Art History Major

the Narrative.

Bridge history and theory to interpret artists’ intentions, and tell their elaborate visual stories. You will have the tools to rewrite how people view art today.

Through close study of art objects and art movements, your skills will set you apart and influence the art world in many different ways, including: art museum professions, business, marketing or technology.

iona diamond. a3 blackface #65, 2003. Acrylic on paper. Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, Atlanta.

Art History Major (49 Credits)

The art history major introduces students to foundational and contemporary global art movements and theories, while integrating the research methods, critical writing and visual analysis skills necessary in studying the history of art and visual culture. Specialized electives led by faculty experts covering diverse periods, geographical locations and topics encourage a deeper engagement with students’ particular areas of interest. Professional development courses and topics are integrated into the curriculum to prepare students for advanced degrees and careers in the visual arts.

Students are required to complete 49 credits for the art history major.

Photo: Pete Lawton

Students are introduced to art historical movements.
(17 credits = 35%)

SAVC 141  Art History I: Pyramids to Cathedrals (3 credits)
SAVC 142  Art History  II:  Renaissance to Contemporary (3 credits)
SAVC 230  Global Foundations of Modern Art (3 credits)
SAVC 243   African American Art (4 credits)

SAVC 387   The Art Market (4 credits)


Students deepen their writing and research skills.
(10 credits = 20%)

SAVC 255 Writing and Criticism in Art History (3 credits)

SAVC238 Art As Social Justice (4 credits)
SAVC 320 Art History Methods, Theory and Practice (3 credits)


Students expand their knowledge of art and art history.
(14 credits = 29%)

Curatorial Studies Elective (3 credits)
Art & Visual Culture Elective (4 credits)
Art History Elective (4 credits)
Art History Elective (writing intensive) (3 credits)


Students prepare for a real-world usage of skills.
(8 credits = 16%)

SAVC 375 Entering the Art World: Culture and Context (2 credits)
SAVC 480 Art History Thesis (6 credits)
SAVC (various) Division of the Arts Seminar (0 credits)


Study Abroad [Global Experience], Internships & Directed/Independent Studies are strongly encouraged.

Course Catalog
Ákos Major

Career Options

  • Art History + Curatorial Studies = Art Historian
  • Art History + Chemistry = Conservator
  • Art History + Communications = Art Marketing Manager
  • Art History + Business = Art Fund Manager
  • Art History + Computer Science = Data Scientist
Photo: Pete Lawton
Explore More Career Paths
Camera Icon Photo: Ákos Major
Spelman Alumna Highlight
Naima J. Keith, C'2003
Vice President of Education and Public Programs, The Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Art History + Education Studies

Naima J. Keith is a curator deeply committed to producing timely exhibitions and programs, advocating for artists and institutions, thinking critically and developing ideas that are central to our time. Through her work with the Hammer Museum, The Studio Museum in Harlem, the California African American Museum and The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, she has come to understand that institutions can evolve to engage more broadly with the multiple, often competing histories that make us who we are. She is dedicated to creating exhibitions and public programs that open up dialogues and create spaces in which to see artists as important thinkers, and to see artworks as a way to understand not only art history, but also cultural history. Keith is committed to doing this work, deepening our knowledge of contemporary art of the African Diaspora and securing its place in the canons of modern and contemporary art.

Keith received her B.A. in Art History from Spelman College in 2003.


Invest in Yourself. Be the Future of the Art World.
Diverse time periods. Global movements. Powerful stories behind our visual culture. It’s not just learning about art, but gaining the skill set needed to build a career out of it.
Art History Scholarships
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