Alma Thomas, Atmospheric Effects I, 1970, acrylic and pencil on paper, 56.3 x 77.0 cm.
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Vincent Melzac, 1976.140.3
History of Art
Studying the History of Art gives you the skills to answer important questions about the origins, histories, and contemporary reality of different societies, including your own.
FIT's History of Art Department offers courses on the arts of Europe, Asia, the Americas, Africa, and the Pacific Islands. You can study art from the prehistoric to the postmodern, as well as the specific histories of architecture, costume and fashion, industrial design, photography, and textiles.
Art, design, communication, and business are increasingly connected to one another. In the History of Art Department at FIT you will discover the cultural meaning of those connections. Our accomplished faculty members are active in their scholarship and committed to teaching. They will engage you in the study of the rise and fall of civilizations, revolutionary breakthroughs in ideas and technology, and the dramatic forces that have transformed history. By interpreting beautiful, shocking and mysterious works of art, you will glimpse insights into the worlds they come from and see your own world in new ways.
By studying in New York City, its world-class museums and galleries become your extended campus. With your professors and classmates and on your own, you will develop an in-depth understanding of what you see in the city's great institutions and in the latest contemporary art galleries.
About the Major
We offer a two-year Bachelor of Science program in Art History and Museum Professions that draws on the strengths of our faculty across the campus.
About the Minor
We also offer the popular Liberal Arts minor in the History of Art, and teach many courses that satisfy interdisciplinary Liberal Arts minors, such as Fashion History, Theory and Culture; Asian Studies; Ethics and Sustainability; LGBTQIA Studies; Ethnic Dress in a Global Context; and Middle East & North African Studies.
To learn more about the History of Art minor and others, see the Liberal Arts minors page.
Many professional opportunities are open to those who study art history as a minor or who simply take several of our courses. The visual literacy and the critical and analytical skills they acquire are essential for arts marketing and publicity; advertising; art journalism, art law, and art education; fine art digital and online archiving; the science of art conservation; art librarianship; and work in costume and set design for theater, film and television. Whatever direction you take your career—business, technology, teaching, design, public service—your knowledge of art history will inspire, enlighten and empower you.