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History of Art

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


Amazon Cast Danielle Mericle


Detail: Aids for the Deaf

Indonesian Clay Dolls

Tapestry by Pieter van Aelst


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

The dream and lies of franco

Detail: The Dream and Lie of Franco


Fields in the Month of June

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Major Requirements for Students who Matriculate as Cornell Freshman prior to July 1, 2015

Prospective majors should consult the director of undergraduate studies. Students wishing to declare a major in the history of art should have completed any two courses above the 1000- level at Cornell in the department by the end of their sophomore year and have received a grade of B or above in both. Courses must be taken for a letter grade and must be at least a B– to count toward the major. These courses count toward the total 44 credits. The major in the history of art requires 44 credits, 30 at the 3000-level or above. The core requirements are: Proseminar; another seminar at the 4000-level or above; two courses on art from the following time periods: Ancient Europe, Medieval/Islamic, or Renaissance/Baroque (one course per time period); two courses on art from the three following geographical areas: Africa, Asia, or Latin America (one course per region); and two courses on modern/contemporary art in Europe and North America, including art from outside the Anglo-American tradition. In addition to the 44 credits, majors are required to take two courses, approved by their advisors, in areas related to the history of art.

Major Requirements for Students who Matriculate as Cornell Freshman after July 1, 2015 The major in the history of art requires 40 credits, 26 of which must be at the 3000-level or above. For admission into the major, students are required to have completed the 1000-level gateway class,  ARTH 1100 - Art Histories: An Introduction, and to have received at least a grade of B. If declaring the major at the end of the sophomore year students who have not attended the gateway class will have to complete a 3900-level tutorial. Here too, the grade received must be at least a B. These courses count toward the total 40 credits. A grade of B- is required to receive credit toward the major for all other history of art courses. The major program requires at least one 2000-level introductory class, at least one 3000-level lecture class, VISST 2000 - Introduction to Visual Studies, ARTH 3101 - Proseminar, and two other seminars at the 4000-level or above.

Assessment for Majors

As part of the department's plan for improving assessment at the undergraduate level, we will be implementing, beginning with those students who declare a History of Art Major during the 2011-2012 academic year, a two-step process of paper assessment.  The outcome will not generate a grade, but will serve to allow both students and instructors to more accurately gauge, at the sophomore level, areas of strength, as well as those in need of improvement, and, at the senior level, to assess and appreciate the improvements in skills of visual analysis and written expression of ideas attained by students.

Study Abroad / Transfer Credits

A maximum of twelve credits will be allowed. For credit, please refer to the department guidelines and application; these may be obtained in the History of Art departmental office.

Independent Study

A maximum of four credits may be used to fulfill the 44 required credits. Independent study credits may not be used to satisfy seminar requirements.