Art history is a branch of humanistic learning concerned with the study of the visual arts in their historical context. Individual works are analyzed for the styles, materials, and techniques of their design and manufacture; for their meanings to their makers, patrons, users, and current audiences; and for their relation to the periods and places in which they were created and experienced. An informed appreciation of each work is developed, and the proper historical position of each piece is examined. From the study of single works, the art historian moves to the analysis and interpretation of artistic careers, group movements and schools, currents of artistic theory, patrons, practice and reception of works of art, and their cultural contexts. The study of our heritage in the visual arts thus provides a singular perspective for the study of social, cultural, and intellectual history; currently it represents an expanding frontier in humanistic inquiry.
Director of Undergraduate Studies
261 Cochrane Woods Art Center