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 language of visual culture speaks across boundaries of
history and geography, resonating powerfully in every society.
The study of art history is the study of the expression of
personal and social truths through painting, sculpture,
architecture, photography and other fine and popular arts. As an
art history major, you will draw on aspects of literature,
history, critical theory, philosophy, anthropology and cultural
studies in your efforts to understand the complex reasons that
people create, support and value the visual arts.
International experience is becoming more and more critical for
all fields of study, and Art History is no exception. As the
world gets more and more globalized, the ability to tackle
societal problems cross-culturally will continue to become
Studying Abroad as a student in the college of Letters and
Science is both possible and encouraged. Many different
opportunities exist—from short, 2-week seminars in Europe to
full, year-long immersion opportunities to foreign universities
all over the globe. The key is to start early and plan ahead!
Financial Aid goes with you and your AHI advisers (along with
advisers at Study Abroad) are here to help you make it happen.
UC Davis Study Abroad maintains a page of recommended programs
for students in Art History:
Students majoring in Art History are expected to fully engage
with the wide-ranging opportunities its curriculum presents for
learning and research. Students who complete a B.A. in Art
History should have acquired the knowledge and skills listed
below. The many students who take Art History courses for General
Education credit or as a designated minor benefit from them as