Art History

Hampshire College
4 years
Bachelor's degree
Scholarships available
On campus

About this program

Art History

Art history is the analysis of visual data in a historical context.

Hampshire students concentrating in this field learn not only how to analyze works of art as objects or monuments in their own right, but also to understand and interpret them in relation to the historical circumstances, endeavors, and conflicts of the culture and region in which they were made.

Students read and interpret visual art works as records of a culture's imagination and its larger societal concerns, while developing diverse critical methods and originality of thought.

Art history is an exciting area of inquiry, by its very nature strongly interdisciplinary, and at Hampshire students have created concentrations that relate art history to curatorial studies, sociology, memory, spirituality, literature, and architecture.

Program content

Sample First-Year Course

The Body in Modern Art

The representation of the human body is central to the history of art. This course will explore this crucial subject as it has been portrayed over the past two centuries. The course begins with readings on anatomy and the shift from Jacques-Louis David's virile masculinity in the 1780s to a more androgynous and even feminized male as rendered by his followers. It then will explore the spectacle of a modern city in which prostitutes/Venus/ femme fatales/other kinds of working women often were favored over the domestic sphere. After examining art from the period of World War I where various assaults on traditional mimesis took place among avant-garde artists, this course will explore contemporary investigations of bodily representation, from the body sculpting projects of Orlan to identity politics and the ways that bodily representation have been developed.

Sample Courses at Hampshire

  • Aesthetic Theory
  • Art and Exile
  • The Body in Modern Art
  • Books, Book Arts, Artists' Book, Bibliophilia
  • The Bauhaus
  • The Collector: Theory and Practice
  • Colonialism in the Visual Arts
  • Dada and Surrealist Visions
  • Degas, Van Gogh, Gauguin
  • Europe After the Rain: Reconstructing Modernity
  • Guernica
  • Introduction to Visual Culture
  • Modernism and Modernity
  • Realism in Nineteenth-Century Art
  • Symbolists and Decadents
  • The Residue, the Detail, the Intimate
  • Visual Culture and the Holocaust

Through the Consortium

  • African Art and Diaspora (AC)
  • Art and Death (SC)
  • Dreaming of Italy (SC)
  • Evaluating Greek Art (UMass)
  • Gods and Mortals (MHC)
  • Great Themes in Art (UMass)
  • Impressionism and Post-Impressionism (UMass)

Scholarships & funding

Several scholarship options are available. Please check the college website for more information.


Tuition fees per semester: $25,500

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About this institute

Hampshire College

Hampshire College is a small liberal arts college located in Amherst, Massachusetts that has been at the forefront of progressive higher education in the United States for over 50 years. Every Hampshire student designs a customized program of study in...

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Contact info

Hampshire College

West Street
01002 Amherst Massachusetts
United States of America

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