Eric Garberson, Ph.D.
Associate professor and interim chair

arts.vcu.edu/arthistory

The Department of Art History offers programs that acquaint students with the humanistic discipline of art historical inquiry. While providing students with the opportunity for a broad education drawing on the liberal arts and humanities, the department also emphasizes a close bond with the studio and performing arts and enjoys a close relationship with the other departments in the School of the Arts.

The department offers a broad-based education in the humanistic discipline of art history at the baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral levels.

Overseas studies are available through university-sponsored programs abroad in Europe and Asia. Graduate assistantships and fellowships are available to full-time graduate students.

ARTH 591. Special Topics in Art History. 1-6 Hours.

Semester course; variable hours. 1-6 credits. May be repeated for a maximum of 9 credits. An in-depth study of a particular aspect of art history or art made in a particular time or place, or by a specific artist or group of artists. Course may include extended off-campus trips to sites and collections throughout the United States or abroad. See the Schedule of Classes for specific topics to be offered each semester.

ARTH 598. German for Art Historical Research. 3 Hours.

Semester course. 3 practicum hours. 3 credits. A sustained and progressively complex sequence of exercises in reading and translating art historical research that is written and published in German. Graded P/F.

ARTH 621. Historical Preservation and Architectural History. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. An introduction to the methods or research, record keeping and reporting used in architectural history, and to the evolution of the discipline, especially in relation to historic preservation.

ARTH 622. Studies in Architectural History. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. May be repeated for a maximum of 9 credits. An advanced, in-depth study of a selected period of architectural history in Europe and/or America. See the Schedule of Classes for specific topics to be offered each semester.

ARTH 681. Museums and Communities. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 seminar hours. 3 credits. An examination of relationships between museums and communities, focusing on critical/theoretical analyses of how museums have constructed community identities, histories of place and cross-cultural relations. Also provides understanding of organizational structures and the roles and responsibilities of museum administrators.

ARTH 682. The Museum as Educational Institution. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 seminar hours. 3 credits. An overview of the history, theory and practice of museums as educational institutions, focusing on education philosophies and teaching methods as well as criteria for evaluating the educational merit of exhibits and programs. Also provides an understanding of the roles and responsibilities of museum educators and the structural organization of museum departments of education.

ARTH 683. Museum Collections. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 seminar hours. 3 credits. An examination of the history, motivations and procedures of museums collecting. Considers the ethical and logistical issues involved in acquiring objects (through bequests and purchase), in releasing objects (through restitution and deaccessioning) and in stewardship of objects (through conservation and registration). Also provides understanding of the roles and responsibilities of curators, collections managers, registrars and conservators, as well as an understanding of the structural organization of curatorial/collections staff.

ARTH 684. Curating Museum Exhibitions. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 seminar hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: ARTH 681, ARTH 682, ARTH 683 or ARTH 691. Students work collaboratively to develop an exhibit script that reflects a contemporary museological issue through the display of artworks and/or artifacts.

ARTH 690. Historiography and Methodology of Art History. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 seminar hours. 3 credits. Historiographic overview of art history since the mid-18th century that provides a foundational understanding of the changing methodological and theoretical bases for its disciplinary practices in academia and museums. Critical reading and writing skills and research methods will be developed through class discussion, small assignments and an independent research project in the student's primary area of interest.

ARTH 691. Special Topics in Museum Studies. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 seminar hours. 3 credits. An advanced, in-depth study of museum histories, theories or practices in a particular time period, region or culture.

ARTH 693. Graduate Museum Internship. 3-6 Hours.

Semester course; variable hours. 3-6 credits. May be repeated for a maximum of 9 credits. Prerequisite: permission of instructor, chair of the graduate committee and/or chair of the Department of Art History. Professionally supervised work in a local, regional, national or international museum.

ARTH 694. Art History and Pedagogy. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. An examination of teaching philosophies and methods that have been enacted in the development of art history curricula, course design, classroom activities and gallery programs within higher education and museum contexts.

ARTH 695. Writing Seminar I. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 seminar hours. 3 credits. An investigation and practical application of rhetorical styles of writing for various audiences and purposes in academic, museum and/or online contexts, with particular focus on scholarly writing.

ARTH 721. Seminar in Early Modern Art. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 seminar hours. 3 credits. May be repeated for a maximum of 12 credits. An advanced, in-depth study of a selected aspect of Renaissance or Baroque art in Europe. See the Schedule of Classes for specific topics to be offered each semester.

ARTH 722. Seminar in 19th-century Art. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 seminar hours. 3 credits. May be repeated for a maximum of 12 credits. An advanced, in-depth study of a selected aspect of 19th-century art in Europe and/or America, including though not limited to movements, artists, new techniques, technologies or display venues. See the Schedule of Classes for specific topics to be offered each semester.

ARTH 723. Seminar in 20th-century Art. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 seminar hours. 3 credits. May be repeated for a maximum of 12 credits. An advanced, in-depth study of a selected aspect of 20th-century art in Europe and/or America, including though not limited to movements, artists, new techniques, technologies or display venues. See the Schedule of Classes for specific topics to be offered each semester.

ARTH 725. Seminar in Pre-Columbian Art and Architecture. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 seminar hours. 3 credits. May be repeated for a maximum of 12 credits. Advanced research on specific topics related to the study of pre-Columbian art in the Mesoamerican and Andean regions. See the Schedule of Classes for specific topics offered each semester.

ARTH 726. Seminar in African Art. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 seminar hours. 3 credits. May be repeated for a maximum of 12 credits. A study of the culture and traditional art forms, which may include architecture; sculptural works in wood, stone, ivory and metal; royal attire; jewelry and/or weaponry of a specific African region. See the Schedule of Classes for specific topics offered each semester.

ARTH 727. Seminar in Latin American Art. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 seminar hours. 3 credits. May be repeated for a maximum of 12 credits. In-depth study of specific topics related to the study of Renaissance art in the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America or South America. See the Schedule of Classes for specific topics offered each semester.

ARTH 728. Seminar in Asian Art. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 seminar hours. 3 credits. May be repeated for a maximum of 12 credits. An advanced, in-depth study of a selected aspect of the art of India, Southeast Asia or the Middle East. See the Schedule of Classes for specific topics to be offered each semester.

ARTH 741. Seminar in Art and Theory. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 seminar hours. 3 credits. May be repeated for a maximum of 9 credits. An advanced, detailed investigation of critical, aesthetic or social theories as they relate to the history of art. See the Schedule of Classes for specific topics offered each semester.

ARTH 742. Seminar in Trans-millennial Art and Ideas. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 seminar hours. 3 credits. May be repeated for a maximum of 9 credits. An advanced, detailed investigation of an issue, idea or topic that transcends millennia in the history of art. See the Schedule of Classes for specific topics offered each semester.

ARTH 743. Seminar in Art and Representation. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 seminar hours. 3 credits. May be repeated for a maximum of 9 credits. An advanced, detailed investigation of an issue, idea or topic that considers artworks as representations of people, places, ideas, cultural values, etc. See the Schedule of Classes for specific topics offered each semester.

ARTH 749. Seminar in Diasporic Art. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 seminar hours. 3 credits. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credits. An examination of African-inspired cultural and artistic traditions in North and South America and the Caribbean. See the Schedule of Classes for specific topics offered each semester.

ARTH 771. Writing Seminar II. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 seminar hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: ARTH 695. Provides Master of Arts students with a structure in which to complete a qualifying paper that fulfills degree requirements. Students meet periodically as a group while also working independently with a faculty adviser to articulate a paper topic, conduct research and refine a paper of publishable quality.

ARTH 772. Major Field Exam. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 research hours. 3 credits. Enrollment requires permission of director of graduate studies. Provides doctoral students with opportunities to investigate research areas related to their major field of study. Students work with a faculty adviser to establish a bibliography for independent reading and study in preparation for the major field exam. Graded as Pass/Fail.

ARTH 773. Minor Field Exam. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 research hours. 3 credits. Enrollment requires permission of director of graduate studies. Provides doctoral students with opportunities to investigate research areas related to their minor field of study. Students work with a faculty adviser to establish a bibliography for independent reading and study in preparation for the minor field exam. Graded as Pass/Fail.

ARTH 774. Dissertation Proposal. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 research hours. 3 credits. Enrollment requires permission of director of graduate studies. Students prepare a dissertation proposal under the direction of the dissertation adviser. Graded as S/U/F.

ARTH 791. Special Topics in Art History. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 seminar hours. 3 credits. May be repeated for a maximum of 9 credits. An in-depth investigation of a topic or issue in art history. See the Schedule of Classes for specific topics offered each semester.

ARTH 797. Directed Research Project. 1-3 Hours.

Semester course; variable hours. 1-3 credits. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credits. Prerequisite: permission of instructor, director of graduate studies and chair of the Department of Art History. Advanced individual work on a subject to be formulated by the student in collaboration with and/or approved by the instructor.

ARTH 798. Museum Thesis Project. 1-6 Hours.

Semester course; 1, 3 or 6 credits. Prerequisite: completion of all formal course work, comprehensive examinations, foreign language examination and permission of departmental graduate committee and museum studies program. The practical application of museological issues, concepts or theories in exhibit curation, education program development, exhibit or program evaluation, collections planning, or policy analysis. A written account of the museological significance of the project is required. Graded as S/U/F.

ARTH 799. Thesis. 1-6 Hours.

Semester course; 1-6 credits. May be repeated. Prerequisite: Completion of all formal course work, comprehensive examinations, foreign language examination, and approval of the departmental chair of graduate studies and department chair. Preparation of a thesis based on independent research.

ARTH 899. Dissertation Research. 1-6 Hours.

Semester course; variable hours. Variable credit. A minimum of 6 semester hours required; may be repeated for a maximum of 15 credits. Enrollment restricted to students who have achieved Ph.D. candidacy. Preparation of a dissertation based on independent research and in consultation with a faculty dissertation director. Graded S/U/F.