Art History

Art History

The discipline of art history focuses on the study of the visual objects. In art history classes, the activity is not the creation of art works, as in studio art courses, but rather the analysis of the art forms that have been created from prehistory to the present and produced in a variety of cultures. 

The Bachelor of Arts in Art History in the School of Art prepares students to be analytical thinkers, incisive researchers, and polished writers.


This program prepares students for career placement and graduate programs in a range of fields such as:

_Museum or Gallery Curator

_Museum or Gallery Exhibitions Officer

_Art Gallery Manager

_Conservator

 _Education

_Archivists

_Preservationists

_Art Restorers


 The School of Art offers a wide range of courses, lectures, and seminars in the history of art from antiquity to the present day.

Students will have the opportunity to choose a selection special topic courses that dive deep into more specialized issues and problems in the history of art.

The program provides opportunities for students to pursue individual research interests, including independent study courses for graduate students and for undergraduate students who elect to write an honors thesis.

Course Topics Can Include:

_Pre-Colombian Art and the Art of New Spain

_Ancient

_Medieval

_Renaissance

_Baroque Art

_Modern Art in Europe and America (18th, 19th and 20th centuries)

_African Art

_Contemporary Art

_Critical Theory

_Art Criticism

_New Media

_Museum Studies


Art history is ideal double major with history, world languages, anthropology, business, journalism, English, gender studies – and many other fields.

B.F.A. students can also do a double degree, getting their B.F.A. along with a B.A. in art history.

An art history minor is offered as well. Studio majors, whether B.A. or B.F.A. can earn the minor if they take an additional 3 courses (9 hours) in upper division classes beyond the required art history courses for their major.

Students need to contact their art history mentor and Fulbright College advisor to create their degree plan.


 Study abroad programs offer students an unparalleled opportunity for expanding their education beyond the classroom.

The School of Art and the U of A have designed a vast array of study abroad programs for students to choose from, including summer-term courses at the U of A Rome Center and faculty-led programs.

Art History students are encouraged to apply to these programs, and depending on the courses selected, they may earn art history credit toward their majors or minors.

Financial aid and scholarships are available.

Additional Student Benefits Include:

_Enhances student education

_Exposure and experience new cultures

_Language development 


Museum internships are valuable complements to academic coursework in art history.

Our majors have completed or have accepted  internshipts at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art,  Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, and other institutions.

We encourage students to apply for these and other internship opportunities to deepen their understanding of art and its institutions.

Internships help students clarify their career goals and provide essential practical experience. In addition, they can strengthen applications to graduate school programs in art history and museum studies.


The honors thesis provides an exciting opportunity to do an extended research project under the supervision of a faculty member in the art history program.

_Students who are in the major, college honors or departmental honors are eligible to write an honors thesis during their senior year, and can sign up for six hours of credit for this project.

_Contact art history honors mentor at the beginning of the second semester of junior year.

_This opportunity is particularly valuable for those who wish to continue their study of art history in graduate school.


The Society of Art Historians is a student-run organization and registered RSO created to provide a supportive community for all students at the U of A who are interested in art history.

Student planned activities have included symposiums and tours at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, educational trips to regional cities such as Kansas City and Oklahoma City, as well as guest lecturers from national and international scholars.


Margaret Adams

_U of A art history graduate in the spring of 2012. Adams went on to complete the M.A. program in art history at the University of Utah with a master thesis on Antonio Henrique Amaral’s Battlefield Paintings (1973-1974) and the Brazilian Military Dictatorship.

Robin Atkinson

_U of A art history graduate in the spring of 2011. Atkinson is a Project Archivist for the Senator John Heinz History Center Thomas & Katherine Detre Library & Archives in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania.

Michael Hartman

_U of A art history graduate in the spring of 2014. Hartman completed an internship at the Dallas Museum of Art before enrolling in the M.A. art history at Williams College, and will be entering a Ph.D. program next year.

Dylan Turk

_U of A art history graduate in the spring of 2014. Turk is an assistant curator at Crystal Bridges Museum of Art.