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Art History BA

(HEGIS: 10.03 ART HISTORY&APPRECIATION, CIP: 50.0703 Art History, Criticism and Conservation)

Why study Art History BA at UB?

The Art History program is committed to exploring the visual arts as tools for decoding culture among today’s broad and immersive visual world. Students access a deeper understanding of the visual arts (painting, sculpture, performance art, graphic arts, architecture, photography and decorative arts). The Art History faculty members use a diverse range of methodological approaches to help students attain the necessary tools and knowledge to understand our visual world. Courses are offered from ancient to contemporary art history, with specific attention to social history, gender, sexuality and race, post-colonialism, the context of history and politics, and myth and narrative. An art history major is ideal for students who wish to pursue a career in the arts, but it is equally valuable for those seeking to develop visual, analytical and communication skills.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of all requirements, the student will have knowledge to:

  • Acquire analytical skills to enable them to access meanings in visual images and develop a visual literacy
  • Acquire a solid understanding of the roles of art and visual culture in a particular historical period and/or world culture
  • Develop skills in critical writing, including the organization of a thesis and its defense
  • Acquire skills and methods tor conducting historical research
  • Acquire a substantial understanding of art as a specific epistemic and historically important category of human expression and discovery

The Learning Environment

The Art History program takes place in lecture halls and small seminar rooms, trips to globally-renowned art museums and institutions, in on-campus galleries and museums, and other off-site artistic spaces spanning the rich architectural landscape of Buffalo. Introductory-level lectures train students in techniques of visual decoding. Subsequent classes mix lectures with engaged student discussion and participation. Advanced students participate in a capstone course in their final academic year of study, with the option to take in-depth seminars and work closely with professors.

About Our Facilities

In addition to a variety of classrooms, UB Art History boasts access to multiple on-campus galleries that provide a continuous stream of exhibitions of historical and contemporary art and offer an array of internship opportunities for students.

About Our Faculty

Our faculty is concentrated in the modern and contemporary period, while also active in the study of ancient art and the relationship between art and political activism. Our faculty are specialists in theory, early 20th-century European art, performance and post war American art — all with which are examined with careful attention to questions of gender, race and ethnicity.

The highly ranked Department of Art faculty and staff consist of professionally and internationally active artists, scholars and technicians who make available a diverse range of discourse and expertise. A partial list of the fellowships and grants secured by our faculty suggests its strength: Rockefeller Foundation, Warhol Foundation, Terra Foundation, Smithsonian, Fulbright Fellowship, the National Endowment for the Arts, Creative Capital Foundation, the MacDowell Colony, the Corporation of Yaddo, Chalmers Arts Fellowship, Aperture Foundation, Zentrum Moderner Orient, Berlin; New York Foundation for the Arts; New York State Council for the Arts, National Science Foundation and TED.

Faculty List Directory

Please visit the Department of Art website for additional information about our faculty.

Career Outlook

As our culture moves increasingly from text-based literacy to visual literacy, the ability to analyze images will increasingly position our students at the center of contemporary culture. We examine not only what images may mean, but as importantly, how they are conveyed. Art history provides a student with a broad overview of world history and draws upon multiple disciplines. Majors receive an excellent liberal arts background and some pursue careers as curators or archivists in numerous museums and galleries across the country. Others use the art history degree to hone their intellectual abilities for careers in media, advertising, publishing, fashion, design and art therapy. Students go on to graduate school, seeking to teach and do research, or work in museums, businesses, government and non-profit organizations at a high level.

Academic Advising

The Department of Art has a full-time advisor on staff to assist as they make decisions about their educational directions. The Department of Art advisor can help plan academic programs, explore scholarship options, find independent study and internship opportunities, and help the student keep on track to successfully graduate and enter the job market.

Academic Advising Contact Information

The Department of Art’s Assistant to the Chair for Student Programs is available to advise Undergraduate students in the Art History and Studio Art Programs. Please visit the main office, CFA 202, or email to make an appointment.

Scholarships and Financial Support

The Department of Art provides annual scholarship opportunities specifically to Studio Art and Art History majors. These opportunities can award funding up to $2,000. Scholarship applications are accessible through the UB Scholarship Portal, and are available to currently enrolled art majors.

Associated Programs

Associated Subjects

Published: Nov 23, 2021 13:18:51