The graduate program in the Department of the History of Art at the University of Michigan is designed to prepare students for academic and curatorial careers as well as other professional positions related to the visual arts. Its mission is to provide a broad intellectual foundation necessary for developing independent critical judgment as well as the specialized training needed to conduct advanced scholarly research.
The program is noted for its emphasis on theory grounded in historical practice, its commitment to cross-cultural and interdisciplinary study, and its large and distinguished faculty, representing a broad range of historical and geographical expertise. Instruction is offered in modern and contemporary African, American, Asian, and European art; medieval and early modern Asian, European, and Islamic art; and classical and ancient Near Eastern art and archaeology. Graduate students are encouraged to develop several areas of specialization within their field and to investigate the production, reception and function of artworks in a range of media, including new media, architecture and public monuments, and other elements of visual cultures past and present.
The high quality of the learning environment is demonstrated by the conspicuous success rate of our graduate students in competitions for international, national, and university fellowships and grants. They regularly secure outstanding tenure-track academic appointments, curatorial positions, and jobs in arts administration. Lists of awards and appointments are available in archived newsletters on the departmental website.
Photo credit: fourth from top, courtesty of U-M Museum of Art. 1951/2.66, Museum Purchase, Maison close, Max Beckmann, 1911.