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Art History

This concentration offers students the opportunity to analyze visual images and deepen their understanding of the role such images play in societies and cultures, past and present. Critical examination of the ways art objects take on political, social, and expressive significance is the heart of the concentration. Students study painting and sculpture, advertising and television, and photography, film, and prints. This concentration may be linked to either a second concentration or complementary courses in a wide range of fields, from studio art to gender studies, politics to chemistry.


To ensure sufficient breadth of exposure to art of the past and present within a variety of contexts, students who choose a concentration in art history must take three full semesters of art history survey courses. Students must take Art History 102 Survey of Western Art: Renaissance to Postmodernism. They may choose the other two semesters of survey from: History of Photography or the Global Arts courses. To have sufficient depth of understanding on more specialized topics in art history, students must take two 300-level courses and one additional course at the 200-level or above. (Students may substitute a second 200-level course for one of the required semesters of survey courses.) In addition, students must take a course (or a module) in studio art, writing, or social studies as a way to gain skills necessary for serious art historical study.


Art History 102 Survey of Western Art: Renaissance to Postmodern
Art History 112 History of Photography
Art History 113 CP Global Art: Africa and the Americas
Art History 114 CP Global Art: Middle East and Asia

  • One additional art history course at the 200-level or above.
  • Two additional art history courses at the 300-level.
  • One course or module in studio arts, writing, or social studies.

Recent Senior Theses

“The Authentic Simulacrum”
“Representations of the Black Female Self in the Art of Emma Amos, Adrian Piper, and Carrie Mae Weems”
“The Subtle Movements of Philip Morris: A Study in Corporate Sponsorship of Dance”
“Skirting the Issue: Theory, Practice, and Pleasure in Women’s Art”
“Evaluating Harmony: Five Public Sculptures in Hartford, Connecticut”
“Fashion Photography: A Reflection of Female Subjectivity”
“Of Mythic Proportions: The Nudes of Modigliani and the Framing of an Artist-Genius”
“Ben Shahn and the 1935 Pulaski County Photographs”
“Fetishism and Alienation: Expressions of Modernity in Nineteenth-Century Female Bodies at the Salon des Refusés”
“A Second Glance: A Critical Re-Evaluation of the Art of Thomas Kinkade”


Lawrence Burke, Joan DelPlato
Faculty Contact: Joan DelPlato