About the Department and Minor

A vital element to the development of a professional artist is a strong understanding of the historical, social, and political dimensions of art and architecture.  Art history connects the practice of making art with its historical context. The courses offered in art history have both breadth and depth, and span from the ancient world, to the art of Asia, and include modern and contemporary Europe and the United States. There are cross-departmental courses, such as Native American Art and Women and the Arts, which provoke interdisciplinary questions about the functioning of art with regards to vital issues such as ethnicity and gender. 

Our teaching in the realm of art history covers the media of painting, sculpture, photography, design, material culture, architecture, and urbanism. Field trips to museums and historic sites such as the Art Institute of Chicago and Taliesin provide students with vital first hand experiences.  Additionally, these expeditions can be life changing by way of the acquisition of knowledge in the realm of art’s historical, material, economic, and contemporary significance. The addition of a minor in Art History is designed for students who seek to study art history in depth as a complement to their major area of study. The minor provides students with an art historical education that is balanced and diverse culturally, temporally, and geographically. It provides a strong foundation of art history while permitting students to choose from a variety of courses focusing on different time periods, geographic regions, and/or media.