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.