Art History and Visual Culture Major

We live in a visual world, and 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 exploring art from prehistory until today across the globe, as well as classes in museum studies.

Among the many outstanding resources available to students are: 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, businesses, 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 including our signature programs at Florence University for the Arts and IAU in Aix-en-Provence, France. 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 goals:

  • Have visual literacy and fluency

  • Be able to discern and evaluate visual forms of expression

  • Have an increased comfort in museum/gallery/cultural settings

and learning outcomes:

  • Recognize and analyze paradigm monuments, and monuments related to them.
  • Use art historical vocabulary correctly.
  • Make meaningful connections between artworks and other examples of human expression within their historical contexts.
  • Find, evaluate, and use sources to answer questions and present findings in appropriate written form.

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.