Return to: College of Arts and Sciences
Art history focuses on architecture, painting, and sculpture, as well as on photography, film, performance art, decorative art, historiography, and critical methodology. Art historians study works of art in terms of aesthetic, cultural, and historical issues. The field is concerned with the definitions of style, materials, and modes of execution, in addition to iconographic and other interpretive methods; it also addresses the economic, religious, philosophic, theoretic, and social factors that shape visual culture.
Graduates in the field of art history have found opportunities in art-related fields such as art magazine and book publishing, art galleries, and art councils. Other professional opportunities, however, are available to those who pursue the study of art history at the graduate level, since an advanced degree is requisite for a career in teaching or curatorial work in a museum.
The mission is to provide students with the knowledge and skills needed to succeed as active members of the art historical profession. To accomplish this mission, students:
- Acquire knowledge of diverse cultures and their artistic production from the prehistoric through the post-modern eras.
- Study artistic styles and developments in the Ancient Near East, Greece, Rome, Egypt, Islam, Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, American, Modern, and Asian cultures and periods.
- Gain factual knowledge about art historical terminology, classifications, methods, and trends.
- Develop skills in the areas of oral and written communication, critical thinking, visual analysis, and research strategies.
Student Learning Outcomes
- Analyze the manners in which art reflects the cultural (historical, social, political, etc.) contexts in which art was made
- Learn appropriate terminology of creative processes and of artistic movements
- Recognize aesthetic qualities of a work of art or of an artistic movement
- Apply knowledge from multiple disciplines to deepen relational understanding
- Appraise and evaluate the ways in which artists participate in the creation of culture
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Student Learning Outcomes
Students in the Art and Design Department will show respect for all forms of diversity, practice, inclusivity, and engage in a continual process of education and critical self-reflection & dialogue. Students will be able to:
- Acknowledge that individuals of diverse racial & ethnic, gender & sexuality, religious, class & cultural backgrounds create art.
- Recognize that artmaking is an expressive practice comprising not only individual perspectives, narratives and experiences but also cultural, social, economic and political issues.
- Synthesize knowledge from multiple disciplines including diverse traditional and contemporary art movements with their own artistic and/or scholarly vision to create unique and meaningful works of art, design or scholarship.
- Analyze, reflect upon, discuss and/or write about their own and others’ works of art and design using culturally sensitive and inclusive language.
- Understand the ways in which traditional art associations (including collections, apprentice workshops, museums, galleries and academies) embody institutionally biased practices.
- Assess the symbiotic dialogue between artists and their culture, recognizing that they both reflect and influence each other.