The Art History faculty is committed to training students to become exceptional thinkers and writers, as well as sophisticated interpreters of visual evidence. In a curriculum that spans the ancient Mediterranean; South and East Asia; Africa; the Islamic world; the Italian and Northern Renaissance; medieval, modern, and contemporary Europe; and the United States, students explore the circumstances and cultural settings in which art has been created and viewed. Faculty research and teaching introduces students to a range of media that includes painting, sculpture, prints and drawings, photography and film, and a variety of related research in archaeology, architecture, urbanism, and material culture.
Student learning is animated by firsthand encounters with objects in the collection of the Fralin Museum, in University Library Special Collections, and by the extraordinary riches of the University's architectural landscape. Art History offices and seminar rooms are located in Fayerweather Hall, where faculty and students enjoy close proximity to the Fralin Museum, Ruffin Hall and the Studio Art program, the Fine Arts Library, and the School of Architecture.
The undergraduate program is designed both to prepare students for advanced graduate study in the history of art and to provide students with a broad, humanistic background for many other fields that require the ability to undertake independent research, evaluate visual and textual evidence, to write effectively, and create intelligent arguments.