Humboldt State's Art History program gives students an opportunity to study the visual culture of the world, from prehistoric cave art to works being produced by artists active today. Art history majors not only learn about works of art, but also about the different geographies, histories, and cultural traditions that surrounded them and informed their making. Our program is particularly strong in the areas of European Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, American, 20th Century and Contemporary art.
The art history curriculum focuses on the analysis and interpretation of art, with a particular emphasis on developing students' critical thinking and writing skills. Lower division courses take broad views of particular movements and periods, while upper division classes examine issues and themes in greater depth. The capstone course for the art history concentration, the Seminar in Art History, is designed to provide students with a forum to conduct advanced art historical research and to craft a major scholarly research paper.
In addition to courses in the history of art, art history majors take classes in studio art and exhibition design, in order to learn about the creation and display of art. They also study at least one foreign language to better understand how language and culture influence the creative act.