Art History students begin the program with introductory courses that survey
historically significant objects and monuments, including paintings, graphics,
drawings, sculptures, pottery, photographs, and architecture, from ancient times
through the present. These courses consider form, content, role and meaning of
expressive works in light of their social, political, philosophical, and
cultural contexts. The program stresses from its foundation courses through its
highest level seminars, an awareness of how diverse methodological approaches
frame our knowledge of each particular subject.
Advanced courses reflecting the world outlook of the cultures studied
identify four traditions in the history of western art. Geography defines the
older two: the Classical Tradition of the Mediterranean World and the Northern
European Tradition, which parallel one another in time, running up to the end of
the sixteenth century. Time separates the third and fourth traditions: the
Enlightenment era studies the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, while the
Modern era explores the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Two required upper
level seminars let students study the principal underpinnings of the field: its
essential theories and its critical methods.
In addition to courses in Art History, the program requires students to take
two Studio Art courses to provide insight into the working methods of artists;
the creative processes which foster intuitive thinking, and non-verbal
conceptualization and articulation. Also, students must take two modern language
courses, to broaden their research capabilities in the field.
With its focus upon critical thinking in verbal and non-verbal forms of
cognition, the Art History course of study prepares students for many options
including continued study at the graduate level. It readies students for careers
in museums, art galleries, arts administration, antiquities, communications,
arts libraries, and arts criticism.