Art History

View the art around you with a sharpened perspective.

You love to dissect works of art and feel engaged by questions about their creation — who made them, what materials were used, and ultimately how they fit into history. In our program, you’ll begin to find the answers as you take courses that consider the role of art all around the world, across time, from the pyramids of ancient Egypt to the prints of medieval Japan, from Baroque paintings in Italy to art nouveau architecture to modern sculpture. You’ll develop a skilled visual eye, enabling you to detect details that escape the casual viewer of art, and you’ll relish being a part of intellectual dialogue about art.

I love being able to look at artwork and not simply say, ‘That’s a nice painting.’ Rather, I can now examine a work and see the story behind it — the historical context in which it was created or the cultural influences the artist was exposed to.

Tahera H. Tajbhai ’13

Learn More About Our Degrees and Certificates

Quick Facts

  • The world’s earliest artwork, the Venus of Hohle Fels, dates back about 40,000 years. 
  • The first true art historian was Giorgio Vasari, a Tuscan painter in the 1500s.
  • As an art history major, you’ll take at least one course that mandates creating your own art.

Possible Careers

  • Art critic at an international journal
  • Museum curator for a special collection
  • Art librarian and archivist for a museum or private art collector