Majoring in Art History
As an art history major, you explore the aesthetic qualities of art through the framework of a piece’s historical, social, political, economic and religious contexts. We offer a wide range of courses in European, American and non-Western art and architecture and you learn, in part, by closely observing and handling objects. We manage several on-campus collections, including 1,600 prints and drawings in the Wetmore Collection, 200 Chinese paintings in the Chu-Griffis Asian Art Collection and a sizeable number of modern and contemporary sculptures. You might also work as an intern or collaborate on exhibitions, events and educational programs at the nearby Lyman Allyn Art Museum, the Florence Griswold Museum or one of dozens of major museums in New York.
International opportunities and study abroad
Most art history majors spend a semester studying art abroad. We are closely affiliated with programs in Florence and Rome, and other options include Vietnam, India, China, Denmark, France, England and Germany. Recent interns have worked at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Museum of Contemporary Art in Beijing, Newport Art Museum, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.
You can pursue a topic in great depth through an independent study or honors thesis. Recent honors theses have focused on exhibitions of Italian Futurism, the political role of modern art in post-colonial Senegal and the history of Connecticut College’s architecture. Two architectural historians support a separate interdisciplinary major in architectural studies. We also offer a certificate program in museum studies.
What can you do with a majorcertificate in Art History?
Here are some of the positions our graduates have gone on to hold:
Q: Why Connecticut College?
A: After four years at a large public high school, I consciously decided on a school that would foster my educational needs as an individual. I wanted small classrooms and the opportunity for student-faculty engagement.
Q: What has been your most challenging or rewarding class?
A: "Renaissance Art in Northern Europe from 1400-1500" was both my most challenging and rewarding course. The demand for rigorous analysis of primary documents and concise writing kept me up very late into the night. But it also forced me to think critically about my writing. I am most proud of the papers I struggled with in this course and owe much of my writing ability to my professor's assignments and feedback.
Q: What role has CELS (the College's career development and internship program) played in your experience?
A: CELS has been an invaluable resource. When I was a sophomore, my CELS counselor guided me through resume drafts, cover letters and networking skills that eventually led to an internship at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh. Junior year, I got incredible support and advice in landing an internship at Christie’s auction house.
- Chinese Art and Religion
- African Art
- Islamic Art
- Classical Mythology in Western Art
- High Renaissance Art in Italy
- 19th-Century Art
- History of Photography
- Pop Art
- Domestic Architecture in the United States
- The Architecture of Connecticut College
- Contemporary Architecture
- Museum Censorship and Ethics
- Costume History
- Imagining Otherness in Visual Culture