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History of Art

BFA Program

BFA students learn to identify, classify, describe, and interpret works of art from a wide range of periods and cultures.

History of Art students learn about the incredible range of art from all over the world – across cultures, regions, mediums, and time periods. Through their studies, students learn how to understand artworks in their historical contexts, to recognize common elements of artworks from different eras and regions, and to describe materials and processes used to create works of art.

Students gain first-hand exposure to works of art by visiting nearby museums and galleries, and through internship experiences in conservation, and in gallery and museum operations

Through international travel courses, many students visit monumental works and museum collections abroad.

Alumni Success

Graduates of the History of Art program go on to pursue graduate degrees in art history, visual culture, and museum studies. Many also go on to work at museums, galleries, auction houses, and in publishing, among other industries.

BFA Learning Outcomes

Students who complete the BFA History of Art program are expected to be able to demonstrate the following learning outcomes.

  • Develop a knowledge base of a broad range of time periods and cultures to draw upon in professional practice
  • Recognize widely studied works of art from specific times/places
  • Identify common characteristics of works of art from specific times/places
  • Identify major historical and cultural characteristics of specific times/places
  • Describe materials and processes used to create works of art
  • Develop a knowledge base of a broad range of time periods and cultures
  • Locate a variety of research resources
  • Describe and differentiate works of art using appropriate vocabulary
  • Draw connections between different works of art and artists
  • Infer relationships between society and art
  • Situate works of art in historical context, including quotation of earlier art
  • Organize information for oral and written presentation
  • Recognize different types of texts used in art historical analysis
  • Formulate, research, and argue a hypothesis
  • Evaluate an art historical argument
  • Articulate theoretical and critical perspectives on art
  • Evaluate the content and effectiveness of textual and electronic sources
  • Bring to bear various ideas, approaches, and facts on the analysis of art
  • Recognize the impact of historical works of art on contemporary art
A large group of students sit on the steps of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.
History of Art Resources

Nearby libraries, museums and galleries allow first-hand study of a variety of works, as well as valuable internship experiences.

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621 Huntington Ave,
Boston, MA 02115

(617) 879-7000