Art History, Bachelor of Arts College of Letters & Science

The Major Program

Art History studies the changing visual expression of values, beliefs and experiences across diverse cultures and over time. It provides training in historical, social and aesthetic understanding, critical thinking, scholarly research, and lucid, thoughtful analysis and writing. More than any other discipline art history sharpens its students’ visual acuity and deepens their visual literacy. In so doing, it prepares them to face the increasingly complex visual world we find ourselves in today.

The Program

The major begins with a series of courses that surveys major landmarks in the history of visual culture, art and architecture in Asia, Europe, and the United States. More advanced lecture courses and seminars focus on particularly important periods and issues. Students are encouraged to personalize their training with internships, independent study, and focused upper division study. Top students considering graduate study are encouraged to engage in more advance study by pursuing a senior honors thesis.

Career Options

A major in Art History develops critical thinking and the integration of research, interpretation and understanding. It provides an excellent liberal arts basis for professions as far ranging as advertising, law, medicine, politics and business. The major prepares students for advanced study in Art History, Architecture, Museum Studies and Cultural Studies. It also serves as the foundation for careers in teaching, arts, administration, museums, galleries, historic preservation, art libraries, publishing, journalism, advertising, art conservation, and art investment. As the world becomes increasingly flooded with images, the critical visual literacy gained through the study of art history becomes more important for a wide variety of careers.

Honors Program

The Honors Program in Art History is encouraged for Art History majors who are considering attending graduate school. To be eligible for the program, a student must have a grade point average of 3.600 in the major or consent of both the prospective thesis advisor, who must be a member of the Art History faculty and the major advisor. In addition to meeting the standard major requirements, the honors student completes one additional undergraduate seminar (course 100 or 190A-L), researches and writes an honors thesis (courses 194HA and 194HB), supervised by the prospective thesis advisor. Students participating in this Program are candidates for Departmental  recommendation for graduation with High or Highest Honors. See Academic Information, Letters & Science honors section, and consult Art History.

Teaching Credential Subject Representative

Department Chairperson; see the Teacher Education program.

Graduate Study

The Program in Art History offers studies leading to the Master of Arts degree in History of Art as preparation for further graduate study or professional work. For more information, contact the Graduate Staff Advisor at  530-752-8710, or see Art History.

Preparatory Subject Matter
Choose four:16-17
Ancient Mediterranean Art
Medieval & Renaissance Art
Baroque to Modern Art
Islamic Art & Architecture
Understanding Visual Culture
Understanding Architecture
Arts of Asia
Arts of Asia
Any lower division Art Studio (ART) course except:4
Introduction to Contemporary Visual Culture
Preparatory Subject Matter Subtotal20-21
Depth Subject Matter
Distribution Areas
Choose six from at least five of the following areas:24
(1) The Ancient World
Arts of Oceania & Prehistoric Europe
Early Greek Art & Architecture
Later Greek Art & Architecture
Roman Art & Architecture
Architecture & Urbanism in Mediterranean Antiquity
(2) Asia
The Hindu Temple
Buddhist Art
Early Chinese Art
Chinese Painting
Early Modern Chinese Painting
The Arts of Japan
(3) The Middle Ages to 1700
The Islamic City
Arts of the Islamic Book
Early Italian Renaissance Art & Architecture
High & Late Italian Renaissance Art & Architecture
Baroque Art
(4) Western Art 1700 to 1900
Landscape, Nature, & Art
Great Cities
British Art & Culture (1750-1900)
Art in the Age of Revolution, 1750-1850
Impressionism & Post-Impressionism: Manet to 1900
American Art to 1910
(5) World Art 20th Century to the Present
Sex & Space
Art from China 1900 to the Present
Modernism in France, 1880-1940
Avant-Gardism & its Aftermath, 1917-1960
Contemporary Art 1960-Present
Photography in History
(6) Art & Issues Across Chronologies
Cultural History of Museums
Art, Architecture, & Human Rights
Politics of Public Art
The Museum in the Age of Spectacle
Latin American Art & Architecture
The American Home
Undergraduate Seminar in Art History, (AHI 190A-L)
Choose one:4
Undergraduate Seminar in Art History: Mediterranean Antiquity
Undergraduate Seminar in Art History: Medieval
Undergraduate Seminar in Art History: Renaissance
Undergraduate Seminar in Art History: American
Undergraduate Seminar in Art History: Gendering of Culture
Undergraduate Seminar in Art History: Chinese
Undergraduate Seminar in Art History: Japanese
Undergraduate Seminar in Art History: Modern-Contemporary
Undergraduate Seminar in Art History: 17th-18th Century
Undergraduate Seminar in Art History: Islamic
Undergraduate Seminar in Art History: 19th Century
Undergraduate Seminar in Art History: Architecture & Heritage
Electives
Choose any three additional AHI upper division courses or seminars.12
Depth Subject Matter Subtotal40
Emphasis; choose one to reach total units:
Architectural History60
Museum Studies72-73

Emphasis in Architectural History

Emphasis in Architectural History follows the same requirements as for the Art History major above, applying at least six of the following to their respective required areas or as electives:

Choose at least six of the following:24
Understanding Architecture
Cultural History of Museums
Art, Architecture, & Human Rights
Sex & Space
The Museum in the Age of Spectacle
Arts of Oceania & Prehistoric Europe
The Hindu Temple
The Islamic City
Early Chinese Art
Great Cities
Early Greek Art & Architecture
Later Greek Art & Architecture
Roman Art & Architecture
Architecture & Urbanism in Mediterranean Antiquity
Art of the Middle Ages: Early Christian & Byzantine Art
Art of the Middle Ages: Early Medieval & Romanesque Art
Art of the Middle Ages: Gothic
Early Italian Renaissance Art & Architecture
High & Late Italian Renaissance Art & Architecture
Latin American Art & Architecture
20th-Century Architecture
Contemporary Architecture
The American Home
Architecture of the United States
Total Units24

Fulfilling the undergraduate seminar requirement (AHI 192) through an architectural topic is highly recommended.

Emphasis in Museum Studies

The Emphasis in Museum Studies consists of five upper-division courses (20 units) incorporated into the 60-unit major in Art History. Two core courses for the Emphasis in Museum Studies (8 units) take the place of upper- division electives in the major. Three additional electives (12 units) are chosen to complete the Emphasis. Beyond these requirements, one or more internships (AHI 192) are highly recommended.

Preparatory Subject Matter
Same as for the Art History Major, above.20-21
Subtotal20-21
Depth Subject Matter
Distribution Areas; same as for the Art History Major, above.24
Undergraduate Seminar; same as for the Art History Major above.4
Elective; one additional AHI upper-division course or seminar.4
Subtotal32
Depth Subject Matter—Museum Studies
Five courses not already counted toward the Major.
Required Courses:8
Understanding Museum Practices
Cultural History of Museums
Required Courses:12
Exhibition Practicum
Art, Architecture, & Human Rights
The Museum in the Age of Spectacle
Undergraduate Seminar in Art History: Architecture & Heritage
Museum Studies: Analysis of Native American Basketry
Fundamentals of Marketing Management
Strategic Communication in Public Relations
Exhibition Design
Narrative Environments
Principles of Theatrical Design: Scenery
Principles of Theatrical Design: Lighting
Writing in the Disciplines: Fine Arts
Introduction to Professional Editing
Subtotal20
Total Units72-73