Supporting a proud tradition of excellence in humanities scholarship and teaching, Johns Hopkins University offers students a diverse range of resources and opportunities for the study of art history. Courses are taught by an international faculty of respected research scholars, covering a broad temporal scope of the art and architecture of Europe, the Islamic world, Asia, the Americas, and the trans-Atlantic world. Participating in small classes with opportunities for close study of art in local and regional collections, students integrate their direct experience of works of art with the knowledge and critical perspective gained through historical research, discussion, and debate.
Programs leading to the BA, BA/MA, and PhD degrees emphasize the value of investigating works of art in their historical, intellectual, and social contexts, and enable students to deepen their understanding of cultural history in conjunction with courses in other departments and programs.
Baltimore-Washington, D. C. Collections and Resources
Located in a metropolitan region of unsurpassed museum collections and research institutions, Johns Hopkins is well situated for the study of art history. The Baltimore Museum of Art, with its rich holdings in modern and contemporary art, African Art, and the history of prints (to name just a few of its strengths), is directly adjacent to the Homewood campus. Downtown, and only a short shuttle ride away, is the renowned Walters Art Museum, which houses art from Asia, the Americas, Europe, and the Islamic world from the pre-historic era to the nineteenth century.
Easily accessible from Baltimore are the museums and galleries of Washington D.C., a short train ride to the south. The National Gallery of Art houses a world-class collection of European and American painting, sculpture, photography, and graphic arts from the Renaissance to the present day. Important collections of Byzantine art and the art of the ancient Americas are maintained at Dumbarton Oaks Research Library, and collections of Islamic, Asian, Ancient Near Eastern, and African art are housed in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art and National Museum of African Art. Works of modern and contemporary art are presented in the permanent collections and exhibitions of the Hirshhorn Museum, Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM), and the Phillips Collection. The collections at the National Museum for Women in the Arts, the Library of Congress, and the Textile Museum (at George Washington University) add to the richness of materials available for study.
Meanwhile, the Sheridan Libraries of Johns Hopkins maintains its own extensive art library on the Homewood Campus, alongside a Special Collections department which includes a strong collection of illustrated books, facsimiles, and artists’ publications, and illustrated manuscripts, photography, and object collections housed at the Homewood Museums. The Johns Hopkins Archaeological Museum, which neighbors our department in Gilman Hall, houses objects from the ancient Mediterranean, Near East, and Americas, as well as some medieval Islamic works.