Australian Art

Subject AHIS20002 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 2 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 29-Feb-2016 to 29-May-2016
Assessment Period End 24-Jun-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 11-Mar-2016
Census Date 31-Mar-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 06-May-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 30 hours: A 1-hour lecture and a 1.5-hour tutorial per week throughout semester.
Total Time Commitment:

Total expected time commitment is 170 hours across the semester, including class time.





Recommended Background Knowledge:


Non Allowed Subjects:

107-028 Australian Art

Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry. The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:


Dr Susan Lowish


Subject Overview:

This subject provides a scholarly introduction to the history of art in Australia, at the same time incorporating new perspectives, approaches and ideas. It demonstrates ways of interpreting Australian art through its relationship to historical events and contemporary thought. Topics considered will include the perceptual values known as the picturesque and the sublime in topographical and landscape painting respectively, the concept of terra nullius and how the indigenous inhabitants were represented, women artists of the 19th and early 20th centuries, Australian Impressionism, artists abroad, neo-classicism, the art of war and the Anzac legend, modernism in Sydney and Melbourne and the growing awareness of new European movements such as Expressionism, Cubism, and Surrealism. A lively and comprehensive look at what's topical in Australian art history, including the art polemics of the 1940s and 1950s, Australian Pop Art and the swinging 60s.

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of the subject students should have:

  • an understanding and visual knowledge of the development of the concept of "Australian art" and how this amalgam was constructed from the mid 19th century to the 1960s;
  • familiarity with the key written and visual sources centering on major themes and have an understanding of how this imagery was developed and manipulated to meet the concerns of the day;
  • the ability to conduct independent research on artists and issues of the period using primary sources.

A research essay of 2500 words 60% (due during the semester) and a take-home examination of 1500 words 40% (during the examination period).

This subject has a minimum hurdle requirement of 80% attendance and regular participation in tutorials. Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10% per day.

All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

Prescribed Texts:

A subject reader will be available.

Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

Students who successfully complete this subject will:

  • be able to research through the competent use of the library and other information sources, and be able to define areas of inquiry and methods of research in the preparation of essays;
  • be able to conceptualise theoretical problems, form judgements and arguments and communicate critically, creatively and theoretically through essay writing, tutorial discussion and presentations;
  • be able to communicate knowledge intelligibly and economically through essay writing and tutorial discussion;
  • be able to manage and organise workloads for recommended reading, the completion of essays and assignments and examination revision;
  • be able to participate in team work through involvement in syndicate groups and group discussions.

Formerly available as 107-028/670-345 Australian Art: Rock to Pop. Students who have completed 107-028 or 670-345 are not eligible to enrol in this subject.

Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: 200 Point Master of Art Curatorship
Art History
Art History Major
Australian Studies
Graduate Certificate in Arts - Art History
Graduate Diploma in Arts - Art History

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