Our art history program explores visual and material culture as forms of communication. We seek to understand painting, sculpture, architecture, decorative arts, textiles, jewelry and archaeological objects within the historical and cultural contexts in which they were created. Images have the power to tell stories, and we study works of art to better understand the motivations, beliefs, ideologies, fears and hopes of the people who made them.
Our students enjoy the benefits of a small, vibrant program with a focus on individually tailored learning experiences and close working relationships with faculty. Coursework explores a wide range of cultures, periods and traditions from around the world, and students are encouraged to spend a semester studying abroad.
Outside the classroom, our students conduct and publish original research, pursue museum studies and work with collections, curate exhibitions for the University’s gallery, explore historic Newport and its rich architecture, and complete internships at area museums, galleries, libraries, arts institutions and historic homes.
Students have the opportunity to double major in cultural and historic preservation, a complementary academic program that could broaden their career options.
Life After Salve
We prepare students for a wide range of careers both within and beyond the art world. Traditional career paths include work in museums and galleries, curation, auction houses, nonprofits, arts institutions and public education/outreach (including at museums).
Our program prepares graduates for graduate study in fields such as art history, conservation and museum studies. Due to its interdisciplinary nature, the art history major also provides excellent training for advanced study not only in the humanities, but also for students seeking degrees in law, medicine and business, among other fields.
Our graduates have worked in galleries and museums such as:
- Arizona State University Art Museum
- Disney Corporation
- Guggenheim Museum
- Morgan Library and Museum
- William Vareika Fine Arts
Due to the liberal arts nature of Salve’s curriculum, you can customize your studies in order to recognize and concentrate your specific interests within the vast art field. As an art history major, I was able to incorporate my interests and passions for cultural and historic preservation in addition to studio arts seamlessly into my curriculum, culminating in a well-rounded arts education. My experience at Salve continues to encourage me to gain more knowledge and concentrate on my passions within the field of art history.
Molly Richard ’13, gallery assistant, William Vareika Fine Arts