Art History

Program Description

The Art History program prepares students to see images with precision, to describe how and what the images express, and to interpret them in terms of the culture that produced them. Our many courses provides the broad historical frameworks to understand art in all its forms: painting, sculpture, architecture, landscape architecture, minor arts and more. Students work with physical objects in museum and gallery collections, as well as in the urban spaces, and write persuasively about them.

Our program offers:

  • Foundational survey courses in the history of Western art
  • A choice of courses dedicated to the art of specific historical periods or cultures, including cultures from around the globe, and to certain issues or concerns throughout the history of art
  • Internships and Exhibition Seminars in which students gain real-world experience working in galleries or museums
  • Small classes and accessible faculty advisers and mentors and alumni
  • A Capstone project tailored to the students' individual interests

Why take this major?

You are a good candidate to major in Art History if you:

  • are visually perceptive and wonder about the significance of the visual world around you
  • love visiting art museums and galleries
  • are interested in learning about other cultures and traveling to explore the art of different countries
  • want to pursue a career in which visual acuity is needed, such as in the health sciences, marketing, or law enforcement
  • might have a talent for making art
  • want to sharpen your skills at critical thinking, written and oral communication, and problem-solving

...and if you want to work in the following types of careers working in/as:

  • Museums
    • Operations Management, Directorship, and Development
    • Object Registration and Collections Management
    • Curation and Exhibition Design
    • Art Educator in a Museum
    • Retail
  • Galleries
  • Art Auction Houses
  • Art or Art History Education
  • Arts Administration
  • Art Therapy
  • Art Consultancy
  • Art Appraisal
  • Art Conservation
  • Publishing and Journalism
  • Graduate level study in any humanistic discipline

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Recall and apply the basic terms of the discipline
  • Demonstrate knowledge of major works of art or iconic images, and important artists, movements, and periods
  • Perform close visual analysis of images using formal and iconographic tools
  • Evaluate the inter-relationship between an image and its historical, social, intellectual and cultural contexts
  • Write critically and clearly about a work of art or iconic image, and conduct research using primary and/or secondary sources
  • Engage in hands-on experiences in art museums or cultural sites in Philadelphia
  • Evaluate the different methodological approaches to art history

Program Contact Information

Susan Dixon, Academic Coordinator

Hayman Hall, room 126

(215) 951-1163

Degree Earned

B.A.

Number of Courses Required for Graduation

Major: 12

Total: 38-40

Number of Credits Required for Graduation

Major: 36

Total: 120

GPA Required for Graduation

Major: 2.0

Cumulative: 2.0

Progress Chart

Level One - Core Courses

12 courses and 2 modules required

Universal Required Courses (4 Courses)

Students must complete the following 4 courses.

ILO 8.1: Written Communication

ENG 110 - College Writing I: Persuasion

ILO 5.1: Information Literacy

ENG 210 - College Writing II: Research

ILO 1.1: Understanding Diverse Perspectives

FYS 130 - First-Year Academic Seminar **

NOTE. The following students use Level 2 Capstone Experience in Major instead of FYS 130: Honors, BUSCA, Core-to-Core, Transfer, and Non-Traditional/Evening.

ILO 2.1: Reflective Thinking and Valuing

REL 100 - Religion Matters

Elective Core Courses (4 Courses)

Students must complete 1 course in each of the following 4 ILOs.

ILO 3.1a: Scientific Reasoning

Choose course within ILO

ILO 3.1b: Quantitative Reasoning

Choose course within ILO

ILO 6.1: Technological Competency

Choose course within ILO

ILO 8.1a/12.1: Oral Communication/ Collaborative Engagement

Choose course within ILO

Distinct Discipline Core Courses (4 Courses)

Students must complete 1 course in each of the following 4 ILOs. Each course must be from a different discipline. (A "discipline" is represented by the 3- or 4-letter prefix attached to each course.)

ILO 4.1: Critical Analysis and Reasoning

Choose course within ILO

ILO 9.1: Creative and Artistic Expression

Choose course within ILO

ILO 10.1: Ethical Understanding and Reasoning

Choose course within ILO

ILO 11.1: Cultural and Global Awareness and Sensitivity

Choose course within ILO

Universal Required Modules (2 Courses)

Students must complete the following 2 non-credit modules.
The Modules are not required for Transfer Students, Core-to-Core Students, or BUSCA Students. BUSCA students are required to take modules if/when they pursue a bachelor’s degree.

ILO 7.1a

Health Literacy Module

ILO 7.1b

Financial Literacy Module

Major Requirements

Major requirements include 4 Level Two ILO requirements, fulfilled through the major.

Students in this major must complete 38-40 courses in total in order to graduate. 12 courses will be from this major program.

Level Two (4 Courses)

Students must complete 1 course/learning experience in each of the 4 commitments.

ILO 2.2: Broader Identity (Capstone Course/Experience)

Fulfilled within major

Choose one ILO from 3.2a, 3.2b, 4.2, 5.2, 6.2, 7.2a, or 7.2b: Expanded Literacies

Fulfilled within major

ILO 8.2b: Effective Expression (Writing-Intensive Course)

Fulfilled within major

Choose on ILO from 10.2, 11.2, or 12.2: Active Responsibility

Fulfilled within major

All Other Required Courses

Choose 2 of 3 courses: ARTH 150 Introduction to Art History, ARTH 201 History of Art I or ARTH 202 History of Art II
5 ARTH 200- or 300-level courses
Choose 1: an ART course or another ARTH 200- or 300-level course
ARTH 320 Topics in Contemporary Art or ARTH 322 Topics in American Art
ARTH 340 Art & Culture or ARTH 370 Special Topics in Art History
ARTH 380 Research Seminar
ARTH 460 Internship or ARTH 480 Exhibition Seminar

Free Electives

In addition to the requirements listed above, students must take enough courses to the fulfill graduation credit requirements for their School and major.

Dual Major Requirements

A dual major in Art History takes 10 courses:

  • Choose 2 of 3: ARTH 150 Introduction to Art History, ARTH 201 History of Art I or ARTH 202 History of Art II
  • 5 courses in ARTH at the 200- or 300-level (ARTH 460 Internship or ARTH 480 Exhibition Seminar may also be considered for the dual major)
  • Choose 1: 1 course in ART or another ARTH course at the 200- or 300-level
  • Choose 1: ARTH 320 Topics in Contemporary Art or ARTH 322 Topics in American Art
  • Choose 1: ARTH 340 Art and Culture or ARTH 370 Special Topics in Art History

Minor Requirements

The minor in Art History requires 6 courses:

  • 5 ARTH courses at the 200- or 300-level (with permission, ARTH 460 Internship or ARTH 480 Exhibition Seminar may count towards the minor)
  • Choose 1: an ART course or another ARTH course at the 200- or 300-level

Fall

ARTH 150 or ARTH 201

ARTH 200- or 300-level

ARTH 200- or 300-level

ARTH 200- or 300-level

ARTH 320 or ARTH 322

ARTH 380

Spring

ARTH 150 or ARTH 202

ARTH 200- or 300-level

ARTH 200- or 300-level

ARTH 200- or 300-level

ARTH 340 or ARTH 370

ARTH 460 or 480

Course Descriptions

ART 260, 261 - Painting I, II

The course introduces the fundamentals of painting. Students learn the skills of manipulating paint to solve a sequence of problems exploring color theory, compositional structure, and figure/ground relationships. The course may be repeated for additional credit (ART 261) after the completion of ART 260.

Number of Credits: 3 each

When Offered: Fall, Summer

ART 263, 264 - Drawing I, II

This course provides students with mastery of basic principles of observation and familiarity with the potential and limitation of various media. This course provides studies of proportion, volume, perspective, and anatomy. Representation of still lives, the human figure, and landscape using various media is also included. The course may be repeated for additional credit (ART 264) after the completion of ART 263.

Number of Credits: 3 each

When Offered: Spring, Summer

How Offered: Face-to-Face

ART 265, 266 - Sculpture I, II

This is an introduction to the fundamentals and concepts of organizing forms in three dimensions. Students use basic materials for a sequence of problems exploring such aspects as line, plane, volume, texture, and scale with modeled and constructed forms. The course may be repeated for additional credit (ART 266) after the completion of ART 265.

Number of Credits: 3 each

When Offered: Fall

How Offered: Face-to-Face

ARTH 150 - Introduction to Art History

This course will introduce students to basic elements of visual literacy through the exploration of art history in a variety of cultural traditions, geographic locations, and chronological periods. Students will learn about principles of design, form, and iconography while exploring the art of different societies and cultures.

Number of Credits: 3

When Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer

How Offered: Face-to-Face, Online

ILO Met: ILO 9.1 - Creative and Artistic Expression

ARTH 201, 202 - History of Art I, II

This course is a chronological survey of architecture, painting, sculpture, and minor arts from major cultures, especially in the West. Emphasis is on identification and comprehension of styles, monuments, and traditions. ARTH 201 covers pre-historic art to ca. 1400; ARTH 202 covers the Renaissance to the 21st century.

Number of Credits: 3 each

When Offered: Fall, Spring

How Offered: Face-to-Face

ILO Met: ILO 9.1 - Creative and Artistic Expression

ARTH 203 - Ancient Art

This course is a study of the art and architecture of selected early civilizations from about the 13th Century BC to the 4th Century AD, emphasizing Greek, Roman, and other Aegean and Mediterranean cultures.

Number of Credits: 3

When Offered: Fall, Spring

How Offered: Face-to-Face

ILO Met: ILO 9.1 - Creative and Artistic Expression

ARTH 205 - Medieval Art

This course examines the development of the visual arts from the late Roman period to the late Gothic of the 15th century. Special emphasis is on the establishment of Christian iconography.

Number of Credits: 3

When Offered: Fall, Spring

How Offered: Face-to-Face

ILO Met: ILO 9.1 - Creative and Artistic Expression

ARTH 213 - Italian Renaissance Art

This course is a study of Renaissance painting, sculpture, and architecture of Italy from 1250 to 1570. Emphasis will be on the social, economic, religious, and political conditions in which the art of the age participates.

Number of Credits: 3

When Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer

How Offered: Face-to-Face, Online

ILO Met: ILO 11.1 - Cultural and Global Awareness and Sensitivity

ARTH 216 - Baroque Art

This course addresses major styles and trends in the visual arts of Western Europe during the 17th Century. Emphasis will be on the social, economic, religious and political conditions in which the art of the age participates.

Number of Credits: 3

When Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer

How Offered: Face-to-Face, Online

ILO Met: ILO 11.1 - Cultural and Global Awareness and Sensitivity

ARTH 217 - 19th-Century Art

This course focuses on painting's evolution, content, and style, from circa 1780 to the turn of the 20th century. Emphasis is on the major movements: Neoclassism, Romanticism, Realism and Impressionism.

Number of Credits: 3

When Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer

How Offered: Face-to-Face, Online

ILO Met: ILO 9.1 - Creative and Artistic Expression

ARTH 219 - Modern Art (Formerly ARTH 319)

This course is a study of developments in late 19th- and early 20th-century art as they pertain to the rise of Modernism. Movements examined include Post-Impressionism, Expressionism, Cubism, Futurism, and Surrealism. While the focus will be on painting and sculpture, related developments in architecture and the decorative arts may also be considered.

Number of Credits: 3

When Offered: Fall, Spring

How Offered: Face-to-Face

ILO Met: ILO 9.1 - Creative and Artistic Expression

ARTH 222 - American Art

This survey course introduces American art through the study of selected artists and works of art, many of them in local museums. It traces the evolution of American art from Native American beginnings, through the Colonial and Federal periods, and concluding in the World War II era.

Number of Credits: 3

When Offered: Fall, Spring

How Offered: Face-to-Face

ILO Met: ILO 11.1 - Cultural and Global Awareness and Sensitivity

ARTH 223 - American Architecture

This course is a study of the types and styles of American architecture from the Colonial to the Post-modern periods. Some emphasis is placed on urban and garden architecture, including that of Philadelphia. Field trips to significant architectural sites are included.

Number of Credits: 3

When Offered: Fall, Spring

How Offered: Face-to-Face

ILO Met: ILO 9.1 - Creative and Artistic Expression

ARTH 224 - Latin American Art

An examination of the visual culture of Latin America beginning with the Spanish and Portuguese arrival and colonization of the New World to the present. It will encompass the study of painting, sculpture, graphics, architecture and other visual media from Mesoamerica, Central America, South America and the Caribbean, as well as Chicano art production in the United States.

Number of Credits: 3

When Offered: Fall, Spring

How Offered: Face-to-Face

ILO Met: ILO 11.1 - Cultural and Global Awareness and Sensitivity

ARTH 226 - Introduction to Museums

A study of the history and evolution of the museum and an examination of its main objectives. Topics include the mission and function of art museums—collection, care of objects, exhibition, and education—as well as the politics of interpretation and display. Site visits to local art museums and presentations by museum professionals from the area are required.

Number of Credits: 3

When Offered: Spring

ARTH 270 - Special Topics in Art History

The topics in this course vary from semester to semester. It may be repeated for credit if the material is essentially different.

Number of Credits: 3

When Offered: Fall, Spring

How Offered: Face-to-Face

ARTH 310 - History of Photography

A survey of the history of photography from its invention to the present. It addresses photography as an artistic medium, a social text, a technological adventure and a cultural practice. Important contributors to photography’s history, as well as iconic images, will be examined. Ethical issues prompted by the creation and consumption of photographs will be addressed.

Number of Credits: 3

When Offered: Spring

How Offered: Face-to-Face

ARTH 312 - Art and Medicine

This course explores the common goals of art and medicine with representations of health, anatomy, and medical issues throughout the history of art. Students hone the skills shared by the disciplines of art history and the health sciences, a type of visual literacy that requires a keen sense of observation and an analysis of social context.

Number of Credits: 3

When Offered: Fall, Spring

How Offered: Face-to-Face, Online

ILO Met: ILO 4.1 - Critical Analysis and Reasoning

ARTH 316 - Women and Art

This course encourages students to think critically about the contributions of women artists, collectors, critics, models, and viewers to the fields of art and art history. This course requires that students look beyond the traditional models of art criticism to consider how gender has shaped women's artistic practices and responses.

Number of Credits: 3

When Offered: Fall, Spring

How Offered: Face-to-Face, Online

ARTH 320 - Topics in Contemporary Art

This course evaluates art of the late 20th and 21st Centuries in terms of a particular idea or issue. Topics include: Art & Identity in a Global World, and Art & Social Justice in the Contemporary World.

Number of Credits: 3

When Offered: Fall, Spring

How Offered: Face-to-Face

Prerequisites: ARTH 201 and 202 or permission of instructor

ARTH 322 - Topics in American Art

This is an advanced course that takes an in-depth look at a particular topic in American Art. Possible subjects include The Hudson River School, and Picturing Ecology in America.

Number of Credits: 3

When Offered: Fall, Spring

Prerequisites: ARTH 201 and 202 or permission of instructor

ARTH 340 - Art and Culture

This course takes an in-depth look at the art of one particular culture. It offers a thematic approach to understanding art in a cultural context. Past topics include Irish Art & Rebellion, and Art & Politics of World War II.

Number of Credits: 3

When Offered: Fall, Spring

How Offered: Face-to-Face

Prerequisites: ARTH 201 and 202 or permission of instructor

ARTH 370 - Special Topics in Art History

Topics in this course will vary from semester to semester. It may be repeated for credit if the material is essentially different.

Number of Credits: 3

When Offered: Fall, Spring

How Offered: Face-to-Face

Prerequisites: ARTH 201 and 202 or permission of instructor

ARTH 380 - Research Topics in Art History

This course focuses on an analysis and application of methods used in art criticism and research, with the emphasis on writing. Subjects will vary, depending on student interests.

Number of Credits: 3

When Offered: Fall

How Offered: Face-to-Face

Restrictions: Required of Art History majors. Art History minors may enroll with permission of chair.

Prerequisites: ARTH 201 and 202

ARTH 460 - Internship

The internship is designed to give art history students the opportunity to gain real-world experience in the art field. Students will meet regularly with a faculty member during their internship.

Number of Credits: 3

When Offered: Fall, Spring

How Offered: Face-to-Face

Restrictions: GPA of 3.0 overall and in the major OR approval of the chair. Students must apply for interships midway through the semester before the internship begins. For more guidelines, see Department's Internship coordinator.

Prerequisites: ARTH 201 and 202

ARTH 480 - Exhibition Seminar

This course is for those with an interest in museum studies. It gives students practical training in anticipation of a museum or gallery career. The outcome of the course is an art exhibition, most often in the La Salle University Art Museum.

Number of Credits: 3

When Offered: Spring

How Offered: Face-to-Face

Prerequisites: ARTH 201 and 202 or permission of instructor