Global Art Histories

Art - Global Art Histories, B.A.

Art history is about understanding and analyzing works of art in their historical and cultural context. It requires a deep knowledge of artistic techniques, styles, and traditions, as well as an understanding of the broader cultural and historical contexts in which they were created.


In the global art histories concentration, students focus on studying the history, theory, and analysis of art. Throughout their studies, they delve into various artistic periods, styles, and cultural contexts, aiming to develop a deep understanding of the visual arts.

Students engage in comprehensive art historical surveys that cover a wide range of periods, from ancient civilizations to contemporary art. Through the study of art history, students gain insights into the social, political, economic, and cultural forces that shaped these periods, enriching their understanding of the artworks and the artists who created them.

In addition to chronological surveys, students also examine specific themes and topics within art history. This may include courses on gender and art, postcolonial perspectives, the intersection of art and technology, or the representation of identity. These specialized courses provide a deeper exploration of particular aspects of art history and encourage critical analysis and interpretation of artworks.

Art historical research and methodology are also emphasized in the program. Students learn how to conduct research, analyze primary and secondary sources, and write scholarly essays. They develop critical thinking skills, learn to interpret artworks in a nuanced and informed manner, and engage in debates within the field of art history.

Visits to museums, galleries, and other art institutions are often incorporated into the program. These visits offer students the opportunity to study artworks directly, examine them in their physical context, and gain firsthand experience of art conservation, curation, and exhibition practices.

Throughout their studies, students participate in discussions, seminars, and critiques, exchanging ideas and interpretations with fellow students and faculty. They learn to communicate their thoughts effectively, developing skills in oral presentation and academic writing specific to the discipline of art history.

The program culminates in a written thesis paper and an oral presentation.

Curriculum and Concentration Requirements

Please review the official academic catalog for comprehensive information on requirements.


Concentrating in art history opens a wide range of career opportunities in the art world and beyond. Possible career paths for students concentrating in art history:

  • Art Historian: Art historians research and write about art, analyzing and interpreting its cultural and historical contexts. They may specialize in a particular artist, period, or genre of art.
  • Art Curator: Art curators are responsible for selecting and organizing exhibitions in galleries and museums. They work closely with artists, collectors, and other art professionals to research and interpret artworks, and plan exhibitions that engage and educate audiences.
  • Art Dealer: Art dealers buy and sell artworks, often specializing in a particular style or period of art. They need a deep understanding of the art market, as well as strong interpersonal and negotiation skills.
  • Museum Educator: Museum educators develop and lead educational programs and activities for museum visitors of all ages. They use their knowledge of art history to help visitors engage with and understand the artworks on display.
  • Art Appraiser: Art appraisers assess the value of artworks, using their knowledge of art history, market trends, and other factors to determine their worth. They may work for galleries, auction houses, or private collectors.
  • Art Writer/Critic: Art writers and critics write about art for publications such as newspapers, magazines, and online journals. They offer insights and analysis of current art exhibitions, as well as historical and cultural context for artworks.
  • Art Consultant: Art consultants work with clients to build and manage art collections, offering advice on buying, selling, and displaying artworks. They may work for art galleries, auction houses, or private clients.

Depending on students’ interests and skills, their knowledge of art history, critical thinking, and research skills can be applied in many different ways.