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History of Art

Cornell University Cornell University Cornell University History of Art and Visual Studies

History of Art

Indonesian Clay Dolls

The dream and lies of franco

Detail: The Dream and Lie of Franco


Fields in the Month of June

Amazon Cast Danielle Mericle


Detail: Aids for the Deaf


Detail: Battle between the conquering Mongols and the Muslim population of Iran


Detail: Beyond the Taj


Detail: Eave hanging (ider-ider) with scenes from Butterfly L

japan detail

Detail: Three Laughers of the Tiger Glen


Detail: Le Ventre Legislatif


Detail: El Regreso del Canibal Macrobiotico


Forgotten Dream


Detail: Moche Panel Fragment with Four Figur

sea gods

Detail: Battle of the Sea Gods

Tapestry by Pieter van Aelst

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History of Art at Cornell

Study in the Department of the History of Art crosses not only boundaries of geography and academic disciplines, but also of time as it integrates traditional history of art with more recent fields of theory and research. Read More

Italian Theatre


Art History: Why?
Art and visual culture are relevant to all ages and cultures. Visual literacy is critical for understanding our complex world. And it is a fundamental asset for a successful and responsible career. History of Art studies art in its social, political, religious, and aesthetic context. It teaches students to think through complex questions, to write critically – and to look carefully. Cornell’s department offers a global perspective on art and visual culture. Our students explore the arts of Africa, the Americas, Asia and Europe and their cultural interactions, from antiquity to the present. Our Art History Majors have gone on to careers in museums and galleries, academia, media, or law.

Please help support the future of Art History at Cornell.

To give to Art History on March 25, please click here, select Arts and Sciences, and then History of Art.

A few examples of what your gift could enable:
$100 and upwards – support towards Art History books purchases for the Cornell University Library.
$500 – travel grant to enable an Art History graduate student to participate in a conference.
$1000 – get a plaster cast from Cornell’s famous old Sage collection restored
$1500 – support a guest speaker for our Visual Culture Colloquium
$2000 – support the History of Art Major’s Society exhibition catalog at the Johnson Museum
$2500 – support our annual graduate student conference (keynote speaker)
$3000 – support a museum trip with undergraduate classes to New York City
$5000 – travel scholarship to enable 1 student to participate either in summer language training, or an archaeological field project in the Mediterranean, or ancient art trip.
$12,500 – support a Teaching Assistant to make 1 of our undergraduate Art History classes even better.
$20,000 – support a Cornell Conversations in Art History conference

Books and Publications by Our Faculty

Diaspora Memory Place

Diaspora, Memory, Place
Salah Hassan, Cheryl Finley

Originally conceived for Dak’art - the biennial of contemporary African art - the three site-specific projects profiled in this book strive to communicate notions of racial stereotyping, memory, language, and a shared past.

Revolt: Aesthetics of Dissent and Disgust

Revolt: Aesthetics of Dissent and Disgust

 "Revolt: Aesthetics of Dissent and Disgust," a new exhibition at the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art curated and organized by students in the History of Art Majors Society, shows how revolution within the realm of art and in society as a whole are inextricably connected, and that art not only reflects but also contributes to the creation of new political, social, or cultural realities. Link to full story.

Iftikhar Dadi and Elizabeth Dadi: Efflorescence


 On view at John Hartell Gallery, Sibley Dome from April 2 - 24, 2015.

 Reception: April 10th at 5pm at the John Hartell Gallery, Sibley Dome

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Maria Fernandez: 2015 Arvey Book Award

Maria Fernandez

 Maria Fernandez received 2015 Arvey Book Award from the Association for Latin American Art  for her book, Cosmopolitanism in Mexican Visual Culture (University of Texas  Press 2014). The competition includes books published during the last year in English, Spanish and Portuguese in all periods of Latin American art,  from Pre-Columbian to contemporary art.

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Visual Studies Minor

Encouraging the interpretation of the historical and contemporary visual world from diverse perspectives, including architecture, art, cinema, digital media, gender, globalization, performance, popular culture, print and electronic media, race, social institutions, and scientific developments. Learn More