Art History

Why Major in Art History?

Here are some good reasons:

 

  • To learn practical skills that will be useful in any career, skills such as research, writing, analysis, oral presentation, and critical thinking.
  • To become a sophisticated viewer and a critical consumer of the visual imagery that is all around us in today's world.
  • To prepare for a wide range of arts-related careers, from museum curator or museum educator and art historian to corporate art consultant, appraiser, or in-house expert for an auction house. 

Art History majors must complete 33 credits (or 11 courses).  

Requirements for Major

Art History majors must complete the following:

  • AAH 1101 Ancient to Medieval Survey
  • AAH 1102 Renaissance to Modern Survey
  • Three courses pre-1700: 2000/2001/2002/2003/2012/3007/ and topics or seminars
  • Two courses post-1700: 1103/1104/2004/2005/2009/3001/3002/3003/4005/ and topics or seminars
  • 4010 Interpreting Art, Methodology Seminar
  • 5010 Research and Writing, Senior Seminar
  • One course related to art history in another discipline (either Studio Art; Artifacts in History 2309, or other Material Culture course; Chemistry and Art 1058 or Science of Art MSE 2303; Philosophy of Art 2075); or, alternatively, a team-taught interdisciplinary course with one Art History faculty member (GIS, History, etc.).
  • One Upper Level Art History Elective — from AAH 2000 to AAH 4999

 

MINOR (18 Credits / 6 Courses)

Requirements for a Minor

  • 1101 Ancient to Medieval Survey or 1102 Renaissance to Modern Survey
  • 4010 Interpreting Art, Methodology Seminar (or other upper level seminar or topics course)
  • Four (4) additional Art History courses

One of the art history courses could be substituted for one course related to art history in another discipline (either Studio Art; Artifacts in History 2309, or other Material Culture course; Chemistry and Art 1058 or Science of Art MSE 2303; Philosophy of Art 2075); or, alternatively, a team-taught interdisciplinary course with one Art History faculty member (GIS, History, etc.).

Art History Minors must earn at least half (9 credits / 3 courses) at Villanova University.

Knowledge

Demonstrate art historical knowledge across a range of chronological, cultural, and geographic areas.

Understand and interpret images and art, and definitions of art, with historical specificity.

Demonstrate a familiarity with the concept of historiography, including a sense of changing art historical interpretations and an understanding of various approaches to art historical explanation.

Recognize a range of career options available to undergraduate art history majors.

Analytical and Research Skills

Engage with contemporary art historical tools, including the use of visual and material artifacts, print resources, primary and secondary source collections, and repositories of images and other online resources.

Construct art historical questions and arguments about the problems and issues that run throughout the history of art’s production, consumption, and reception.

Apply a critical perspective to historicize and interpret art productions, with attention to the social uses of art, images, and visual culture – and to the power of art and art’s relations to power.

Expression

Describe and formally analyze art objects following close looking, putting observations and perceptions into words.

Summarize and critically evaluate art historical sources, methodologies, and interpretations, and formulate, articulate, and sustain historically-grounded claims in written form.

Employ disciplinary vocabulary to construct insightful, analytical, and fluid arguments which address the ideological framework and assumptions that underpin histories of art and images.

MISSION STATEMENT OF THE ART HISTORY PROGRAM

The Art History Program at Villanova provides students with the knowledge and skills to interpret and critically evaluate art – and its production, reception, and materiality – from the perspectives of different societies across time. We encourage students to investigate art not only as cultural artifacts that record and reflect particular aspects of the human experience, but also as a dynamic force that has shaped complex interactions of social, political, and economic processes both in the past and the present.

In harmony with the university’s Augustinian mission and unique identity, the Art History Program emphasizes the benefits of a broader, liberal arts education. More particularly, art history students can expect to leave Villanova as sophisticated viewers and critical consumers of the visual imagery that surrounds us.

Art history majors have the opportunity to do internships for credit at the Philadelphia region's many art museums, galleries, and auction houses. More information is available from the College of Liberal Arts and Science's Internship Office.

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