B.A. 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 specialize 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