Professor, Chair, Art
P.O. Box 9583
Roanoke, VA 24020
Photo: Seniors presented at the Art History Senior Symposium on April 13, 2013. Left to right: Caitlin Hoerr, Cassie Bjerke, Angel McCord
Art history majors get to know works of art in the context of the social, political, and intellectual cultures of which the works are a part. As an art history major, you'll learn to think, read, and write critically about art and to be an astute interpreter of visual imagery. You'll progress through chronologically oriented survey courses into upper-level seminars and research projects.
The major culminates in the senior seminar, an overview of the critical issues of the discipline, as well as the writing and the public presentation of each senior's research. "We attract creative, serious, dedicated students," says Assistant Professor of Art Johanna Ruth Epstein," and the intensity of their training in writing, art theory, and methodology, culminating in the senior symposium where students present original research in scholarly papers, gives them the skills they need to thrive in graduate programs.
Says Professor of Art Kathleen Nolan, "Our senior year experience is as strong as that of any college, anywhere in America. Most students encounter their discipline’s critical issues for the first time in grad school, and the fact that our students are getting that in the fall of their senior year means they stand out in the graduate application process and are well prepared once they get there."
The art history faculty are actively engaged in research and publication in classical art and archeology, medieval art, and 19th- and 20th-century European and American art. We emphasize women's history as depicted through images of women in art, women artists, and their patrons.
Enriching the program are lectures and seminars by distinguished visiting art historians as well as by the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum exhibitions. All majors are encouraged to travel and to pursue internships in fields such as museum work, art galleries and auction houses, arts administration, architecture, historic preservation, and interior design. "We are really dedicated to helping students attain experience before they go on to graduate programs," says Professor Epstein. "In addition to course work, our art history majors have first-rate access to work in a professional environment."
Many art history majors have been abroad by the time they graduate, says Professor Nolan, either for a semester or for an entire year. "Along with essential exposure to monuments and major museums, the experience [gives our students] maturity and insight and a sense of focus and mission."
Recent lectures by well-known art historians have included Mary Garrard, American University; Sheila Dillon, Duke University; Rosina Buckland, The British Museum; Michael Cothren, Swarthmore College.
The programs strength is demonstrated by the number of graduates working in prominent galleries, museums, and auction houses — Knoedler Gallery, Yale University Art Gallery, PaceWildenstein-MacGill Photography Gallery, Metropolitan Museum, Colonial Williamsburg, Smithsonian, Christie's, Sotheby's, National Trust for Historic Preservation, among many other organizations. Many graduates are finding Hollins connections beneficial in getting into top graduate schools — University of Chicago, University of Virginia, Williams College, Northwestern University, Indiana University, University of Texas at Austin, Virgina Tech School of Architecture, for example.