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 – from Renaissance masterworks, Chinese scroll paintings and modern art to the art and science of painting – as you explore how
The Department of Visual Arts offers a dynamic program that features small classes with individual attention and actively engaged professors. Interdisciplinary opportunities include work with Asian studies, American studies, Latin American and Caribbean studies, Africana studies, gender, sexuality and women's studies, film studies and art conservation.
Faculty specialties include Italian Renaissance painting, Latin American and Caribbean art, Islamic art and architecture, 19th and 20th century European and American art, the arts of Japan, the history of photography, the art and archaeology of early China, and contemporary art and visual culture.
The department sponsors an array of field trips to museums in New York City and other locales. Students also learn from original works of art in the Mandeville Gallery and the special collections of Schaffer Library, home to many rare prints, photographs, manuscripts and artifacts. Each spring, art history majors present their research at Steinmetz Symposium, a day-long research festival.
Beyond campus, students can take advantage of a departmental term abroad in Italy (Florence) and mini-term in France (Paris). Internships and other forms of specialized study can be arranged with the Union College Permanent Collection, art galleries and museums in the Capital Region, as well as in New York City, Washington, D.C., and abroad.
Art history graduates have secured jobs in major museums, galleries, auction houses and libraries. Advanced study in the field can lead to positions in museum curating, teaching art history and visual culture, art conservation, historic preservation, publishing, and advertising and communications.
This introduction to the arts of Japan from the Neolithic period to the 20th century will focus on key monuments in sculpture, painting, gardens, printing and other arts. Themes include sacred and profane spaces, patrons and viewers, tradition and modernity, and the creation of a distinctly “Japanese” aesthetic.
A study of art and architecture in Italy from 1100 to 1400 emphasizing religious, political, and cultural contexts and the role of the Byzantine tradition. Examination of paintings, sculpture, architecture, and the decorative arts in the major urban centers of the Italian peninsula, including Florence, Siena, Pisa, Rome and Milan, as well as the courts of northern Italy
This course features an introductory survey of the history of photography from its pre-history to the present. We will explore the evolution of photographic expression in the period, and focus on relationships between photography and fine art, photography and popular culture and photography and theory.
Union graduates with degrees in music, theater and dance, and visual arts are pursuing careers in a range of exiting fields: