History of Art

Because there are few pre-requisites for our courses, you may start almost anywhere in our course offerings--find a subject that appeals to you and take that course! For many students, it makes sense to start with the introductory or gateway courses into the fields we teach, labeled "100"-level. These are never simple surveys, but instead always dive deeply into analysis of the artistic language and the cultural and historical contexts of an area, as well as methodological approaches to the material. They will offer an excellent foundation for upper-level courses.

Upper-level courses, along with deeper investigation of methdology and lively contemporary questions about the field, will integrate research into the classes. You will eventually need to take two courses that require research papers.

You may also count a course in an adjacent field--for example, history, anthropology, theater and dance--that focuses on the visual as a course that will count towards the major.

Any studio course will count toward the requirement for a course in the practice of art. You may take two studio courses or one studio course and another related to the practice of art. Discuss this option with your advisor.

Practice of Art

Students in Practice of Art begin by exploring introductory courses in one of the many creative disciplines offered in our department. Majors are encouraged to pursue courses that both deepen their engagement with their chosen medium and explore opportunities for multidisciplinary artmaking. In addition to technical skill, all of our foundational courses introduce students to the practice of critique and guide them through the process of displaying and discussing their own creative work.

In consultation with their adviser, studio art majors then design their own pathway by taking intermediate and advanced classes. These offer a more self-directed framework in which students can refine their individual practices and explore opportunities for working across disciplines, often in preparation for an honors thesis. 

Students in our concentration also take two courses in the History of Art concentration, one in contemporary art and the other an art history course that relates to their discipline and artistic interests. Our majors are also encouraged to take advantage of the Five College curriculum and participate in the broader Pioneer Valley arts community.