Art History BA

About the art history undergraduate program

The study of art history is not simply about memorizing artists and artworks; rather, it is a lens through which we look to analyse the broader trends of history in general. Art History is the study of the objects (including architecture) built, or events performed or filmed, specifically to express visually a culture’s ideas, inspirations, aspirations and values. These objects include paintings, sculptures, architecture and landscape architecture, photographs, films, stage performances and mass media. Artworks are a unique medium through which artists, their patrons, their audiences, and their critics can communicate across time, allowing modern viewers to see the world through others’ eyes. What did people value? What did artists try to communicate through their work, both overtly and subliminally? How did they rationalize their world? The study of art history provides an avenue into exploring these questions.

As an art history major at Queens College, students will be exposed to art and artifacts across a broad array of time periods and geographic regions. The Art History major provides a general introduction: to the techniques, principles, and theory of art making; to the broader cultural significance of the arts in an increasingly global society; and to the history of human artistic expression across the globe and throughout time. Art History at QC is global and provides an opportunity to study the visual arts of Asia, Europe, Africa and the Americas, from the Stone Age to today. It is multi‐disciplinary and students explore art and history, archaeology, religion, philosophy, sociology, anthropology.

What to do with an Art History degree from Queens College?
The possibilities are endless and rewarding. Art History majors learn the importance of “attention to detail” so common in many job advertisements. The arts are visual and we look to learn. More specifically, students develop the critical thinking, visual analysis and writing skills necessary for today’s job market and our contemporary image‐saturated culture. A degree in art history prepares students for a variety of career options. Art History is the foundation for: teaching of the arts in K‐12 schools; local, state and federal arts administration; public and private art and cultural museums; libraries and community centers; publishing and journalism in the arts; and art conservation and historic building preservation. Art History prepares students for careers in architecture, landscape architecture, and advertising.

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