Art history is an academic discipline that uses the historical method to study the art, architecture, and material cultures of the world's civilizations, within their various stylistic, social, and religious contexts. Art history thus spans the broad range of visual phenomena produced by humankind, from its prehistoric beginnings to the present.
The major in art history at St. Bonaventure offers a liberal arts education with a focus on visual culture, preparing students for a variety of career paths, including graduate studies, work in museums and galleries, and in many other arts-related fields. A degree in art history can thus lead to a rewarding professional life, while nourishing the life of the mind.
Art history majors become acquainted with the vast array of artistic production in the Western and non-Western traditions through a series of survey courses. Students then move on to upper-level coursework in which they may choose to concentrate in one of many areas within the field, including traditional periods and divisions within the history of art (e.g., ancient, Renaissance, modern, non-Western), or in a multidisciplinary topic (e.g., museum studies, film and photography).
Qualified students may choose internships at St. Bonaventure’s own Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts, or at other U.S. and foreign institutions with which we have established strong ties. In the latter case, museum work can be combined with study abroad, and we enjoy relationships with educational programs in Perugia and Florence, Italy; and Barcelona, Spain.
A Multidisciplinary Program
In addition to the core faculty in art history, the program also draws strength and expertise from faculty in various departments, such as philosophy, theology, and Islamic Studies, whose scholarly interests and publications (in e.g. art and religion, medieval aesthetics, philosophy of art, art and Islam, etc.) intersect with the study of art history.
Art history classrooms, offices, and an extensive arts library are located within the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts, a world-class, state-of-the-art museum housing an encyclopedic collection of art from antiquity to the present. The Quick Center is not only an exquisite and useful setting for the study of art history, it is also a working laboratory where students can concentrate in museum studies, and undertake curatorial projects and internships.
For more information about the art history program at St. Bonaventure University, please contact Dr. Scott Craver, Program Coordinator for Art History and Visual Arts.
Oishei Foundation Helps Launch Program
The art history program was launched in 2007 with the help of a $600,000 grant from the John R. Oishei Foundation in Buffalo.
The foundation was established in 1940 by John R. Oishei, founder of Trico Products Corp. Its mission is to enhance the quality of life for Buffalo-area residents by supporting education, healthcare, scientific research and the cultural, social, civic and other charitable needs of the community.
"The John R. Oishei Foundation is pleased to partner with St. Bonaventure University in the creation of an art history major," said Robert D. Gioia, president of the Foundation. "We believe strongly in the arts and welcome the opportunity to help St. Bonaventure build on its existing strength as a liberal arts school with such a wonderful resource as The Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts as a focal point on campus for students and the wider community."