Art History Minor Course Descriptions

The art history minor is designed for students seeking to expand their knowledge of art history. Through the introduction of major global art movements and theories, an additional emphasis is placed on developing skills in art history research, critical writing, critical thinking and visual analysis.

The minor is also designed to complement the student’s major interest in other disciplines. Therefore, interdisciplinary study is highly encouraged. For example, students studying chemistry and art history might focus on pursuing an advanced degree in art conservation and restoration. Similarly, a business major minoring in art history might pursue entrepreneurship opportunities in the commercial art world, including employment in galleries or auction houses, or work in museum leadership, including development and directorial positions.

The art history minor also will provide students with options to continue their education in a variety of graduate art programs and/or careers in the visual arts.          

Curious About a Career in Art?

Contact Rachel Brown,
Program Manager for
AUC Art History + Curatorial Studies Collective and an avid photographer.
rachel.brown@spelman.edu
404-270-4121

Art History

Art History Minor Course Descriptions

Required

SAVC 141 Ways of Seeing: Pyramids to Cathedrals
This course examines the art and architecture of the ancient world, focusing on Egypt, the Near East, and the Classical Greek and Roman world and Europe from about 2000 BCE to CE 1400. It also studies African and Asian art traditions that emerged during that period.

SAVC 142 Ways of Seeing: Medieval to Modern Art
This course explores the visual arts from the fourteenth century to the twentieth century (from the Medieval period to the Modern era). Students are taught about works of art in the social, political, religious, and philosophical realms as well as in the very personal contexts that gave these objects meaning for their original audiences.

SAVC 255 Writing in Art History
This course focuses on writing for declared or potential art history majors. Students develop strong writing skills through close analysis of key art historical texts. They are taught to strengthen essential skills required in the discipline of art history, including archival research techniques and critical analysis based on visual and written evidence.

SAVC 320 Framing Art Histories
This foundational theory and methods course explores the practices and methods of the discipline of art history. Students investigate key questions, interpretative approaches, institutional structures and modes of dissemination that define the study of art history.

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SAVC 230 Global Foundations of Modern Art
This course begins with the premise that the history of European and American modern art, which arose out of 17th-century Enlightenment ideals, is incomplete without an examination of the African, Oceanic, Indigenous and other global influences that prompted the Impressionists to emulate Japanese woodblock prints and catalyzed Picasso and Braque’s exploration of Cubism in the early 20th century.

SAVC 305 Seminar in Curatorial Practice
This course introduces curatorial methodologies and strategies for developing a broad range of exhibitions (monographic, thematic and permanent collection shows, media-based and interactive projects, etc.). It examines how museums produce knowledge, considering the ways in which art history and visual culture studies have been informed by museum collection and display policies. This course is designed for students who are curious about curatorial projects and curating practices.

SAVC 335 Mining the Museum
This course positions museums as dynamic, changing, non-neutral spaces that should be respected as extraordinary cultural assets, that should be enjoyed and challenged, critiqued, and scrutinized. This course focuses on seminal exhibitions that inform current perceptions of and interactions with museums. Using exhibitions and works from the permanent collections of AUC institutions as case studies, this course examines the role of institutions, curators, and other museum professionals.

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SAVC 243 African American Art
This survey examines multiple forms of visual art production by African Americans from 1619 to the present. It begins with an overview of the Middle Passage and slavery in relation to African American traditions in the decorative arts, architecture and archaeology through the end of the eighteenth century. Nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first century topics demonstrate how printmaking, photography, drawing, painting, sculpture, installation and time-based media engage both art historical movements and historical trajectories of freedom, civil rights and social change.

SAVC 312 Africa, Antiquity & Contemporary Expression
This introductory level course surveys the arts of Africa, from ancient times to today, highlighting the art of ancient African cities and kingdoms to contemporary art of urban centers. Students are introduced to the work of internationally acclaimed contemporary artists, who have emerged from colonial and postcolonial African contexts since the 1950s, to consider how colonialism, political independence, Pan-Africanism, and other socio-political forces shape the artistic practices of artists of Africa and the African Diaspora.

Through the ARCHE Program, the department also offers opportunities for study at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), Georgia State University, Agnes Scott College, Emory University, University of Georgia, and several other visual arts programs throughout the state university system.

More Information

Please contact Rachel Brown, Program Manager, AUC Collective for the Study of Art History and Curatorial Studies | rachel.brown@spelman.edu, 404-270-4121.