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Overview

Art History Program

The Art History program in the Department of Art and Art History at UC Davis offers an undergraduate major and minor and an M.A. in Art History.

Art History is the study of the visual arts in civilization. It examines changing values in all fields of visual culture, including painting, sculpture, graphics, photography, architecture, film, the mass media, and forms of popular expression. Its interdisciplinary reach encompasses literature, history, anthropology, sociology, philosophy, gender studies, critical theory, and cultural studies. Art History emphasizes visual as well as verbal and written literacy, providing more than the standard advantages to a liberal arts education.

The Art History program in the Department of Art and Art History at UC Davis offers an undergraduate major and minor and an M.A. in Art History.

Art History is the study of the visual arts in civilization. It examines changing values in all fields of visual culture, including painting, sculpture, graphics, photography, architecture, film, the mass media, and forms of popular expression. Its interdisciplinary reach encompasses literature, history, anthropology, sociology, philosophy, gender studies, critical theory, and cultural studies. Art History emphasizes visual as well as verbal and written literacy, providing more than the standard advantages to a liberal arts education.

The student majoring in art history begins with courses that survey the arts of Asia, Europe and America. More specialized lecture courses and proseminars follow in Ancient, Medieval, Islamic, Renaissance, Baroque, Modern and Contemporary American, European and Asian art and culture. At the same time, students are encouraged to complement the major with advanced work in related disciplines such as classics, religion, history, philosophy, literature, sociology, anthropology, gender studies, American studies, East Asian studies and foreign languages

A major in Art History develops critical thinking and the integration of research and knowledge. It provides an excellent grounding for professions as diverse as law, medicine, and business. The major prepares students for advanced study in Art History, Architecture, and Cultural Studies. It also serves as the foundation for careers in teaching, arts administration, museums, galleries, historic preservation, art libraries, publishing, journalism, advertising, art conservation, and art investment. As the world becomes increasingly flooded with images, critical visual “reading” skills become more and more important for a wide variety of careers.

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