Art History (Minor)

Understand art to understand our past.

A minor in Art History hones your critical thinking skills and enriches your understanding of and appreciation for cultures past and present. In a world in which we’re constantly inundated with images, this minor can help you place visual content in context for a deeper understanding of the world around us.

Art History at Mary Baldwin embraces unique qualities not found at larger universities. These advantages include personal contact with professors, the ability to conduct research with faculty mentors at the undergraduate level, teaching assistantships, and more.

Minor Only
Students with murals
Celebrated sculptor and James Madison University art professor Greg Stewart will display a new exhibition titled “We Still Have the Sky” at Mary Baldwin’s Hunt Gallery from October 3–28.

Why minor in Art History at Mary Baldwin?

The art history major offers personal contact with professors that is often missing in university settings. There is the opportunity to develop a mentor relationship at the undergraduate level. Art history students benefit from personal and individualized instruction in small classes.

Collaboration with Studio Art

Art History and studio art are in the same department and same building. This sense of community allows students who study art history to have exposure to those who make art. There is a communicative interchange: students and faculty in both areas work together. Practice, study, and theory are integrated. This important interrelationship does not happen at large universities, where departments are separated and in different buildings.

Special Opportunities

Many opportunities exist in Staunton for internships at museums, art centers, the Historic Staunton Foundation, the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library, and other historic landmarks. The art history faculty maintains good working relationships with local museum professionals of which there are many, especially for a small town. One recent project included working with an art restoration professional to clean and preserve gravestones in the cemetery at Historic Trinity Church. Internships also can be arranged in other cities. Mary Baldwin students have interned at Sotheby’s, the Chrysler Museum in Norfolk, and the Virginia Museum in Richmond.

Also, each semester the art department sponsors a trip to the National Gallery of Art in Washington and other nearby museums. They learn about using art in the service of humanity and art as a tool for communication.

Minor Requirements 

Our 21-credit minor establishes a strong foundation in art history, as well as exposure to relevant themes and currents in the field. The program is meant to develop a broad range of skills including observation, analysis, critical thinking, writing, and communication skills.

Sample Courses

  • Art Matters: Narratives
  • Art Matters: Humanism
  • Women’s Work: Gender in Art
  • Perspectives in Modernism

View all minor course requirements.