Interpreting Artworks

University of Otago

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Interpreting Artworks

  • Host University

    University of Otago

  • Location

    Dunedin, New Zealand

  • Area of Study

    Art History

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Credit Points

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3 - 4
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4 - 6
  • Overview

    A close analysis of ways in which historically major individual artworks can have meaning, and a demonstration of a variety of theoretical, cultural, historical and aesthetic approaches to interpretation in art.

    Interpreting Artworks is focused on the close analysis of individual artworks and monuments spanning from the 12th century to the present day. The course consists of twelve modules, most of which are structured around the interpretation of one particular artwork. This is not a chronological survey of art. The emphasis is more on examining key concepts and issues in the interpretation of art rather than a given style or period. It is hoped that by the end of the course students will be equipped with the fundamental skills for understanding, decoding and critically evaluating art in its many forms and contexts. This can only be gained through a sustained and detailed engagement with specific works of art.

    Learning Outcomes
    - To cultivate in students a love and understanding of art that will enrich their lives
    - To introduce students to diverse interpretive strategies in the study of art
    - To develop basic research skills for art history and theory
    - To introduce students to the different approaches that can be taken in researching and discussing art history and theory

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Some courses may require additional fees.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.