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Bachelor of Arts

with a Concentration in Art History and Museum Studies

A concentration in art history involves academic studies in courses emphasizing the history of the visual arts, sociological and cultural influences on the arts, the relationship of the visual arts to other developments in the humanities, and the role of art in the creation of social and political values in western and non-western societies.

By its very nature, art history is interdisciplinary and as an undergraduate degree, it is good preparation for the pursuit of a graduate degree in any area of the humanities. It is especially excellent as preparation for further study in the area of museums, art therapy, and degrees in arts restoration and curatorial studies. At the undergraduate level, students with the degrees in art history may find employment in galleries, libraries, and museums.

Radford University’s program is unique in that it gives you the opportunity to concentrate in either pre-modern or modern areas of art history, it is one of the few universities in Virginia to offer museum studies courses at the undergraduate level, and the program has enough flexibility in credit hours for you to pursue courses in an area of the studio arts or to minor in another discipline such as history or literature or business.

In addition to courses required for all students in the art department (basic art foundations and the art history survey), you will take some of the following courses: Art outside the Western Tradition (focus changes: may be Islamic, East Indian, Chinese art, and other topics); Museum History I: Cabinets of Curiosity; courses in Ancient/classical art history, medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque art history, 20th century and contemporary art history, the history of photographic media, the history of exhibitions and exhibition design, and special topics courses in the history of the book, American women in art, and other topics relevant to the interests and academic goals of students in the program and the art department.

Most of your classes will have a mixture of art history, studio and graphic design majors; some of your classes will also have graduate students in them. Many of the period-related courses involve making replications of masterpieces of art and analyzing the replication as a means of exploring and studying technique and composition in historic works of art.

Students in the program get experience in making professional presentations through participation in undergraduate conferences held at other universities in Virginia and in RU symposia.

Because the program is small, art history students get to know one another and to work individually with their professors. The art history faculty is proud of its publication, conference and award-winning history – individually they have presented papers in Scotland, Greece and Russia, and their research and travel experiences give them first-hand knowledge of the subjects they teach.

Requirements for the concentration consist of general education or core curriculum courses, various courses in the art department intended for students in all concentrations, and a specified number of credit hours in course work specific to the concentration. (Details are provided in the check sheets.) The following is a list of concentration-specific courses:

Art History and Museum Studies Courses

ART 215

Art History Survey I: From Prehistory to the late Gothic era

ART 216

Art History Survey II: From the Renaissance to the Present

ART 316

Art outside the Western Tradition (changing topics: East Asia, Africa, etc.)

ARTH 400

Theory, Methods  and Writing in Art History

ARTH 401

Mus. Studies I: Cabinets of Curiosity [History, Criticism, and Aesthetics of Museums]

ARTH 410

Ancient/Classical Art History

ARTH 411

Medieval Art History

ARTH 412

Renaissance Art History [focus changes: Italy, northern Renaiss.]

ARTH 413

Baroque and Rococo Art History

ARTH 414

Spec. Topics in Pre-Modern Art History (ex.: history of book arts)

ARTH 420

Twentieth Century Art History

ARTH 423

Hist. of Photographic Media and Camera Arts

ARTH 430

Mus. Studies II: Whimsy, Outrage and Seduction: Exhibition Histories

ARTH 431

Spec. Topics in Modern/Contemp. Art History (ex: art since 1965)

ARTH 499

Art History Senior Project

 

Research in Action

While taking a medieval art history course, Kenna Crane, a junior art history major, learned about the Aberdeen Bestiary. The collection of medieval accounts and illustrations captivated Crane, prompting her to research the art further.

research-motion