Art 9
Art of the Ancient Americas

Summer 2005
Monday through Thursday 12pm - 2 pm
section 34014

Instructor: Denise Johnson

Course Description (From the MSJC 2002-2003 General Catalog)
This is a survey course of the art, architecture, religion, social structure, and history of the various civilizations of the Ancient Americas, including the Maya, Olmec, Inca, Aztec, Native American, and Moche. The impact of changing art history theories, the critical problem of looting of historical sites, and the influence of these cultures on both modern and world art will also be explored. This is a 3-unit UC/CSU course.

Required Texts
Miller, Mary Ellen. Art of Mesoamerica. Revised edition. New York: Thames and Hudson, 1996.

Stone-Miller, Rebecca. Art of the Andes. Second edition. New York: Thames and Hudson, 2002.

Penney, David W. North American Indian Art. New York: Thames and Hudson, 2004.

Instructional Website
This course will be taught from an instructional website Lecture presentations and other course materials are available to students at this site.

It is in your best interest to attend all course lectures. Attendance will be recorded during each class. Numerous absences are sure to negatively affect your grade. The instructor reserves the right to drop any student from this course with three or more absences.

If you wish to drop this course, it is your responsibility to submit a drop card to the Admissions Office by the appropriate deadline. If you neglect to officially drop this course, and you have missed 3 or more class lectures, you may receive a grade of F.

Special Accomodations
If you are a student with special needs, or have a disability that requires special accommodations, please discuss your needs with the instructor as soon as possible. You are highly encouraged to contact the DPS office at 941-2379 for information regarding the resources that are available to you.

Cheating and Plagiarism Policy
Cheating and plagiarism will not be tolerated. If the instructor finds evidence that a student is involved in cheating or plagiarism, the student will receive a course grade of F, and the proper college administrative departments will be notified.


Students will be graded on a terminology notebook, two worksheets, a Museum Review paper, two exams, and a cumulative final exam. The maximum amount of points possible is 300.

The grading scale is as follows:
100% - 90%
300 - 270 points
89% - 80%
269 - 240 points
79% - 70%
239 - 210 points
69% - 60%
209 - 180 points
59% or less
179 - 0 points


Terminology Notebook
Students are required to assemble a Terminology Notebook, comprised of new or unfamiliar terms and phrases encountered in class readings and lectures. The Terminology Notebook will be worth a maximum of 30 points and should contain at least 30 terms and phrases.

Students are required to complete five worksheets during the course, which will be worth a maximum of 10 points each. Points will be assigned according to completeness rather than correctness.

No more than two additional worksheets may be completed for a maximum of 5 points extra credit each.

Museum Review
Students are required to visit a museum exhibiting works that are relevant to this course and to write a three to four page Museum Review. This paper should follow MLA guidelines, and some sort of documentation, or proof of your visit, should accompany the paper (i.e. ticket stub, museum pamphlet, "visitor" sticker, etc.). The Museum Review paper will be worth a maximum of 50 points.

A list of art viewing places, along with their web addresses, is provided in this syllabus. It is highly recommended that students consult museum websites before their visit to obtain information on the works they will be viewing.

Please see Museum Review instructions for further information regarding this assignment.

Exams #1 and #2 will be worth 50 points each and will consist of slide identifications, multiple choice, fill-in-the blank, matching and short-answer essay questions.

The final exam will be worth 100 points, and will include new and previously covered material.

Exams may NOT be made up.


Class Schedule and Required Reading
Please complete and be prepared to discuss the assigned readings before the date they will be presented in class. This is a tentative schedule, and may be changed by the instructor at any point during the semester according to the needs of the class.

Discussion Topic
Assignment Due
... Mesoamerica ... ...
June 13
June 14
The Olmecs
Miller- Preface, Chapters 1 & 2
June 15
West Mexico
Miller- Chapter 3
June 16
Miller- Chapter 4
... ... ... ...
June 20
Classic Monte Alban and Veracruz
Miller- Chapter 5
June 21
The Maya
Miller- Chapter 6
June 22
The Maya

Miller- Chapter 7

June 23
Fall of the Classic Cities
Miller- Chapter 8
... ... ... ...
June 27
The Aztecs

Miller- Chapter 9

June 28
The Aztecs
Worksheet #1
June 29
Exam #1
... The Andes ... ...
June 30
The Motorcycle Diaries
... ... ... ...
July 4
Holiday- No Class
July 5
The Chavin
Stone-Miller- Preface, Chapters 1 &2
July 6
The Chavin
July 7
TheParacas and Nasca
Stone-Miller- Chapter 3
... ... ... ...
July 11

The Moche

Stone-Miller- Chapter 4
July 12
The Inca
Stone-MIller- Chapter 7 ...
July 13 The Inca ... Worksheet #2
July 14 Exam #2    
... North America ... ...
July 18 Woodlands Penney- Foreword, Chapters 1, 2 & 3 ...
July 19 South West Penney- Chapter 4 ...
July 20 Plains Penney- Chapter 5 ...
July 21 Far West Penney- Chapte 6 ...
... ... ... ...
July 25 Northwest Coast Penney- Chapter 7

Terminology Notebook
Museum Review

July 26 Arctic & subarctic Penney- Chapter 8 ...
July 27 Modern and Contemporary Artists & Review Penney- Chapter 9 Worksheet #3
July 28 Final Exam


Recommended Art Viewing Places
Address Web Address
Los Angeles
Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)
5905 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles
Natural History Museum
900 Exposition Boulevard
Los Angeles
Plaza of Mexican Heritage
Forest Lawn Cemetery- Hollywood Hills
6300 Forest Lawn Drive
Los Angeles
Southwest Museum
234 Museum Drive
Los Angeles
UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History
Los Angeles
Orange Bowers Museum
2002 North Main Street
Santa Ana
Palm Springs Desert Museum
101 Museum Drive
Sherman Indian Museum
9010 Magnolia Avenue
San Diego Museum of Man
1350 El Prado
in Balboa Park
San Diego
National Art Institute of Chicago
The Field Museum
Heard Museum
Indian Museum of North America
National Museum of the American Indian
Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

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