The Major in Art, B.A. (Bachelor of Arts) is a liberal arts degree with two concentrations: Art History and Integrated Visual Studies. Both concentrations begin their study with the Foundations program. First-year students complete Foundations courses in studio art and global art history.
The Art History concentration seeks to develop students' critical and analytical skills and ability to comprehend global visual arts within social, historical, cultural, and aesthetic frameworks. Students develop an understanding about the visual and material culture of societies from around the world. Our Art History program champions a global history of art, offering courses that range from the Italian Renaissance to contemporary African art, women in art, and native North American art. Students in art history go on to careers in academia, museums, historical societies, and auction houses, and can apply their skills in visual literacy and analytical research to a wide range of careers.
The Integrated Visual Studies concentration is an ideal program for students to develop skills as makers and thinkers. By making work and interpreting images from visual art, photography, film, television, and commercial imagery, students learn to analyze visual communication from a variety of aesthetic, theoretical, scientific, economic, sociological and historical viewpoints. Students take a relatively equal ratio of studio and academic classes that foster critical awareness of how society is reflected and produced through visual means in the 21st century. Integrated Visual Studies students have the curricular flexibility to pursue interdisciplinary academic interests in combination with explorations in the theoretical and technical aspects of art making within a studio practice.
Student Learning Outcomes
Art History students will demonstrate:
- Knowledge of the tools and techniques of art historical research and scholarship.
- Communication skills, original thinking, art historical interpretation, and research skills in written form, resulting in a work of original scholarship.
- Communication skills, original thinking, art historical interpretation, and research skills in oral form.
- General knowledge of the monuments and principal artists of global art, including a broad understanding of historical monuments as well as the art of the 20th and 21st centuries.
- Adequate mastery of a foreign language to support research through the reading of primary source materials.
- Functional knowledge of the creative process.
Integrated Visual Studies students will demonstrate:
- Communication skills in written and oral form with precision, cogency, and rhetorical force.
- The ability to explain and defend their creative work and research effectively and rationally, and the ability to advocate for their world view.
- Skills of invention and innovation–developing things and ideas that never existed before.
Students earning a B.A. with a major in Art develop a wide range of transferable communication, analytical, and critical-thinking skills. Participation in internships, cooperative education, service learning, and education abroad opportunities is highly recommended to enhance practical training and development. Depending on student interests, electives taken, or concentration selected, available career choices include academia, art museums, auction houses, historical societies, art appraiser, art director, exhibition designer, art critic, gallery director, art librarian, art restorer, art conservator, and art museum educator. Employers appreciate art majors for their multiple skills and the visual literacy that allows them to make sense of an image-saturated world.