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Art History

500 Diana Center
212-854-8442 (fax)
Department Administrator: Elisabeth Sher

Chair: Keith Moxey (Barbara Novak Professor of Art History)
Professors: Rosalyn Deutsche (Term Professor), Anne Higonnet,
Associate Professors: Alexander Alberro (Virginia Bloedel Wright Professor of Art History),  Elizabeth Hutchinson, Jonathan Reynolds
Senior Lecturer: Joan Snitzer (Director of Visual Arts Program)
Associate Professor of Practice: John Miller
Assistant Professor of Professional Practice: Leslie Hewitt
Adjunct Professors: Maryan Ainsworth
Columbia University Department of Art History and Archeology: Zainab Bahrani, Francesco Benelli, Barry Bergdoll, Kaira M. Cabañas, Michael Cole, Jonathan Crary, Francesco de Angelis, Vidya Dehejia, Dawn Delbanco, Vittoria Di Palma, Noam M. Elcott, David Freedberg, Cordula Grewe, Robert E. Harrist Jr, Christina Hunter, Kellie Jones, Branden W. Joseph, Natalie Kampen (Emerita), Holger Klein, Rosalind Krauss (University Professor), Matthew McKelway, Kent Minturn, Stephen Murray, Ioannis Mylonopoulos, Esther Pasztory, Prudence Marie Peiffer,  Stephanie Porras, John Rajchman, David Rosand, Jeffrey Saletnik, Simon Schama (University Professor), Robert Schindler, Zoë Strother, Veronica White

The Department of Art History


Art History, which is devoted to the study of all the visual arts, is one of the broadest fields in the humanities. It is concerned not only with the nature of works of art – their materiality, form, style, and content--but also with the social, political, and cultural circumstances that shape them and determine their reception. Long identified with the study of European art, the history of art is now dedicated to understanding the visual arts on a global scale. Introductory level courses encourage a basic lifelong understanding and appreciation of works of art produced in various periods and different cultures. Most of our majors take the opportunity offered by Study Abroad to attend courses in locations from Barcelona to Dakar. In addition special arrangements make it possible for students to take courses that travel to artistic centers such as Paris and Berlin. The rest of the curriculum offers a more advanced and specialized knowledge of art which can lead to many kinds of careers, including teaching, museum administration and curating, business positions in galleries or auction houses, publishing, criticism, collection advising, and conservation, as well as work as visual artists in any medium. Students in many fields may also find that art history is relevant to their studies. Not only do courses insist on analytical thinking and writing through multiple assignments that involve rigorous attention to presentational and written skills, but they foster a capacity to understand the ways in which images make meaning. The department, fortunate in being located in New York City, one of the world’s greatest art centers, takes full advantage of the rich resources of the city’s museums and galleries. Courses on the history of the city’s involvement in art bring the city to students while they in turn explore its offerings both privately and through internships in artistic institutions ranging from museums to art periodicals.

Student Learning Outcomes 

Students who graduate with a major or minor in art history will be able to attain the following outcomes:

  • Demonstrate a critical understanding of the social, political, and cultural circumstances surrounding the making and viewing works of art in a range of cultural traditions and time periods in a comparative way;
  • Discuss the form, style, and content of a range of works of art;
  • Recognize the methods and theories used to ask significant questions about works of art;
  • Frame and execute their own research projects through the writing of papers, the production of art works or a combination of the two;
  • Express themselves effectively orally, in writing, visually or materially;
  • Study works of art in person.