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:

  • Central and East Asian art and architecture
  • Indigenous Mesoamerican art and architecture
  • Early Modern European art and architecture and the Global Renaissance
  • Art and indigenous traditions of Africa
  • 18th and 19th century European and American art and architecture
  • Contemporary arts of America and Europe
  • The historiography of art and conservation science

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.

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.

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, contact the Area Coordinator Dr. Mary Vaccaro 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 – Employed as a Curatorial Intern at the National Museum of African American Culture and History at the Smithsonian
  • Alyssa Myers, Art History major, French minor, Class of 2019 – Recently completed a 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 – Recently completed a 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 – Pursuing a 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 2008 – 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

  • Classrooms, fully equipped with audiovisual resources
  • 1 seminar room (FA 2102, with 20 seats)
  • 2 classrooms (FA 2102A, with 55 seats; FA365 Collections Classroom, with 18 seats)
  • 1 auditorium (FA 148, with 150 seats)
  • The Architecture & Fine Arts Library (ARCH 104) http://library.uta.edu/afa/
  • The Visual Resource Commons & Gallery, VRCG (FA 2109, Hours currently restricted due to Covid protocols.)
  • The VRC holds a Gallery for the UTA Fine Art Collections as well as a wide variety of resources including computers, scanners, books, periodicals, videos, and DVDs available for on-site use
  • World-class museums in the DFW area, for example 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.

Courses in UTA Catalog


Art History Faculty

Dr. August Jordan Davis, PhD

Associate Professor

Department Chair

Dr. Mary Vaccaro, PhD

Distinguished University Professor

Area Coordinator

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

Dr. Melinda McVay, PhD

Adjunct Assistant Professor

Courses

This course is designed to introduce students to works of art in various media developed in isolation from the European tradition, including the arts of the Near East, Asia, the Ancient Americas, Africa, and Oceania. Using visual arts as a tool, this course will introduce students to the diverse social customs, religions, and beliefs of nonwestern peoples.
Art and architecture of Greco-Roman antiquity, beginning with the Aegean Bronze Age (ca 2500 BC) and concluding with the Late Roman Empire (4th century AD). Emphasis on the political and ritual role of art, especially in Periclean Athens and Augustan Rome.

Introduces students to the art and architectural traditions of Japan from the Jomon (12,000/10,500 - 300 BCE) through the Tokugawa periods (1615 - 1868). The course will focus on the cultural, social, and political movements that informed artistic changes over time.

Prerequisite: ART 1317 or permission of the instructor.

Art and architecture of the Mediterranean area and Northern Europe, beginning with Early Christian and Byzantine period (4th century AD) and concluding with the Late Middle Ages (14th century AD). Special attention is given to the religious and political context of art including Christian and Islamic influences.

Prerequisite: ART 1309 and ART 1310.

Developments in the art and architecture of Italy in the 13th and 14th Centuries focused on the changing status of the artist and the political and religious role of art. Includes a workshop based on 14th century recipes for the making of art.

Prerequisite: ART 1309 and ART 1310.

Developments in the art and architecture of 16th century Italy (Leonardo, Raphael, and Michelangelo) understood in historical context. Themes include the notion of creative genius in the Renaissance; Mannerism and the Counter-Reformation; the restoration of the Sistine Chapel.

Prerequisite: ART 1309 and ART 1310.

The history and aesthetics of the motion picture from 1895 to the present day. Screening and analysis of film as an artistic medium, focusing on various technical innovations, filmmakers, and landmarks of film history.

Prerequisite: ART 1309 and ART 1310.

The role of art in the shaping of a national identity with emphasis on our beginnings and attention to vernacular and indigenous traditions.

Prerequisite: ART 1309 and ART 1310.

Painting, sculpture, and photography of the period c. 1850-1900 in western Europe, focusing on Realism, Impressionism, Post-Impressionism and Symbolism (fin de siecle).

Prerequisite: ART 1309 and ART 1310.

The history of European and American art from the late 19th century to the mid-20th century. Emphasis on the formal and conceptual evolution of modernism in art and society, and on the rise of the avant-garde.

Prerequisite: ART 1309 and ART 1310.

The history, theory, and aesthetics of Impressionist painting in France, from 1860 to 1900.

Prerequisite: ART 1309 and ART 1310.

Explores the history of Indian art and architecture, beginning with the Harappan civilization and progressing to the present. India's religious and cultural impact on its East and Southeast Asian neighbors will also be examined.

Prerequisite: ART 1317 or permission of the instructor.

Art and architecture of the Olmecs, Maya, Aztecs, Inca, Anasazi and other selected cultures of Mexico, Central America, South America and North America.

Prerequisite: ART 1309 and ART 1310.

Introduces students to the art and architectural traditions of China from Neolithic times (5th to 3rd millennium BCE) to the end of the Qing dynasty in the early 20th century. The course will focus on the cultural, social, and political movements that informed artistic changes over time.

Prerequisite: ART 1317 or permission of the instructor.

Developments in the art and architecture of Baroque Europe (Italy, Low Countries and Spain), with an emphasis on patronage and the social, religious and historical context of artistic production. May be repeated for credit.

Prerequisite: ART 1309 and ART 1310.

An overview of British art from prehistory to the present with an emphasis on cultural and historical contexts.

Prerequisite: ART 1309 and 1310.

A focus on the period from the mid-20th century to the present emphasizing the aesthetics of late modernism and the beginnings of the postmodern period including Abstract Expressionism, Pop, Minimal, Conceptual, and multicultural approaches.

Prerequisite: ART 1309 and ART 1310.

The history of still photography from its inception to the present. Emphasis on the conceptual and technical evolution of photography as an artistic medium.

Prerequisite: ART 1309 and ART 1310.

History, theory, and analysis of video/film/computer in relation to visualization and new genres. Study of symbolic rhetoric, composition, sound/music, editing, movement, and style.

Prerequisite: ART 1309 and 1310.

Approaches to the interpretation of art from the stance of gender and feminism. Emphasis is placed on the work of significant female artists and on the gendered representations of art. Offered as ART 4301 and WOMS 4301; credit will be granted only once. Fulfills the Social/Cultural Studies requirement.

Prerequisite: ART 1309 and ART 1310.

Art and architecture in 15th century Italy, beginning with developments in Renaissance Florence. The relation of humanism and science to the visual arts, patronage, and the social and historical contexts of artistic production.

Prerequisite: ART 1309 and ART 1310.

Special studies seminar dealing with various aspects of the history and development of Asian art, architecture, and archeology. May be repeated for credit.

Prerequisite: ART 1317 or permission of the instructor.

This course is an overview, introductory course of the basic elements of Fine Art Museums and Artifact Research Collections. We will be focusing on key professional categories of activities used within the Fine Art Museum system, including Administration and Leadership, Collections and their Management, Community Outreach, Curatorial Design and Exhibition Display, Fundraising, Interpretation of Thematic Ideals, Registration and Organization, and Security and Sustainability. This course concentrates on the advantages of on-site experience within a Fine Art Museum and Research Collections setting and the inherent multi-disciplinary nature of their Missions, Visions, and Work.

Historical surveys of nonfiction film, experimental cinema, and genres (e.g., the western, the gangster film, science-fiction films), as well as geographical or national movements (e.g., German expressionism, Italian neo-realism, French new wave) and film theory and criticism. The particular subject will change from year to year.

Prerequisite: ART 1309 and ART 1310.

An in-depth study of topics in European and American art c. 1780 to 1900, such as the art and revolutions (the French Revolution, the American Revolution, 1830, 1848, the Commune); Romanticism; Symbolism. May be repeated for credit as course content changes.

Prerequisite: ART 1309 and ART 1310.

This course is an overview, introductory course of the basic elements of Collections Management. We will be focusing on daily collections duties, discuss the history of museum and research collections, investigate the long-term care and sustainability of objects of varying media, and the concerns of ethics and law in relation to management of these collections. This course will be supplemented by round-table discussions of selected readings and viewings, direct hands-on training, guest speakers, and/or on-site visits to area art collections. This course concentrates on the advantages of on-site experience within the UT Arlington Fine Art Collections and will primarily consist of training in collections care tasks that will be completed during scheduled class time.

Topics from c. 1900 to c. 2000, such as analysis of an individual movement, medium, or theme. May be repeated for credit as course content changes.

Prerequisite: ART 1309 and ART 1310.

Topics from c. 1970 to the present, such as performance and conceptual art, art in and about the natural environment, post-modernism and critical perspectives, art in the social context, and the genres of the 1980s. May be repeated for credit.

Prerequisite: ART 1309 and ART 1310.

Islamic art and architecture from the seventh century to the present, covering visual arts from the Arabian peninsula, north and west Africa, southern Spain, central Asia and South Asia. Emphasis will also be given to the cultural and religious aspects that shape Islamic art, such as the forms and functions of different examples of sacred architecture; calligraphy; and the arts associated with pilgrimage.

A history of European art from the end of the Baroque era through the Rococo and Neoclassical styles to the beginning of Romanticism. Emphasis will be on cultural and global contexts in which paintings, prints, sculptures, and architecture were produced.

Prerequisite: ART 1309 and ART 1310.

Independent study or research in an area of art history agreed upon in advance with the instructor. Written permission and the determination of obligations and objectives are required before registration. May be repeated for credit.

Prerequisite: ART 1309 and ART 1310.

Subjects of immediate interest in various fields of art history; to complement temporary museum exhibitions and/or faculty research specializations. May be repeated for credit as course content changes. Prerequisite: ART 1309 and 1310 and permission of the instructor.

Prerequisite: ART 1309 and ART 1310.

For the purposes of the Museum Studies Minor this would focus on Archives, Collections, Galleries, and Museum Internships only.

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