Art History

Where does art fit in history? What impact have artists made on the world? How can the study of the intersections of art, history, and society help expand our worldview?

 

Join the UTA Art History program to explore these questions!

Accredited by the National Association of the School of Arts (NASAD), the Department of Art and Art History features an outstanding Art History Program with dedicated professors who are actively engaged in their research and publication but equally committed to their teaching. The student-teacher ratio in our program is remarkably low for an institution of our size, and the faculty is fully invested in the mentoring and success of our students, many of whom are first-generation. We engage our students to learn about the arts, architecture, and cultures from across the globe and throughout time and offer courses on a wide range of topics including:

 

 

  • 18th and 19th century European and American Art and Architecture
  • Art and Indigenous Traditions of Africa
  • Art and Islam
  • Central and East Asian Art and Architecture
  • Contemporary Arts of America and Europe
  • Early Modern European Art and Architecture and the Global Renaissance
  • Historiography of Art and Conservation Science
  • Indigenous Mesoamerican art and architecture
  • Medieval European Art and Architecture

 

As an Art History major, you will gain:
  • A broad knowledge of the monuments, principal artists, and cultural traditions of major historical periods and geographic regions
  • A deeper understanding of advanced areas of study (e.g., Art and the Human Condition)
  • A solid introduction to art historical theory, analysis, and criticism
  • An insight into the creative process through participation in studio art courses
  • A working knowledge of at least one foreign language for primary source research
  • A familiarity with image archives, bibliographic databases, and cutting-edge approaches drawn from the field of Digital Humanities

Our rigorous program provides strong academic preparation for further study at the graduate level and for work in museums or other professional organizations in the visual arts. But a major in Art History develops critical and creative thinking skills that are valuable in any professional field. We provide a strong foundation that encourages our students to understand diverse cultures and thrive in a multicultural society.

Majors who seek to complete their BA in Art History work toward three expected learning outcomes in all their courses, research projects, and extracurricular activities. By senior year, Art History students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate scholarly and ethical competence in the formulation of clearly articulated arguments with accurately cited sources
  • Recognize that works of art embody a diversity of human experiences including ethnicity, race, gender, and disability, as well as political, economic, and cultural factors over time and across the globe
  • Display a commitment to the continuous improvement of their work and their engagement with related activities and fellow student majors while at UT-Arlington

Undergraduate majors in Art are required to take Art History courses to help them situate their own creative practice in a broader, meaningful context. Upper-level Art History seminars are likewise an integral component of the MFA program and serve other graduate programs across campus.

Museum Studies Minor

The 18 credit minor in Museum Studies provides students the opportunity to study and explore topics related to museums, including:

  • Administration and leadership
  • Art Handling and Preparator Techniques
  • Collections Management, Ethics, and Sustainability
  • Community Outreach and Service Learning
  • Curatorial Design and Thematic Interpretation
  • Donor Relations, Grant Writing, and Fundraising
  • Exhibition Design and Virtual Exhibition Programming
  • History of Collections and the Historiography of Museums

The Museum Studies minor complements major degrees in a wide variety of disciplines, notably Art History, Anthropology, Archaeology, Architecture, Art, Art Education, History, and Library Sciences. It prepares students for higher-level certification, graduate studies, and entry-level museum positions. Students gain experience in the UTA Fine Arts Collections and through partnerships with local, regional, and international art industry and museum professionals.

UTA Fine Art Collections (UTAFACs) and local museums

Housed on campus, UTAFACs comprises distinct collections with hundreds of objects in media ranging from ethnographic artifacts to contemporary works on paper. Selections from the collections are exhibited across campus as part of the Our Campus - Our Museum public art initiative and in semester-long exhibitions in the Visual Resource Commons (VRC) Gallery. UTAFACs feature prominently in the curriculum: our students have the opportunity for hands-on examination and analysis of the artworks in many Art History and Museum Studies courses. Furthermore, UTA is strategically located between Dallas and Fort Worth with many world-famous museums. The Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Crow Museum of Asian Art, Dallas Museum of Art, Kimbell Art Museum, Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, and Nasher Sculpture Center are all within 30 minutes of our campus. These museums each house important permanent collections and welcome many traveling exhibitions that provide our students with additional opportunities for encounters with global art.

  • Maverick Art Collection (includes Faculty, BFA, & MFA Collections)
  • UTA Contemporary Glass Collection (includes Mac Stiles Glass Collection and the Contemporary Art Glass Association Collection)
  • The Alan Saxe Art Collection
  • UTA Global Culture Collections (includes donations of art and artifacts of Africa, Guatemala, Mexico, and Oceania by Jonathan A. Campbell & Tanya G. Dowdey, Dr. Edmund and Judith Brodie, and Dr. Karl Petruso)
  • The Nancy Palmeri & Ron Goodstein 2D Research Collections (includes major donations of Photography, Prints and Zines)
  • UTA Asian Art Collection (includes the Robert and Vicki Coleman Japanese Print Study Collection)

 

Art History, Museum Studies, and Research Collections Internships

Recurring internship opportunities are available on or near campus via the UTA Fine Art Collections, the UTA Archives, Special Collections, and the Arlington Museum of Art. In addition, UTA Art History majors have secured for-credit internships at prestigious regional and national museums. These experiences have included the Kimbell Art Museum (Fort Worth), Museum of Fine Arts (Houston), the Getty Museum (Los Angeles), and the National Gallery of Art (Washington, D.C.) Our majors are also actively involved in the UTA student organization, the Art History Student Union, which organizes professional and social activities.

Going to Graduate School

Quite a few of our Art History majors decide to pursue graduate studies at local, national, and international institutions, often with scholarship funding. During your time as an art history undergraduate, we encourage you to discuss graduate school options and expectations with the faculty.

To learn more about becoming an Art History major and/or the Museum studies Minor, contact the Area Coordinator Dr. Fletcher Coleman and review the UTA Catalog for more details.

UTA Art History Alumni

UTA Art History alumni have gone on to make important contributions in art historical scholarship and the museum world. Our Maverick success stories include:

  • Emily Berkes, Art History major, Anthropology minor, CoLA Scholar, Class of 2021 – Pursuing a MA in Art History at University of Colorado, Boulder.
  • Mya Lewis, Art History major, Anthropology minor, CoLA Scholar, Class of 2020 –  Dallas Art Fair Assistant, also previously employed as a Curatorial Intern at both the National Museum of African American Culture and History at the Smithsonian and the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Heritage
  • Alyssa Myers, Art History major, French minor, Class of 2019 – MA in Design History at the Royal College of Art/Victoria and Albert Museum, London
  • Jennifer Yuhas, Art History major, History minor, McNair Scholar, Class of 2019 – MA in Art History at Texas Christian University
  • Amanda Adkins, Art History major, Classics minor, Class of 2019 – Pursuing a PhD in Classics at the University of Texas at Austin
  • Emily Smith Clark, Art History major, Business minor, Class of 2019 – Recently completed an MA in History and Archival Administration Certificate at UT-Arlington
  • Selest Vasquez, Art History major, Museum Studies minor, Class of 2019 – Employed as an Assistant Art Handler at Artemis Fine Art in Dallas
  • Andrea Vazquez, Art History major, Spanish minor, Class of 2018 – Employed as an Assistant Registrar at Artemis Fine Art in Dallas
  • Kristen Semento, Art History major, Classics minor, Class of 2014 – Completed a MA in American Material Culture at the University of Delaware/ Winterthur Program and is now pursuing a PhD in the History of American Civilization at the same institution
  • Leah McCurdy, Ph.D., Art History major, Anthropology minor, Class of 2009 – Completed a MA at the University of York (UK) and a Ph.D. from UT- San Antonio and is currently employed as a Faculty Member at UTA.
  • Cheryl Mitchell, Art History major, Classics minor, Class of 2007 – Completed a MLitt at Christie’s London and the University of Glasgow and is currently employed as a faculty member and is the collections specialist for UTAFACs
  • Corbett Costello, Art History major, Classics minor, Class of 1997– Fulbright Fellow, currently pursuing a PhD in East Asian Languages and Literature from the University of Washington

To consider the possibilities for career paths with an Art History degree, explore the following resources:

 

Art History Minors Wait-List Policy

All officially declared Art History Minors may wait-list for Art History courses at any time. The wait-list form would need to be filled out in order to be cleared for Art History courses. All required prerequisites must be met in order to gain approval for the desired course and will be verified. Also, section 002 of ART 1309, 1310, and 1317 have open enrollment across all majors and do not require submission to the waitlist.

*The Art + Art History department reserves the right to make adjustments to this policy at any time.

Recommended Minors

Facilities

Courses in UTA Catalog

Art History Faculty

Dr. August Jordan Davis, PhD

Associate Professor

Department Chair

Gallery Director

Dr. Mary Vaccaro, PhD

Distinguished University Professor

Dr. Beth S. Wright, PhD

Distinguished University Professor Of Art History

Cheryl Mitchell

Assistant Professor Of Practice

Dr. Leah Mccurdy, PhD

Senior Lecturer

Dr. Fletcher Coleman, PhD

Assistant Professor

Area Coordinator

Dr. Melinda McVay, PhD

Adjunct Assistant Professor

Dr. Debra Dewitte, PhD

Adjunct Assistant Professor

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