AIB teaches art history for the artist, integrating theory into studio practice.
The BFA in Art History and Critical Studies program focuses on modern and contemporary issues with emphasis on the concerns directly impacting practicing artists. Our faculty is made up of artists, curators, and critics who help make meaningful connections between theories and practices of art. Many of your courses will take you to museum and gallery exhibitions, while others enable you to pursue your areas of interest in a wide variety of lecture and seminar courses.The curriculum is designed for students who want to explore contemporary visual culture while practicing their own art. The program allows you a focused studio concentration along with the art history curriculum.As the culmination of your art history studies, you’ll write a senior thesis of about 20 pages that explores in depth a topic related to art since 1900. You’ll 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.
Program Outcomes Students who graduate with a degree in Art History will demonstrate:
Art Since 1945 | IAHIS 3600 This course explores the rapidly changing work of post-war art, emphasizing developments in the United States. After an introductory overview of the formative early modern period in Europe and America, in particular the rise of abstraction and the emergence of surrealism, the course examines such artistic movements as Abstract Expressionism, Pop, Minimalism, Earth Art, Realism, and Conceptual Art. In addition to the artistic movements themselves, the course also considers such issues as the place of art and the artist in contemporary society.New Media: History and Process | IAHIS 3380 Digital, video/video installation, and performance art are becoming ever-greater parts of the experience of art making and viewing. Rather than being seen as oppositional to traditional forms of art making, these media can act as tools for students and artists. They can be understood as opportunities for the next movements in art, with the option of working in conjunction with traditional media.
Assistant Professor of Art History
Sunanda K Sanyal
Associate Professor of Art History
Liberal Arts and General Education
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Undergraduate Faculty Artwork
Undergraduate Student Artwork
Art Institute of Boston
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“The most important lesson I learned at AIB is to stay true to yourself. The best work is a result of being completely open and honest.” — Tara Strongosky, BFA Studio/Art History '09
“Effective learning requires engagement with the material. By exploring the work of artists of the past and recent past I hope to bring their accomplishments to life for students in a meaningful way that can inform and enrich their own endeavors. In today’s world critical perspective is essential for success in the arts as it is in most careers.” — Susan Ashbrook, Department Chair