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Art History



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Housed in the recently completed John and Anne Wilson Hall, the department offers a major in art history and attracts students from all corners of the university. A charter member of the ARTtor consortium, the department has used digitized images in the classroom since 2002 and has at its disposal literally millions of images which students use in their examination of movements and monuments from all around the world.

The art history curriculum includes courses that allow students and faculty to consider works produced in North and South America, Europe, and Asia, from pre-historic civilizations to the 21st century. Students tend to focus their studies on one or two of these areas, but are expected to gain experience in all of them by the end of their time at Washington and Lee. Under the close supervision of an individual faculty member, each senior major writes an original thesis paper that addresses a topic of personal intellectual interest.

In a world that has become increasingly dependent on images, and in an age marked by the manipulation of information through them, the importance of understanding the vitality of visual literacy and the challenges facing image-makers and image-readers has never been so strongly felt. The discipline of art history provides students with the intellectual tools to consider these issues and fosters an academic forum in which to address them thoughtfully, critically, and innovatively.

Department News

  • jog-winners1W&L Announces Winners of 2014 Johnson Opportunity Grants
    Washington and Lee University has announced the first round of students selected to receive 2014 Johnson Opportunity Grants, and the second round of selections is underway.
  • Sarah-Jean VallonW&L's Sarah-Jean Vallon Awarded Fellowship for Study in Germany
    Sarah-Jean Vallon, a senior mass communications major and studio art minor from Hewlett, N.Y., has received a Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals (CBYX) fellowship. Competition for CBYX fellowships is highly competitive. Vallon was chosen from a pool of 700 applicants following interviews in February.
  • Melissa KerinW&L's Kerin Receives ACLS Fellowship to Study Tibetan Shrines
    Melissa Kerin, assistant professor of art history at Washington and Lee University, has been awarded an American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) fellowship for a year of supported research leave in 2014-15.
  • Staniar Gallery Exhibits Senior Art Projects
    Washington and Lee University's studio art majors will present their senior projects in an exhibition that opens in Staniar Gallery on March 24. The show will be up through April 8 with an opening reception for the artists in Lykes Atrium, Wilson Hall, on Thursday, March 27, at 4 p.m. Each spring, Staniar Gallery showcases […]
  • Untitled (sublimation), 2006, 48 x 60 inches inches, chromogenic print by Sarah HobbsPhotography Exhibit Opens in W&L's Staniar Gallery
    Washington and Lee's Staniar Gallery will present "Small Problems in Living," photographs by Sarah Hobbs, from January 6-31. The artist will give a public lecture on Wednesday, Jan. 22, at 5:30 p.m. in Wilson Hall's Concert Hall.
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