Art stands at the intersection of culture, politics, religion and philosophy, making it an ideal place from which to understand the liberal arts and the world at large.

At Dickinson, the Department of Art & Art History offers students two tracks for study: studio art and art history. Both concentrations foster rigorous, critical investigation through active processes of learning in which students connect historical discourse with an engagement of art from multiple contemporary perspectives.

The senior year capstone experience allows studio and art history majors to pursue intensive, original research in their respective concentrations. Senior studio majors, benefiting from individual studio spaces, each create a body of work for an exhibition in The Trout Gallery accompanied by a museum catalog they create.

Senior art history majors undertake advanced scholarly research in co-curating and producing a published museum catalog for an exhibition in the Trout Gallery drawn from works in the college's permanent collection or from work lent by established galleries and museums.

Contact Info


Todd ArsenaultAssociate Professor of Art

Department Coordinator

Michele Karper





Social Media


Rm. 226 , Weiss Center for the Arts Mailing Address

Department Gallery

Student Outcomes

Where Our Students Go From Here


  • One River School of Art + Design  
  • American Folk Art Museum 
  • New York Public Library 
  • Children’s Museum of New York 
  • The Pennsylvania State University 
  • Philadelphia Museum of Art 
  • National Gallery of Art  
  • National Museum of American History 
  • Michener Museum of Art 
  • Barnes Foundation 
  • Museum of Modern Art 
  • Sotheby's  

Graduate Schools

  • Columbia University 
  • SUNY Purchase 
  • Lewis & Clark  
  • University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill 
  • Cranbrook, Academy of Art 
  • SAIC (School of the Art Institute of Chicago) 
  • University College of London, Slade School of Fine Art 
  • Virginia Commonwealth University 
  • New York University, School of Law 
  • McGill University 
  • University of Toronto 
  • Yale University 
  • Harvard University 
  • Rhode Island School of Design 
  • Boston University 
  • MICA (Maryland Institute of Contemporary Art) 
  • PAFA (Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts) 
  • University of Delaware 
  • UPenn 
  • Temple University 
  • The Courtauld 
  • University of Maryland, College Park
  • Cardiff University
Where Our Students Have Interned
  • Atlantic Records 
  • The Biscuit Factory 
  • New York Arts Practicum 
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art 
  • Whitney Museum of Art 
  • Philadelphia Fabric Workshop and Museum  
  • Princeton University Art Museum 
  • Wadsworth Athenaeum 
  • Philadelphia Mural Arts 
  • State Museum of Harrisburg  
  • Brandywine River Museum of Art 
  • Hirschl & Adler Galleries, Inc. 
  • Christie’s  

Department Features

Artist in Residence

This exhibition features work by Will Preman, the 2019 studio-art artist-in-residence. A multidisciplinary artist currently working in Philadelphia. Preman earned a BFA in ceramics and art history from the Kansas City Art Institute in 2012 and an MFA at the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University.

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Student Perspective

"It is one thing to write a paper for a professor, but writing knowing that your work will be published and read is an entirely new kind of pressure. That said, the seminar remains the most consistently engaging class I have ever taken. While a large portion of the work was original research, that research was then condensed and clarified into wall labels, introductions, and brochures for general reference. We learned how to render information accessible to a diverse audience, a skill which translates into any number of fields post-graduation."

—Fiona Clarke ’19

Events All events

Art & Art History News

Graduate Story: Anne Helmreich ’85, Smithsonian Archives of American Art

Graduate Story: Anne Helmreich ’85, Smithsonian Archives of American Art

With 35 years of experience in higher education and arts administration under her belt, the former history major oversees works from more than 200 years of the nation’s artists and art communities.

Minding the Gaps Between Space and Time

Minding the Gaps Between Space and Time

“These students know what it means to live in conditions of time and space that can only pretend to be objective." Discover the time- and space-bending works in this year's senior exhibition.

Dream Team: Students, Renowned Artists Collaborate on Experimental Multi-arts Work

Dream Team: Students, Renowned Artists Collaborate on Experimental Multi-arts Work

Are we dreaming? Students worked with the HawtPlates to create a convention-busting spring production, onstage April 2.

On Memory and Modernity: Student Curators Present Exhibition, Research on Japanese Prints

On Memory and Modernity: Student Curators Present Exhibition, Research on Japanese Prints

The 2023 senior art-history exhibition at The Trout Gallery illuminates the history, enduring appeal of modern Japanese woodblock prints.

Elizabeth Ackerman

Elizabeth Ackerman '91

From her post as fashion editor at 'Woman's Day' to Launching her own contemporary women's clothing line, Elizabeth Ackerman '91 shares how she forged a successful career in fashion.

From Dreamland to Dystopia, With Jolts of Joy

From Dreamland to Dystopia, With Jolts of Joy

This spring, Dickinson arts departments explore dream worlds; immigrant, Indigenous and refugee experiences; a landmark work never before performed on campus; and much more.