History of Art

History of art students are both scholars and creators of art, due to the program’s rigorous studio component.

The history of art program teaches students how to investigate works of art from a wide range of periods and regions. A distribution requirement ensures that students have a solid foundation in each of the following four areas:

  • Ancient and medieval art
  • Renaissance, Baroque, and eighteenth-century art
  • Modern and contemporary art
  • Arts of the Americas, Asia, and Africa

After fulfilling the requirement, students then may choose to focus their studies on a particular area of art history. All history of art students take at least two senior seminars investigating focus topics in the history of art

HART Major Requirement Worksheet and Checklist (pdf)

MassArt's visiting artist program and exhibitions of contemporary art encourage students to contemplate the historical and cultural context of work being created in our own time.

History of art majors continue on to graduate programs in art history, visual culture, and museum studies; work in museums, galleries, auction houses, and publishing; and use their knowledge of the history and theory of art to enrich their studio practice.


John Russell

Art History

The theft or destruction of cultural artifacts is one of the lesser-known casualties of civil conflict. For nine months at the start of the Iraq war, Russell served as an advisor to the Ministry of Culture in Baghdad, where he helped renovate museums and protect archeological sites from looting.

WBUR John Russell Radio Interview

This is the Here & Now Radio Interview done by 90.9 WBUR (2010)
To watch click "listen to show." John Russell comes in at 13:30.