Art History

Art history studies world cultures and their expressions in the visual arts. Students are encouraged to explore artworks as documents of particular times, places, societies, and individuals. Small classes allow for lively discussion and individual attention.

With a major in art history, you’ll find opportunities in community education, private collections, preservation agencies, and libraries. The major in art history may also lead to graduate study in the field or in related field such as archeology, museum studies or conservation. With a graduate degree, you may begin a career in teaching, conservation, or museum work.

Art History FACULTY


Art History Courses

ARTH 100 Art Appreciation

The aim is to acquaint students with art philosophies, their elements, principles and values. (Formerly ART 100)

Prereq: Non-art majors or minors only

ARTH 368 History of Classical Art

A study of the art and architecture of the classical civilization of Greece and Rome. (Formerly ART 340)

Prereq: ARTH 162 or department permission

ARTH 369 History of Renaissance Art

A history of Italian art from the Proto-Renaissance (about 1250 A.D.) through the period of mannerism (1600). (Formerly ART 341)

Prereq: ARTH 263 or department permission

ARTH 468 Medieval Art History

The development of medieval art from the Early Christian through Gothic periods. (Formerly ART 426)

Prereq: ARTH 162 or department permission

ARTH 469 Baroque Art

Principal developments in Italian and northern art of the 17th century. Emphasis on major themes and aesthetic problems. (Formerly ART 427)

Prereq: ARTH 263 or department permission

ARTH 475 Seminar in Modern and Contemporary Art

Readings, reports, and group discussions on modern and contemporary art. Topics may vary. (Formerly ART 428)

Prereq: ARTH 264 or department permission

ARTH 467 Art of East Asia

A detailed examination of the visual arts of China, Japan and Korea from Neolithic times to the present, with emphasis on the cultural and artistic exchanges between these and surrounding cultures. (Formerly ART 422)

Prereq: ARTH 161 or department permission

ARTH 472 History of American Architecture

Exploration of styles and techniques in American architecture from the colonial period to the present, with special emphasis on the sources in foreign traditions. Major figures, including Thomas Jefferson, Louis Sullivan, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Eero Saarinen and major stylistic trends, such as Greek Revival and the International Style, will be traced back through their origins and development. (Formerly ART 429)

Prereq: ARTH 263 or department permission

ARTH 473 Women in Art

A survey of the contributions of female artists in the history of art. Discussions will include the history of women as patrons of the arts and the uses of the female image in art. (Formerly ART 436)

Prereq: ARTH 263 or department permission

ARTH 474 History of Graphic Design

This course presents a survey of the history of graphic design from ancient to modern. The subject is investigated in the context of relevant historical and cultural events such as the origins of the alphabet, the invention of typesetting and printing, the industrial revolution, and the digital revolution. Although the course focuses on graphic design and communication systems, it stresses connections between history of graphic design and history of architecture, the decorative arts, and product design. (Formerly ART 459)

Prereq: ARTH 263, sophomore standing or above, and department permission

ARTH 161 Survey of Non-Western Art

An introductory historical survey of the visual arts and architecture of cultures not directly linked to the artistic and cultural traditions of Western Civilization. Art works by the native inhabitants of Africa, Oceania, Asia and the Americas are examined for their historical and cultural significance. (Formerly ART 109)

Prereq: none

ARTH 162 Survey of Western Art I

A survey of the development of the visual arts of the western world, from Paleolithic times art through the late Gothic period. (Formerly ART 107)

Prereq: none

ARTH 165 Postmodern and Contemporary Art

This course, an introduction to the major trends and movements in recent art, is designed to help students learn and think critically about prevalent attitudes and theories about contemporary visual culture as well as to recognize the increasingly vital role played by the mass media and technology in the creation and dissemination of art. New media, such as video and digital art, and innovative forms of visual expression, such as conceptual and environmental art, will be investigated. Art will be examined as a response to current social, cultural, political and gender issues as will the reasons why artists make the shift from modernist to post-modernist strategies for making their work.

Prereq: none

ARTH 263 Survey of Western Art II

A continuation of the survey of western art from the Renaissance to 1880. (Formerly ART 108)

Prereq: ARTH 162

ARTH 264 Survey of Western Art III

A continuation of the survey of western art from 1880 to the present day. (Formerly ART 215W)

Prereq: ARTH 263

ARTH 267 History of Asian Art

A survey of Far Eastern art, with emphasis on the artistic and cultural traditions of South Asia, China and Japan. Works of art are examined for their cultural and historical significance. (Formerly ART 221)

Prereq: none

ARTH 151 Reason and Revolution

An examination of the transition in political history, philosophy, art, literature and music from Puritan England and Louis XIV’s France to Napoleon. Team taught by members of the Art and History departments. (Formerly ART 151)

Prereq: none