Program Head: Catha Paquette
Offering the Bachelor of Art and Master of Art degrees, and a Graduate Certificate in Museum & Curatorial Studies, Art History proudly distinguishes itself through its diverse curriculum with many speciality courses that focus on Western and non-Western (i.e. Asian, African, Native North American, Pre-Columbian, etc.) societies. Additionally, there are Art History classes specific to traditional art media such as ceramics, textiles, and prints and drawings. To provide the student with art historical methodologies the curriculum includes courses in historiography, art theory, art criticism, art and anthropology, and museology. In addition to the lecture/discussion mode of teaching, students enjoy small seminar and individual tutorial formats. Supporting the program are courses in: studio art practices, Western Civilization, French, and German (both undergraduate and graduate students are required to be proficient in one of these languages). For writing and research projects students benefit from resources such as the Visual Resources Center which contains 120,000 slides, computer center, and the University Art Museum.
The Art History program reflects the faculty’s intention to provide undergraduate and graduate students with the necessary research skills and information to easily transfer to those universities that offer a doctoral degree, and to prepare students to enter the professional fields of teaching, museum work, art gallery management, art consultancy, arts management, and art writing.
Students often take advantage of university-wide programs in interdisciplinary studies. Popular programs include: American Studies, Asian-American Studies, Black Studies, Native American Studies, and Medieval and Renaissance Studies. Most of these programs provide a certificate of accomplishment. Opportunity to study abroad is also available in cooperation with the Center For International Education. It is possible to attain university credit for study periods ranging from one semester to a year at major universities in Europe, Latin America, and Asia.
CSULB Art History students regularly distinguish themselves at research project competitions. They have represented the CSULB campus at the CSU Research Competition in the Humanities area for four successive years, winning the statewide competition in two of those four years. Both students and faculty present their research at the annual meeting of the Art Historians of Southern California and other national art historical societies.
Assistantships are provided to many qualified students. These students work an average of ten hours per week. They aid in the teaching process and work on faculty directed research projects. Faculty also assist in attaining fellowships from outside institutions, such as the J. Paul Getty Museum, for special students. The Certificate in Museum & Curatorial Studies, which is at least a two year program, includes a three month or more internship in a cooperating art museum.
The accomplished faculty hold advanced degrees from a variety of distinguished universities; each member is an expert in their particular field. To the benefit of CSULB students, many of the faculty teach both lower division survey courses as well as upper division classes and seminars.