History of Art

Major and Minor

Art History is the study of visual art including paintings, sculpture, prints, drawings, and decorative arts. By studying the composition of art pieces as well as the historical surroundings, artists, social and political backgrounds and users of the art, students are able to better understand the artistic views and ideas in context. Through studying art both past and present, students develop critical writing, researching, and visual recognition skills as well as a great appreciation for art itself.

Highlights of the Hopkins Program

Hopkins offers unsurpassed opportunities for the study of art history. The department’s faculty is among the most distinguished in the field, and Baltimore and Washington, D.C., are home to some of the best museums in the United States. Undergraduates work closely with leading scholars of ancient, Near Eastern, Roman, medieval, Renaissance, baroque, and modern art. Visiting scholars and museum curators offer courses on the arts of Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America, and internationally renowned artists visit campus to discuss their work in lectures and seminars attended by students and faculty. Excursions to local institu­tions such as the Baltimore Museum of Art and the Walters Art Museum, and to Washington’s diverse museums just an hour away, supplement course work with direct experiences of great works of art.


Sample First Semester Schedule
  • Introduction to the History of Western Art, AS.010.101
  • Appropriate level of foreign language
  • History or other humanities courses that will complement the study of art
  • Consider a course in Classics or Museums and Society
  • Consider an elective N, Q, or E course to begin distribution requirements
  • Total 12-17 credits

Career Exploration

Skill Set

The “real world” skills you’ll develop with a major in History of Art:

  • Developing an appreciation of aesthetics
  • Ability to create presentations and speak effectively in public
  • Developing fine visual discrimination skills
  • Recognizing cultural differences/similarities
  • Perceiving patterns/structures
  • Writing and orally presenting information
  • Analyzing ideas and information

Career Center

Looking for information about majors, careers, and finding jobs and internships?
Visit the Career Center’s website: http://www.jhu.edu/careers/