Art History

Undergraduate students majoring in Art History begin their course of study with a comprehensive survey of Western Art. The first half of the survey addresses art of prehistoric times through art of the Middle Ages; the second half of the survey covers Renaissance to Modern Art. 

After completing one or more introductory courses, students may enroll in upper level art history classes on a variety of topics: including Islamic Art, Spanish Art, Fifteenth ‌Century Italian Art, Sixteenth Century Italian Art, Nineteenth Century Art, Modern Art, and Contemporary Art. Various Special Topics courses at the 400 level are also offered to upper-level students.

Students are required to take a seminar course as part of the requirements for the Art History major; this is typically taken in the senior year. Seminars focus on specialized topics and typically combine lecture and class discussion. They place an emphasis on further developing the student's skills in critical thinking, visual analysis, and independent research.

Upper level students are also encouraged to explore museum studies by participating in classes such as the department's ArtLab@theLowe. This course is taught each year in the spring semester in collaboration with the Lowe Art Museum. A UM faculty member guides a small group of students in creating an exhibition drawn from objects owned by the Lowe Art Museum; the exhibition remains on display until the following spring. Recent ArtLab exhibitions include:  "Women, Windows, and the Word: Diverging Perspectives on Islamic Art (2011-2012); "Adapting and Adopting - Waves of Change as East Encounters West, Modern and Contemporary Japanese Art" (2012-2013); "From Ancient Art to Modern Molas: Recurring Themes in Indigenous Panamá" (2013-2014); "Conquest and Coexistence: The Cultural Synthesis of Spanish Colonial Art" (2014-2015); and "Ger.Mania!" (2015-2016); "Blasted Allegories: Photography as Experience" (2016-2017); "Fish Tales: Stories and Legends from The Deep" (2017-2018). 

Museum and Arts Administration internships for credit are available by application with local museums and institutions. Students must fill out an internship application (click here for an application form), subject to approval by art history faculty. Students must keep a logbook or journal recording their activities, collect examples of work completed (reports, labels, projects, etc), and write a paper discussing the internship and what they learned.