Consider an art history major at Lawrence.

As the study of visual culture, art history encourages students to engage with art today as well as with the art of other cultures and times. Studying art history develops not only a life-long appreciation for art and architecture but also the ability to analyze and decode our increasingly image-saturated contemporary world. Students of art history become educated global citizens and develop skills in visual, verbal and written literacy. Students also find in art history a way to explore many other disciplines, such as history, languages and literature, religion, economics, studio art, anthropology, philosophy, gender studies, and film studies.

Course Planning for New and Exploring Students

Students who wish to major in art history should take ARHI 101: Introduction to Art History before taking other 100-level and 200-level courses: 

  • ARHI 101: Introduction to Art History: This course aims to develop skills in the critical analysis of a wide range of visual materials. Issues and problems in the making, exhibition, and understanding of images and objects will be explored through lectures, classroom discussion of key works, critical reading of primary and secondary sources, and visits to the Wriston Print Study Room. This course is required for a major or minor in art history.
  • ARHI 130: Art of Islamic Cultures: This course introduces students to the rich artistic traditions generated by Islamic cultures from the 7th century onward. 
  • ARHI 135: Temples and Togas: Arts of the Ancient World: This introductory class examines the art and architecture of ancient Greece and Rome, spanning from the Minoans on Crete to the Arch of Titus in the Roman Forum.
  • ARHI 175: The Arts of East Asia: An introduction to artistic traditions in China, Japan, and Korea, from prehistory to the 21st century, including tomb and temple sites, gardens, calligraphy, ink painting, woodblock prints, tea ceremony vessels, and contemporary art. 

Declare a Major/Minor

All students are expected to declare a major before the end of sophomore year. Ideally, sophomore students will declare a major (and switch to an advisor in the major) before advance registration advising begins in spring term.

Major Advising

All students will transition to a major advisor upon declaration. The major advisor will help students plan their coursework to satisfy requirements for the major, select courses in other areas to complement the major or satisfy personal interests, and prepare for their Senior Experience. Prospective art history majors can consult with any of the following art history faculty about serving as a major advisor:

Add a Major Advisor

Need help identifying an advisor in the major? Students can contact for assistance with advisor matching.

Minor Advising

Students do not need an official advisor for the art history minor. Instead, art history minors are encouraged to consult with the department chair or other department faculty for advice on course selection and satisfying minor requirements.

Additional Student Resources

If you still have questions about advising support related to the art history program, we invite you to contact the department chair.