Fields of Study

Ancient Art

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.

Medieval

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 program in Renaissance and Early Modern Europe, where a broad faculty expertise encompasses the art and culture of Italy, the Spanish Empire, the Islamic world, and Northern Europe from the fourteenth to the eighteenth centuries. 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 (Freer | Sackler), the National Gallery, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Modern

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. European art from the 18th to the 21st century, American modernism, and modern art in Asia are all among the department’s distinctive strengths. Students oriented toward the study of criticism and aesthetic theory can also broaden their perspective and develop their critical skills by taking courses offered through the Comparative Thought and Literature, Philosophy, History, English, Modern Languages and Literatures, Political Science, and Anthropology, and with faculty affiliated with the programs in 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., (the Hirshhorn Museum, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the National Museum of Asian Art (Freer | Sackler), the Phillips Collection, and others) provide unparalleled resources for students of modern art at all levels