. that izz nice. ok. I'll see you in class, goodbye", which was somewhat of an improvement over the previous "read Boardman, bye" and "just do you research, good day". After receiving my paper back, I got a back grade with merely one comment: "wrong culture and location". Ahh! Was it just me? From day one, those torturous meetings forced me to feel like I was not capable of help because I couldn't meet his standard, and at the end of it all, I never felt so stupid in my life. I never protested. Once again, I envy you. There are always exceptions to the rule. I guess he didn't like me?

Jan 2005

Professor Marconi was my best teacher. I had him for Greek art history and it was phenomenal. He's funny, witty, and very nice. His TA's are great. There are only 2 exams, midterm and final, with 5 id's, 1 or 2 comparisons, and a very very very open type essay. It's so general, you can write about anything. There's also a Met tour, around late November or December. I liked the class. If you want individual attention you can get it, but it's not really necessary.

Dec 2002

I feel bad writing a negative review of him, because the guy is so nice. He loves the subject, he loves teaching, and he loves his students. He is one of the most available professors I have ever had. Unfortunately, his accent is his tragic flaw. His english isnt so hot, and he has one of the worst italian accents i have ever heard. It once took me half a class to realize he was talking about a cemetary. Because you just cant understand him, class drags on and on and is really painful to sit through.