Magazine February 24, 2020, Issue

Yale Teaches World Art

Spanish, late 17th century. Iron-mounted bone; inlaid, painted, and partly gilded walnut. Yale University Art Gallery, Enoch Vine Stoddard Collection, bequest of Enoch Vine Stoddard, B.A., 1905. (Yale University Art Gallery)
A good survey course should look at beauty in the West and beyond

As distinguished as the History of Art Department at Yale might be, its two introductory survey classes weren’t newsworthy until now. These two courses — the first, from the prehistoric to Renaissance eras, and the second, from the Renaissance to today — have traditionally focused only on European and American art and architecture. Starting next year, Yale will, controversially, offer four thematic survey courses covering art across the globe.

Instead of two surveys of Western art, what Yale is offering are four thematic surveys: Sacred Places, Global Craft, the Silk Road, and Art and Politics. Their anchor is the art of

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