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Undergraduate Program Coordinator and Adviser for Art History and Music:
Office Hours: Monday-Friday, 8 am-5 pm
Advising: 9:00-12:00 and 1:00-4:00
Room 105, Art Building
Graduate Programs Administrator for Art History, Art Studio, Design, Dramatic Art, Music, and Performance Studies:
Office Hours: Monday-Friday, 7:30 am-5 pm (7:30-9:00 am every other Friday)
Room 216, Art Building
Room 162, Everson Hall
Room 164, Everson Hall
Graduate Program Director:
Room 158, Everson Hall
Art History Faculty:
Affiliated Graduate Faculty:
Lecturers and Scholars:
Why Study Art History?
Art History as a Discipline and as a Liberal Arts Education
The Department of Art History at UC Davis offers an undergraduate major and minor for the B.A. 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.
Art History at UC Davis
The Art History Major
Students majoring in art history begin by surveying world-historical artistic developments. More specialized lecture courses and seminars follow in Ancient, Renaissance and Baroque, Modern and Contemporary, American, the Histories of Architecture and Photography, Critical Theory, Islamic, and Chinese. Students may develop their skills in independent study; those interested in graduate study are particularly encouraged to enroll in the Art History Honors Program described below. Art History Majors further develop their sensitivity to the material conditions of artworks through studio art study and are also encouraged to complement their study 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.
The Art History Minor
The Art History Minor provides a concentrated grounding in visual literacy. Students begin with one lower-division survey course of their choosing and then go on to take upper-division courses across a range of areas with special focus on an area of their choosing.
The Art History Honors Program
The Art History Honors Program is a special opportunity available to students with high GPAs in the major. It is highly recommended for those considering graduate study in art history and related areas in the humanities. Honors students begin with an advanced seminar and then go on to write a polished, article length study on an art-historical topic of their choosing.
Museums and Galleries
Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art
Richard L. Nelson Gallery
John Natsoulas Gallery
Third Space Art Collective
Cropped:The Visual Resources Facility (VRF) Blog
Annual Art History Newsletter
Art History Club
"Art History at UC Davis is an exceptionally supportive program. Every member of the faculty truly cares about how well the students do, and the students know and care about one another. We operate more like a small college than a big university. We offer exciting, broad-based intellectual training, both a good college experience, and a strong foundation for career development."
-Jeffrey Ruda, Professor Emeritus, Department of Art and Art History
"Studying Art History in college instills two sets of fundamental and highly versatile skills: the power of perception and visual analysis, and the power of making written arguments. Art History students at UC Davis learn how to observe, to think, to analyze, and to write."
-Diana Strazdes, Associate Professor, Department of Art and Art History
"Upon completing my Master’s in 2001, I worked in the Interactive Educational Technologies Department at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art where I researched and wrote content for award-winning multimedia programs. I subsequently held the position of Curatorial Assistant at the Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for the Visual Arts at Stanford University. My responsibilities included selecting, researching, and interpreting exhibitions of modern and contemporary works in the permanent collection. Now I am Assistant Curator of New Art Trust, a foundation established by Pamela and Richard Kramlich, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Museum of Modern Art, New York, Bay Area Video Coalition, San Francisco, and Tate Gallery, London."
-Anneke Voorhees, M.A., 2001
"As a Ph.D. student at the University of Pittsburgh I am studying the role of tradition in the evolution of Japanese art through time, as well as in the world of contemporary Japanese diaspora artists, and specifically in how the continued implementation of iconographical imagery reveals the persistence of custom, the dominance of indigenous beliefs, and the anxiety of social interaction according to gender."
-Sara Sumpter, B.A., 2006