Can a painting transform society? What does a photograph really capture? Art history poses these and other questions to visual traditions that span history and circle the globe.

From Viking hoards to Japanese Kabuki actors to the European Avant-Garde, you will explore multiple artistic practices and be introduced to varied research methods. Whether working in class, studying abroad, or curating objects in Wriston Art Galleries, you’ll deepen your critical, analytical thinking and refine your writing skills.

Art history courses allow you to travel around the world and through time without ever leaving Appleton.

Explore requirements for a major or minor in art history, and learn more about double majors and certifications.

Learn more about the art history faculty.

The Wriston Art Center’s windows reflect the clouds Tuesday, June 22, 2021. Photo by Danny Damiani

The Wriston Art Center Galleries

Discover the world-class galleries housing Lawrence’s acclaimed permanent collections as well as student art and exhibitions.

Lawrence University's London Centre

Expand your horizons

Bring the cultures you examine as an art history student into focus by visiting them through Lawrence’s London Centre and other study abroad programs.

The Chandler Senior Experience

Study culminates in Senior Seminar, a one-term course in which you’ll develop projects to produce your own original writing of art history.

As part of Senior Experience, students have been awarded grants allowing them to conduct research in Japan, Switzerland, Germany, San Francisco, Washington DC, and New York. 

Recent Senior Experiences include:

  • Re-sinicization: Contemporary Chinese Art in the Postcolonial Discourse
  • Male Gaze or Male Graze? Considering the Tactile Nature of Rupert Carabin's 1896 Furniture Set
Art on display in the Wriston Gallery.

Art History Outcomes 

From medicine to medieval studies, Lawrentians who study art history find satisfaction in a variety of careers and fields of advanced study.

On Any Given Day... an array of opportunities that await you at Lawrence University.


Professor Beth Zinsli | Open Office

Lawrence students visit the office of Professor Beth Zinsli, Assistant Professor of Art History, Curator of the Wriston Art Center Galleries and Museum Studies Interdisciplinary Area Program Director.

View of New Cathedral in Salamanca in Spain from across a pond
Study Off Campus

IES Salamanca, Spain

IES Salamanca offers Spanish-taught courses focusing on Iberian culture, comparative studies of the Mediterranean Basin, and comparative studies of Spain and Latin America. The majority of students combine program courses with study at the Universidad de Salamanca. The program also offers education and political internships.

Can you picture yourself at Lawrence? Apply for admission.

The best way to find out if Lawrence is the university for you is by visiting.

Your virtual tour starts at the Arch but be sure to check out Wriston, where Art History classes are housed.