The department offers a major and a minor in Art History as well as a major in Art History with a concentration in Studio Art.
The curriculum in Art History immerses students in the study of visual culture, especially works of painting, sculpture, and architecture, but also other media such as prints, textiles, and body adornment. Courses in Art History develop a mastery of the concepts and language particular to the analysis of images and architectural space. Art History is inherently cross-disciplinary and the task of understanding a work of art in its historical context requires an awareness of the politics, economics, literature and religion of that period. Students majoring in Art History will acquire skills in visual analysis, familiarity with different approaches to the interpretation of works of art, training in the techniques of research in the humanities, and the ability to write clearly and persuasively about art.
Courses in Studio Art allow students to explore the materials and techniques of diverse media, from drawing and painting to photography, print making, and installation art.
Art History Major:
Students intending to complete the major in Art History should first complete the introductory courses of ARTH 201, 202, and 220 before undertaking more advanced coursework. All majors should take Art Historiography (ARTH 411) the fall semester of their junior year and must perform satisfactorily (a score of 70 percent or better) on the Test of Art Historical Proficiency, which is administered as part of the course. Majors are encouraged to take the optional Senior Capstone course (ARTH 448) during the fall of their senior year, a class designed to provide students with the opportunity to pursue an advanced research project under the guidance of a member of the Art History faculty. Majors also are encouraged to devote a semester to study abroad, preferably in the spring of their junior year.
Art History Major with a Concentration in Studio Art:
Students majoring in Art History may choose to concentrate in Studio Art. The concentration in Studio Art requires students to successfully complete seven courses in Art History, four courses in Studio Art, and the Senior Capstone in Studio Art. In Art History, students should complete the required introductory courses, ARTH 201, 202, and 220, before enrolling in more advanced courses. Art Historiography (ARTH 411) should be successfully completed during the fall semester of the junior year, including a score of 70 percent or better on the Test of Art Historical Proficiency which is administered as part of the course. Four courses must come from Studio Art, with at least two of these at the 300-level or above. Finally, during the senior year, students must complete ARTS 448, Senior Capstone in Studio Art, which integrates art historical knowledge with creative studio artwork.