Art History

Art History

Art History Program

The study of Art History offers an understanding of humanity's diverse visual experiences and leads to an exploration of the political, sociological and cultural context that shapes the creation of art. Coursework in lecture and seminar format allows students to engage a diversity of cultures, time periods and media. Courses augment studio practice, but the BA degree in Art History offers a path to professionalization in museum work, academics/teaching and arts management.


Art History Learning Outcomes:

1. Students will develop and implement a broad art historical vocabulary to discuss a diversity of media, art-making techniques and processes, and formal and theoretical analysis and interpretation.

2. Students will develop a working knowledge of diverse periods and cultures and their major monuments, artists, and themes.

3. Students will be able to assess and utilize primary and secondary sources for use in original research.

4. Students will be able to understand and identify major theoretical and methodological trends in art production and art historiography.

5. Students will demonstrate excellence in scholarly and critical writing and in oral and digital presentation skills.




Art organizations

Within the Art and Art History Program, students have the opportunity to be apart of art organizations.

Senior Studio

Senior Studios can be acquired by application and are for advanced students enrolled in at least one credit hour of upper level courses in the Art and Art History Program to work on their creative research safely and independently. 

Post Undergraduate Assistantships

One of the most successful programs we have is the Post Undergraduate Assistantship. Senior graduating students can apply for a Post Undergraduate Assistantship for the year following graduation.

Program Information

For the B.A. in Art History major requirements, visit the Undergraduate Major. For Minor requirements, visit Minors in Art


A Photo of Rachel Sailor

Rachel Sailor

Associate Professor, Art History


Tracey Eckersley

Visiting Assistant Professor,
Art History



Courses Offered

2010. Art History I. 3. [CA<>H] First semester of a one-year survey. Studies ancient, medieval, renaissance and modern art with special reference to various social, economic and historic factors which motivated and conditioned the aesthetic forms. Includes ancient, medieval and early renaissance periods. ART 2010 and 2020 are required of all art majors and should be taken in sequence.

2020. Art History II. 3. [CA<>H] Second semester of a one-year survey. Studies European/American Art from the Renaissance through Contemporary with special emphasis and historical factors which motivated and conditioned the aesthetic forms. Covers Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo, 18th Century, 19th Century, Early Modernism and Contemporary Art. ART 2010 and 2020 are required of art majors and should be taken in sequence. (Normally offered spring semester)

2700. Introduction to Museology. 3. [CH<>{none}] Explores the historical, cultural, and contemporary roles of museums and preservation institutions in society. Introduces students to the museum professions, collection and exhibition installation strategies, and ethical problems of governance and collection. Field trips to regional collections are included. Cross listed with ANTH/AMST/HIST 2700. Prerequisite: WA.

3002. Special Topics In:. 3. Courses of broad general appeal will be offered from time to time under this title. Permits utilization of unusual faculty expertise and provides highly-specialized and particularly pertinent, timely subject matter. See current class schedule for topics. Prerequisites: ART 2010, Art History I and ART 2020, Art History II

3030. History of Architecture. 3. [{none}<>H] A survey of the history of architecture and its allied fields, focusing on the formal, aesthetic, cultural and socio-political dimensions, from prehistory to the present. Cross listed with ARE 3030. Prerequisite: WA or COM1.

3710. Gender: Humanities Focus. 3. [CH<>COM2] Explores how men and women are imaged differently, studying the influence of representation on gender (including representations in literature, film, art, popular culture, and/or performance). Sharpens students' ability to analyze texts and images and investigate those texts' messages about gender, sexuality, ethnicity and class. Cross listed with ENGL/WMST 3710. Prerequisite: WMST 1080 or ENGL 1010. (Offered once a year)

3720 [2720] Art and Architecture of Medieval Islam. 3. Studies the art and architecture produced by Islamic societies from the time of the Prophet Mohammed to the time of the Crusades (7th-14th centuries CE), and the geographic scope surrounds the Mediterranean Sea, including the Near Middle East, northern Africa, and Spain. Prerequisites: USP WA and WB courses.

4710. Art of the Medieval World. 3. Studies unique qualities of art of this intriguing era of transition between classical and renaissance times. Dual listed with ART 5710. Prerequisite: ART 1010 or 2010. (Normally offered fall semester of every other year)

3760. American Art History. 3. Addresses American art withi the continental United States from first European encounters with the New World to 1900.  Will investigate painting, sculpture, and architecture, but will also include some photography, prints, and the decorative arts. Prerequisite: ART 2020. 

 4720. 15th Century Renaissance Art. 3. Explores artistic developments of the 15th century, primarily in Italy, in order to appreciate the relationships between artistic production and innovation and other aspects of the social and cultural environment. Prerequisites: ART 2010, 2020. (Normally offered spring semester)

4730. 19th Century European Art. 3. Studies 19th-century European painting, prints, and literature, covering Neoclassicism, Romanticism, Realism, Impressionism, and Post-Impressionism. Artists include Elisabeth Vigee-Lebrun, court portraitist; Mary Cassatt and Edgar Degas, famed Impressionists; Edouard Manet, controversial and troubled; Honore Daumier, jailed for incendiary political cartooning; and the eccentric Paul Gauguin and Vincent Van Gogh. Prerequisite: ART 2020. (Normally offered fall semester)

4740. 20th Century European Art. 3. Studies 20th-century European art from 1900 to 1945. Covers the 2-D and 3-D art of Expressionism, Cubism, the Bauhaus, Dada and Surrealism, and other important movements in the first half of the 20th century. Prerequisites: ART 2010 and 2020. (Normally offered spring semester)

4760. American Art in the 20th Century. 3. Studies 2-D and 3-D art in 20th-century America.  Topics will include art of the Gilded Age, the Jazz Age, the Progressive Era, the Great Depression, the World Wars, etc. Styles include American Impressionism, the Ashcan School, American Modernism, Social Realism, the Harlem Renaissance, Regionalism, Abstract Expressionism, and more. Prerequisites: ART 2010 and 2020. (Normally offered spring semester of every other year)

4770. Contemporary Arts Seminar. 3 (Max. 9). Studies the major movements in the visual arts from 1945 to the present. Investigate major theories, stylistic movements, and key artists since WWII with a special focus on the increasing globalization of art during this era. Prerequisites: ART 2010 and 2020. (Normally offered fall semester of every other year)

4780. History of Women Artists. 3. Studies documented influence of women as subjects, makers and receivers of art. Emphasizes careers and works of women over a wide range of times and places and under a variety of social circumstances. Greatly emphasizes developments in the 20th century. Cross listed with WMST 4780. Prerequisites:ART 2010 or ART 2020 or 3 hours of WMST courses; and WB. (Normally offered fall semester)

4790. Seminar. 1-3 (Max. 9). [{none}<>COM3] Special topic in art history and criticism for advanced students. Prerequisite: 6 hours in art history. (Offered based on sufficient demand and resources)

4830. Victorian Women's Lives: Their Art, Literature and Culture. [CA<>(none)] Interdisciplinary approach to study of women's issues in art. Uses literary/cultural texts to reinforce/contradict and/or expand/enlarge the art historical basis. Topics include domestic goddess, working women, prostitution, education, marriage and divorce. Cross listed with ENGL/WMST 4830. Prerequisite: Either ART 2020 or WMST/ENGL 1080. (Normally offered every sixth semester)