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Art History

Program Mission Statement

The Department of Art and Design supports a broad and diverse curriculum in Art History, developed and taught by experts in their fields, that is designed to cultivate expertise in a field of knowledge and to expand the capacity for deep learning, for self-teaching, and for original thought and inquiry. The mission of the art history program in the department of art and design is two-fold:

First, the art history program is designed to develop students' abilities in communication, critical thinking, and original research and to impart a broad-based knowledge of art and its historically and culturally diverse forms. The curriculum includes education in fields including ancient and medieval, renaissance and early modern, and modern and contemporary art, in addition to instruction in advanced research and writing skills. The art history major further requires foreign language training and a minor field of study. Art History students at UNF have the opportunity to work closely with important collections of art in local museums, including the Cummer Museum of Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Jacksonville. Art History majors are encouraged to participate in the department’s museum internship, study abroad, and undergraduate research programs.

Second, the art history program supports scholarship by its faculty and students in all fields of historical and contemporary art history, theory, and criticism. UNF Art History faculty conduct original research in their various fields of expertise, including Medieval, Renaissance, Modern and Contemporary art, and actively publish and present their discoveries in books, articles, and papers nationally and internationally. The department also supports faculty scholarship that addresses important bodies of art in local and regional collections and scholarship that contributes to student learning and to the department’s undergraduate research programs.

The Art History program prepares students for graduate study in Art History, museum studies, arts administration, education, law, and business and careers in the arts, business, public service, education, and non-profit sectors that require advanced critical thinking, research, writing, and communication skills in addition to understanding of history, international perspectives, and cultural diversity.

Student Learning Outcomes

Graduates will be able to:

Content/Discipline-Specific Knowledge/Skills

  • Demonstrate understanding of common elements and vocabulary of art/design and knowledge of the historical, cultural, and stylistic contexts of art.
  • Use library resources and specialized research tools, databases, and information technologies to identify, locate, obtain, and interpret materials relevant to an investigation.

Communication Skills

Communicate the process and result of an investigation in written form in the standard format for scholarly writing in Art History.

Critical Thinking Skills

  • Analyze works of art perceptively and evaluate them critically.
  • Develop an original research question; plan and conduct an investigation using appropriate critical methodology and relevant primary and secondary materials.

Assessment Approaches

Student learning in the Art History program is assessed in three areas: 1) discipline specific knowledge and skills; 2) communication skills; 3) critical thinking skills.

Critical Thinking I and Disciplinary Knowledge are assessed in 3000 and 4000 level courses through a written analysis of a work or works of art that is evaluated using appropriate rubrics to assess evidence of analytic ability as well as understanding of common elements and vocabulary of art/design and knowledge of the historical, cultural, and stylistic contexts of art and its reception. Disciplinary Skills are assessed in 3000 and 4000 level courses by assignments that require students to identify, locate, and obtain materials using specialized information technologies including library resources, databases, presentation tools, and other tools.

Communication skills are assessed by written assignments collected in 3000 and 4000 level courses including the Practicum, Junior Seminar, and Senior Capstone that measure, using appropriate rubrics, the development of the student’s ability to communicate the process and result of an investigation in written form in the standard format for scholarly writing in Art History.

Critical Thinking II is assessed in the Junior Seminar and Senior Capstone courses by assignments that require the student to develop an original research question and to plan and conduct an investigation using primary and secondary sources and appropriate critical methodologies, culminating in a senior thesis paper.