The Bachelor of Arts in Art History is a four-year undergraduate degree program in the history and theory of art and art criticism. Courses examine painting, sculpture, architecture, decorative arts, environmental art, performance art, body art, film, and video. The program incorporates both traditional and more recent approaches to the study of art. Approaches include stylistic analysis, connoisseurship and iconography, as well as social history, interdisciplinary study, and deconstructive strategies. Students begin with broad overviews of Western and non-Western art and period courses in Classical, Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, 18th, 19th and 20th century studies. More advanced classes focus on issues stimulated by ideological, gender, ethnic, and political perspectives. Courses also provide a background in art theory, criticism, and methodologies such as semiotics, feminism, deconstruction, and post- structuralism.
Seminars on special issues allow students to examine such topics as Early Christian art, or the Arts and Craft Movement in greater depth. The curriculum also includes courses in the History of Photography, the Art of India, Women in the Arts, and Film Studies. Such opportunities encourage students to adopt an international, interdisciplinary, theoretically-informed understanding of a history of the Arts.
Students are encouraged to develop skills in computer networking, tapping into libraries, museums, and educational resources world-wide. Many choose to enroll in art education and studio art courses as electives, tailoring the program to their specific interests and talents. Proficiency in one foreign language is mandatory. Students may also participate in overseas study in two-week summer programs in Oxford, Paris, and Rome. The department also organizes an annual trip to New York City to attend important exhibitions and tour museums and galleries.
Internships are available in museums in the Erie, Buffalo, Cleveland and Pittsburgh area. Students may earn up to 15 credit hours in museum internships in public relations, art education, and arts administration. Students may also intern at Edinboro's Bruce Gallery and enroll in the Gallery Management class.
The art history program at Edinboro prepares graduates for more advanced degrees in art history, art education, or museum management. Possible careers include teaching or becoming a museum director, curator, registrar, conservator, or preparator. Other prospects might include appraising works of art, working in a commercial gallery or auction house, acting as an administrator of a corporate collection, or working in art publishing.