ARH 382 The Mural: Grom Caves to Graffiti

Humanity’s creative impulse predates the invention of writing by tens of thousands of years. Elaborate wall paintings found deep within cave complexes provide some of the earliest evidence of our artistic capabilities as a species. Conversely, some of the most exciting and innovative art forms over the past decades have been spray-painted, stenciled, and wheat pasted onto the sides of buildings, billboards, train cars, or any available surface. In this course, students will explore the histories (and pre-histories) of the mural through such examples as Pompeii, the Mogao caves at Dunhuang, , Leonardo’s Last Supper, the Sistine Chapel, and the Mexican Muralism movement. Furthermore, they will explore what qualifies as a mural, what purposes they served, and how audiences can shift over time. The course culminates in a final project and presentation for which students will propose a detailed plan for a speculative mural project on one of several sites on Centre’s campus.