Major Explorations: Art & the History of Art

Whether you're interested in making art or learning about its history, our stimulating curriculum and supportive faculty can help you discover your personal path. Learn about the range of courses and facilities available to students, such as studio spaces, darkrooms, galleries and much more.

Welcome to the Department of Art & the History of Art

In our department, we think of artmaking and the study of art's history as not simply an intellectual or creative practice, but as a way of being in the world. We can’t wait to meet you and to work with you in our classes.

Practice of Art

You need not have any prior experience in making art to take any of our introductory courses in the practice of art. We welcome all intellectually curious and adventurous students seeking to broaden their creative skills or to take the first steps towards developing their own unique personal visions.

We offer courses in drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking, photography, film/video, studio architecture, textiles, and material-based studies, as well as the variety of courses taught by faculty members in our artist-in-residence program, which brings working artists from all over the world to teach and create on our campus. Students in our primary foundations courses gain technical and analytical skills through classroom practice, critique and the study of the history of each discipline.

History of Art

Our program in the history of art provides you with an incredible variety of offerings that is quite unusual, if not unique, at a liberal arts college. Most courses do not require any previous knowledge of the history of art. We teach venerable Asian, Islamic, and African visual traditions, plus art from the European Renaissance era through our global contemporary world, and we offer courses dedicated to the history of architecture and urban design. Besides our remarkable breadth, another of our great strengths is that when you dive deeply into art made throughout the world in many centuries, you will learn about cultures through objects and buildings as much as you would by studying texts in a history or literature course. Art history is profoundly interdisciplinary, so that by exploring the architecture, painting, sculpture, printmaking, photography, and material culture of a place, you simultaneously deepen your understanding of the political, religious, philosophical, aesthetic, and social currents that defined it as well. 

Learn more about the Department.