Major in Art History

The degree requirements for students majoring in art history consist of ten full courses (forty semester hours) and a comprehensive examination. Students planning to major in art history are strongly encouraged to complete a range of courses in complementary disciplines, including studio art, languages, literature, history, philosophy, and religion. Majors are also advised to study abroad.

The required ten courses must include the two Western art surveys (ArtH 103 and ArtH 104), one Asian art survey (ArtH 105), and Approaches to Art History (ArtH 317), as well as six additional art-history courses chosen by the student. Of the six, majors must take one course from each of the following four areas:

Area I

  • ArtH 312: Greek and Roman Art and Architecture
  • ArtH 320: Medieval Art and Architecture
  • ArtH 322: Art and Devotion in Late Medieval and Early Modern Northern Europe
  • ArtH 325: Italian Renaissance Art and Architecture
  • ArtH 326: Northern Renaissance Art

Area II

  • ArtH 202: History of Photography
  • ArtH 333: French Art
  • ArtH 335: Nineteenth-Century Art
  • ArtH 338: British Art
  • ArtH 340: American Art
  • ArtH 350: Spanish Painting from El Greco to Picasso

Area III

  • FILM 108: History of Film: Invention to Mid-Century
  • ArtH 212: American Animation, 1910-1960
  • ArtH 345: Modern Art
  • ArtH 346: Contemporary Art
  • ArtH 351: Conceptual Art
  • ArtH 360: Pop Art
  • ArtH 365: Modern and Post-Modern Architecture
  • ArtH 370: Art in Germany: 1919-1933

Area IV

  • ArtH 305:  Sacred Arts of Japan
  • ArtH 306:  Art and Disaster in Modern and Contemporary Japan
  • ArtH 308:  Gender in Japanese Art
  • ArtH 309:  Sacred Arts of China
  • ArtH 310:  Contemporary Chinese Art

Majors should complete the three art-history surveys by the conclusion of the first semester of the junior year; the four area courses must be completed at Sewanee.

Subject to approval by the art history faculty, the department may accept up to two courses (eight hours) in art history from other institutions. Exceptions to this limit are decided by the chair.

To receive departmental honors, a student must have a departmental GPA of 3.5 at the end of the final semester, pass the comprehensive examination with distinction, that is, with an overall score of 88, and earn a grade of B+ or higher on an honors research paper. Eligibility for departmental honors depends on completion of Approaches to Art History (ArtH 317) with a grade of B+ or higher and a departmental GPA of 3.5 at the end of the first semester of the senior year. Eligible majors may then, at the discretion of the chair, elect a course of independent study (ArtH 444) and write an honors research paper under the direction of a member of the art history faculty.

Students interested in advanced placement into upper-division art history courses should consult the department.