Syllabus 2017 Spring Poliitics of Portraiture
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New York University, Tisch School of the Arts, Open Arts Program, Politics of Portraiture©2017 by Donna Cameron
Syllabus Page 1

OART-­UT 826-­001 (15118) 4 credits
Open Arts Program
Donna Cameron©2017
Spring 2017: 1/23 – 5/8
Tuesday, 2:00 pm – 4:40 pm
GCASL, 238 Thompson Street, Room 388

This class explores the legacy of the art of the portrait through lectures, multimedia presentations, and field trips to
museums and galleries. With in-­class discussions, essays and collages, students will learn to analyze archetypes
and icons used in popular culture as well as in art history. Ritual expressions of the portrait will be examined. There
will be projects, essays and a final exam. Students will be expected to keep a Class Journal and to contribute to
class discussions.
At the completion of this course, the student will:
1. Appreciate the personal and public message relayed in the portrait art studied in class;;
2. Acquire basic language skills with which to communicate ideas about poetics and politics of the portrait;;
3. Understand contemporary local identity in the global landscape through the study of historic portrait art;;
4. Apply knowledge of the roots (both political and artistic) to the historic topics of study;;
5. Engage collaboratively in the study of the portrait making process through class multimedia assignments;;
6. Value the skills necessary for the interdisciplinary artistic collaboration essential to the making of portraits.
The Hero Within, 1989, Carol Pearson, Harper-­Collins Publishers, NY
A Short History of Myth, 2005, Karen Armstrong, Canongate, NY
The Wisdom of Eve, 1944, Mary Orr, Charles Scribner & Sons, NY
The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1897, Oscar Wilde, Lippincott, Philadelphia
Selections from Ralph Waldo Emerson, An Organic Anthology, 1957, SE. Houghton Mifflin
The Hidden Persuaders, 1957, 1980, Vance Oakley Packard, Simon & Schuster
Man and His Symbols, 1964, Carl Jung, Aldus Books, London
The Searchers, 2013, Glenn Frankel, Bloomsbury, USA, New York
Powers of Two: Finding the Essence of Innovation in Creative Pairs, 2005, Joshua Wolf Shenk, Houghton Mifflin
The Collaborative Habit: Life Lessons for Working Together, Twyla Tharp, 2009, Simon and Schuster Paperbacks
The Power of Myth, 1988, Joseph Campbell, Doubleday
The Hero with a Thousand Faces, 1949, Joseph Campbell, New World Library
Portraiture, 1991, Richard Brilliant, Reaktion Books, Ltd, London
Extra Credit
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, 1916, James Joyce, Penguin Classics
Frankenstein, 1816, Mary Shelley, Signet Classics, Penguin Books, NY

Syllabus Page 2
CALENDAR Spring 2017
Topic: “A Picture with a Subliminal Message”.
Written words, paper print picture, digital personal post.
Read & Compose: Chapter 1, "The Depth Approach", Chapter 17, "Politics and Image
Builders", Chapter 21, "The Packaged Soul", and Chapter 23, "Question of Morality".­image Article of your choice.
Pick a Huff post article. Find a paper portrait in an ad in a separate popular culture publication-­ like a magazine or
newspaper-­ that you think relates to the Huff Post article that you select. Discuss how both the paper ad and the
Huff article display a similar subliminal message of class, race, gender, etc., and influences the way you process
the Huff article and/or ‘read’ the paper ad’s picture. Physically change (collage) the ad picture or caption, showing
how/what the ad messaged subliminally.
Reflect & Post:
Write a 60-­word or less statement about your Viewpoint Collage. Refer to the readings. Post the statement and a
cell phone pic of your collage to the class Facebook page. Bring the original collage to the first class on 1/24 to
present and discuss with your FB post. Keep your Viewpoint Collage in your Class Journal. (Info is on pg. 3 under
“Class Journal”).

SESSION 1: (1/24) Picture and Subliminal Message… Your Viewpoints
Theme: A look at how words and images are used in product emphasis to advertise a subliminal message.
Location: Classroom.
Media/Discussion Session 1: All students participate.
Viewpoint Assignment presentations. Film: Italian-­American, 1974, Directed by Martin Scorsese.
Reading Homework:
The Power of Myth, Ch. 1-­3, “Myth and The First Storytellers”. REF.
A Short History of Myth.
JOURNAL Homework:
Create a Mythic Selfie word & image collage. Upload it to the class FB page. Write a 50-­word
essay about mythic selfhood. Refer to the book, A Short History of Myth in your statement.
SESSION 2: (1/31) Portraits and Myth: The Idea of the Portrait
Theme: What is a portrait? What is a myth? True or false? Self-­recognition and cultural identity in portraiture.
Location: Classroom.
Media/Discussion Session 2: All students participate.
Lecture/discussion. Topic: about myth. Onsite talk/exhibit: NYU ART GALLERY’s new show, with guest speaker.
Reading Homework:
The Hero Within, Intro & Chapter 1, “Choosing Freedom”;; Chapter 2, “Surviving Difficulties”.
Man & His Symbols, Chapter 1, “Approaching the Unconscious”.
Hatshepsut, Queen of Egypt. REF.
JOURNAL Homework:
Create an Orphan Archetype collage (pg. 62, The Hero Within).

SESSION 3: (2/7) Funerary Arts of Egypt: Dynasties and Trends
Theme: Dual worlds bridged in the funerary and portrait arts of ancient Egypt.
Location: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Avenue at 82nd St.
Media/Discussion Session 3: All students participate.
Reading Homework:
The Hero Within, Chapter 4, “Proving Your Worth”.
Man & His Symbols, Chapter 2, “Ancient Myths & Modern Man”.
African Masks, "I Am Not Myself", pg. 11 -­35. REF.
JOURNAL Homework:
Create a Warrior Archetype collage (pg. 62, The Hero Within).
Project: Mask Self-­Portrait & 200-­word Essay (Due 2/14 in class): Imagine a mask, which
describes you. Make it out of materials that you can access, in your daily life. Make it a
wearable, functional mask that expresses your idea of yourself as the warrior archetype.
Write a 200-­word essay about your personal identity as projected in this mask. “Wear" the
mask when you present it in class;; speak the essay as though it is the voice of the mask.
Syllabus Page 3
SESSION 4: (2/14) Masks: Presentation of Individual Mask & Essay Projects
Theme: Masks and strength, personal archetype models: I face the world.
Location: Classroom.
Media/Discussion Session 4: All students participate.
Reading Homework:
The Wisdom of Eve (play) by Mary Orr.
The Hero Within, Chapter 5, “Showing Generosity”.
Man & His Symbols, Chapter 3, “Process of Individuation”.
Journal Homework:
Create an Altruist Archetype collage (pg. 148, The Hero Within).

SESSION 5: (2/21) Eve: Animus and Archetype
Theme: Portraiture as The Character Study: Identity, Event, Change, Purpose, Destiny.
Location: Classroom.
Media/Discussion Session 5: All students participate.
Film: All About Eve, 1950, Directed by Joseph Mankiewicz.
Reading Homework:
The Hero Within, Chapter 6, “Achieving Happiness”. (1890)
Journal Homework:
Create an Innocent Archetype collage (pg. 179, The Hero Within).
SESSION 6: (2/28) Dorian: Anima and Archetype.
Theme: Portraiture as the Power Mirror: Creation, Interactivity, Change, Purpose, Destiny.
Location: Classroom.
Media/Discussion Session 6: All students participate.
Film: The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1945, Directed by Albert Lewin.
Reading Homework:
Powers of Two: Finding the Essence of Innovation in Creative Pairs-­ REF.
The Hero Within, Chapter 7, “Transforming Your Life”.
Journal Homework:
Create a Magician Archetype collage (pg. 212, The Hero Within).
New York University, Tisch School of the Arts, Open Arts Program, Politics of Portraiture©2017 by Donna Cameron

SESSION 7: (3/7) Portraits: Midterm / Portrait Pairs Project Prep: In Class Session.
Theme: Public and personal archetype models: how do we face the world together?
Location: Classroom.
Media/Discussion Session 7: All students participate.
In Class Pairs Project Studies Session.
Mid-­term exam project, prompt TBA. Midterm exam handed out.
SPRING BREAK: (3/14). No class! Midterm exam due in class 3/20.
Syllabus Page 4
SESSION 8: (3/21) Mid-­term Exam Due, Presentations of Mid-­term Portrait Pairs Project.
Location: Classroom.
Media/Discussion Session 8: All students participate.
Presentations of Mid-­term Project.
Reading Homework
Man & His Symbols, Chapter 4, “Symbolism in the Visual Arts”. Renaissance masters Petrarch, Giotto, Duccio, Fra
Angelico, Mantegna, Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, Botticelli, Tintoretto & Titian. Rembrandt.
SESSION 9: (3/28) Life in the Renaissance.
Theme: The seminal artists and politics of the Renaissance;; the beginnings of modern portraiture in Western art.
Location: Classroom.
Media/Discussion Session 9: All students participate.
Reading Homework:
Nature, Self-­Reliance, Circles, the Transcendentalist (4 Essays)
Journal Homework:
Project:1000-­word American Portrait ESSAY. (Due 4/9).
Select a portrait by an American artist in the MET American collection. Refer to the ethics
and political beliefs projected by the artist ab out the subject. Cite one or more of the
assigned Emerson essays. Use terminology (‘schema’, etc.) from the class vocabulary list,
and other assigned class readings. Analyze your chosen artist’s materials and aesthetic
strategy. Write a 1000-­word essay about your research and the art which you selected. (See
‘Essay Protocol” on page 6.) Email your essay to: Email goes
to instructor, put your name in the subject field: MY NAME_American Portrait Essay. No print
out necessary. Keep a copy for your final Class Journal Portfolio. Due in class 4/11.
SESSION 10: (4/3) American Portraits: Pre-­Colonial to Impressionist Legacies.
Theme: Pre-­colonial to Impressionist legacies.
Location: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Ave at 82nd St.
Media/Discussion Session 10: All students participate.
Journal Homework:
Project: 1,000-­word American Portrait ESSAY: (Due 4/11). (See Session 10 for prompt.)

SESSION 11: (4/11): An American West Portrait

Theme: Cultural and racial conflict expressed on film.
Location: Classroom.
Media/Discussion Session 10: All students participate.
Film: “The Searchers”, 1956, Directed by John Ford.
Reading Homework:
Glenn Frankel, "The Searchers" (Book). Glenn Frankel, "The Searchers" | Talks At Google
“ American Obsession” by J. Hoberman (2/22/13)
"The Essentials" Robert Osborne/Scott McGee­Searchers/
Journal Homework:
Project: 2000-­word American West ESSAY (Due 5/2).
Focusing on the historic victim and protagonist of the story, Cynthia Ann, discuss the
complex relations between Native Americans and European settlers in the United States at
the time that she lived. Think about global tribal politics now and its relevance to the cultural
identity of Cynthia Ann. Discuss each time of cultural exchange that you experience in this
portrait-­-­that of the Ford film’s production (1956), that of the Cynthia Ann (1836) and that of
the Frankel book’s publication (2013). Cite insights in the Frankel text that allude to the loss
of the original captivity narrative of Cynthia Ann, the adaptation of the same story in Ford’s
film, the J. Hoberman review and the popular culture TCM YouTube
discussions. How does each make an American icon of the legendary Cynthia Ann? This is
your final exam essay and is due by digital transmission at:
No print out necessary. Keep a copy in your Class Journal. Due in final class, 5/2.
Syllabus Page 5
SESSION 12: (4/18) Contemporary Portrait Art/Class Studies, TBA.
Theme: Contemporary portrait makers. Final Project Research. Prompt TBA.
Location: Classroom.
Media/Discussion Session 12: All students participate.
Reading Homework:
The Collaborative Habit: Life Lessons for Working Together REF

SESSION 13: (4/25) Contemporary Portrait Art/Class Studies, TBA.
Theme: Contemporary portrait makers. Final Project Research. Prompt TBA.
Location: Classroom.
Media/Discussion Session 13: All students participate.
Journal Homework: Project: Complete your final PDF portfolio of your complete class portfolio. This PDF portfolio
Portrait ESSAY. 11. AMERICAN WEST ESSAY. 12. FINAL PROJECT. Due 5/2 via email.

SESSION 14: (5/2) Final Project and Exam due, Class Journal PDF Portfolio due. Final Project due.
Location: Classroom.
Media/Discussion Session 14: All students participate.
New York University, Tisch School of the Arts, Open Arts Program, Politics of Portraiture©2017 by Donna Cameron

Syllabus Page 6

This course requires that students attend class. The course requires that the students individually produce a
CLASS JOURNAL consisting of visual collages and written essays of varying lengths, as assigned weekly in
class and/or via web communications. Timely completion of all work and exams are mandatory for passing
midterm and final grades. Students are responsible for weekly readings and discussions as assigned.
There is one syllabus, IN TWO PARTS, an Online Syllabus and a Classroom Syllabus. The Online Syllabus
(class dates and themes listing) is online. (Digital.) and The Classroom Syllabus is for enrolled students only
and is given out in class. (Paper.) The syllabus may be subject to updates and change by the instructor.
Each essay assignment for this class must be properly formatted. Contact instructor with any questions.
Essay Format
o MLA. If you do not know MLA format go to
 Essay Length
o Fulfill the assigned number of words in your essay prompt. Each essay has a different prompt.
Essay Document Layout
o Essay Cover Page: (Author (you), date, title of essay). This is the first page of the essay.
o Image Page: you must include an image. Caption image: Title, Author, Media, Date, Source.
o Written Essay Pages. Number essay pages
o Essay Citations Index Page: Please include citations of the media, texts and any information cited in
your essay on a separate page titled: Citations Index. This last the last page of the essay.
The semester is a cycle of activity in and outside of the classroom. Lectures and critical information,
complimented by weekly course readings, are brought into the classroom sessions. Individual weekly paper
collage multimedia projects and assigned exam projects encourage the student to diverge and express
independent thought and personal assimilation of the academic materials. Several project presentations
converge the individual explorations back into the classroom.
If you are/will be absent, please notify the instructor in advance. Absence due to illness, personal or family
crisis must be documented. No more than one (1) missed session per student for the aforementioned
reasons will be tolerated. Arriving late to a class or leaving early from a class will count as undocumented
absence and may lower the student’s grade average.
The Class Journal of visual and written weekly assignments must be physically composed of raw materials-­
i.e. papers and materials in print-­preferably, recycled or repurposed and collaged in some way. At the end of
the term, each student will be required to migrate submit his/her Class Journal in PDF form. The final Class
Journal PDF must include all material collages and written essays assigned for this class. *Source Credit:
Please note that the found image paper collages must include a source of publication notation on the back,
with the title of the work, your name and date. All written essays, of any word length, must be original,
written in proper English grammatical form and include a bibliography and citations.
Plagiarism is presenting someone else’s work as though it were your own. More specifically, plagiarism is to
present as your own: A sequence of words quoted without quotation marks from another writer or a paraphrased
passage from another writer’s work or facts, ideas or images composed by someone else.
Syllabus Page 7
Weekly Assignments (20%): Students will be prepared to discuss readings and materials.
Weekly Class Attendance and Participation 20%): Students are required to attend class and
participate in class discussions and studies. Prompt, consistent attendance to all classroom and onsite 

off campus lectures is a required part of class participation.
Midterm Exam (30%): All students are required to complete a midterm exam by the scheduled date.
Final Exam (30%): All students are required to complete a final exam by the scheduled date.
For extra credit consideration, select one of the above literary works under the “Extra Credit” label on the
reading list. Contact the instructor for further information.
Use of all recording devices, including analog and/or digital devices without prior permission of the instructor
is strictly prohibited. Image and/or audio recording or WEB posting of/during/about the class in any way
without prior permission of the instructor is not tolerated. Recording and classroom activity and/or persons in
any medium without prior permission of the instructor will adversely affect the final grade. Checking email
and social media during class, including film screenings, is not permitted and may lower the final grade.
The core of the educational experience at the Tisch School of the Arts is the creation of original academic
and artistic work by students for the critical review of faculty members. It is therefore of the utmost
importance that students at all times provide their instructors with an accurate sense of their current abilities
and knowledge in order to receive appropriate constructive criticism and advice. Any attempt to evade that
essential, transparent transaction between instructor and student through plagiarism or cheating is
educationally self-­defeating and a grave violation of Tisch School of the Arts community standards. For all
the details on plagiarism, please refer to page 10 of the Tisch School of the Arts, Policies and Procedures
Handbook, which can be found online at:
Academic accommodations are available for students with documented disabilities. Please contact the Moses
Center for Students with Disabilities at (212) 998-­4980 for further information.

1. Pictures and Subliminal Message. Viewpoint Essay due. Classroom. (1/24)
2. Myths and the Idea of the Portrait. Classroom. (1/31)
3. Portraits of Ancient Egypt. MET. (2/7)
4. Masks: Individual Mask & Essay due. Classroom. (2/14)
5. Eve, Animus and Archetype. Classroom. (2/21)
6. Dorian: Anima and Archetype. Classroom. (2/28)
7. Portraits: In Class Midterm Projects Study Session. Classroom. (3/7)
8. Spring Break. (3/14)
9. Midterm Exam & Presentations Due. Classroom. (3/21)
10. Renaissance: Golden Age of the Portrait in Western Art. MET. (3/28)
11. American Portrait Legacies. MET. (4/4)
12. An American West/American Legend Study. American Portrait Essay due. Classroom. (4/11)
13. Contemporary Portrait Art Group Study. Classroom. (4/18)
14. Contemporary Portrait Art Group Study. Classroom. (4/25)
15. Final exam and presentation in class. TBA. American West Legend Essay due. Classroom. (5/2)

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