Faculty and students in The Ohio State University Department of History of Art seek to contribute to the ongoing intellectual work within the discipline of art history not only by developing expertise in particular subfields, but also by engaging productively in the broad and ever-shifting philosophical, scholarly, and institutional debates that shape the discipline. 

By the Numbers

  • Undergraduates: 80 majors and minors
  • Graduate students: 31
  • Faculty: 12

Degree Programs

  • Major, Art History
  • Minor, Art History
  • MA, Contemporary Art & Curatorial Practice
  • PhD, Art History


  • Graduate Student Association (GSA): elected officers of this body participate in the general governance of the department as well as organize the biennial Graduate Student Symposium in the History of Art
  • Group for the Intellectual Life of the Department (GILD): organizes lectures, quarterly graduate student colloquia, periodic workshops, and reading groups
  • History of Art Undergraduate Society (HAUS): organizes field trips to regional museums, workshops, and film screenings.
  • Curatorial Club: open to undergraduates as well as graduate students, the club produces one art exhibition every year for the benefit of the university community

Faculty Focus: Kris Paulsen

In February of 2017, Kris Paulsen’s book, Here/There: Telepresence, Touch, and Art at the Interface, was published by The MIT Press. Favorable reviews appeared almost immediately in The Brooklyn Rail, Journal of Visual Culture, and Leonardo—and these will no doubt be followed by others over the course of the coming year. Paulsen, who received the Rodica C. Botoman Award for Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching and Mentoring in 2016, was also promoted this past summer to associate professor with tenure. She has been a driving force in the creation of the Department’s new interdisciplinary MA program in Contemporary Art and Curatorial Practice, which will welcome its first students next fall.

Ludden Lecture

Biennial lecture series honoring Franklin M. Ludden, professor and former chairperson of the Department of History of Art; past Ludden Lecturers include Margaret Iversen, Svetlana Alpers, Joseph Koerner, Michael Fried, Georges Didi-Huberman and Kaja Silverman and Darby English.

Patrons’ Circle

The Patrons’ Circle was established in 2011 to foster collaboration and exchange between the students and faculty of History of Art and cultural and philanthropic leaders in the community. Yearly contributions of $1,000 support the annual Patrons’ Lecture as well as other department initiatives, such as graduate student travel and research. Members are invited to audit selected courses each term and to attend special events throughout the year.

Patrons’ Circle Lecture: Adrian Randolph, Northwestern University, autumn 2018

Patrons’ Circle Featured Courses Spring 2018:

  • HA3005: Christian Art
  • HA4820: The Arts of Japan
  • HA5612: European Art in the Age of Empire

Graduate Student Symposium

Every other spring the Department of History of Art hosts a two-day graduate student symposium organized by the Graduate Student Association. This year, the theme will be “Encountering the Body,” taking place April 6-7, 2018. The keynote speaker will be Joan Kee, History of Art associate professor, University of Michigan.

The Visual Resource Library (VRL)

The Visual Resources Library (VRL) maintains a continuously expanding collection of online digital media resources representing world art, archaeology and architecture from prehistoric periods to the present. This collection of 61,000 assets grew out of the digitization of the VRL’s traditional analog slide collection beginning in 1999. The collection primarily supports instruction in the department of History of Art, but is accessible to all faculty, researchers and students within the OSU community; select portions of the collection are available to the public through the Artstor Shared Shelf Commons.

The entire VRL digital collection was migrated to Artstor’s Shared Shelf during the summer of 2015: vrl.osu.edu

The Ann Hamilton Project Archive: Internationally known artist and Ohio State Distinguished University Professor, Ann Hamilton is collaborating with the VRL to digitize her works and make them available to the Ohio State community and public.

Jack Balcer Image Archive: A gift from Jack Balcer, former Ohio State professor of ancient history from 1971 to 2003. The collection consists of nearly 30,000 slides and 5,000 digital images documenting his scholarly research on the Athenian Empire, Greek and Roman Numismatics and the Persian Empire.

William Henry Jackson Photochrome Collection: Collection of 112 chromolithographs from photographs by William Henry Jackson, photographer (1843-1942), produced by the Detroit Photographic Co., ca. 1900.
12 2017