The Major in the History of Art seeks to deepen students’ knowledge of artistic production and practice over the scope of human history, as well as to broaden awareness of the critical and interpretive aims of the discipline itself. Students develop skills in the analysis of works of art, sharpen their understanding of the social, cultural, and personal values embodied by works, and explore the relation of art history to other disciplines. The Department particularly encourages a broad geographic understanding of art production and encourages students to consider the relations and distinctions among different visual cultures.
Students are strongly advised to make an appointment each semester to discuss their progress through the major with the undergraduate chair. Majors are also encouraged to achieve an advanced level of French, German, or other languages as relevant to their subject interests. During their senior year majors may pursue independent research by writing an honors thesis and are invited to become regular participants in the department colloquium series.