Art History & Visual Studies

Art always occurs in an historical moment, whether that moment is right now, or a thousand years ago. These historical contexts inform the production of art just as art contributes to the formation of social values and events. Art also has its own history and traditions that form a language that we need to know when making and looking at art. Our courses are designed to facilitate a better understanding of how art speaks of the world and to the world.

The department offers a range of art history courses that are designed to introduce students to diverse forms of cultural production from prehistorical to contemporary contexts. Introductory courses give an overview of the ways art has embodied the beliefs and practices of various societies, with  primary focus on the Western tradition. Upper-level courses work to situate art in a cultural and political context and to provide a more detailed study of select historical periods and regions. Courses are also offered in studies of Popular Culture and Museum Studies. 

Gallery visits and course projects constantly connect classroom activity to the larger art world. Field trips to New York offer students a unique opportunity to view some of the greatest historical collections and contemporary art venues.

Art History courses may be taken as electives by General Arts students, by students in the Bachelor of Arts program as part of a BA (Extended Minor in Visual Arts) or BA (Minor in Visual Arts), by Bachelor of Science students as part of a Minor in Visual Arts, by students in the Associate of Arts degree, Liberal Arts Diploma or Visual Arts Diploma, by students in CIS programs and by students in the Bachelor of Social Work program. For full credit requirements of these diplomas and degrees please see the calendar. 

  • Art History Minor requires 12 lower level credits including AH 200, three credits of 100 level AH and six additional credits of 100 and 200 level AH plus 16 credits of upper level (300, 400) AH.
  • Art History Extended Minor requires 21 lower level credits including AH 200, three credits of 100 level AH, 12 credits of 100 and 200 level AH and three additional credits from either AH or three credits chosen from: ANTH 111, FD 193, ENG 170, FILM 110, FILM 120, FILM 200, FILM 220, HIST 220, LAS 201, MUSC 150, PHIL 250, PHIL 251, PHIL 252, THEA 201, THEA 202, or any lower-level VA course. In addition, 16 credits from upper level courses are required for the AH extended minor.
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