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Penn State College of Arts and Architecture
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Art History Minor

Explore art through time and around the globe.
Art history is the exploration of art and architecture from ancient to contemporary times, in Europe, the Americas, Asia, Africa, and Oceania. It’s museum studies, historiography, iconology, art criticism, connoisseurship, and research. It’s studying aesthetics, and the context, form, and social significance of art throughout time and place. Art history relates visual images back to questions of religion, politics, society, gender, economics, philosophy, and culture.
The Art History minor spans history, the globe, and all majors!

A minor in art history will provide you with a broad introduction to the history of art, as well as the opportunity for more specialized study in one or two fields. Specialized study – developed with the advice of your minor adviser – may concentrate upon a region of the world (e.g. India) or a time period (e.g. Renaissance).

By studying of art history, you will develops your visual acuity and gain critical understanding of visual culture in a diversity of societies around the world. You will learn to understand art within the contexts of religion, politics, philosophy, culture, technology, society, and gender. A minor in Art History can be of particular interest if you are pursuing careers in art, art education, history, anthropology, archaeology, classics, English, foreign language/literature, cultural studies, international business, design disciplines, or arts administration.

Students examining matted artwork on a shelf at the Palmer Museum of Art.

Does this sound like you?

  • You are fascinated by art, architecture, and visual materials from prehistoric times to the present.
  • Visual images make your mind light up with a hundred questions that all relate to “Who? Where? When? How?”

If you can’t wait to get to the business of answering these questions, art history might be the minor for you!

News from A&A

Recent Publications by Curator Adam Thomas

Adam Thomas,  Affiliate Assistant Professor of Art History and Curator of American Art recently published a chapter titled "How to Paint a Ghost around 1900" in an exhibition catalog published by


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Stuckeman School professor co-edits new book on sustaining city streets

Ken Tamminga, distinguished professor of landscape architecture, has coedited a new book that examines city streets and their vast array of activities over time.
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Emily Hagen, PhD candidate co-authored CAA review

Emily Hagen, PhD candidate in Art History and Nancy Um, Professor of art history at Binghamton University co-authored "What Do We Know about the Future of Art History? Part 2,


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