The Art History department teaches the history and practice of visual creativity. All people, at all times, around the world, have expressed their identities and their beliefs through visual art.  From temple complexes to tea-cups, from quilts sewn with scraps to sculptures welded with tons of steel, art objects bring to us a knowledge of who we have been and how we shape our environments. 

Both our history and studio courses train students to observe the world more closely, and interpret what they see.  In our history courses, students study how art has occurred at the intersection of personal, technical, and social forces.  In our studio courses, students learn to handle media ranging from traditional drawing to digital design.  Thanks to Barnard’s location in New York City, the Art History department’s classrooms include some of the world’s most important museums and galleries.  Courses are regularly taught at or with museums, and visiting artists frequently enrich our curriculum. 

Art History majors have gone on to careers in museums, galleries, auction houses, arts administration, publishing, philanthropy, and academics, among other fields.


Announcements & More






Download a Spring 2018 guide to the Art History Major distributed at the Art History Program Planning Meeting on 10/31/17. 

THE APPLICATION DEADLINE FOR LIMITED ENROLLMENT SPRING '18 SEMINAR COURSES HAS PASSED (the deadline was 11/13/17). Please contact the Art History Deparment and the professor directly to inquire about available space. Seminar rosters have been posted on the Art History bulletin board, 5th Floor Diana Center and admitted students have been informed by email. Please follow 

If you have been accepted into a limited enrollment seminar but decide not to take the course, you must inform the art history office and professor immediately. Your slot needs to be given to a fellow student on the wait list. Even if you are on the admitted list, you must attend the first meeting of the seminar to secure your slot. Students who do not apply to seminars have last admission priority. 




Chromophore, an exhibition of new paintings by Joan Snitzer, Director of the Barnard Visual Arts is currently on view at A.I.R. Gallery. September 8 – October 8, 2017

Alexander Alberro, Barnard Art History Department Chair and Virginia Bloedel Wright Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art History, is the editor of the recently published book Working Conditions: The Writings of Hans Haacke (MIT Press).

Working Conditions collects writings by Hans Haacke that explain and document his practice. The texts run from straightforward descriptions to wide-ranging reflections and full-throated polemics. Haacke's art articulates the interdependence of multiple elements. An artwork is not merely an object but is also its context--the economic, social, and political conditions of the art world and the world at large. The volume features a thorough introduction to the writings of Haacke by Prof. Alberro.

Announcements & More