art history requirements

Required art history courses provide students with an in-depth, critical understanding of important ideas, institutions, and discourses surrounding global art and culture.

Global Foundations in Art History
A course focused on varied aspects of art history from prehistory to the Middle Ages (taken during the First-Year Program)

Modernism and Modernity
A course focused on varied aspects of art history from the Renaissance to the mid-20th century (taken during the First-Year Program)

Reframing the History of Art
SFAI’s Core Art History curriculum is uniquely designed to give students ample time to acquaint themselves with the long histories of global arts production, from critically situated, crosscultural perspec- tives. This seminar-style art history course is intended to supplement the art history curricula that transfer students have been exposed to at other colleges and universities, which usually unfold over one to two semesters, as opposed to three, so as to best prepare students for HTCA-102. The course will be arranged around a series of themes that will offer the opportunity for course participants to deepen their understanding of those key art historical concepts and cultural structures that frame contemporary conversations of art.

Art Since 1945
A course focused on contemporary art in North America and Europe from 1945 to the present

History of the Major
A course focused on the history of the medium in which the student is majoring

Art History Elective
Any undergraduate art history course


Sample art history electives include:

  • Histories of Art and Empire: 1660–1830
  • “Duchampitis”
  • Art2K: Historicizing Contemporary Practices
  • Reconsidering the Commons
  • Dialogues in Contemporary Art
  • Veiling and Revealing: Screens, Canvases, and Voyeurism in Western Art
  • Arts of India