Art History

Art History

From handprints painted in caves to the cutting edge of contemporary art.

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With the earliest examples of human artwork now dating back as far as 40,000 years ago, the visual arts are one of the very oldest means of human expression. Their history is intrinsically bound up with the story of civilization, and even what it means to be human—an incredible subject to explore in the intellectually stimulating environment at Oglethorpe, grounded by the broader context of the liberal arts.

As an Art History student, you’ll discover the history and context of visual media such as architecture, drawing, painting, photography, and sculpture, along with evolving contemporary and digital forms.

The course election is extensive, ranging from Ancient to Modern, in wide-ranging topics like:

  • Symbology
  • Archaeology
  • East Asian Art History
  • Italian Renaissance
  • Modern Art; 18th and 19th Century European Art
  • Art of the Pre-Columbian Americas, Africa, and Oceania
  • Women, Art, & Society
  • History of Photography
  • Modern Architecture

Offered as:

B.A. in Art History
Minor in Art History (TU)

The best way to explore the history of art? Encounter it face to face. Atlanta is home to world-class museums (including the High Museum of Art, the leading art museum in the Southeast), renowned galleries, and numerous works of public art.

  • The Oglethorpe University Museum of Art offers an incredible opportunity for Art History students. This 7,000-square-foot exhibition space presents several major exhibitions each year, highlighting modern masters like Braque, Chagall, Dalí, Matisse, Miró, and Picasso; plus many more in the extensive permanent collection. Not only does the museum offer students a wonderful resource for learning and research, it’s an ideal location for internships—especially for students who plan to pursue museum work as a career.
  • Oglethorpe Art History students also intern at locations like the Carter Presidential Center, the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia, and the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center.
  • Take advantage of Oglethorpe’s fantastic opportunities for traveling the world. Like a summer trip to Greece, where students hiked volcanoes, explored caves, marveled at ancient ruins including the Acropolis and the Temple of Apollo, and toured museums. Or an interdisciplinary ten-day seminar in New York City, complete with visits to MoMA, the Met, the Frick, the Whitney, and the Guggenheim; a behind-the-scenes meet and greet on Broadway; and an evening of classical music at Carnegie Hall.
  • Seize some major opportunities – like Emily Pritchard and Holly Bostick, who worked on an archaeological dig at a Mayan temple in Belize. Or Stephanie Bryan, whose love of landscape architecture took her to Italy to research Renaissance-era gardens.
  • As an Art History graduate, you’ll be well-prepared for rewarding work in a museum, as a curator, in the preservation field working with cherished art and antiques, as an administrator in a not-for-profit organization, or as an educator.
  • Oglethorpe Art History grads enjoy an especially high placement rate for graduate programs and careers in the arts: around 85 to 90 percent.
  • Follow in the footsteps of students like Alma Kadri ’14, currently enrolled in SCAD Atlanta’s graduate program in Historic Preservation, or Katie Boone ’10, now finishing her Ph.D. in World Heritage Studies at the University of East Anglia in England.

See degree requirements and course descriptions in the University Bulletin.

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