Majoring in Art History

Art History Certificate

Overview

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.

Special opportunities

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:

  • Fashion Editor, Cosmopolitan
  • Collections Manager, Bellarmine Museum of Art
  • Owner, Conlin Rudd Interior Design
  • Education Outreach, Richard Avedon Foundation
  • Art Teacher, Newport Art Museum
  • Design Patent Examiner, U.S. Patent & Trademark Office
  • Business Manager, Artnet Auctions
  • Design Assistant, Coach
  • Director of Art Administration and Business Development, Boston Art
  • Creative Services Specialist, Pegasus Communications Corp.
  • Independent Art Dealer
  • Archivist, Calder Foundation
  • Director of Development, Carnegie Museum of Art
  • Designer, Peter Som Inc.
  • Paper Conservator, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum
  • Client Associate, Christie's
  • Co-owner, Charles F. Beardsley Advertising
  • Curator of Visual Resources Collection, Johns Hopkins
  • Director, Center for Curatorial Leadership
  • Director, Second Street Gallery

Faculty

Joseph Alchermes, Associate Professor of Art History, Director of the Architectural Studies Program Joseph Alchermes, Associate Professor of Art History, Director of the Architectural Studies Program

Joseph Alchermes, Associate Professor of Art History, Director of the Architectural Studies Program
Late Roman art • Early Christian art • Byzantine art • Medieval architecture

Robert Baldwin, Associate Professor of Art History Robert Baldwin, Associate Professor of Art History

Robert Baldwin, Associate Professor of Art History
Late Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque art, early modern cultural studies • Mercantile culture in Renaissance art and literature • Landscape in European art and literature, 1350-1700 • Music in European art, literature, and society, 1400-1700 • Gender and art, 1300-1700

Stephen  Fan, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Architecture Stephen  Fan, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Architecture

Stephen  Fan, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Architecture
Architectural design • Geography • Race and architecture • Community engagement

Emily C. Morash, Visiting Instructor in Art History Emily C. Morash, Visiting Instructor in Art History

Emily C. Morash, Visiting Instructor in Art History
Modern architecture • Contemporary architecture • Italian modern architecture and design • Architecture and media

Qiang Ning, Chu-Niblack Associate Professor in Asian Art, Curator of the Chu-Griffis Asian Art Collection Qiang Ning, Chu-Niblack Associate Professor in Asian Art, Curator of the Chu-Griffis Asian Art Collection

Qiang Ning, Chu-Niblack Associate Professor in Asian Art, Curator of the Chu-Griffis Asian Art Collection
Asian art history • Contemporary Chinese art • Gender in Chinese art and society • Silk Road archaeology • Art market/Art Collection

Karen Gonzalez Rice, Sue and Eugene Mercy Assistant Professor of Art History Karen Gonzalez Rice, Sue and Eugene Mercy Assistant Professor of Art History

Karen Gonzalez Rice, Sue and Eugene Mercy Assistant Professor of Art History  (On sabbatical Fall 2014)
Contemporary art (1945-present) • Experimental art • Performance studies • Contemporary art and the body • American studies; contemporary art in America • Religion in contemporary art • Trauma studies • Art and ethics

Christopher Steiner, Lucy C. McDannel '22 Professor of Art History, Chair of Art History and Architectural Studies Christopher Steiner, Lucy C. McDannel '22 Professor of Art History, Chair of Art History and Architectural Studies

Christopher Steiner, Lucy C. McDannel '22 Professor of Art History, Chair of Art History and Architectural Studies
African art and material culture • Art market and collecting • Images of race and "otherness" in visual culture • Offbeat museums and visionary art • Censorship and museum controversies

Abigail Van Slyck, Dean of the Faculty
, Dayton Professor of Art History Abigail Van Slyck, Dean of the Faculty
, Dayton Professor of Art History

Abigail Van Slyck, Dean of the Faculty , Dayton Professor of Art History
American architecture • Gender issues in architecture • Vernacular architecture and cultural landscape studies • Spaces of childhood • Library architecture

Barbara Zabel, Professor Emeritus of Art History Barbara Zabel, Professor Emeritus of Art History

Barbara Zabel, Professor Emeritus of Art History
American art • European modernism • Gender issues in the Machine Age • Portraiture in the 20th century

Student profile


Devon Elovitz Devon Elovitz

Art history


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.

Selected courses


  • 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

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Student research


I Am Project: An Analysis of the Representation of Homelessness in American Visual Culture
By: Telayah Sturdivant '15
Advising Faculty: Ron Flores and Karen Gonzalez Rice

Representing Ethnic Minorities in Modern Chinese Art
By: Cannea Ferguson '14
Advising Faculty: Qiang Ning

The Promotion of Cultural Heritage: Conservation, Restoration and Presentation of Archaeological Art and Artifacts in Sardinia, Italy
By: Lydia Stitsel '14
Advising Faculty: Joseph Alchermes

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