- about us
From left to right: Dr. Brienen and art history students Nicole Bennet,
Sara Armas, and Angelica Bradley
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. The beginning student may also take 200-level courses, including Spanish Art and Islamic Art.
After completing one or more introductory courses, students may enroll in upper level art history classes on a variety of topics: Greek Art, Roman Art, Early Christian and Byzantine Art, Medieval Art, Northern Renaissance Art, Fifteenth Century Italian Art, Sixteenth Century Italian Art, Eighteenth Century Art, Nineteenth Century Art, Dutch Art, Art in the U.S., 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@the Lowe.
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. Previous ArtLab exhibitions include: "Trends and Techniques: A Short History of Printmaking" (2008-2009); "The Changing Face of Art and Politics" (2009-2010), and "Women, Windows, and the Word: Diverging Perspectives on Islamic Art (2011-2012). In Spring 2012 Lowe Director and Asian Art specialist Brian Dursam will lead ArtLab students in curating an exhibition on Japanese Art.
Other recent exhibitions organized by students from the department of Art and Art History, include the online exhibition: "Artists' Books and the Columbian Moment: Negotiating the Legacy of 1492 and 1992."
Museum and Arts Administration internships for credit are available by application with local museums and institutions (click here for a list of docent, volunteer, and internship opportunities). Students must fill out an internship application (click here for an application form), subject to approval by the Head of Art History. Students must keep a logbook or journal recording their activities, collect examples of work completed (reports, labels, projects, etc), and write a short (3-5 page) page discussing the internship and what they learned.
William Betsch, Ph.D.; Assistant Professor (Greek and Roman Art)
Rebecca Parker Brienen, Ph.D.; Associate Professor, Area Head (Dutch Art and History of Museums)
Heather Diack, Ph.D.; Assistant Professor (Contemporary Art, Conceptual Art and Photography)
Joel Hollander, Ph.D.; Full-time Lecturer (19th c. British Art)
J. Tomas Lopez, M.F.A.; Professor (History of Photography)
Karen Mathews, Ph.D.; Research Assistant Professor (Spanish Art)
Perri Lee Roberts, Ph.D.; Professor (Italian Renaissance)
Nathan Timpano, Ph.D; Assistant Professor (European Modernism)