Art History and Studio Art

Division of Humanities

The visual arts have an impact upon each of us every day of our lives. The houses we live in and the buildings where we work are designed to accommodate us and satisfy our needs. Pictures hang on walls and sculptures rest on tables or floors to decorate those buildings, and perhaps to explain and elaborate upon the uses to which the buildings are put. Members of the Art Program believe that an understanding of various forms of the visual arts—both traditional and innovative—enhances our experience and enjoyment of our surroundings, especially its aesthetic aspects, and that art can provide greater meaning to the lives of those seeking to come to terms with it.

The Art Program offers instruction in both studio practice and art history, with a major and a minor available in both areas. All classes are held in the Jones Visual Arts Center. Media taught include drawing, oil painting, ceramics, and hot glass. Courses in art history cover the entire chronological range of the Western tradition, examining artworks from stylistic, historical, and iconographical points of view. The major in studio art culminates in an exhibition held in the gallery of the Visual Arts Center at the end of the student’s senior year, while a major in art history presents a written thesis and public lecture likewise at the end of the senior year. Majors and minors may choose to continue their education in the visual arts in graduate school as preparation for careers as artists, educators, or staff members in museums, galleries, and other collection venues. But virtually every course in the Art Program also enrolls students from a broad variety of other disciplines. They come in search of parallels among the visual arts to other forms of human expression—historical, anthropological, literary, musical, and dramatic—both past and present, or merely with a wish to complement their other undergraduate experiences in the liberal arts by grasping more fully the bases of aesthetic meaning and judgment. Whatever motivation might bring a student into the Visual Arts Center, however, an appreciation for the enduring values of art provides solid support for the life of any educated and inquisitive person.


Sheldon Tapley (chair, fall & CentreTerm), James Bloom (chair, spring), Amy Frederick, Judith Jia, Isabella La Rocca, Stephen Powell, Kensuke Yamada

Student Representatives

Allison Putnam, Kristan Schwartztrauber

Art History Courses

Studio Art Courses

Course Descriptions