Have a question about History of Art or want more information? Let us know.
Art History studies the continuities and changes that characterize human endeavor in the visual arts. It is a constantly expanding discipline whose objects of study include not only painting and sculpture, but also architecture and the decorative arts, drawing and prints, photography and film, and video and performance art. It also entails an examination of the history of the discipline itself, its philosophical and theoretical foundations, and its critical methodologies.
Students and faculty work in a wide array of historical and geographical areas of specialization, from medieval China to contemporary America, and explore the significance of artistic expression from a range of interpretive and theoretical perspectives. The BA in History of Art provides a solid background in the humanities, develops skills in writing and critical thinking, and, above all, enhances one's understanding and appreciation of creative accomplishment. The department is characterized by small class size, close collaboration between faculty and students in research, and an emphasis on critical thinking and close looking. It aims to create a small, liberal-arts environment within the larger university.
Art history degrees can lead directly to employment in numerous art related fields such as editing and publishing and travel and tourism as well as to work in art galleries, auction houses and numerous other for-profit and not-for-profit arts organizations. Combined with the requisite post-graduate degrees, a BA in art history can also effectively prepare students for careers in law and business administration, architecture and historic preservation, library science and archival work, development, design, teaching and art education.
Art History examines works of art in terms of both aesthetic and historical issues; it is concerned with definitions of style, materials and modes of execution, iconographic and other interpretive methods, and with the economic, social, and political factors that shape both the production and reception of visual culture.
Each of the faculty members teaching in the Department of the History of Art at OSU is a specialist in a particular area (or areas) of world art, and undergraduates are strongly encouraged to take full advantage of the wide range of courses on offer.
Examination of the history of Western Art from the third millennium BCE to the fifteenth century CE.
Examination of the history of art in Europe and the United States, from 1400 to the present.
Art and society in Renaissance Italy.
An examination of the emergence and evolution of French impressionism and its impact on subsequent artistic production from the early 20th century to the present.