History of Art
Explore the unconventional minds of the past and of today — and build upon their creative heritage.
Art History and Museum Professions Major
Our faculty of practicing professionals will give you an insider perspective on the art world and the chance to network with curators, museum educators, archivists, and artists.
History of Art Minor
This minor will introduce you to the history of art, architecture, and visual culture in world civilizations from prehistory to the present. Courses emphasize the interrelation between art and the cultures that produced it, with special attention to social, economic, political, religious, and philosophical contexts.
Choose from courses on the arts of Europe, Asia, the Americas, Africa, and the Pacific islands. Study the art of diverse cultures from the prehistoric to the postmodern, as well as the specific histories of architecture, costume and fashion, industrial design, photography, and textiles. Many of our classes satisfy interdisciplinary Liberal Arts minors, such as Fashion History, Theory and Culture; Asian Studies; Ethics and Sustainability; LGBTQIA Studies; African American and Africana Studies; and Middle East and North African Studies.
Art, design, communication, and business overlap today more than ever. In the History of Art Department, our faculty uncover the social, political, and cultural meaning of those connections.
Outside the Classroom
Many professional opportunities are open to those who study art history. Visual literacy and critical and analytical skills are essential for arts marketing and publicity, advertising, arts journalism, art law, 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 in your career, your knowledge of art history will inspire, enlighten, and empower you.
The Visual Resources (VR) division of the History of Art department assists faculty with research and teaching. VR staff also update the Art History Collection on FITDIL, FIT’s Digital Image Library. The Art History Collection is the largest collection within FITDIL, with 60,000 images ranging from ancient to contemporary art.
- African American and Africana Studies
- American Studies
- Asian Studies
- Caribbean Studies
- Ethics and Sustainability
- Ethnic Dress in a Global Context
- Fashion History, Theory and Culture
- Film and Media Studies
- Italian Studies
- Latin American Studies
- LGBTQIA Studies
- Middle East and North African Studies
- Women and Gender Studies
New Courses Add Diversity to Our Curriculum!
Crossroads, Global Art and History, 1450- 1750
Crossroads, Global Art and History, 1450- 1750 surveys art, architecture and design across the globe from 1450-1750, offering students an introduction to both art history and diverse global cultures. It is part of a curriculum-revision effort to provide students with multiple introductory pathways to studying art history and to diversify the curriculum. (G7 Humanities, G9 Other World Civilizations, History of Art Minor, and serves as prerequisite for Modern Art, Contemporary Art, and many other HA courses)
Andean Art and Civilization
Andean Art and Civilization The Andes has one of the longest and richest histories of weaving and textile production in the world, making this course a great option for textile/surface design majors as well as others who focus on fabric design and fashion. For all other art and design majors, this course provides exposure to distinct styles and techniques of art making that developed in near isolation from the rest of the world for thousands of years and that are unique to South America. (G7 Humanities, G9 Other World Civilizations, History of Art Minor, Latin American Studies Minor)
Art and Social Justice in New York
This course studies social justice as addressed and explored through art, architecture, and visual culture in New York City. Critical investigations and discussion arise from field trips to local art institutions, historical sites, and monuments.
Learn From the Best
Our accomplished faculty members are active in their scholarship and committed to teaching. They will introduce you to the rise and fall of civilizations, revolutions in ideas and technology, and the forces that have changed history. Meet more History of Art faculty.
Dr. Pyun specializes in Asian and European medieval art. Her research interests include the global trade of decorative arts in pre-modern Eurasia and the Americas and the usage and reception of visual art in religious performance and liturgy. Pyun received the 2018–19 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities.
Dr. Drogin specializes in Italian Renaissance art and has lectured frequently in venues such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Italian Renaissance Sculpture Conference. Dr. Drogin has also written and lectured about contemporary art. In 2009 he was recipient of the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching.
Art History Insider
The History of Art department newsletter
Spring 2023 Issue is now available!