Degree: Bachelor of Arts
As an art history major at Union, you will study a broad range of visual communication across historical periods and cultures as you explore how societies through the ages have defined themselves through art.
Your studies may intersect with numerous fields, including art conservation, Africana studies, American studies, Asian studies, Latin American and Caribbean studies, film studies, and gender, sexuality and women’s studies. You’ll enjoy small classes with individual attention and actively engaged professors, and have many opportunities for internships and study abroad. In addition, each spring, art history majors present their research at Steinmetz Symposium, a day-long research festival.
Our courses cover a broad array of topics, including the arts of Asia and the Americas, classical art and architecture, environmentalism and globalization, Renaissance masterworks, science and technology, and much more. Learn about the evolution of photographic expression in an introductory survey of the history of photography. Look at the human body as both a stylistic vehicle for artistic expression and a social tool for constructing gender ideas in a course called The Nude. Or examine cultural and artistic ideas related to the natural world in Nature, Art and the Environment.
Internships and study abroad
Students can arrange internships and other forms of specialized study with the Union College Permanent Collection, as well as with art galleries and museums in the Capital Region, New York City, Washington, D.C., and abroad. A term abroad in Florence, Italy, features courses in basic Italian and Florentine architecture. A mini-term in Paris, Three Weeks in the Louvre, is an intensive art history course that includes journaling, group lectures, daily writing assignments and individual projects.
The Feigenbaum Center for Visual Arts is a hub for art students and art lovers. This spacious, light-filled building houses classrooms, faculty offices, state-of-the-art studios for students working in a range of mediums, studios specifically for seniors and a student lounge. The center also is home to the Crowell and West galleries, which showcases two professional artist exhibitions and two exhibitions of student work in a typical year, and also hosts receptions and artist talks regularly each term. Students also learn from original works of art in the College’s Mandeville Gallery and the special collections of Schaffer Library, home to many rare prints, photographs, manuscripts and artifacts.
Our graduates have secured jobs in major museums, galleries, auction houses and libraries. Some have gone on to teach art history and visual culture. Advanced study in the field can also lead to positions in museum curating, art conservation, curating, research and historic preservation. In our visually rich society, art history majors are also ideally suited to positions in advertising, publishing, communications and marketing. Many majors have also gone on to pursue careers in business and the law.
What some of our graduates are doing:
- Assistant professor of art history, Auburn University, Alabama
- Audience development manager, Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery, The University of Western Australia
- Collections Registrar, Tang Teaching Museum, Skidmore College
- Designer and jeweler, Razvet Jewelry Company, Troy, N.Y.
- Economic and Policy Analyst, Rhode Island Department of Transportation
- Educator, Hudson River Museum
- Founder and director, 56 Henry Gallery, New York City
- Historic preservation technical specialist, New York State Department of Historic Preservation
- Independent archivist Independent art appraiser, historian and writer
- Manager, stewardship, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston
- Master of arts candidate in art and architecture, Boston University
- Researcher, Catalogue Raisonné, Roy Lichtenstein Foundation