With studio art and art history combined into a single department, students get the benefit of different perspectives, whether they are studio artists learning to connect their work to the movements of the past or art historians learning from practicing artists in the studio. A major attraction of the studio program is that all senior majors receive an individual studio with 24-hour unrestricted access. The highlight of the art history concentration is the senior methods seminar in which students conceive, design and write a catalogue for an exhibition they curate in The Trout Gallery.
Welcome to the Department of Art and Art History
Art stands at the intersection of culture, politics, religion, and philosophy, making it an ideal place from which to understand the liberal arts. At Dickinson, the Art and Art History Department offers two tracks for study: studio art and art history. Through the practice and analysis of art, students develop a rich understanding of how and why works of art are made, as well as why art has played an integral role in human experience for centuries.
The studio art program offers courses in a wide range of specializations in both two- and three-dimensional media, as well as in digital and time-based arts. In addition to the drawing, painting, photography, printmaking, and digital facilities located in the Weiss Center for the Arts, additional studios for metals, woodworking, and ceramics are located in the Goodyear building, a large renovated factory. The Goodyear building also houses individual student, faculty, and visiting artists' studios, as well as its own gallery. The studio major culminates in a year-long senior seminar experience in which students prepare an exhibition of their work at The Trout Gallery, accompanied by an illustrated catalogue with students' work and artists' statements.
The art history program offers courses on specific periods of art, such as Medieval Art, Italian Renaissance Art, and Modern Art, as well as topical courses which in recent years have included classes on Michelangelo, Graffiti Art, and Museum Studies. We also offer courses in art theory and aesthetics. Through the Departments of Archaeology and Classical Studies, students have many opportunities to study art of the ancient past. In the final year of the program, senior art history majors curate an exhibition on a particular artist or theme exhibited at The Trout Gallery. Their research is published in an illustrated catalogue which accompanies the exhibition.
Art and Art History majors regularly travel to nearby cities to view exhibitions at galleries and museums as part of their courses. Students also take part in Dickinson Study Abroad programs and affiliated programs in Florence, Italy; Norwich, England; Toulouse, France; and Bremen, Germany, among many other locations. Recent majors have also gained important professional experience through internships at institutions such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, Washington National Cathedral, and the Boston Museum of of Fine Arts. The Art and Art History Department has an excellent record of placement following graduation, both in PhD or MFA graduate programs, as well as in professional careers in museums, galleries, and auction houses in New York City, Washington, DC, and elsewhere around the country.
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