ART 4 Introduction to Modern and Contemporary Art and Architecture. Course Designer: Colette Apelian (Ph.D. UCLA)

Art 4 Course Description


Art 4, Modern Art History, introduces students to the foremost art forms and movements of the 19th-21st centuries (modern and contemporary art and architectural history/histories). The course covers painting, sculpture and architecture.  There is a strong emphasis on visual analysis, content analysis, and contextual analysis. Art and architecture are presented in relation to their artistic and socio-historical contexts, among others. Students learn key terms in the visual cultures and cultural studies discourses.

Modern Art History is custom designed. It is based upon textbook and OER documents and websites (Open Educational Resources). The course content is interdisciplinary and developed starting summer 2008.

Art 4 is completely online and can be 
transferred for UC and CSU credit. Check with your school counselor and   

Also, please see relevant links at the BCC Online College Transfer Center .


Student Learning Objectives (SLOs)

  • Employ the vocabulary and concepts of formal analysis (visual analysis) specific to the visual arts and art history.
  • Identify and contextualize artworks according to their formal, iconographic, and social functions.

Supplemental SLOs
  • learn about the role of art and architecture in modern and contemporary social and historical contexts 


  • learn art and architectural history terminology


  • learn about new art forms of the modern and contemporary eras


  • hone abilities to critically evaluate art and art historical narratives


  • hone ability to visually analyze art


Students will do all the above as they practice detailed visual observation, digesting and synthesizing what you see and read, and presenting your arguments and analysis in writing for class assignments.


**Thank you for your interest in Art 4, Introduction to Modern Art and Architecture at Berkeley City College (BCC). Please note this is a fully online course.

** Log in and begin coursework at . If you have added with an add code, it may take 24 hours for you to be able to enter the website. Please contact the online help desk if you have problems entering the course website:  

Online classes and their wait lists fill quickly. Students on waitlists have priority to receive permission to add codes. Before you email your instructor, please make sure the wait list did not "move" you into enrollment. If you want an add code, email your instructor at Indicate Art 1, Art 4, or another course. Please check the enrollment system often to place yourself on the waitlist. Not on the waitlist? Please email on the first day of class only to inquire about extra add codes. Thank you.

**The 6, 10, and 14 week versions of this class are intensive and accelerated. Before you enroll in this version of the course, please consider your schedule and prior commitments. Please consider any vacations you may take.

**To communicate with your instructor, students must list a current email address Passport and Moodle accounts. 

**Only students can change their email addresses in Moodle and Passport/Prompt. Technical problems? Email

**There is no on-campus orientation.

**How to apply to BCC and enroll? Go to BCC's enrollment system, Passport . Please, no auditors.

**New to Berkeley City College or adding with an add slip on the first day of class? Read more information at BCC'sA&R website

**New to online learning? Explore the links at the Berkeley City College Distance Education / Online Courses website. 

Grading and Textbook
Final course grade is based upon

(1)          weekly to bi-weekly quizzes or short writing assignments in discussion forums  

(2)          a midterm exam

(3)          a final exam

(4)          a 3-4 page research project on artwork in a museum you visit in person. Project is due towards the end of the semester. Project may not be assigned during summer months.


Assignment deadlines are usually Tuesdays, 11:55 pm.  Students are generally given approximately 7 days to complete weekly assignments (reading and quizzes, for example) and at least 5 weeks to complete the research project.

The course textbook is H. H. Arnason, History of Modern Art, 5th edition , Upper Saddle River: Pearson, 2004, ISBN 013184069X . Note: the BCC Bookstore will have very few copies of the textbook. Please buy it online. There is also a used bookstore near the Berkeley campus that may have it, across from UC Berkeley. You can also try Powell's books

Also, there will be one copy on 2-hour reserve in the BCC library. Take your Peralta Photo ID card with a current enrollment sticker to Room 124C, first floor.

Though the choice is yours, I recommend purchasing the 5th ed. If you buy a different version, expect different information, page numbers, chapter organization, and illustrations. The correct edition and textbook will maximize your grade and experience in the class. 

Why use an older edition: supplemented with current online open source information (OER materials), the older edition makes the class cost affordable and democratizes education, in the instructor's opinion.
Art 4 also has free online reading (OER materials).


To succeed in Art 4, students are required to


(a)          have reliable and consistent access to the Internet and an email account during the entire semester

a.    Note: to communicate with your instructor students must have a current email address in their Student Passport Account. 


(b)          study more independently than in on-campus courses


(c)           read more than in on-campus courses; most lectures are text-based and students typically read two chapters a week


(d)          log into the course website a few times a week each week throughout the semester


(e)          learn new technology as necessary for the course



Students Requiring Special Accommodations (PSSD): Please email your instructor formal notification of your needs before the semester begins so she can make arrangements before our first exam in Week 1.