Introduction

Art stands at the intersection of culture, politics, religion, and philosophy, making it an ideal discipline within which to engage in the liberal arts. Through the practice and analysis of art, students develop a rich understanding of how and why works of art are made, why art has played an integral role in human experience since the beginning of human civilization, and how to apply their understanding of visual expression to professions in the arts, as well as a wide range of other careers.There are two options for completing the major, emphasizing the study of either art history or studio art. For an explanation of the two options within the Art and Art History major, see the Academic Bulletin.

Courses appropriate for prospective majors

Art stands at the intersection of culture, politics, religion, and philosophy, making it an ideal discipline within which to engage in the liberal arts. Through the practice and analysis of art, students develop a rich understanding of how and why works of art are made, why art has played an integral role in human experience since the beginning of human civilization, and how to apply their understanding of visual expression to professions in the arts, as well as a wide range of other careers.There are two options for completing the major, emphasizing the study of either art history or studio art. For an explanation of the two options within the Art and Art History major, see the Academic Bulletin.

Courses that fulfill distribution requirements

Arts (Division I C):
Any course in the department may be used to fulfill the Arts requirement.

Comparative Civilizations:
Courses offered in non-Western art will fulfill this requirement.

Suggested curricular flow through the major

The A&AH major was designed to allow students to spend a year or semester studying abroad during their junior year. Students planning on going abroad should meet with their advisor as early as possible, so that they can map out a path through the major. This is especially important for any student that is attempting to double major in addition to going abroad. The advising guide specifies courses that should be completed before leaving campus.

Rather than specify courses in a specific order semsester by semester, the following are general guidelines regarding the overall trajectory of the major. First and second year should focus on introuctory and intermediate level courses that provide a foundation for  advanced study during junior and senior year. To study abroad in art history for a full year, the department requires students to have completed at least four art history courses consisting of two at the intro level and two courses at the upper level (one must be a 300-level course). One intro and three courses at the upper level are also acceptable. For one semester, a minimum of three classes, including one intro and two at the upper level. To study abroad in studio art for a full year, three studio courses and one art history are required; for a semester, two studio courses and one art history.

For information regarding the suggested guidelines, please feel free to contact an A&AH faculty member. Students not following these guidelines may still be able to study for a year abroad and complete the major, but might face a more demanding senior year.

Courses

Introductory level courses should be taken first for both art history and studio tracks. 101, 102, 122, 123. 200-level courses without pre-requisites may also be taken at the initial stages of the major.

200 level courses normally follow, with 207 in art history being offered only during the spring semesters. Ideally, 207 should be taken prior to 407 (senior seminar). 300-level courses, however, may also follow directly from 100-level introductory courses.

Senior Seminars

The 407 Art History Senior Seminar is taken during the fall semester of senior year. The Senior Studio Art Seminar consists of two courses, 410 in the fall and 411 in the spring. Both courses must be taken during senior year in order to complete the major in studio art. 

The senior seminars in art history and studio provide intensive capstones to the major. They involve an integrated, professional-level experience wherein students in art history curate a formal exhibition in The Trout Gallery accompanied by a published, scholarly catalogue containing original research and essays. Studio majors undertake an analogous exhibition in The Trout Gallery that highlights the body of work produced over the course of senior year. The studio art exhibition is accompanied by a catalog with images and artist statements. For further information, see the A&AH web site.

For more explicit advising guidelines, contact an A&AH faculty member or see “Advising Guidelines” on the A&AH web site.

Honors

Department of Art & Art History majors may seek Honors, the highest academic award a department can bestow. For students in the Art History concentration honors in the major are by the invitation of department faculty following self-nomination by February of the junior year. Students undertake a year-long independent study with an advisor, and will be expected to present their work to a Dickinson audience at the end of the senior year. Students in the Studio Art concentration are invited to apply for honors during the second semester of senior year if they have a 3.7 GPA, or above, within the major by the end of first semester senior year. Eligible students are asked to submit a portfolio that outlines their senior thesis body of work and give a supporting talk to faculty and majors.

Independent study and independent research

Independent study courses are to be set up through consultation with an Art and Art History department advisor and instructor of the course. A proposal of the topic, and program of work must be submitted to the instructor for approval.

Internships

Through The Trout Gallery and other regional museums, galleries, art associations, commercial galleries, and architectural firms, the Department of Art & Art History offers internships to advanced students. In the past, art history majors have undertaken museum internships at The Metropolitan Museum, the Springfield (MA) Museum of Fine Arts, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, while studio and art history majors have interned at commercial galleries in Philadelphia, Harrisburg, and New York City; these internships have included conservation and restoration work. Consult the departmental internship adviser and the college internship coordinator.

Opportunities for off-campus study

Students in Art and Art History can pursue study on Dickinson programs in Toulouse, Norwich, Bremen, and Bologna, and can also undertake semester and full-year options at Dickinson-approved programs in Florence (Syracuse University, SACI) and Rome (Temple University).

Additional Remarks

Related Activities: The Arts Collective is the student organization related to the Art & Art History Department. This group participates in organizing social events, films, field trips, and exhibitions for students interested in art and art history. Also, the Arts Collective annually presents a Senior award to the outstanding graduating major.

Majors Committee: Majors, nominated by faculty, attend departmental meetings and serve as liaisons between faculty and other majors.

Careers: Many recent graduates are pursuing advanced Art & Art History degrees, preparing to become scholars and teachers, or working on MFA's in preparation for careers as artists. Others are employed as architects, curators in museums, directors/owners of art galleries, news photographers, stage designers, fashion designers, and appraisal experts. Art & Art History majors have also become lawyers, doctors, dentists, research scientists, and designers and buyers in business. Consult with an Art & Art History Department advisor for additional information and advice regarding careers in the visual arts.

Off-Campus Additional Information: Students in Art & Art History have the opportunity to study abroad at Dickinson programs, or partner programs, in Rome, Florence, Toulouse, Norwich, Bremen, and Bologna. It is importnat to consult with your advisor during sophmore year to determine the program that will work best based on your interests and the courses that need to be completed in the major. Studio art students are highly encouraged to study at the Temple University partner program in Rome, Italy. Art History students are generally encouraged to attend the Syracuse University partner program in Florence. Please see the "Study Abroad" page on the Art & Art History website for more information.