Art & Art History

The Department of Art and Art History is the administrative umbrella for two distinct major programs: art studio and art history. Majors within the department can be pursued in either or both areas.

Art Studio:

The art studio program enables students to become fluent in visual language — its analytical and critical vocabulary and the rigors of its technique and method — as a means to explore intellectual issues and human experience. To this end, students learn technique while searching for a personal vision, beginning with basic studies in drawing and introductory art history, proceeding through study of various media, and working toward the successful completion of the major's comprehensive requirement — the presentation of a one-person exhibition in the spring of the senior year. The program seeks to reflect the diversity of technical and intellectual approaches practiced in the field of visual art and is open to interdisciplinary experimentation as well as traditionally focused studies.

Art History:

The Art History program aims to provide student majors with a strong historical and theoretical understanding of the visual and material environment created by humankind. Art history is founded on the premise that artifacts embody, engage, and shape the beliefs and values of the persons, groups, and societies who made, commissioned, and used them. Students will learn to document and interpret changes in human society by taking works of art and other objects of material culture as their primary sources. They will also critically analyze and interpret written texts to help reconstruct and illuminate the contexts—social, economic, political, philosophical, and religious—in which artifacts were produced, used, and understood.