AHI 105 Mona Lisa to Instagram
We will consider the political, economic, social, and cultural implications of images like the Mona Lisa, and we will ask what kinds of value these images carry in the present (#monalisa).
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.
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.
Joseph Alchermes' main research interests range from the Roman and Early Christian world to the art and architecture of the Byzantine Empire with links to western Europe. He teaches a comparably broad array of courses, from the survey of ancient and medieval art to specialized investigations of Roman, eastern and western medieval, and Islamic art and architecture.
Robert Baldwin works on the social history of Late Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque art (1300-1700) and late 19th century European art with a focus on political and social issues (the intersection of class, gender, and aesthetics).
Karen Gonzalez Rice's approach to teaching and research is multidisciplinary, drawing on methodologies of contemporary art history, religious studies, American studies and trauma studies. Her courses include Late 20th-Century Art, Seeing: Mona Lisa to Instagram, and upper-level courses such as Pop Art & Critical Visual Culture, and Radical Bodies: Contemporary Art & Action.
Emily Morash was appointed Interim Dean of the College and Dean of First-Year Students in 2016. She and her staff facilitate the First-Year Seminar program and train student advisers (SAs) who work with first-year students as part of the Team Advising program. With the Office of Student Life, they also organize and run orientation.
Christopher Steiner teaches a range of interdisciplinary courses in art history, anthropology and museum studies. His classes cover topics on the traditional and contemporary arts of Africa; on the visual representation of race and ethnic identity in art and film; on the history of museums and on recent museum debates and controversies; and on kitsch or "bad" art emerging from the margins, cracks and corners of the canonical art world.
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.
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.
A: The career office has been an invaluable resource. When I was a sophomore, my career adviser 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.