The Department of Art and Art History educates students in the practice and processes of making art, and in the historical analysis of art. We see this endeavor as an essential visual complement to the training in verbal and numerical analysis and production offered in other areas of the College curriculum.
The Department's program in studio art concentrates on the planning and production of visual works that use formal and expressive elements such as composition, shape, form, line, tone, texture, and color. Beyond the design and execution of these works, we guide students through the processes of applying critical analysis and anticipating the works' ultimate intellectual and emotional communication.
Our art history program examines aesthetically considered objects with the goal of comprehending both the objects themselves and the social concerns that they embody. We strive to develop students' ability to appreciate the technical accomplishment, artistic decision-making, and expressive effect of works of art. Yet art is not created only for aesthetic purposes; it is a compelling visualization of values and priorities important in a particular time and place. We therefore also teach students to understand the ways that art encapsulates and promotes shared beliefs.