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
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
"M=Memory" in Let Your Motto Be Resistance: African American Portraiture from 1865 to the Present
This stunning collection of photographic portraits traces US history through the lives of well-known abolitionists, artists, scientists, writers, statesman, entertainers, and sports figures. Drawing on the photographic collections of the National Portrait Gallery, author Deborah Willis explores how these images—many by famous photographers—reveal the nation's history through an African American lens and challenge us all to uphold America's highest ideals and promises.
Maria Fernandez: 2015 Arvey Book Award
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.
Visualizing El Barrio
“Visualizing El Barrio” - Students in an interdisciplinary class studied murals in New York City's El Barrio, learning about neighborhood aspects such as culture, history and preservation, and organized a student-curated exhibition located at the Latino Studies Program office, Fourth Floor, Rockefeller Hall. The exhibition runs until Feb. 13, 2015.
Check out the course blog site read a story by the Cornell Chronicle for more information.
Firing the Canon: the Cornell Casts and their Discontents
In the 1890s, 19th century casts of ancient Greek, Roman, Near Eastern, Egyptian, medieval and Renaissance pieces were collected and used as a way to facilitate education about these historic relics. Since then, many became lost, abandoned, reviled and sometimes even violently destroyed.
Associate Professor of History of Art and Classics Annetta Alexandridis and Associate Professor of Classics and History of Art Verity Platt are working to restore the cast collection and make it once again available to the Cornell community. Read the Full Story and Watch the Exhibition Video
For the full interview with exhibition curator and Cornell professor, An-Yi Pan, see the Cornell Daily Sun article: Jie (Boundaries): Contemporary Art from Taiwan.
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