Art historians enhance our understanding of art and its place within society through their research. Studying the art and architecture of diverse world cultures and periods, art historians examine the historical, social, and cultural significance art holds for its creators and users.
The current faculty includes experts in American, Latin American, Islamic, Asian and European art and architecture, with specialties in visual and material culture of the late antique and medieval periods in Europe, the Islamic world, and South Asia, visual and material culture in the Middle East, Europe and the Americas from the 16th to the 21st centuries, as well as historiography, methodology and theory of art and visual and material culture since 1900.
This commitment to diverse areas of inquiry is reflected in the curriculum, which enables students to experience a range of courses addressing global art history, with a goal to train art historians to have a broad understanding of the historical roots of the visual arts, the contemporary issues addressed by artists and the role of art in a world context. The program seeks to enhance students’ understanding of both contemporary and past visual art forms through innovative uses of technology, research and teaching in the arts, providing continuing opportunities for intellectual development and career growth for students and faculty.
Students who complete a degree in Art History at the College of Visual Arts & Design will develop a range of competencies that reflect the standards of the discipline and the pedagogical principles of the faculty. Graduates of the program understand past and contemporary visual art forms, can demonstrate knowledge of key monuments and objects within a breadth of discrete periods and regions of artistic production, know the history and literature of methodologies employed in art history, and are conversant in the key discourses, themes and issues associated with the global study of art history. They can employ the specialized vocabulary of the discipline and design and implement a successful research program (project) analyzing works of art using 1 or more methodologies. The competencies reflect the diverse teaching and research areas of the faculty as well as their commitment to preparing undergraduates for future graduate study in art history.
The Art History undergraduate major thus prepares students for graduate study in the discipline, as well as for an array of jobs in the art world and beyond. The master's degree in Art History is a gateway to careers in museums and galleries, or future graduate study in preparation for an academic career.