Undergraduate

At Johns Hopkins the study of art history emphasizes the historical, social, cultural, and philosophical contexts of art, as well as immersing students in the critical analysis of artistic and architecture form through close looking, writing, discussion, and debate. The history of art department is therefore an excellent choice both for undergraduates interested in a humanistic education as well as those preparing for advanced study or careers in the museum or publishing worlds. Each undergraduate major is assigned a faculty adviser, who helps craft an individual course of study leading to the fulfillment of the graduation requirements.

Learning Goals

During their course of undergraduate study at Johns Hopkins, majors in the history of art will:

  • Develop the foundational skills needed to engage in the critical study of works of visual art, including painting, graphic media, and photography; sculpture and the plastic decorative arts; architecture and environmental art; and aspects of new media in contemporary art. Methods of close observation and description of works are cultivated to serve as building blocks toward historically situated interpretations of artistic form and meaning
  • Acquire a broad-based familiarity with the main currents of European, Mediterranean, and North American art history from the ancient to the modern period
  • Gain experience with works of art beyond the classroom, through museums, special library collections, and onsite field trips
  • Acquire a working familiarity with the terminology, textual sources, theoretical discourses, and historiography informing the visual arts and architecture throughout its history
  • Develop the skills necessary for effective, cogent, reasoned communication and self-expression, both oral and written, in the critical study and interpretation of art
  • Develop an appreciation for the rigors of scholarly research, writing, and argumentation, as well as the importance of language training, required for advanced research beyond the bachelor’s degree.