Majors & Minors

Art History

Art History unites visual thinking with verbal thinking, crosses cultural boundaries, and prepares for a truly international experience. At Southwestern, Art History majors are exposed to many different cultures by our renowned staff, which includes international scholars and experts in their respective fields.


Thomas Howe, Ph.D.

Professor of Art History



Thomas Howe, Ph.D.

Professor of Art History

Art History is a gateway to other cultures, and surrounds almost all human activity. The study is highly interdisciplinary and encompasses a wide range of topics which are studied not only verbally, including politics, economics, religion, philosophy and social structures, but also visually.

Art History unites visual thinking with verbal thinking, and therefore it prepares students to be able to cross cultural boundaries and think “out-of-the-box” in a surprising number of  professions. It also enables them to move comfortably in the new international world in which this generation of student must compete.

Southwestern University’s Art History Department is defined by four teacher-scholars who are thoroughly integrated and active in international environments. With emphasis on Classical, East Asia, Pre-Modern Latin America, and Modern Euro-America, the department supports and engages students in an education for tomorrow. By studying closely with these professors, the curriculum gives students a comfortable familiarity with a wide range of worldviews. Since art history requires both visual and verbal thinking, students acquire superior communication skills and ability to think about familiar things in innovative ways.  

Students are strongly encouraged to develop their own direct contacts with new places and to seek out opportunities to travel abroad. Their travel experiences often contribute directly to giving their research in their senior capstone seminar a depth similar to that of a competitive graduate school.

This ability to think visually and verbally and to communicate across cultures positions Art History majors to succeed in a wide variety of careers. Recent Southwestern graduates have gone on to professions in university teaching, curatorial and management at major museums, art auction houses as well as medical, law, international business, diplomacy and NGOs.


Art History News

The Terracotta Army

Associate Professor Allison Miller Discusses Theft of Ancient Terracotta Army Statue

Associate Professor of Art History Allison Miller speaks with CGTN America on the theft of part of an ancient terracotta army statue worth millions.

Mary Miller

Mary Miller, Sterling Professor of the History of Art at Yale University, Will Present “Were They Enslaved? Maya Figurines from Jaina and Beyond” at Southwestern

Phi Beta Kappa’s Visitng Scholar Program welcomes Dr. Miller to campus Feb. 1.

Patrick Hajovsky

On Top of the World, Professor of Art History Patrick Hajovsky

After applying at the encouragement of a colleague familiar with his research, Patrick Hajovsky, associate professor of art history at Southwestern University, was selected from among 350 applicants to complete a prestigious three month Getty Scholar residency this summer at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles.