2013-2014 Pitzer Catalog 
    May 26, 2024  
2013-2014 Pitzer Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Art History Major

A major in art history at Pitzer College invites students to understand the history of art through interdisciplinary approaches, a global outlook and an interest in ethnic and gender diversity. Through the Five College Coordinated Art History Program, Pitzer College cooperates with Pomona College and Scripps College in offering courses in the history of African, Asian, European and North American art. Course offerings are designed to provide students with a broad grounding in the history of art, with attention to European as well as non-European traditions and to invite students to learn to analyze artworks in their complex relations to cultural, historical, political and philosophical/spiritual contexts. Specialties of art history faculty in the Five colleges Coordinated Art History Program include architecture and fresco painting in Italy; the art of Africa and of artists of African descent in the Americas; the history of cities and gardens; issues of gender and the body in Early Modern art; the social history of North American art, including the United States, Canada, Mexico and Native American traditions, from the 16th century to the present and contemporary art as a global discourse.

Requirements for the Major

Art history majors will take two introductory art history courses, six additional art history courses, one studio art course, the senior seminar, and the senior thesis, for a total of 11 required courses.

Two introductory courses: ARHI 051A PO  or ARHI 051B PO , and ARHI 051C PO .
One course in the art of Asia, Africa, or the African Diaspora.
One course in the art of the Americas.
One course in the art of Europe before 1840.
One course in art since 1840.
Two additional art history courses.
One studio art course.
Senior Seminar in the fall semester (ARHI 190 PO ).
Senior Thesis in the spring semester (ARHI 191 PZ ).

Majors who intend to pursue graduate studies should study at least two foreign languages appropriate to their areas of interest. Students are strongly encouraged to apply for internships in museums, galleries, and conservation labs, and to study abroad during their junior year.

Learning Outcomes for the Art History Major:

Pitzer Art History majors will

  • Gain knowledge of the theories, histories, and philosophies of art
  • Gain an understanding of art objects and traditions in their historical contexts and across cultures
  • Learn how to communicate effectively about art works in both written and oral forms
  • Learn how to conduct research in art history
  • Attain the skills and knowledge to pursue a productive career or further education in art history, or a related field

Honors in Art History

A student who wishes to graduate with honors in art history must achieve a minimum grade point average of 3.5 in the major and earn an A or A- in a two-semester thesis that is more substantial than that of students not graduating with honors. The honors thesis must be proposed to the student’s advisor by the end of the first semester of the senior year. The honors student will write and then orally defend the thesis before a faculty honors committee comprising at least three members-the two thesis readers and an additional member to be selected by the student in consultation with the advisor and/or first reader.