University of Southern Indiana
Virginia Poston's Art History Class

Art History

Why study Art History?

Art History is a multi-disciplinary field that immerses students in the study of diverse works of art and architecture and the cultures—past, present, geographically close and distant—that produced these works. Students will learn to use models of problem-solving from the past to find solutions for today’s challenges—aesthetic, social, and environmental.

Two years of a World Language (or equivalent placement test) are strongly recommended for any student planning on attending graduate school for art history.

Your Art History degree can prepare you for employment or graduate school through acquired skills such as:

  • Conducting research
  • Synthesizing information into written and oral formats
  • Visual analysis through direct observation of artworks
  • Organizational and writing skills
  • Creating professional presentations
  • Visual data creation and searches
  • Handling and working with historical artifacts

Your Art History degree can prepare you for potential to work in:

  • Museums and galleries
  • Local, state, and national non-profit arts organizations
  • Art collections of private, government, and corporate clients
  • Architectural firms
  • Interior design firms
  • The fields of
    • Exhibition design
    • Floral design
    • Set design
    • Event management

Your Art History degree can also qualify you for Master’s and PhD programs.

These are some of the facilities and resources to aid your art history studies:

  • The Art Resource Laboratory (ARL) – includes collections of digital images and videos for student and faculty use; has flatbed and 35mm slide scanners to use for class projects; organizes image groups for easy access from the ARTstor database (which has over 1.8 million images)
  • The Lawrence Library < /liberal-arts/lawrence-library> and the USI Art Collection <>  These provide you the opportunity for direct study of a wide range original artworks, from medieval and Renaissance manuscripts to Japanese woodblock prints and Asian textiles from the collections of USI alumnus John M. Lawrence (’73) and Dean Michael Aakhus, as well as other donors.  Art history students are especially encouraged to do original research with these materials.
  • The McCutchan Art Center and Pace Galleries <>   This on-campus exhibition space regularly features works by regional, national, and international artists, as well as works by students, faculty, alumni, and in the USI Art Collection.  You can fulfill the art internship requirement for art history majors by working here, gaining valuable experience with both the physical logistics and research necessary to curate an art show.
  • The New Harmony Gallery of Contemporary Art <>  In nearby New Harmony, Indiana, not only can you view exciting works of contemporary art by Midwestern artists, but you can also interact with the artists directly, through artists’ talks, workshops, and even aiding in installation projects.  If you are awarded the Jim Sanders Gallery Fellowship, you can earn 6 credit hours of course credit for working here and in the McCutchan Art Center/Pace Galleries.
  • The Rice Library – has an extensive collection of hard copy and e-books on art historical topics; provides electronic access to numerous art history journals, free of charge; allows undergraduates extensive free access to Interlibrary Loan materials

Some of our Art History alumni…

Andrea Adams (’12), Communications and Gallery Coordinator, Arts Council of Southwestern Indiana, Evansville

Lauren Braun (’09), Coordinator, Discovery Place KIDS, Huntersville, North Carolina

Allison Brown-Dillingham (’10), Guest Services Manager, Koch Family Children’s Museum of Evansville

Roxanne Burton (’12), Graduate student for Curatorial Practice, California College of the Arts; Gallery guide, Oakland Museum of California

Guisela Latorre (’93), Associate Professor, Women’s, Gender, Sexuality Studies, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio

Angie O’Nan (’12), Graduate student for Master of Liberal Studies, University of Southern Indiana; Administrative Associate, Publishing Services (USI)

Matt Rowe (’05), Executive Director, Reitz Home Museum, Evansville

Ashten Stenftenagel (’10), Deputy Clerk, City of Evansville

Courses offered include:

Ancient Greek, Asian, Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, 19th Century, and Contemporary Art to name just a few, along with special topics course on subjects such as the Silk Road, the Dutch Golden Age, and Contemporary Public Sculpture Exhibition. 

Contact Joan deJong


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