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School of Fine ArtsArt & Art History Department

Art History

The Department of Art and Art History offers a range of undergraduate courses in Art History with provide a strong interdisciplinary understanding of contemporary and historical roles that the visual arts play in a range of artistic, cultural and social contexts. Our courses address chronological breadth as well as issues of gender, identity, race and ethnicity, human rights, digital media and visual culture.

Enriching the program’s interdisciplinary reach, members of the Art History faculty are affiliated with programs in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Latin American Studies, Medieval Studies, American Studies, African American Studies, Asian American Studies, European 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 History 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:

  • Six credits at the introductory, 1000-level: ARTH 1128, 1137, 1138, 1140, 1141, or 1162; and
  • 24 credits of art history at the 2000-level and above to include: 3 to 6 credits of Art History at the 2000-level; One 3-credit course from each of Groups A, B, and C listed below; A 3-credit capstone seminar ( either ARTH 4010 or another course designated annually by the art history faculty); and 6 to 9 additional credits of art history at the 3000 level.

Group A: Ancient, Medieval, or Renaissance art

ARTH 3140, 3150, 3210, 3220, 3230, 3240, 3260, 3320, 3330, 3340, 3360, 3610*, 3620*

Group B: Art from the 19th century to the present

ARTH 3020, 3035, 3050*, 3430, 3440, 3445, 3450, 3460, 3510, 3520, 3530, 3560, 3630*, 3640*, 3645*

Group C: Art from global perspectives

ARTH 3015, 3050*, 3500, 3610*, 3620*, 3630*, 3640*, 3645*, 3715, 3720, 3730, 3740, 3745, 3760

Courses marked with an asterisk (*) may be used to fill one, but not both, of the categories they designate. ARTH 2198, 2993, 3993 and 3995 (variable topics) may be used to fill area requirements, but only with the written approval of the coordinator of the minor. If approved, there is no limit on the number of credits from these courses that may be applied to the minor, with a change of topic.

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 University) holds a joint appointment with the program in Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies. Her undergraduate course offerings include ARTH 1138 Introduction to Art History II: 15th Century – the Present, Nineteenth-Century American Art, and African American Art, and a graduate level course in Contemporary Art.

Kelly Dennis (Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles) teaches ARTH 1138 Introduction to Art History II: 15th century to the Present, graduate and undergraduate courses on Modern and Contemporary Art as well as the History of Photography after World War I – Present and the History and Theory of Digital Art.

Yan Geng (Ph.D. Heidelberg University) holds a joint appointment with the Institute of Asian and Asian American Studies and teaches ARTH 1140 Introduction to Asian Art, Art of China, and Far Eastern Painting.

Jean Givens (Ph.D. Univ. of California, Berkeley) teaches ARTH 1137—Introduction to Ancient and Medieval Art, and ARTH 1162 Introduction to Architecture. Other courses cover topics in medieval and classical art as well as Monsters and Marvels in Medieval Art, 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) teaches ARTH 1141 From Sun Gods to Lowriders: Introduction to Latin American Art. Her upper-level courses include Modern Latin American Art, Mexican and Chicano Art, 19th-Century to the Present, Caribbean Art, 19th and 20th Centuries, and Contemporary Art.

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. University of California, Los Angeles) teaches ARTH 1128 Global Perspectives on Western Art: Renaissance to the Present. His upper-level courses include Human Rights and Visual Culture, and the History of Photography: 1839 – World War I, and Impressionism and Post-Impressionism.

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.