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Although the concentrators in Fine Arts gave the Department a bill of health of which it may well be proud, as appears in this morning's article for the Confidential Guide, one criticism that was voiced had to do with the introductory survey courses to the field. For this year Fine Arts 1c, dealing with ancient, Greek, and Roman art has been expanded into a full course, Fine Arts A, while the far more important Fine Arts 1d, the course in medieval, Renaissance, and modern art, has been left at its half year status.
It would be far better to give a full-year treatment to the 1d course, since it comprises most of the art that is taken up in the field, and to bring it back to the standards that prevailed before Professor Edgell left the Department.
A revival of Fine Arts 1b as a whole year's effort would be of help not only to those who use the course as a springboard into the field, but also to the dabblers from other departments who wish to get a full view of art since the Middle Ages, especially with reference to the literatures and sciences that have followed since those times. Although the course as delivered by Professor Opdyke presents an enormous amount of material in a minimum of time, it tends to become something of a glorified Baedeker, cramming masses of facts down the heads of the students, but allowing no time for consideration and assimilation, and failing to develop any critical judgment in the listener. The fault lies not with Profesor Opdyke, but with the nature and amount of the material over which he has to race.
The obvious remedy for this condition would be to go back to the old plan of a full year course in the important phases of art since the Christian era, and to cut the full course in the Greek and Roman art to its half-course ranking. Thus it would be possible for the outsider to take in the whole range of art in a year and a half and for the concentrator to enjoy a fuller survey of the territory to be covered in his first year in the field.
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