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Major Requirements for a BA in History of Art

General Education Requirement (57 to 58 Credits)

Six credits from the History of Art major can be applied toward General Education requirements.

Required Courses (32 to 35 Credits)

A survey of western visual culture from prehistory through the Middle Ages, in architecture, sculpture, painting, and minor arts. Class lecture and discussion will be integrated with visits to area museums, such as the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archeology and Anthropology, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and/or New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, to view art of the ancient through medieval world. (3 credits)

A survey of architecture, painting, sculpture, and minor arts, from the 12th century Gothic through the mid-to late nineteenth century. Class lecture and discussion will be integrated with visits to museums, such as: Glencairn Museum and Bryn Athyn’s New Church, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and/or New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art and The Cloisters. No prerequisites. Offered spring semester. During designated semesters, this course will have a travel/study component, featuring an eight-day experience in Florence, Rome, and Paris, to trace the visual culture of the fifteenth through nineteenth centuries in architecture, painting, sculpture, and minor arts. Visits to the major monuments and museums in these cities will accompany lecture/discussion on-site. (3 credits)
Tutelage in art historical methods and research, progressing from the fundamental level to a comprehensive investigation of the diverse approaches to the discipline. Designed for first semester seniors and/or second semester juniors who are majoring/minoring in the history of art and as preparation for the comprehensive examinations and the senior thesis/writing sample. (3 credits)
An investigation of the principles and methods involved in writing about the history of art. Historiographical literature of the major critical historians of art from Antiquity through the twentieth century is examined. Designed for, but not restricted to, junior or senior majors and minors in the history of art. Interviews with art critics, artists, and historians of art are conducted by students. (3 credits)
Applications of the study of the history of art and studio art for majors, minors, and interested students through work in the marketplace. Students intern at museums, galleries, historical societies, stained glass window studios, architectural firms, graphic arts firms, and other art related institutions to gain insight into the job market, to practice skills, and to learn the discipline from other practical and professional points of view. Students are advised to discuss possibilities and arrangements with the internship coordinator. Contract required. Offered each semester. 

*ARH-0470 and ARH-0475 are reserved as capstone courses during the second semester of junior year or the first semester of senior year.

One Course in the Art of the Ancient World (3 Credits)

A study of architecture, sculpture, painting, and minor arts from circa 800 BCE to 400 CE in the West, with special emphasis on the classical in style. Projects and themes include investigation of the classical style in today’s monumental art and regular museum work/study in area museums. (3 credits)

An interdisciplinary exploration of images of women in Mediterranean painting from the Bronze Age through the Roman period. Topics covered include gender roles, women’s participation in religion, the aesthetics of female beauty, and modes of female dress and ornamentation. A studio art project will be a main component of this course. This course satisfies the Ancient requirement and the studio art requirement for the major/minor. (3 credits)

One Course in the Art of the Middle Ages (3 Credits)

A study of painting, sculpture, architecture, and minor arts from the second through the thirteenth centuries, including Early Christian, Byzantine, Carolingian, Ottonian, Romanesque, and Gothic cultures. ARH-0175 or ARH-0230 are preparatory but not required courses. (3 credits)

A study of the history of the art of Ireland, from the Old Stone Age with its dolmens and passage graves, through its Romanesque architectural efflorescence in the twelfth century. Particular attention will be paid to the Golden Age of Ireland with its treasures of richly illuminated manuscripts, precious metalwork, and austere monastic settlements. (3 credits)

Offered at Villanova University.

Pilgrimage of some sort and of some length was an integral part of the lives of most medieval men and women. Just as we travel to Europe and other faraway places to discover our roots, our tradition, ourselves, the medieval pilgrim journeyed to churches and shrines, to monasteries and holy wells, in order to bring him/herself closer to sacred sites, bodies and belongings of saints, and significant relics, for either repentance or spiritual discovery and renewal. This course will examine the medieval arts involved in the art of pilgrimage: architecture, fresco, mosaic, statuary, stained glass, and liturgical arts. ARH-0175 or ARH-0232 are preparatory but not required courses. Offered upon rotation with other courses on medieval art. During designated semesters, this course will feature a 3-credit travel/study component in the form of a modern pilgrimage to visit the Romanesque and Gothic churches and other liturgical arts of the pilgrimage road to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. (3 credits)

One Course in the Art of the Renaissance (3 Credits)

An investigation of Italian painting, sculpture, and architecture from circa 1280 to 1520. Masters of Italian Renaissance painting and sculpture are treated in detail. Significant work at Philadelphia’s or New York’s museums of art will be integral to course. ARH 0175, ARH 0176, or ARH 0230 are preparatory but not required courses. (3 credits)

This course investigates the art of the Italian Renaissance from circa 1400 to 1520, with a special emphasis on the nature and relationship of the art forms of Greco-Roman Antiquity to the Italian quattro- and cinquecento revival. In-class lecture and discussion are integrated with museum study. ARH 0176 and ARH 0230 are preparatory but not required. (3 credits)

This course explores painting in northern Europe from the International Style through the Gothic and Renaissance to the rise of the Baroque. Special emphasis is given to the interrelationship of paintings with social, economic, philosophical, and religious ideas. Visits to and oral and written projects at the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s rich collection of northern European painting are integral to this course. ARH 0175 or ARH 0176 are preparatory but not required. (3 credits)

One Course in Mannerism, Baroque, or Eighteenth-Century Art (3 Credits)

One of the following courses in Mannerism, Baroque, or Eighteenth Century Art 3 credits*
ARH-0265 The Birth of the Modern: Mannerism and Baroque Art 3 credits
ARH-0266 Sensuous Manipulation: The Art of Mannerism 1 or 3 credits
ARH-0267 Smoke, Mirrors, & Gesture: The Art of the Baroque 1 or 3 credits
ARH-0270 The Art of the Rococo 3 credits

*Other possible selections, in consultation with the Discipline Chair.

One of the following courses in Modern Art 3 credits*
ARH-0294 History of Photography 3 credits
ARH-0307 Nineteenth and Twentieth-Century Art and Architecture 3 credits
ARH-0308 Nineteenth-Century Painting and Sculpture 3 credits
ARH-0309 Twentieth-Century Painting and Sculpture 3 credits
ARH-0390 Issues in Contemporary Art since 1945 3 credits
ARH-0400 German Expressionism, Dada, and Surrealism 3 credits

*Other possible selections, in consultation with the Discipline Chair.

Any Cinema Course (3 Credits)

One course in Studio Art of any History of Art course with a studio component 3 credits
ARH-0231 Painted Ladies: Women of the Ancient World 3 credits
ARH-0233 Early Christian and Medieval Art: Crafting in Clay 3 credits
SAR-4077 Icon: Meaning and Making* 3 credits

*Offered at Villanova University

Electives

Elective credits can be taken from the disciplines of History of Art or Studio Art but cannot be limited to those areas.