The Art History Bachelor of Fine Arts undergraduate program improves studio practice and develops critical and creative thinking skills by examining core topics in modern art.
The Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Art History and Critical Studies program focuses on modern and contemporary issues with emphasis on the concerns directly impacting practicing artists. The curriculum is designed for students who want to explore contemporary
visual culture while practicing their own art. The program allows
students a focused studio concentration along with the art history
View the Studio Arts / Art History Emphasis (Photography Foundation) program of study
View the Studio Arts / Art History Emphasis (Traditional Foundation) program of study
Comprised of practicing artists, curators of major exhibitions in the United States and aboard, and acclaimed art critics, the art history faculty help students make meaningful connections between theories and practices of art.
Students graduating with a bachelor's degree in art history are able to pursue graduate-level study in the discipline, and are considered for entry-level
positions in museums and galleries. Critical thinking skills attained through undergraduate art history programs also create career opportunities in marketing, finance, journalism and education fields.
At the culmination of the Art History BFA program, students write an in-depth twenty page senior thesis exploring a topic related to art since 1900. Students work closely with an advisor throughout the research and writing process and, upon completion of your thesis, participate in an oral defense before a faculty committee.
Students examine the complexity of humankind’s relationship to the natural world, and the rich variety of artistic responses it has inspired. Taking a thematic approach, the course explores selected topics across chronological, geographic and cultural lines, including: varieties of landscape painting in the West and the East and the expressive shaping of landscape across the centuries. Topics discussed include Neolithic earth formations, landscape design, development of the Olmsted urban park systems, recent Land Art, as well as the rise of a modern-day ecological consciousness with its expression through art.
This course explores the major turning points in the perception and definition of sculpture in the twentieth century, with special attention to its relation to the modernist and postmodernist discourses in painting, photography, and architecture.
View the complete list of Studio Arts / Art History Emphasis Course Descriptions
Sunanda K Sanyal
Professor of Art History and Critical Studies
Professor of Fine Arts
Art History BFA
Art History BA
Art History Minor
Paris and the History of Architecture Travel Course
Art History Technology Requirements
Liberal Arts and General Education
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Calling all high school juniors! Head to Cambridge this spring for our Junior Preview Day event. Learn more and RSVP to reserve your spot.
Ligia Alfonzo, Art History Major, chats with us about her favorite classes and her internship at the Harvard Semitic Museum.