The School of Art launches a graduate program in art history
The program aims to educate students in multivocal and inclusive art history, as well as give students the interdisciplinary training and solid work experiences they will need to thrive with a master’s degree in industries that value human visual literacy, creativity, communication, collaboration and research. The program prepares students for the best Ph.D. programs in art history, but also facilitates other trajectories for those seeking to contribute to the arts and society with a master’s degree.
“We are thrilled to launch another outstanding graduate program in service to the State of Arkansas and beyond,” said Marty Maxwell Lane, Director of the School of Art and Associate Professor of Graphic Design. “This program has been designed to respond to an urgent need in the discipline of art history to broaden the range of perspectives and re-examine art history research and pedagogy. Students will be challenged in their critical reflection on art history while experiencing a unique cross-institutional education and unparalleled access to American art.”
“Our new master’s program utilizes the remarkable resources of northwest Arkansas, such as the extraordinary collections at Crystal Bridges and our faculty’s expertise in areas such as Latino art and African art,” said John Blakinger, director of the art history program and associate professor of contemporary art. “We have designed an innovative program that reinvents what art history graduate study can be through a thematic curriculum, hands-on learning with objects, unique opportunities for travel and internship experiences that will propel students in various artistic careers.
The curriculum of the program is organized around key themes essential to understanding both the arts of the Americas and the social impacts of creative practice, globally, historically and currently, through structures and systems, identity and community, environment, heritage, power and circulation.
New courses include seminars on monuments and public space, cross-cultural art production in the Atlantic world, spatial practices in Mesoamerica and New Spain, contemporary Native American art, and queer, trans and feminist of the Americas. Classes will be taught and co-taught by the Art History faculty and the staff of Crystal Bridges, The Momentary and Art Bridges Foundation.
“When I joined the university in the fall of 2020, I met with dozens of colleagues and graduate students across the country to determine how we could have the greatest impact,” said Jennifer Greenhill, professor America’s Art Emeritus and first Director of Graduate Studies. and museum partnerships with the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. “Everyone I spoke to was excited about the prospect of a generously funded master’s degree with a focus on the Americas. nonprofits and other arts-related organizations, and the future is especially bright for specialists in African American, Latino, Latino and Native American art.Our regional expertise in these areas is remarkable and will not only grow with the new hires that we will make in the years to come in our institutions.
Art history professors and their colleagues have also designed the new MA program around a central concern of promoting critical reflection on the art world and the social structures, networks of transnational relationships and cross-cultural and diverse perspectives on knowledge production and modes of creativity.
“The Master of Arts in Art History program will shape a new generation of art historians by providing the analytical tools needed to critically engage art histories and to embrace a vision of institutional change and through the arts,” said Christopher Schulte, associate director of the School of Art and associate professor of arts education. “Through Professor Greenhill’s leadership and collaborative approach to program development, the Art History Faculty has created a truly unique and transformative graduate experience.”
Schulte said the program prioritizes experiential learning opportunities and art history masters students will be matched with specific departments or projects for internships at Crystal Bridges and The Momentary. , building on the skills learned in the classroom.
Additionally, students will participate in immersive travel courses that provide unprecedented access to private art collections, behind-the-scenes tours by museum curators, tours of public art collections off the beaten path, and discussions with academics.
Travel courses include a 10-day intersessional course focusing on sites and collections in the southern United States and a summer session on Mesoamerican, Modern, and Contemporary Art in Mexico.
Those interested in learning more about the program and the application process are encouraged to Register and attend an information session on January 11 with the Faculty of Art History.
The Master’s in Art History The program is accepting applications for the 2023-24 academic year. All applications are due by February 15, 2023.