The Department of History of Art treats critically the major fields in world art, from ancient through modern, and serves to connect the arts to the other humanities. Interdisciplinary by definition, the department encourages students to develop both visual and cultural literacy by extensive study of works of art and the historical contexts in which they were created. More subtle and ambiguous than written language, images offer us a narrative parallel to texts that are both complementary and contradictory. The ability to see, interpret, and evaluate visual images of all types is an increasingly important skill set in our increasingly visual world. From cave painting to computer-generated virtual realities, we endeavor to engage the visual legacy of the past while preparing our students to function in the realm of the non-textual.
We offer a major and a minor in the discipline, as well as a minor in the history of architecture; and encourage students to take courses in such cognate disciplines as studio art, classics, history, psychology, English, and foreign language literatures. Our courses are offered at all levels and in most major subfields of the discipline.