Why Study Art History
What art historians do, primarily, is to explain why a work of art looks as it does. Art historians use both the evidence of the work itself and information from many other disciplines to answer this question. As a result our students learn to be visually attentive, think critically and creatively across disciplines, research effectively, argue forcefully, and write well. All of these skills transfer directly to any professional endeavor.
In art history, a work of art may be approached from many different perspectives. Thus, it is possible for an undergraduate to do original and meaningful scholarship, which our students frequently do.
Art History at Loyola
The art history curriculum at Loyola offers a broad range of courses. Survey courses are designed to furnish students with a thorough overview of the history of art and architecture, while upper-division classes (for which there are usually no prerequisites) cover a wide range of topics in both the Western and non-Western traditions. These upper-levels include courses on classical art, medieval art, Renaissance art, the history of posters, Islamic art, the history of prints, art in the Age of Encounter, African-American art, the Crusades, and museum studies.
Experiential learning is an important part of the art history program. Instructors in the program utilize the museums in the Baltimore/DC area in their courses. Students also take advantage of the local museums and galleries, participating in internships at the Baltimore Museum of Art, Carroll Mansion, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Evergreen Museum and Library, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Walters Art Museum, Jewish Historical Society, Maryland Historical Society, and Smithsonian Institution. In connection with their courses, students also curate exhibitions housed on campus at the Julio Fine Arts Gallery or the Loyola Notre Dame library. Loyola’s many study abroad programs allow students to experience works of art and architecture in their original settings, while a generous gift from the Sehn family enables the department to bring guest speakers to campus and allows students the opportunity to attend conferences and visit exhibitions.
The Visual and Performing Arts Department offers a major in visual arts with a concentration in art history or interarts, as well as interdisciplinary majors. An art history minor and interarts minor are also available. Many of our students go on to graduate school in art history or museum studies, while others pursue careers in the law, business, arts management, and other fields. Please see our news page for student, alumni, and faculty achievements.
Former Students Remember Professor Janet Headley