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School of Fine ArtsArt & Art History Department

Art Studio

The Department of Art and Art History offers a BFA in Studio Art with Concentrations in Drawing and Painting, Graphic Design, Illustration/Animation, Photography, Printmaking, and Sculpture and Ceramics. The program’s special strengths include courses that deal with issues of gender, visual arts and identity formation, as well as theory and criticism in the visual arts.

Enriching the program’s interdisciplinary reach, members of the Art History faculty collaborate closely with colleagues in other UCONN programs, including Women’s Studies, Latin American Studies, Medieval Studies, American Studies, African American Studies, European Studies, Asian American Studies, and Human Rights.

Graduates of the program have gone on to graduate study at UCLA, SUNY – Binghamton, the Courtauld Institute of Art (London), the Institute of Fine Arts in New York, and Princeton University. Others have launched careers in museums, galleries, and a range of arts-related settings both in the US and abroad.  Our graduates have held professional positions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Tate Modern, the Wadsworth Atheneum, Real ArtWays, the Mystic Seaport Museum, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Many majors participate in Study Abroad Programs, especially UConn programs in Florence and Paris. Student also have used internship opportunities at museums and galleries – including the Wadsworth Atheneum, the Florence Griswold Museum, the Frick Collection, and Real ArtWays — to build professional expertise and broaden their career options.

In addition to careers based in the practice of art history, our graduates have pursued a variety of careers in the “new economy,” where a knowledge of visual culture is at a premium.  A recent column by Bloomberg News writer Virginia Postrel argues that the kind of education critic who would push students toward a limited number of job-oriented majors “misses the complexity and diversity of occupations in a modern economy, forgets the dispersed knowledge of aptitudes, preferences and job requirements that makes labor markets work, and ignores the profound uncertainty about what skills will be valuable not just next year but decades in the future.” (“How Art History Majors Power the U.S. Economy,” Jan. 5, 2012).


The Art major program capitalizes on the full range of resources at the University of Connecticut, including the fine arts studio program and the many, excellent liberal arts offerings.

Information about the Program: Questions about the major requirements and the process of declaring the major should be directed to the Art History Coordinator—a rotating faculty position. The Coordinator also is glad to help answer your questions about the Art History minor as well as dual degrees.
For more general questions or information about how to reach the Coordinator, call the department secretary at 860-486-3932.

Art History students begin their course of study by taking two of the 1000-level, introductory art history surveys as well as two introductory studio courses—generally ART 1020 and 1030. Please note that only art and art history majors generally are able to enroll in studio classes so it’s essential to declare the major well before registration. After declaring the major, you’ll be assigned a faculty advisor, someone who can answer many of your questions. Majors are required to meet with their advisor at least once a semester—and definitely, before registering for classes.

The Core Program
Majors take 24 upper-level credits in Art History. Although you are welcome to craft the selection to fit your interests, your selection must include courses that include at least four  of the six chronological and geographical groupings as listed in the major description. These major groupings are (A)Ancient, (B) Medieval, (C) Renaissance/Baroque, (D) Modern/Contemporary, (E) Cross-cultural, and (F) Theory / Methodology. ..

Majors also complete twelve upper-level credits—that is 3000, or 4000-level courses– in  fields related to art history. such as history, anthropology, literature, or foreign language study. See your advisor for questions about this requirement.

The major requires 30 credits (25%) in Art History out of the total of 120 credits necessary for graduation with the B.A.  Art history majors also are required to complete at least 45 credits at the 3000-level or above (including the major requirements and the “relateds.”)

Other Recommended Options:
Art History majors intending to go to graduate school are strongly urged to acquire a reading knowledge of foreign languages useful for research in the field of Art History, particularly French and German. Again, your advisor can help direct you here.
Art History majors also are encouraged to consider University-sponsored study abroad programs, usually in their junior year. Among these options, the Department of Fine Arts offers an exciting, semester-long program specifically for Art and Art History majors. Based at the Palazzo Rucellai in Florence,the program includes courses in both art history and studio art.
Students interested in careers in museum work often take advantage of museum internship opportunities after they have completed the required prerequisites. The program in Art History has long enjoyed strong working relationships with area museums, including the Wadsworth Atheneum. Information about the Wadsworth internship program is available at


Anne D’Alleva (Ph.D, Columbia) holds a joint appointment with the program in Women’s Studies; her undergraduate course offerings include Women and Body Art, African Art, Museums and the Interpretation of Culture, Gender and Architecture, and Art History’s Feminisms.

Alexis Boylan (Ph.D. Rutgers) holds a joint appointment with the program in Women’s Studies. Her undergraduate course offerings include Nineteenth-Century American Art and African American Art.

Kelly Dennis (Ph.D. UCLA)  teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on Modern and Contemporary Art as well as the History of Photography after WWI.

Jean Givens (Ph.D. Univ. of California, Berkeley) teaches ARTH 1137—Introduction to Ancient and Medieval Art. Other courses cover topics in medieval and classical art as well as The Early Illustrated Book,  Urban Architecture—International Perspectives, and Copenhagen Architecture and Cityscape (taught in Denmark through Study Abroad).

Robin Greeley (Ph.D Univ. of California, Berkeley) team-teaches ARTH 1128 Introduction to Renaissance to Modern Art—Global Perspectives(with Michael Orwicz). Her upper-level courses include Modern Latin American Art, Mexican and Chicano Art, 19th-Century to the Present, Caribbean Art, 19th and 20th Centuries.

Margo Machida (Ph.D, State Univ. of New York, Buffalo) specializes in contemporary Asian American art and art history. She holds a joint appointment with Asian American Studies, and her undergraduate courses include Contemporary Art, and Asian American Art and Visual Culture.

Michael Orwicz (Ph.D. UCLA) team-teaches ARTH 1128; Introduction to Renaissance to Modern Art—Global Perspectives (with Robin Greeley). His upper-level courses include Impressionism and Post Impressionism, 19th-century European Art, and the History of 19th-century Photography.

Bette Talvacchia (Ph.D Stanford) is a University of Connecticut, Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor. She specializes in Italian Renaissance art, with an emphasis in gender studies. For 2010-11 she is in residence at the UCONN program in Florence, Italy.

The courses noted here are offered on a rotating basis. For current listings, check the on-line catalog. For a full profile of each faculty member’s research interests, see the individual faculty listings.

Please feel free to discuss your questions with any Art History faculty member or the Art History Coordinator. We’re glad to help.