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, 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) and Approaches to Art History (ArtH 317), as well as seven additional art-history courses chosen by the student. At least three of the seven must be selected from each of three chronological 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 332: Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century Art
  • 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

  • ArtH 108: History of Film: Invention to Mid-Century
  • ArtH 212: American Animation, 1910-1960
  • ArtH 317: Approaches to Art History
  • ArtH 345: Modern Art
  • ArtH 346: Contemporary Art
  • ArtH 351: Conceptual Art
  • ArtH 360: Pop Art
  • ArtH 370: Art in Germany: 1919-1933

Students will also choose one of the three chronological areas as their area of special interest and take at least one additional art-history course in that area. Majors should complete the two art-history surveys by the conclusion of the first semester of the junior year; the three chronological-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.