The Art History program at the University of Rhode Island offers students a thorough introduction to the art and architecture of Europe and the Americas, beginning in ancient times and coming all the way up to contemporary art. Students learn about the major monuments from the history of painting, sculpture, architecture, printmaking, photography, and more by studying them in their historical, social, and cultural contexts. Visiting artists, scholars, and curators enrich the regular course offerings with special lectures, workshops, and other events.
Our classes are small, which means students receive individual attention from faculty. Art history faculty regularly advise students both formally and informally on career opportunities, as well as internships, study abroad, combining majors, entering graduate school, and more. Faculty members actively publish their latest research in important scholarly journals and participate actively in organizing international exhibitions and working on important archaeological sites, in addition to speaking at professional conferences and other meetings. This allows us to enrich the classroom experience with the latest discoveries and controversies in the field. Some classes include hands-on field work and training with art objects. An Honorâ€™s Degree in Art History is also possible, and each year the department selects one graduating senior to receive the Presidentâ€™s Excellence Award at a special ceremony during commencement Weekend. We may also give Art History Recognition Awards to seniors who show special promise or who have contributed to the department.
The department organizes regular bus trips to New York City, where students sometimes complete assignments or visit major museums and exhibitions. Classes have also been held at the museum of the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, the Newport Art Museum, the Hera Gallery, and more. The museums of Boston are a 75 minute drive away and students are encouraged to interact with curators in them when engaging in research projects. Each semester, a contemporary artist has a short-term residency on campus through the Italo Scanga Visiting Artist Fund, and these artists often come into art history courses to discuss the historical relevancy of their work, as well as their inspirations from the past. Art History students can also use the Fine Arts Gallery spaces as a resource for special projects with the assistance of faculty.
Courses are offered on a three-tiered system:
Upon completing art history courses, students will have developed their skills in critical thinking, reading, and writing; in oral presentations, and in visual analysis. These foundational skills, considered the keystone of any education in the humanities, translate into a wide variety of career paths upon graduation. Both intermediate and advanced courses emphasize research and writing skills and prepare students for advanced study in art history or a variety of other fields. Academic credit through internships and independent study opportunities is available for students who demonstrate academic excellence and the ability to undertake self-directed coursework. Recent URI art history students have interned at: the Newport Art Museum, Gallery Z in Providence, the Feinstein Campus Arts Program, the Hera Gallery, the Rhode Island Historical Society, and the RISD Museum of Art. Students are actively encouraged to study abroad and assistance is provided in choosing and applying for study abroad programs.
URI art history graduates have gone on to careers in art-related fields such as museum and gallery work, historic preservation, work with auction houses or art dealers, art education, art criticism, arts administration, visual resource management, art therapy, and art publishing. Students have also been sucessful in business, law, public relations, and communications with art history backgrounds.
Meet new friends at Facebookâ€™s "Art History is Basically the Best Major": http://www.facebook.com/group.php?sid=0&gid=2211247794
Explore the Arts in Rhode Island: http://www.arts.ri.gov