Art history is the study of visual culture, creativity and innovation over time
Art influences everyone
We are surrounded by powerful visual imagery everywhere we go. We teach our students to think critically, look carefully and write effectively about the visual world and built environment around them.
What does a gothic cathedral owe to innovations in technology? Which artists show signs of creative genius? We teach you the underpinnings of the visual culture you encounter daily, then ask you to both absorb its meaning and question it.
The New York Semester on Contemporary Art, offered in the fall, brings students into the city each and every week to view contemporary art in galleries, museums and artists’ studios. It is the only program of its kind at a liberal arts university in the New York metro area.
Our majors intern at leading museums—the Metropolitan, the Guggenheim, MoMA, Jewish Museum, just to name a few—as well as auction houses and intimate local museums. One student recently interned at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum.
Careers Made easy
Working in Drew’s Art History Visual Resources Library allows students to develop the skills necessary for art history and digital humanities in both museum and library settings. Our students develop a critical eye for the intrinsic quality of an image, while hands-on digitization familiarizes students with the latest technologies.
Art history is a crucial part of the liberal arts. It nurtures your visual acuity and combines it with close, critical written analysis: skills that will benefit you in any field you pursue, especially in today’s media-rich environment.
Our majors pursue careers in law, art law and cultural property, medicine, architectural preservation, education and linguistics, as well as M.A. and Ph.D. programs in art history.
I started a project called Restart, where we gather discarded artwork and found objects, invite the whole campus and make a day-long outdoor installation. This project came from being exposed to participatory artwork at the New Museum, part of the New York Semester on Contemporary Art.
After taking History of Photography, I studied the photochemical reaction responsible for Joseph Nicéphore Niépce’s creation of the first heliograph, the first form of photography. As a double major in chemistry, I hope to go into art conservation and restoration.
Defending my honors thesis on early 20th-century British art theorist Roger Fry was both incredibly satisfying and a great learning opportunity. I’m interested in working in the fields of auctions and appraisal, both which will require the research skills I developed while writing my thesis.
I have an abiding research interest in the relationships among Shakespeare’s plays and modern and contemporary visual culture. Currently, I’m exploring landscape imagery and its links to Shakespeare.
Ph.D., Columbia University
Associate professor & chair
My research concerns papal ceremony and ritual, as well as food and banqueting in Renaissance and Baroque Europe. Among the courses I’ve taught are Caravaggio: The Art, the Man, the Myth and The History of Architecture, A to Z.
Ph.D., New York University
I’m researching the art collections of medieval women, studying how they exchanged works of art as a way to commemorate their identities and the work they do. I’d call myself a scholar, an enthusiastic teacher—and a Francophile.
Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara
- Associate vice-president, 19th-century decorative arts
Franklin Parrasch Gallery, New York City
- Graduate student, historic preservation
Learn more about when you graduate
My Favorite Course
“I did my final project on the relationship between Caravaggio’s altarpieces and the growth of nationalism in 17th-century Italy; I plan to continue this research for a senior thesis.”
Jaime Balesteros, on Caravaggio: The Art, the Man, the Myth