Art History Major

Prior to selecting a major, students should consult with their advisor and the chair of the department of art and art history. All students who decide to major in art or art history should officially elect a faculty member from the department as their formal advisor and consult with that faculty member prior to course registration each semester.

This major is for students who wish to develop an appreciation and increased understanding of the various roles that the visual arts have played in different historical contexts from the prehistoric period to the present. This major is also appropriate for students who are considering application to graduate school for art history, museum studies, art criticism or art-architectural conservation. It is strongly recommended that art history majors spend a semester studying abroad.

Please note that ARTH 495: Capstone Research should be taken in the fall semester of the year the student graduates.

All prerequisites must be completed prior to enrollment in the following courses.

Required Courses (6 hours)

ARTH 153: Visual Literacy - Art History and Culture
3 credit hours

Using a range of visual objects, from contemporary advertisements to works of art, from ancient artifacts to architecture and graphic novels, this course introduces students to the skills of critical seeing, analysis and interpretation to help them make meaning from, and discern cultural values encoded within, visual imagery.

ARTH 495: Capstone Research
3 credit hours

This course requires the student to design, research, write, and present an in-depth art history project. Utilizing works of art or architecture, the student will apply theoretical perspectives and critical analysis methodologies of the discipline to their topic. Topic must be chosen in consultation with an art history faculty mentor. Functioning independently as an art historian, the student will present their research findings and reflections in the Art History Symposium at the end of the semester.

Choose one course from the following:

ARTZ 205: Weaving
3 credit hours

An introduction to principles and techniques of loom and off-loom weaving. Course fee required.

ARTZ 211: Digital Foundations
3 credit hours

An introduction to digital media techniques, including capturing and manipulating digital images, web design, 3D modeling, data mapping, time-based work in video and audio, and vector graphics. This course emphasizes creative and critical development as well as acquisition of technical skills.

ARTZ 230: Painting I
3 credit hours

Studio experience and demonstration in various painting media and techniques. Problems are assigned as a means of allowing students to come to terms with the technical aspects of painting through actual involvement with the painting process.

ARTZ 240: Ceramics I
3 credit hours

Exploration of hand building and wheel techniques and basic principles of glazing Course fee required.

ARTZ 250: Sculpture I
3 credit hours

A studio course introducing basic sculptural processes, materials, tools and equipment. This course focuses on developing the skills and aesthetics relating to the different materials and processes used in sculpture. Course fee required.

ARTZ 260: Photography I
3 credit hours

This course covers basic principles of analog black-and-white photography and darkroom printing techniques. A SLR 35mm camera with shutter and aperture control is required for this course. A limited number of cameras are available from the department to periodically check out throughout the semester if students are unable to purchase a camera. Course fee required.

ARTZ 267: Digital Photography I
3 credit hours

This course covers basic principles of digital photography, basic printing techniques and Adobe Photoshop. A SLR digital camera with shutter and aperture control is required for this course. A limited number of cameras are available from the department to periodically check out throughout the semester if students are unable to purchase a camera. Course fee required.

Choose one course from the following:

HIST 108: World History from 1500
3 credit hours

A broad survey of world history from 1500 to the present. Exploration of various modern world cultures with a focus on connections and conflicts between them.

HIST 109: Asian History to 1700
3 credit hours

This course examines the cultural traditions and transformations in Asian history from its origins to around 1700. Identifies specific historical events, political developments and philosophical, religious and social innovations in the history of East Asia, South Asia and Southeast Asia as well as highlights the contributions and transformations as it interacts with other world civilizations.

HIST 110: Ancient Civilizations
3 credit hours

This course provides an introduction to ancient civilizations from the earliest societies through the Byzantine Empire, approximately 700 CE. The class concentrates on the ancient civilizations of India, Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, and Rome, while also examining the influence of other societies such as the Hebrews, the Phoenicians, the Minoans, and the Mycenaeans. Emphasis placed on culture and society, texts, and surviving artifacts and monuments.

HIST 213: China: Film and History
3 credit hours

This course examines major themes and changes in Chinese history through films and texts. Some of the themes include modernization, political and economic transformation, the Cultural Revolution, and globalization. 

HIST 223: Medieval Europe
3 credit hours

This course provides an introduction to the Middle Ages, examining the multiple influences that shaped European history from the fourth to the fifteenth century. Particular emphasis placed on Christianity, the twelfth-century Renaissance, medieval cities, and society and culture.

HIST 225: Renaissance and Reformation
3 credit hours

This course provides an introduction to European history from the thirteenth to the seventeenth century, focusing on the Italian Renaissance and the Reformation. The first half of the class examines late medieval society, especially the society, religion and politics of the Italian city-states. The second half examines the reasons for the Reformation, with special emphasis given to the variety of religious reformations in sixteenth-century Europe.

HIST 230: Modern Europe
3 credit hours

This course will examine European history from 1650 to the present, focusing on key historical developments such as absolutism and the state, the scientific revolution and Enlightenment, revolution, and ideologies of race and empire, nationalism, liberalism, and socialism. Addresses the emergence of fascism, communism and the Cold War. Also considers the effects of these developments on the wider world.

HIST 244: Russia and the Soviet Union
3 credit hours

This course examines the history of Russia from its origins in medieval Kiev to the present-day. Areas of study include the imperial Russian state, revolution, communism, nationalism, and the Soviet Union. Attention given to the multi-cultural nature of its empire and successor states in Central Asia, Eastern Europe, and the Caucasus.

HIST 250: Engaging the Past: Colonial America
3 credit hours

This course examines the history of colonial societies in the Americas. Through the use of the course’s thematic material, students will be introduced to the basic skills used by historians in their investigation of the past, including a close reading and contextualization of primary source texts, the study of historical interpretations and controversies, citation and research methods, effective writing techniques, and oral communication skills.

HIST 258: Revolutions, 1789-1917
3 credit hours

This course examines the history of revolutions. Through the use of the course’s thematic material, students will be introduced to the basic skills used by historians in their investigation of the past, including a close reading and contextualization of primary source texts, the study of historical interpretations and controversies, citation and research methods, effective writing techniques and oral communication skills.

HIST 265: Native American History
3 credit hours

Examines the history of Native Americans from the 1400s to the present. Topics include cultural diversity before European invasions as well as Indian-European encounters. The slave trade, Indian Removal, accommodation and resistance will also be discussed. From Cahokia mounds to the Great Plains resistance, the class provides insights into the complexity of Native American societies and the diversity of the American experience.

HIST 273: Rome, the City: Ancient to Renaissance
3 credit hours

An introduction to the art, architecture and the history of Rome to 1650. Site visits focus on ancient Roman monuments, early Christian symbolism, medieval churches and the centrality of Rome as a Christian center from Peter to the papacy. Offered as a study abroad course.

Electives (15 hours)
Select five courses from the following; three must be ARTH courses

AADM 350: Arts Criticism
3 credit hours

Designed to help students develop criteria for judging works of art and performances and to match them with potential audiences. Coursework includes readings in arts criticism as well as critiques of current art events. The course will also look at public policy for the arts at the state and federal level.

ARCH 251: History of Architecture, Urbanism and Art I
3 credit hours

Formal, theoretical, material, pragmatic and conceptual aspects of architecture, cities and art, examined in relation to their cultural contexts, from pre-history to circa 1400. Offered fall semester.

ARCH 252: History of Architecture, Urbanism and Art II
3 credit hours

Formal, theoretical, material, pragmatic and conceptual aspects of architecture, cities and art, examined in relation to their cultural contexts, from circa 1400 to the present. Offered spring semester. 

ARCH 356: History of Modern Architecture
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: ARCH 251ARCH 252.  
An introduction to the history of modern architecture from its intellectual and artistic origins in the nineteenth century through the present day. Special emphasis is placed on the consideration of modernism in architecture not just as a narrowly defined stylistic movement, but also as a broader cultural phenomenon through which architects engage a changing world. This course has been approved as an Honors qualified course.

ARCH 426: Travel Journal: Mediterranean Cultures
3 credit hours

Co-requisite:  ARCH 418ARCH 456. 
Students will apply cultural theories from CORE 201 Global Foundations to disciplined observation of the diversity of practices, rituals, habits and artistic productions of the peoples of the Mediterranean as the crossroads between Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Offered only with the Drury international semester program in Greece.

ARTZ 305: Weaving II
3 credit hours

This course builds on the principles and techniques of loom and off-loom weaving covered in Weaving I.  Students will explore new threading and treadling techniques and new unit weaves leading to the production of larger and more complex fabrics. Course fee required.

ARTH 310: Medieval Art and Architecture
3 credit hours

An in-depth examination of art and architecture from the collapse of the Roman Empire through the end of the Gothic era. The course covers early Christian, Byzantine, early Medieval, Islamic, Romanesque and Gothic developments.

ARTH 315: Renaissance Art and Architecture
3 credit hours

An in-depth examination of Italian art and architecture from c. 1250 to 1550. The course covers the development of the Renaissance style in Italy from the late Gothic period through the High Renaissance and into the Mannerist period.

ARTH 316: Venice and the Veneto
3 credit hours

This course examines Venetian art and architecture in its cultural context from the city’s foundation through its expansion of territorial domination during the Renaissance, its 19th?century decline and current status as museum city and center for contemporary arts.

ARTH 320: Baroque Art and Architecture
3 credit hours

Examines European art and architecture from the counter-reformation (c. 1563) through the death of Louis XIV (1715), with particular emphasis on the relationship between works and their social, political and cultural contexts.

ARTH 350: Modern Art
3 credit hours

An in-depth examination of art from the Romantic period (circa 1800) to the emergence of the Modern Period (1850) and through the twentieth century to 1990.

ARTH 356: Contemporary Art
3 credit hours

This course presents an international survey of contemporary art from 1970 to the present. It examines such topics as post modernism, feminist art, instrumentalism and outsider art. Course may include on-site visits to galleries and museums.

ARTH 360: History of Photography
3 credit hours

A survey of the aesthetic and technical development of photography from its origin to the present. Particular emphasis will be given to the contextual relationships of photographic imagery to the visual arts and to the culture at large. This course has been approved as an Honors qualified course.

ARTH 362: History of Museums and Collecting
3 credit hours

An examination of the history of museums as institutions that collect and preserve works of art and other cultural artifacts. The course emphasizes the ways in which museums and collectors influence how art is made, presented and received. This course has been approved as an Honors qualified course.

ARTH 364: The Printed Book as Art and Artifact, 1450 to 1850
3 credit hours

An introduction to printing history and the history of the book. This course examines the development of printing, including the development of allied arts such as type-cutting and casting, papermaking, bookbinding and illustration. It also seeks to study the cultural contexts of printing and the book, with special emphasis on the rise of a reading public. Students will examine and handle examples from the library’s rare book collection.

ARTH 370: Asian Art and Architecture
3 credit hours

A survey of the arts of China, Japan, Korea, India and South Asia. The course covers the major movements in Asian art and architecture from pre-historic cultures to the present.

ARTH 371: Early Islamic Art and Architecture
3 credit hours

An in-depth examination of Islamic art and architecture in its formative period from the seventh through the fourteenth centuries. This course seeks an understanding of Islamic art and architecture in its cultural context by locating both its unique characteristics and its roots in Sassanian, Byzantine and Arabic traditions.

ARTH 373: Indigenous Arts and Cultures
3 credit hours

A survey of the arts from indigenous cultures such as African, Oceanic, Native American and others. The course covers the visual and decorative arts and architecture.

ARTH 380: Field Studies: Art History
3 credit hours

A course designed to promote first-hand, in-depth experience with works of art and/or architecture in order to foster the integration of theoretical and applied learning skills in the art history major. Students will participate in an off?campus field study or internship program of their choice, the exact nature of which will be determined by the interests of the student and must be approved in consultation with an art history faculty member.

ARTH 290, 390, 490: Selected Topics
1-3 credit hours

Selected Topics are courses of an experimental nature that provide students a wide variety of study opportunities and experiences. Selected Topics offer both the department and the students the opportunity to explore areas of special interest in a structured classroom setting. Selected Topics courses (course numbers 290, 390, 490) will have variable titles and vary in credit from 1-3 semester hours. Selected Topic courses may not be taken as a Directed Study offering.

ARTH 410: The Medieval Architect: Practice and Product
3 credit hours

This seminar examines the profession of the medieval architect: his training, design procedures and methods of construction employed to transform ideas into built form. Aspects of patronage, material usage and the economy will be considered. This course has been approved as an Honors qualified course.

ARTH 411: Medieval Women: Image, Text, Experience
3 credit hours

This seminar analyzes the history of medieval women from two perspectives: that of the medieval theorists, a primarily masculine tradition informed by misogynistic tendencies, and the reconstructive work of modern social historians and art historians. Through a critical reading of primary (visual and textual) and secondary sources, this course illuminates the multifarious roles women played in medieval society.

ARTZ 291, 292, 391, 392, 491, 492: Research
1-12 credit hours

Many academic departments offer special research or investigative projects beyond the regular catalog offering. Significant responsibility lies with the student to work independently to develop a proposal for study that must be approved by a faculty mentor and the appropriate department chair. The faculty member will provide counsel through the study and will evaluate the student’s performance. Sophomores, juniors and seniors are eligible. Students must register for research (291, 292, 391, 392, 491 or 492) to receive credit and are required to fill out a Permission to Register for Special Coursework form. It is recommended that students complete not more than 12 hours of research to apply toward the baccalaureate degree.

ARTH 397, 398, 497, 498: Internship
Varies credit hours

Interns must have at least 60 credit hours, completed appropriate coursework and have a minimum GPA of 2.5 prior to registering for academic credit. Also, approval must be obtained from the student's faculty sponsor and required forms must be completed by the deadline. Note: *Architecture, Music Therapy and Education majors do not register internships through Career Planning & Development. These students need to speak with his/her advisor regarding credit requirements and options.