Art History studies the continuities and changes that characterize human endeavor in the visual arts. Intellectually it is a constantly expanding discipline whose objects of study include not only painting and sculpture, but architecture and the decorative arts, drawing and prints, photography and film, and video and performance art. As practiced at OSU, art history also entails an examination of the history of the discipline itself, its philosophical and theoretical foundations, and its critical methodologies.
Art History examines works of art in terms of both aesthetic and historical issues; it is concerned with definitions of style, materials and modes of execution, iconographic and other interpretive methods, and with the economic, social, and political factors that shape both the production and reception of visual culture. Each of the faculty members teaching in the Department of the History of Art at OSU is a specialist in a particular area (or areas) of world art, and undergraduates are strongly encouraged to take full advantage of the wide range of courses on offer. Chronologically, our courses encompass artistic developments from prehistoric times to the present, and geographically include the arts of Asia, Africa, Europe and parts of the New World.
Bachelor of Arts degree
The B.A. in Art History provides a solid background in the humanities, develops skills in writing and critical thinking, and, above all, enhances one’s understanding and appreciation of creative accomplishment. On the practical side, art history degrees can lead directly to employment in numerous art related fields such as editing and publishing and travel and tourism as well as to work in art galleries, auction houses, and numerous other for-profit and not-for-profit arts organizations. Combined with the requisite post-graduate degrees, a BA in art history can also effectively prepare students for careers in law and business administration, architecture and historic preservation, library science and archival work, development, design, teaching, and art education. The BA in art history also prepares students for post-graduate work within the discipline, which is normally required for careers in academia and museums.