Art & Design

Bachelor of Arts (Honors) in History of Art, Design and Visual Culture

Lisa Claypool with student co-curators at China’s Imperial Modern: The Painter’s Craft

Contemporary culture is highly dependent on visual representations. We are bombarded on a daily basis by advertisements, posters, digital photographs, and other texts. Courses offered in the History of Art, Design, and Visual Culture [HADVC] teach students to understand our visual world and its messages. From representations of sex and death in the Renaissance, to performing bodies in contemporary activist art, to China’s design revolution, course topics range widely. Students explore practices of slow looking, learn how to pose original questions of art works, and engage in creative research projects including faculty/student curatorial projects and pop-up exhibitions in public spaces.

BA Honors Degree Program

Honors students begin by taking introductory (100- and 200-level courses) designed to equip them with the skills of close visual analysis and an ability both to understand and recognize the visual culture of diverse historical periods. These courses range from the early modern to the modern and contemporary periods. More advanced (300- and 400-level) courses concentrate on specific themes and visual media. At this level, students learn how to produce scholarly essays, undertake original research, present their ideas orally, and engage critically with various art-historical methods.

Working one-on-one with a professor, honors students in their fourth year complete extensive research and produce an original essay of approximately 35 pages, specializing in a particular historical period or theme, to be determined in consultation with their faculty advisor. A senior level language course, selected in consultation with the advisor, is also required in this program.

The Honors program prepares graduates for careers in visual culture. Graduates are employed in art galleries and museums, curating exhibitions, developing educational programs, and writing promotional material. BA Honors graduates may also choose to pursue further study at the graduate level leading to MA and PhD degrees in the History or Art, History of Design, Museum Studies, and Visual Culture.

Program Requirements

BA Honors (*120)

Year 1

  1. Junior English (*6)
  2. Junior LOE (*6)
  3. Study of Science (*6)
  4. Group 1 HADVC 100 / HADVC 200-level (*6)
  5. Group 2 (*6)
  6. Group 3 (*6)

Year 2

  1. HADVC 200-level (*18)
  2. LOE 200-level (*6)
  3. Arts or Science Options (*6)

Year 3

  1. HADVC (200, 300 or 400-level) (*12)
  2. HADVC 400: Theory and Methods (*3)
  3. HADVC 400-level (*3)
  4. Arts or Sciences Options (*9)

Year 4

  1. HADVC 418: Honors Essay (*6)
  2. HADVC 400-level (*9)
  3. Arts or Sciences options (200, 300 or 400-level) (*12)