Art History and Visual Culture Major

The study of Art History and Visual Culture provides essential tools for experiencing and understanding humanity's creative visual achievements, while enhancing critical thinking and communication skills. The program in Art History and Visual Culture offers a curriculum covering the major periods of Western civilization, Asia, the Americas, and Africa, as well as museum studies. Students explore contemporary developments in art and art history within our increasingly global society.

Among the many outstanding resources available to students are: internships at the University's Bellarmine Museum of Art and Thomas J. Walsh Art Gallery; specially arranged visits to major museums in New York and Connecticut with behind-the-scenes tours; internships at the Fairfield University Art Museum and New York City and regional museums, companies, and cultural organizations; and research on the Fairfield University Art Museum's collection and the historic Plaster Cast Collection.

Many Art History and Visual Culture majors enrich their experi­ence further by spending a semester or year abroad. Our alumni work in museums, galleries, and auction houses as well as in education, law, the non-profit sector, marketing, public relations, development and fundraising, publishing -  nearly every occupation that requires observation, analysis, and communication. Our dedicated alumni are valuable resources for current students, returning to campus regularly to give career advice and participating in job shadow programs and intern hiring.

Students in introductory Art History and Visual Culture courses should be able to meet the following learning outcomes:

  • Demonstrate factual knowledge within the discipline of Art History.
  • Demonstrate understanding and appreciation of art as a cultural activity.
  • Apply course material in order to improve critical thinking and problem solving.
  • Find and use resources effectively to answer questions and solve problems.

Students in upper-level seminars should be able to show proficiency in the above outcomes, as well as:

  • Demonstrate writing and research skills necessary in the field of Art History and Visual Culture
  • Demonstrate creative capacities in oral and written expression.
  • Analyze and critically evaluate ideas, arguments, and points of view.

Students may choose the traditional Art History and Visual Culture major or an Art History and Visual Culture major with a concentration in Visual Arts Administration.

For a 30-credit major in Art History and Visual Culture, students complete the following:

Select two of the following survey courses:6
Origins and Transformations in Western Art
Visual Culture Since 1400: Expression and Experimentation
Art of Africa, the Caribbean, and the Americas
Art of Asia
History of Architecture
Select three courses from the following: 19
Art of East Asia
Jewish Art: Moses to Modernity
Greek Art and Archaeology
Etruscan and Roman Art and Archaeology
Art and Archaeology of Ancient Egypt: Images for Eternity
Medieval Art of Western Europe
Celtic and Early Irish Art
Early Renaissance Art in Italy
High Renaissance and Mannerism in Italy
Renaissance and Baroque Architecture
Baroque Art
Modern Art
American Art and Media Culture
The Black Experience: African-American Art and Criticism in the 20th and 21st Centuries
History of Photography
Contemporary Art
Art and Mythologies of Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, Bolshevik Russia: Comparative Systems & Outcomes
The History, Theory, and Practice of Museums
Inside Museums and Galleries: Taste, Place, Public Space
Introduction to Museum Studies
Select one course from the following:3
The Historic Plaster Cast Collection at Fairfield University
Myth in Classical Art
The Arts of Ireland and the British Isles, 500-1000
Byzantine Art
Special Topics in Art History
Museums, Art, Ethics, and the Law
Independent Study 2
Internship 2
Junior Seminar
Select three additional art history courses at the 100 level or higher9
AH 0330Senior Capstone Seminar3
Total Credits30
1

Students are advised to take courses from a range of time periods and geographical locations.

2

AH 0300 and AH 0310 are available to advanced students. Only one may be counted toward the major in Art History and Visual Culture.

Concentration in Visual Arts Administration

For a 30-credit major in Art History & Visual Culture with a concentration in Visual Arts Administration, students complete the following:

Select two of the following foundational courses:6
Origins and Transformations in Western Art
Visual Culture Since 1400: Expression and Experimentation
Art of Africa, the Caribbean, and the Americas
Art of Asia
History of Architecture
Select one 100-level Art History & Visual Culture course3
Select one 200-level Art History & Visual Culture course3
Select one additional art history course at the 100 level or higher3
Select at least one of the following museum-themed courses:3
The History, Theory, and Practice of Museums
Inside Museums and Galleries: Taste, Place, Public Space
Museums, Art, Ethics, and the Law
Select one of the following Business courses:3
Introduction to Financial Accounting
Introduction to Management
Leading and Managing People
Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management
Managing Non-Profit Organizations
Principles of Marketing
ENW 0339Grant and Proposal Writing3
AH 0310Internship3
AH 0330Senior Capstone Seminar3
Total Credits30

It is recommended that AE 0291 Business Ethics be one of the courses taken for fulfillment Area III of the Core Curriculum. Additional DSB courses listed above are recommended as electives.