We live in a visual world, but rarely consider in a critical way the images, structures, and objects that surround us. By teaching students to understand the role art has played in reflecting and shaping cultures and civilizations across time and geography as well as giving them the tools to analyze visual culture, our art history program offers a lifelong skill set for visual literacy in a 21st-century world.
Art history students at Coe have completed internships at the National Portrait Gallery, the Smithsonian Institution, the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, and other galleries, museums and art-related businesses. Many study abroad in programs in Florence, London or other sites rich in visual culture.
Art history majors build a foundation through introductory and advanced courses. The Art History Seminar explores the theories and methods of the discipline, challenging students to consider the broader implications of the field in a changing world. The art history major culminates in the writing of a senior thesis based on an independent art historical research project.