Art History

Program

Art History is an academic program in which faculty teach courses on the study of art within cultural, social, and political contexts. The Art History major emphasizes visual analysis, practical and curatorial application, and critical interpretation.

Art history examines the expanse of human expression through an engagement with culturally significant objects, images, and ideas. Artists and art historians document our changing world; globalization, virtualization, and technological developments contribute to an evolving creative output and to our perception of temporal events. At Western, art history classes are catalysts through which students make connections across fields of study. As art historians, we study visual culture: why culturally significant objects came to exist, what purpose they served, and how they continue to captivate us.

Art History is an academically oriented program in which faculty teach courses on the study of art within cultural, social, and political contexts. The Art History major emphasizes visual analysis, practical and curatorial application, and critical interpretation.

- Barbara Miller, Faculty

Program opportunities

As a History of Art student at Western, you have unique opportunities to gain hands-on, practical experience for a future career in the art world. Students play an active role in the operations of Western’s three galleries, including Western Gallery and two student run galleries — the VU and the B Gallery. As a faculty, our objective is to help you develop the necessary skills for a career in art history, whether it be handling and installing artworks, learning and expanding research skills, or improving critical analysis and essay-writing abilities. In addition, art history faculty encourage students to explore the academic world by receiving course credit as class and research assistants—an invaluable experience for those interested in pursuing a graduate degree in the field.

The Art History Department here at Western has redefined the way I experience visual culture, including fine art, film, and advertising. While offering a strong foundation in theory and method, the courses interweave multiple voices and approaches into a holistic language. The department provides unique opportunities to develop this language through writing and critical analysis of art both in the classroom and out. Today, I feel prepared to understand and participate in the current dialogue of the art world.

- Emily Zach, Student

Careers in art history

  • Art Consultant
  • Curator
  • Gallery or Museum Director
  • Art Critic
  • Architectural Conservator
  • Art Dealer
  • Art Historian
  • Researcher
  • Visual Resource Librarian
  • Arts Administrator
  • Museum Educator

 

Projects from Art & Ecology 2014