Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.
Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.
I have the course reader, Roman Art by Ramage and the university prints all available for sale!
This class was unique and interesting but the materials are basically where you learn everything.
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I loved Professor Downey. People often fell asleep in her lecture (it's art history so the lights are dim) but she knows her stuff and doesn't need to refer to her notes. She's an awesome and brilliant person but so approachable and easy to talk to! The midterm and final are very straightforward, no surprises. Discussions are helpful and you get to go to the Getty Villa! A lot of people didn't like the class and complained that they didn't like such old/ Greek stuff. Well, the class is ANCIENT art history, so the first half is Egypt/ Mesopotamia and the second half is Greek/Roman. I really enjoyed the class and it inspired me to go to Greece. Take this class and go to lecture (even though the PowerPoints are online) just to hear what she has to say and benefit from her amazingness.
Most boring and useless class that I have ever taken at UCLA. After going to lecture for the first three weeks and falling asleep EVERY time, I decided it was a waste of time to go to class and ended up using that time to study for my other classes or reviewing her lecture slides/notes on my own. I usually went to discussion without knowing what we were even talking about, but was able to BS my way through so well that my TA thought I was one of her students most interested in art history. To study for the exams, I made a powerpoint presentation for myself using her notes, powerpoints, and the readings. I put the image on one slide and the pertinent information on the following slide so I could quiz myself quickly before the exams. I ended up with an A- in the class, so I guess that technique worked.
Class breakdown: Section Participation = 20%, Midterm = 20%, Paper = 25%, Final = 35%
- Midterm (50 minutes): 2 slide IDs from the images shown in class, 1 comparison from the images shown in class, 1 mystery slide (you must date it based off of other works from lecture)
- Paper (5 pages): comparison of two pieces from the Getty Villa Museum
- Final (3 hours): 2 slide IDs from the images shown in class, 1 comparison from the images shown in class, 1 mystery slide (you must date it based off of other works from lecture), 1 essay (she gives you five possibilities beforehand, 3 are put on the exam, you have to write 1)
If you don't want to waste your time with a pointless class, AVOID AH50! Professor Downey, while she is a nice lady, is an awful lecturer (very dry and monotone) and it is pointless to attend when all of her personal notes and slides are posted. If you absolutely need this class for last minute GE credit or something, it is bearable, but definitely don't make it your first choice!
Not an easy class or a good class to take for an easy A. There is a 5 page paper due after the midterm. The midterm is writing short essays about 5 images (out of 70 that you need to know) and you are expected to know the name, date, location, period of art, function in culture, etc. The final is the same + an essay (she gives you 5 essay topics beforehand and says 3 will appear on the test, you write an hour long essay on one of the three that appear). Discussions are mandatory and account for 20 percent of your grade based on participation in discussion. Your TA may be good or bad/intense art major, and your grade is heavily determined by them. You don't need to attend any lectures at all. You can find most of the slides which you are required to study at http://www.flashcardmachine.com/art-history-501.html. This will save you cash. Good luck. Keep looking for easy professors like Franco Betti (Italian 50 or something similar) or Duane Champagne (American Indian history or something similar). Excellent classes.
I took art history in high school and fell in love with the subject, and couldn't wait to take this class. However, I was immediately disappointed; the professor is dry and boring, repeats herself often and occasionally directly contradicts herself. She spent the majority of her time discussing the physical appearance of the artworks rather than talking about the cultures behind those works; I would have rather learned about the social and religious beliefs that led to a certain art form rather than have her narrate the details of a wall painting (eg. "This is a male figure carrying a basket of fruit and leading a lamb to this altar, and over here is another male figure holding a vase, probably with another type of offering..." and then moving on, rather than describing the religious ceremony itself or the society behind the artwork). If you need a GE this isn't too bad, as lecture notes are online and the material isn't overly difficult, but I wouldn't form an opinion of the subject based on this class; art history can be fascinating, as long as you have a teacher who is passionate and articulate, which Professor Downey -- although she does try hard and is knowledgable overall -- is not.
I would recommend taking this class. There is a lot of material to know but the class is very straight forward. Downey posts all of her slides online with lecture notes which have anything you need to know about each image, so reading isn't really necessary. The second half of the quarter is all greco-roman which is my favorite so it flew by. There is one paper with 3 options and requires a museum visit. The tests are typical art history tests, slide id's and a slide comparison. On the final you had to date an image you had never seen before based on the style. But don't worry, other classes do it and they aren't going to give you something impossible, its fine. I don't really remember what lecture was like, it was probably a little on the dry side. Downey is pretty old but she knows A LOT about her subject, esp. greco-roman she's seen it all in person so at least she's super legit. I got an A+.
I would not recommend this class but if you have to, then take it. The professor is dry and I had trouble concentrating. The slides are great though and the art work is wonderful. She provides a packet for you to study with the slides. But there are so many to know! I did bad on my other finals studying for this test! It took up too much time. The exams are fair though--she does not pick really obscure pictures but the TA.'s are a little harsh with the grading (I guess it depends on your TA) The homework assignments are fair and not complicated, but your T.A. could be a harsh grader. Just remember to try your best and study hard for exams. Participation is also part of your grade too. I ended up with an A-. Just avoid this class if you can, but if not, it's not the worst class if you study in advanced and get a kind T.A.
Final Grade: A-
All you need to do for this class is go to class everyday (you don't have to take notes because she puts up ALL her notes including the slides of art pieces online), thoroughly study the notes, ask TA for help for the essay, and prepare for the midterm/final by just memorizing. I studied for the midterm and the final two days before the tests. I think I could have gotten a solid A if I took more time studying for them. My TA was helpful and nice but there was one TA during my quarter that gave quizzes every single week and graded pretty harsh. This is a class where you should try your best - then you'll get the grade you really deserve. (don't buy the textbooks because I did not read any of them and still got an A-!) Professor Downey can get a little boring because it seems like she's memorized her lecture word by word. But there is no doubt she is an expert at what she is teaching. I have never been to her office hours but I think she's pretty sweet. Good luck!
Final Grade: A
It's not impossible to get an A. Don't be discouraged if you start off a little rocky, especially if you've never taken an art history class before or is an incoming freshman. (I failed my first quiz with a 55%.) As long as you're willing to put in the effort, you'll do fine.
The professor is a sweet old lady. The lectures may not be interesting, but this IS art history and it IS a morning class, so it's not fair to blame the boring only on the professor.
As for the TAs, they grade everything, but they're not unfair. Mine did a very thorough job covering the material and as long as you work hard and TALK to her, she'll help you reach that A/A-/B+. (Her name's Tenley, so if you get her, be happy) Go to tutoring, Do the extra credit, and if you have to study all night, it's worth it; you can sleep on the plane home :P . Also, make sure you go to covel tutoring for essay help. (This is important)
I got an A in this class but I had to study a lot in order to get it. Before taking this class, I loved Art History and had taken other art history classes but she pretty much killed the subject for me. She is extremely monotone and the lectures are really boring. Most of the class is sleeping their way through lectures. On the plus side, she really knows the subject by heart.
The TAs do all the grading and I thought they were pretty tough graders but very fair. The paper is interesting and not that difficult and the tests are not difficult if you have STUDIED A LOT! I always started too late, resluting in sleepless nights before the tests. If you're not that good at memorizing dates, names, places, and other facts I wouldn't recommend taking this class, I don't recommend it to anyone on the other hand, because it was really not worth the time.
My TA was really really great in my opinion, her name was Doris! I have nothing bad to say about her.
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