The power of visual art resides in the fact that it is simultaneously more concrete and more abstract than a text. Through the study of formal analysis, iconology, and historic themes, uncover the “what” behind a work of art, “how” that work imparts meaning visually, and the cultural context – the “why” – from which it derives.
Interested in learning more about focusing your degree in Art History? Contact Program Coordinator Dr. George Speer for more information about pursuing a focus or minor in Art History.
Students who pursue a focus in Art History will gain the following skills:
Critical thinking Accordion Closed
Graduates with a focus in Art History will know how to assess the validity of arguments, evidence, and conclusions in art historical scholarship on global art/visual culture. They will have learned and have demonstrated visual acuity skills in analyzing and assessing the visual rhetoric employed in the objects of their study.
Critical reading Accordion Closed
Graduates with a focus in Art History will be skilled at identifying the global perspectives, methods of analysis, values and claims made in primary sources and the scholarship relative to those sources. They will be able to employ these skills in analyzing current aspects of visual culture and/or new visual works they encounter. Because visual acuity/visual literacy is foundational in the discipline of Art History, the concept of critical “reading” is here understood to apply both to the visual apprehension of works of art/architecture/visual culture and the verbal sources related to those visual artifacts.
Effective writing Accordion Closed
Graduates with a focus in Art History will know how to articulate a thesis, provide comprehensive analysis of evidence, employing a variety of art historical methods, and offer well-grounded conclusions in a variety of professionally-executed documents on global art historical topics. Art History students will be able to apply these skills to fundamental types of art historical writing such as exhibition catalogue entries and scholarly essays.
Interdisciplinarity Accordion Closed
Graduates with a focus in Art History will be able to verbally articulate aspects of visual rhetoric employed in a variety of global visual media (e.g. painting, sculpture, architecture, photography). They will also be able to apply interdisciplinary methods fundamental to global scholarly work not only in Art History, but also in related disciplines such as the Humanities and Religious Studies.
Comparative cultural awareness Accordion Closed
Art History graduates will gain an awareness of, and respect for, differing cultural viewpoints. Graduates will have learned that global perspectives influence the creation and reception of works of art, literature, and religious expression and will be able to articulate how differing perspectives are manifest in the diverse visual cultures.