Art is never made in a vacuum.
Art history seeks to understand the nature of art, especially as a personal, institutional, or cultural reflection. Studying art history develops visual acuity, critical thinking, and verbal and writing skills that are useful in and outside of the classroom.
Art history asks a lot of questions. What is art? How is it made? Why is it made? What affects its development? As a field of study, art history is interdisciplinary and it uses a variety of methods to find answers to its questions. In this respect it draws upon other fields of inquiry such as history, philosophy, literature, anthropology, archaeology, ethnic studies, and gender studies.
Minor in Art History
The Art Department at Montevallo offers a minor in art history and it supports the studio programs by fostering an understanding of the historical and social conditions that affect the production of art. Students gain this understanding by analyzing art, reading important art historical texts, and participating in field trips to local museums, galleries, and sites of interest. Students are encouraged to place their own studio practice within the wider social and political contexts of both the past and the present. Students with a strong interest in art history have opportunities for more in-depth study and mentoring.
Many art history minors have gone on to study art history and museum studies at the graduate level. Students of art history often work in the following areas: art appraisal; art conservation and restoration; art investment; art law; arts administration; journalism; directing or curating commercial, corporate, private, non-profit, or academic galleries and collections.