Department ofArt History
Historical + interpretive studies
A Humanities Major in the Arts
Students can major or minor in art history, pursue a minor in architectural history, or work toward earning a museum studies certificate. Students have the opportunity to hold internships or assistantships at Penn State’s Palmer Museum of Art, known particularly for its strong holdings in American, African American, and contemporary art.
Advanced studies with renowned scholars
Our M.A. and Ph.D. programs provide candidates with the opportunity to pursue advanced study directly with renowned scholars. The department’s faculty are internationally recognized scholars and critics known for their dedication to their students.
Research + publications
Penn State Art History students, faculty, and staff are involved in a broad range of research initiatives. We invite you to explore.
Fabrication: Virtual and Material Approaches to Global Textiles
CVMS will focus attention to fibers and fabrics–materials with which most art historians are unfamiliar despite their substantial impact on the arts. The art historical significance of textiles cannot be overstated. Culturally significant ornament and imagery have been woven and sewn since antiquity. Textiles of linen and silk have provided the support for global painting practices for centuries. Patterning of the most delicate and sophisticated variety has appeared in lace and embroidery as much as in sculpture and architecture. Some of the most urgent economic and humanitarian issues of the modern era–the global transit of materials along trajectories of colonial power, the enslavement or exploitation of workers, the gendering and racialization of labor, the swelling of consumer culture–have been most impactful in the context of textile production. https://arts.psu.edu/research/virtual-material-studies/
The September 27th opening celebration introduced the center’s inaugural research theme, “Fabrication: Virtual and Material Approaches to Global Textiles,” and highlighted the research project “Flax: First Fiber of the Arts,” an interdisciplinary research project that combines scholarship with ancient, hands-on methods of growing and harvesting flax to be used in the arts.
Art History awarded Mellon Foundation grant to develop and host Sawyer Seminar
News from A&A
College of Arts and Architecture to honor Alumni Award recipients on Oct. 14
The College of Arts and Architecture will honor its 2022 Alumni Award recipients during an in-person ceremony, open to the public, on Oct. 14 at 4 p.m. in the Palmer
Center for Virtual/Material Studies to hold opening celebration on Sept. 27
Art History, IST research project receives second NEH grant to study Constable’s clouds
Assistant Professor of Art History
Daniel Zolli (he/him/his) is a scholar of early modern European art, with a focus on art in fourteenth-, fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Italy. His research interests include the materials and techniques of art; workshop practice; art’s theorization in oral tradition and popular folklore; and its interfaces with law. His current book project, entitled Donatello’s Promiscuous Technique, examines that sculptor’s life-long preoccupation with material experimentation. It argues that Donatello cultivated a practice, and a professional persona, willfully at odds with period efforts to locate sculpture among the “liberal arts.” Donatello took his models instead from cunning enterprises aimed at transforming or dissimulating matter (e.g., prestidigitation, cosmetics, alchemy, idolatry, counterfeiting, adulteration), staking his authority on an ability to deceive viewers, and cloud their judgment, through a near-elemental craftiness.
Centers + Venues
Palmer Museum of Art
Borland Project Space
Center for Virtual/Material Studies
Cali BuckleyPh.D. in Art History (+Dual Ph.D.) 2017
Cali Buckley is the Content Manager of Education and Intellectual Property at CAA in New York City. At her multifaceted job she coordinate grants, awards, and juries; affiliated societies; the RAAMP program (Resources for Academic Art Museum Professionals); and will be putting together new programs for education and professional development. She participates in Museums and Humanities Advocacy Days asking Congress to consider funding the Institute of Museum and Library Studies (IMLS), the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), and National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and Fulbright-Hays program.