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Online · School of Communication & the Arts · Studio & Digital Arts

20th-21st Century Art

  • CG
  • Section 8WK
  • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020
  • Modified 06/06/2022

Course Description

This course presents a comprehensive study of the varied art forms from the beginning of the 20th century to the present, focusing upon the major artists and art movements, including Fauvism, Cubism, Futurism, Dada, Surrealism, Abstract Expressionism, Pop Art, and Postmodernism. The course will entail an examination of how art is disseminated, understood, and at times, misunderstood. Students will read, write about, and discuss essays, criticism, and interviews covering a wide range of media, and visit artists' studios and exhibition venues. Two analytical papers based upon studies of the visual images focusing on the agency of the image, the social practices and effects of its viewing and the specificity of views taken by various audiences are required.


For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.


A knowledge of 20th–21st Century Art remains of enormous importance for the historian of western civilization and for the practicing artist. The innovations and masterpieces created during the Modern and Postmodern Periods exemplify foundational cognitive and technical developments that are vital to anyone wishing to understand the western tradition of the visual arts and to work within that tradition intelligently.

Course Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Recognize the primary artists, movements, and masterpieces of the Modern and Postmodern periods.
  2. Understand and define the major technical developments utilized by these artists.
  3. Contextualize particular artworks within the greater scope of history and western civilization, relating them to the whole of the tradition that comprises one’s heritage, in theory and practice. Through this interpretive process, the student will develop critical and analytical skills.
  4. Express observations and critical opinions concerning the visual arts of the 20th–21st centuries via tests, interactive lectures, class discussions, and research papers.
  5. Further develop research skills related to using library resources and/or scholarly Internet sites.
  6. Apply critical and analytical skills to reading and writing assignments.
  7. Demonstrate an appreciation for the range of new media used by Western artists over the course of the 20th century up to the present for communication.
  8. Develop a Christian perspective related to visual communications.

General Education Foundational Skill Learning Outcomes:

Critical Thinking: the ability to use analytical, evaluative, logical, and reasonable patterns of thought to establish coherent beliefs, ethics, and strategic decisions.

CT 1: Determine the validity and logical consistency of claims and/or positions, using reading comprehension strategies when relevant.

CT 2: Structure an argument or position using credible evidence and valid reasoning.

CT 3: Compare and contrast the biblical worldview with a non-biblical worldview, evaluating the influence of assumptions and contexts on ethics and values.

CT 4: Plan evidence-based courses of action to resolve problems.

CT 5: Relate critical thinking and ethics to participation in God’s redemptive work.

Course Resources

Click on the following link to view the required resource(s) for the term in which you are registered: Liberty University Online Bookstore.

Additional Materials for Learning 

  1. Computer with basic audio/video output equipment
  2. Internet access (broadband recommended)
  3. Canvas recommended browsers
  4. Microsoft Word

Course Assignments

Textbook readings and lecture presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.

Discussions (2)

Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student will create a thread in response to the provided prompt for each discussion. Each thread must be at least 300 words, demonstrate course-related knowledge, and be supported by biblical principles. In addition to the thread, the student will reply to the threads of at least 2 classmates. The replies must be at least 150 words and must also be supported by biblical principles.

Journal Entry Video Tour Assignments (7)

The student will complete video tours through various museums and historic locations. Each assignment must have a journal entry of at least 400 words and contain at least 1 citation in current MLA format. This assignment is intended to familiarize the student with collections of 20th and 21st century work in national and international museums and galleries.

Arts at My Church Blog Assignment (3)

The student will complete 3 assignments based on the use of arts at his or her church location. This may include dance, visual art, music, theatre, or architecture. Each assignment will cover a different art form and include a blog post for the class to view. Each post will contain at least 1 image and a description of at least 150 words of the work at the student’s church.

Virtual Art Exhibit Assignments (5)

The student will visit online museums and galleries that include art from the 20th and 21st century. There are numerous examples in both Christian and secular galleries and museums. Each student will visit 5 virtual art exhibits and write a 100 word summary about the artist from each and include a link to his or her work. 

Quizzes (8)

Each quiz will cover the learned material for the Module: Week in which it is assigned. Each quiz will be open-book/open-notes, contain 10 multiple-choice questions, and have a 20 minute time limit.

Course Grading

Course Requirements Checklist


Discussions (2 @ 35 pts ea.)


Journal Entry Video Tour Assignments (7 @ 50 pts ea.)


Arts at My Church Blog Assignments (3 @ 55 pts ea.)


Virtual Art Exhibit Assignments (5) (1 @ 25 pts, 1 @ 30 pts, 1 @ 100 pts, 2 @ 50 pts ea.)


Quizzes (8 at 20 pts ea.)





Late Assignment Policy

Course Assignments, including discussions, exams, and other graded assignments, should be submitted on time.

If the student is unable to complete an assignment on time, then he or she must contact the instructor immediately by email.

Assignments that are submitted after the due date without prior approval from the instructor will receive the following deductions:

  1. Late assignments submitted within one week after the due date will receive up to a 10% deduction.
  2. Assignments submitted more than one week and less than 2 weeks late will receive up to a 20% deduction.
  3. Assignments submitted two weeks late or after the final date of the course will not be accepted outside of special circumstances (e.g. death in the family, significant personal health issues), which will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the instructor.
  4. Group projects, including group discussion threads and/or replies, and assignments will not be accepted after the due date outside of special circumstances (e.g. death in the family, significant personal health issues), which will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the instructor.

Disability Assistance

Students with a disability and those with medical conditions associated with pregnancy may contact Liberty University’s Online Office of Disability Accommodation Support (ODAS) at [email protected] for accommodations.  Such accommodations require appropriate documentation of your condition.   For more information about ODAS and the accommodations process, including how to request an accommodation, please visit Requests for accommodations not related to disabilities or pregnancy must be directed to the Registrar’s Office, which generally handles medical needs support.

If you have a complaint related to disability discrimination or an accommodation that was not provided, you may contact ODAS or the Office of Equity and Compliance by phone at (434) 592-4999 or by email at [email protected].  Click to see a full copy of Liberty’s Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct Policy or the Student Disability Grievance Policy and Procedures.

Course Attendance

In an effort to comply with U.S. Department of Education policies, attendance is measured by physical class attendance or any submission of a required assignment within the enrollment dates of the course (such as examinations, written papers or projects, any discussion posts, etc.) or initiating any communication with one’s professor regarding an academic subject. More information regarding the attendance policy can be found in the Academic Course Catalogs. Regular attendance in online courses is expected throughout the length of the term. Students who do not attend within the first week of a sub-term by submitting a required academic assignment (such as the Course Requirements Checklist, an examination, written paper or project, discussion post, or other academic activity) will be dropped from the course. Students who wish to re-engage in the course are encouraged to contact Academic Advising to discuss their enrollment options. Students who begin an online course, but at some point in the semester cease attending, and do not provide official notification to withdraw, will be assigned a grade of “FN” (Failure for Non-Attendance). Students wishing to withdraw from courses after the official start date should familiarize themselves with the withdrawal policy.

Grading Scale

900-1010 800-899 700-799 600-699 0-599

For courses with a Pass/NP final grade, please refer to the Course Grading section of this syllabus for the assignment requirements and/or point value required to earn a Passing final grade.

Add/Drop Policy

The full policy statement and procedures are published in the Policy Directory.

Honor Code

Liberty University comprises a network of students, Alumni, faculty, staff and supporters that together form a Christian community based upon the truth of the Bible. This truth defines our foundational principles, from our Doctrinal Statement to the Code of Honor. These principles irrevocably align Liberty University’s operational procedures with the long tradition of university culture, which remains distinctively Christian, designed to preserve and advance truth. Our desire is to create a safe, comfortable environment within our community of learning, and we extend our academic and spiritual resources to all of our students with the goal of fostering academic maturity, spiritual growth and character development.

Communities are predicated on shared values and goals. The Code of Honor, an expression of the values from which our Doctrinal Statement was born, defines the fundamental principles by which our community exists. At the core of this code lie two essential concepts: a belief in the significance of all individuals, and a reliance on the existence of objective truth.

While we acknowledge that some may disagree with various elements of the Code of Honor, we maintain the expectation that our students will commit to respect and uphold the Code while enrolled at Liberty University.

Adherence to the principles and concepts established within facilitates the success of our students and strengthens the Liberty community.

The Code of Honor can be viewed in its entirety at


Course calendar and related activities
When Topic Notes
Course Overview
Student Acknowledgements

Course Requirements Checklist

Module 1: Week 1

Read: 4 items

Watch: 6 items


Discussion: Modern Art through Impressionism

Journal Entry Video Tour: Modern Art through Impressionism Assignment

Quiz: Modern Art through Impressionism

Module 2: Week 2

Read: 3 items

Watch: 6 items


Journal Entry Video Tour: Post-Impressionism through Art Nouveau Assignment

Arts at My Church Blog: Post-Impressionism through Art Nouveau Assignment

Virtual Art Exhibit: Post-Impressionism through Art Nouveau Assignment

Quiz: Post-Impressionism through Art Nouveau

Module 3: Week 3

Read: 3 items

Watch: 5 items


Journal Entry Video Tour: Fauvism through Cubism Assignment 

Arts at My Church Blog: Fauvism through Cubism Assignment

Virtual Art Exhibit: Fauvism through Cubism Assignment 

Quiz: Fauvism through Cubism

Module 4: Week 4

Read: 4 items

Watch: 4 items


Journal Entry Video Tour: Dada through Bauhaus Assignment 

Arts at My Church Blog: Dada through Bauhaus Assignment 

Virtual Art Exhibit: Dada through Bauhaus Assignment 

Quiz: Dada through Bauhaus

Module 5: Week 5

Read: 3 items

Watch: 9 items


Journal Entry Video Tour: Surrealism through American Art before WWII Assignment 

Virtual Art Exhibit: Surrealism through American Art before WWII Assignment 

Quiz: Surrealism through American Art before WWII

Module 6: Week 6

Read: 4 items

Watch: 5 items


Journal Entry Video Tour: Nouveau through Realisme Assignment 

Virtual Art Exhibit: Nouveau through Realisme Assignment 

Quiz: Nouveau through Realisme

Module 7: Week 7

Read: 3 items

Watch: 5 items


Journal Entry Video Tour: Post-Minimalism through Postmodernism Assignment 

Quiz: Post-Minimalism through Postmodernism

Module 8: Week 8

Read: 2 items

Watch: 5 items


Discussion: Contemporary Art and Globalization

Quiz: Contemporary Art and Globalization