Bard College at Simon's Rock: the Early College
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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.

Related Career Paths

Students in the art history concentration may enter into fields and positions such as gallery management, graphic design, art education, museum education, set design, and costume design.


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. (Students may substitute a second 200-level course for one of the required semesters of survey 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. 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.

Course Spotlight

Art history gallery photo

Art History 112: History of Photography

In this course, you will look carefully at the subject, style, and techniques of representative photos from the 1830s to the present, mainly in England, France, and the United States, and place them in their social and political contexts. Some of the issues you will discuss include the status of photography as popular art and fine art; photography as a medium of personal and political expression; the relationship of photos to specific historical events; and the histories of women and black photographers.


Alumni Profile

Alison Bechdel with drawing

Celebrated cartoonist shares her experiences at the Rock.

Alison Bechdel ‘77

MacArthur Fellow

Related Special Programs