Art history explores how visual images, artworks, and buildings shape how people understand themselves and the world. By understanding the power of art and architecture to make worlds, we are better able to use them to create a more just and sustainable future.
Art History prepares students to interpret the visual and built environment.
Students can choose from over 50 innovative courses that delve into art and architecture from different times and places. These employ diverse approaches to the study of the visual world, ranging from digital humanities to critical race and gender studies.
The major offers students the flexibility to study abroad and to minor or even double major in another field.
The Museum Studies Concentration
This optional concentration within the major is designed for students who are planning careers in the art world. It connects the history and theory of art collection, exhibition, and interpretation to professional museum practice. Specialized courses and an internship give students hands-on experience in areas from curation to marketing.
What will I take as an art history major?
The art history major is very flexible. Speak with your academic advisor about your interests and future goals. They will help you choose the right classes for you. But here’s some guidance:
- Start with a course such as Art Across Cultures or Episodes in Western Art.
- Take Practicing Art History your sophomore year or soon after you declare the major if joining later in your IC experience.
- Take Introduction to Museum Studies if you are interested in doing the Museum Studies concentration. Those in the concentration will also do an internship at the Handwerker Gallery or another museum or arts organization.
- Many of our majors study abroad. Junior year is a great time to take advantage of this opportunity to experience art and architecture on location in London, Paris, Rome, or another great world city.
One Major, Many Possibilities
Our majors graduate with the ability to look carefully, read critically, and communicate effectively. They work in world renowned museums, galleries, archives, and auction houses and pursue careers in business, education, wellness, government, and non-profits. Many also continue their education in selective graduate programs in the United States and Europe.
There are a lot of myths about the job market for people who graduate with a degree in art history. Look at where some of our recent alumni actually work.
Anna Faxon is a Senior Technical Project Manager at the Cleveland Museum of Art.
Isabella Ionni is a Gallery Manager at Zenith Gallery, Washington, DC. She completed a M.A. in art history at George Washington University.
Lisa Peck is an Assistant Curator at the Media Center for Art History, Columbia University, New York City.
Gabriella Jorio is Associate Director at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery in New York City.
Vin Manta is an Auction Operations Manager at Acker in Delaware.
Amy Gruar is a Data Manager at the The Marketing Practice in Michigan.
Sarah McHugh is a Registrar at Nahmad Contemporary in New York City.
Clara Goldman is a Collections Specialist in the Drawings and Prints department at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
Kate Calleri is the Director of Education at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum. She received an M.F.A. from the University of Illinois, Chicago.
Jessica Mancuso is a Lecturer at the University of Manchester in England, where she completed a Ph.D. in Sociology.
Parker Daley Garcia is the Art Director and Curator at Pen + Brush in New York City. She completed an M.A. in Museum Studies at Syracuse University.
Recent alumni are also in graduate programs in museum studies or art history at Syracuse University, the University of San Francisco, and Utrecht University in the Netherlands.
QUESTIONS ABOUT MAJORING IN ART HISTORY?
Contact: Paul Wilson, Associate Professor and Chair