The department affords students of ancient art the opportunity to work with a faculty that includes experts in Greek, Roman, Mediterranean, and Ancient Near Eastern art and architecture. Students also benefit from close and long-standing relationships with the Departments of Classics and Near Eastern Studies, which provide training in the languages, literatures, and histories of the ancient world. Facilities of special relevance to students of ancient art include the Johns Hopkins Archaeological Museum, located on campus inside Gilman Hall, and the extraordinary holdings of the Walters Art Museum and the Baltimore Museum of Art.


Since its founding in 1947, the department has given special emphasis to the study of medieval art, and that tradition continues with a new generation of faculty bringing expertise in Early Medieval, Gothic, Islamic, Italian, and Mediterranean art and architecture to the program. Students also avail themselves of local expertise through the departments of History, English, and Modern Languages and Literatures, and frequently consult with curators at the Walters Art Museum, several of whom participate as adjunct faculty. The extraordinary collections at the Walters Art Museum and at Dumbarton Oaks are especially valuable for students interested in manuscript illumination and the portable object.

Early Modern and Renaissance

Another signature strength of the Department of the History of Art is its expertise in the Early Modern period , encompassing the art, architecture, and culture of Italy, the Spanish Empire, the Islamic world, and Northern Europe  from the fourteenth to the eighteenth century. Graduate students in these areas participate in the programs of the Charles Singleton Center for the Study of Pre-Modern Europe, which sponsors collaborative research abroad and brings a steady stream of world-class lecturers to Baltimore. Students also benefit from the excellent collections of Islamic art, Italian and Northern Renaissance art, and the art of the Spanish Empire at the Walters Art Museum, the National Museum of Asian Art, the National Gallery, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.


At Hopkins, a diverse and challenging curriculum in modern art and criticism is offered by a research faculty of international prominence, supplemented by occasional visiting scholars and museum curators. Asian, European, Middle Eastern, and North American art from the eighteenth to the twenty-first centuries constitute the department’s distinctive strengths. Students avail themselves of courses on aesthetics, criticism, modernism, gender, and area studies offered in other departments and with faculty affiliated with programs such as Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Africana Studies, Latin American Studies, and Islamic Studies. Distinctive collections at the Baltimore Museum of Art and at multiple institutions in Washington, D.C. provide unparalleled resources for students of modern art at all levels.