2020-2021 Catalog

Art History

B.A. in Art History

Students in the 42-credit Art History major will develop a strong and deep understanding of the history of art as part of their liberal arts education. They will establish and refine their capacity to interpret works of art, to grapple with conflicting theoretical approaches, and to contribute to our larger understanding of the role of art within history.

The Art History major is grounded in two foundational courses in the Survey of Western Art, which together provide an overview of art history from the prehistoric period to the present. Students then take courses in a wide range of fields, from ancient and medieval art to contemporary art. They are required to take at least one course in non-Western or indigenous art. Two methodology courses—the Sophomore Art History Seminar and the Senior Art History Seminar—provide instruction in art historical theory, offer insight into a variety of professional careers in the art world, and develop students’ communication skills. Finally, three Studio Art classes help to train each student’s interpretive skills and offer insight into the technical methods of the artist.

The Art History faculty view New York City as an extended classroom. Taking advantage of the College’s distinctive geographical position within one of the centers of the global art world, they often teach in local museums and galleries, and they encourage students to visit and study local collections on a regular basis. They also encourage students to work in internships to gain experience in a variety of professional careers, including museum educator and publicist, curator, art dealer, and auction gallery expert, among others. Students are invited to hone their public speaking skills by giving tours of local art collections in our “Marymount at the Museums” program and their writing skills by writing for our cultural-affairs magazine, Artfusion News.

Art History students are strongly encouraged to take at least two years of a foreign language and to study abroad, for example, at Reid Hall, Columbia University’s campus in Paris, or at the Scuola Lorenzo de’ Medici in Florence. Many also enroll in the College’s Study Abroad courses, which are co-taught with faculty from other disciplines; in the past, these courses have been held in such cities as London, Paris, Venice, Florence, Rome, Ghent, and Athens.

Students may also minor in Art History.

Art History majors and minors study with faculty who curate art exhibitions in the United States as well as internationally and who publish their research in art catalogs, journals, and books.

Enhanced Learning Opportunities and Careers for Art History Majors

Graduates with a degree in Art History will find themselves well equipped for a variety of career opportunities, and well prepared for study on the graduate level. As part of a small, liberal, creative and performing arts college in New York City—the premiere center for art, design and museum culture in the United States—students take full advantage of the professional opportunities in the metropolitan area through internships in galleries, auction houses, design studios, advertising agencies, publishing houses, and many other businesses. Recent locations of internships include the Children’s Museum of Manhattan, Clampart Gallery, Paul Kasmin Gallery, Godel & Co. Fine Art, YM Magazine, Teen Vogue, Martha Stewart, the International Center of Photography, Philips de Pury & Company, Christie’s, Sotheby’s, The Guggenheim Museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and The Rubin Museum of Art.

The resources of the Art and Art History Department include a full studio environment accommodating painting, drawing, and printmaking; professional ceramics and photography labs; a Macintosh design lab inclusive of a full suite of print, web, and 3-D animation design software; a recently upgraded Art History teaching environment; and a professional art gallery.

Division: Fine and Performing Arts
Division Office: Nugent Hall, Theatre Office
Office Phone: 212-774-0760
Division Chair: Katie Langan, B.A.
Art & Art History Studio Office, Hewitt Gallery Administrator:

Djavan Nascimento

Department Faculty:

Beth Shipley

Associate Professor of Art

Chair, Department of Art and Art History

B.S., Skidmore College

M.F.A., Pratt Institute

Carson Hall 700A

Phone: 212-517-0525


Adrienne Baxter Bell

Professor of Art History

Director, College Honors Program

B.A., Smith College

M.A., Institute of Fine Arts, NYU

M.Phil. & Ph.D., Columbia University

Carson Hall 704

Phone: 212-517-0676


Hallie Cohen

Professor of Art

Director, Hewitt Gallery of Art

B.F.A., Tyler School of Art

M.F.A., Maryland Institute College of Art

Carson Hall 800

Phone: 212-517-0691


Millie Falcaro

Professor of Art

Coordinator, ICP Cooperative Program

B.A., Empire State College of the Arts, SUNY

M.F.A., University of Hartford

Carson Hall 800

Phone: 212-517-0693


James Holl

Associate Professor of Art

B.A., University of Washington

M.F.A., Columbia University

Nugent Hall 554

Phone: 212-744-4819


Jason Rosenfeld

Professor of Art History

B.A., Duke University

M.A. & Ph.D., Institute of Fine Arts, NYU

Carson Hall 704

Phone: 212-517-0677




Art and Art History Courses (ART)