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 and societies 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.

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?

Mary Baldwin’s Art History minor ensures a strong foundation and greater exposure to relevant themes and currents in art history. The Art History minor benefits Studio Art majors giving them the foundation and skills they need for advanced study. But, it’s also an asset to non-art majors as it benefits their future graduate work or professions in business, medicine, law, media, architecture, not-for-profits, and more. 

Collaboration with Studio Art

Art History and studio art are in the same department and 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, the art department sponsors a trip to nationally recognized nearby museums and galleries each semester. Students learn about using art in the service of humanity and art as a tool for communication.

Minor Requirements 

The art history curriculum introduces learners to Art History through inquiry and interpretation considering the relevance of the past to the present. Additionally, the curriculum will explore the influence of visual arts and cultural objects on society in general; the context, purpose, and meaning; research methods; the experience of making art; and a broad range of skills required at the 100, 200, and 300 levels 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.

It’s time to level up your career. Apply today!