History of Art and Architecture

The History of Art and Architecture concentration offers training in the historical interpretation and critical analysis of the visual arts and architecture. It develops the skills of visual discrimination and verbal expression fundamental to art historical analysis. Art history is a multifaceted discipline embracing many different methods, perspectives and interests. Training in the critical analysis of art seeks to clarify the perception — and understanding — of how artworks relate to the techniques and materials used in their making, and to the environment in which they are seen. It also fosters the ability to make and explain judgments of quality and value.  Department Website

Instruction in critical analysis is aided by the department’s partnership with one of the world’s greatest teaching museums, comprising the Fogg, Busch-Reisinger, and Sackler Museums. This offers students a unique opportunity of first-hand study of original works of art in many media. Generally, course work offers coverage of the history of art, while a sequence of small-group tutorials develop critical skills. For students with a special interest in architecture, the concentration offers courses on architectural history and urban planning. Requirements for all concentrators provide exposure to a variety of areas within art history, as well as allow for the selection of a major field focus from among the following: African, Ancient (Egypt, Ancient Near East, Greece, Rome), Architecture, Baroque and Rococo, Byzantine, Chinese, Japanese, South Asian, Islamic, Latin American/Pre-Columbian, Medieval, Modern and Contemporary, and Renaissance.