Art & Art History

Art History Program

Distinct among liberal arts colleges, Southwestern’s Art History program is well-balanced between Western and non-Western fields.

Art acts as a crucial means of human communication across history and the globe, and art history majors at Southwestern are well-prepared critically to assess the complex meanings of art and architecture in an increasingly multicultural world.

Students enjoying a visit to the San Antonio Museum of Art.


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SU Art History was featured in the Winter 2012 volume of Southwestern Magazine: “Broad Strokes: The Rigorous and Demanding Art History Major at Southwestern”. Read the full text here.


As a liberal arts program, the Art History major enables the student to develop visual literacy and to critically assess the complex meanings of material culture within diverse settings. To foster such understanding, Art History courses take a broadly contextual approach, situating art objects in relation to contemporaneous political and historical events; issues of race, gender, class and power structures; intellectual history and aesthetic criticism.

In addition to preparing students for application to MA and PhD programs in art history, art history students are well prepared for professional and graduate work in other areas of the visual arts, such as arts administration or museum work, as well as other academic disciplines (e.g., history, philosophy, etc.).

Explore the Special Opportunities and Resources/Facilities available to current Art History students.

Art & Art History

  • Contact

    Chair of Art History
    Thomas Howe, Ph.D.
    Professor of Art History

    Chair of Studio Art
    Victoria Star Varner, MFA
    Professor of Art

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