Picture of Art History class held outside on a beautiful day


The Department of the History of Art and Visual Studies at Cornell University prepares students to undertake journeys into visual culture through traditional areas of study such as ancient, Medieval and Renaissance art, as well as through the integration of recent fields of theory and research. Students explore the history of cultural interactions as manifested in visual culture both inside and outside the West, from antiquity to present.

artwork photograph from HAMS exhibit

History of Art Majors' Society Exhibits:

From 1991 to 2018, the History of Art Majors’ Society (HAMS) provided a way for Cornell history of art majors to enhance their knowledge about the discipline of art history beyond the classroom. Students worked under the guidance of the Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of the History of Art and Visual Studies. These students met at the Johnson Museum one evening each week throughout the academic year to develop an annual exhibition drawn from the permanent collection and to research, write, and publish an accompanying exhibition brochure. Students also planned educational programs and public lectures to coincide with their exhibition while it was on view at the Johnson.

Browse recent exhibits via the links below:

Art History Senior, Oscar

Student Spotlight: Oscar Rieveling '16

A recent graduate from our department, Oscar Rieveling explains that he originally intended to attend a specialized art school, but "in the end, being able to take classes in a wide variety of disciplines and with some of the most passionate professors has provided a better-rounded and interesting education."

Click here to read the full interview with Oscar, and browse the links below for more profiles of our young alumni: