Art History

B.A., Certificate, Minor

single-paper-background art history collage

Art history degree students study works of art in their social, political, and intellectual contexts. They learn to think, read, and write about art and interpret visual imagery.

Each year, our artist-in-residence program brings to campus a nationally recognized artist who produces work and teaches a special seminar. The program honors Frances Niederer, a beloved art historian who taught for many years at Hollins.


Art History Major

Students progress through chronological survey courses into upper-level seminars and research projects. The art history major culminates in the senior seminar, which includes the public presentation of research.

Art History Minor

The art history minor gives you a broad overview of some more advanced courses. Specialize in a particular period or style, or expand your knowledge to multiple topics.

Arts Management Certificate Program

This certificate in arts management connects your major in one of the arts with career interests in various fields of arts management. You’ll take courses in business and communication studies, complete two internships in an area of arts management, and create a final project. You can meet the certificate in arts management requirements through prudent choices in your general education courses and electives without adding to your total credit hours. Contact us today to begin the process of earning your certificate in arts management.

"The art history program at Hollins is one of the university’s most multi-faceted programs. The program helped develop my critical thinking and communication skills, all while giving me the expertise needed to navigate today’s visual media landscape. The best benefit of a more intimate department is receiving one-on-one mentoring: Professors Kathleen Nolan and Genevieve Hendricks have a keen sense of your gifts and offer constant encouragement, both pre- and post-graduation."

Natasha Campbell

"[I’m] a passionate lover of art history. [I] appreciate the value of an arts education as a means to explore any subject, time period, philosophy, and culture."

Faith Herrington

"Hollins just isn’t one thing. It’s different for every one of us, and it changes on a daily basis. It’s in that moment when Hollins becomes more than a school. Your classmates become our sisters. Your professors become your mentors. Classrooms and studios become your dorm room. Moody Plaza becomes your personal patio, and the dining hall becomes the main source of your entertainment. It’s when you unconsciously call Hollins home."

Rugaber Collection

Art History Majors Build Careers

Click for just a few examples of our student and alumnae/i experiences below.

  • Internships at Hollins

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    Eleanor D. Wilson Museum, January or semester-long internships

  • Signature Internships

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    The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC
    Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA
    DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, Washington, DC
    International Spy Museum, Washington, DC
    Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA), Winston-Salem, NC

  • Internships beyond Hollins

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    The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
    Taubman Museum of Art, Roanoke, VA
    DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum, Colonial Williamsburg, VA

  • Graduate School Placements

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    Many art history majors find Hollins connections beneficial in getting into top master’s programs.

    Williams College
    George Washington University
    Bryn Mawr College
    American University
    University of Virginia
    Northwestern University
    University of Texas
    The Courtauld Institute of Art

  • Art World Employment

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    Graduates work in prominent galleries, museums, and auction houses.

    National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
    The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC
    DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum, Colonial Williamsburg, VA
    University of Virginia, Historic Preservation, Charlottesville, VA
    Taubman Museum of Art, Roanoke, VA
    Baylor University Library

    Art History Majors Build Careers
    Program Faculty

Senior Art Symposium

Students write an original research paper and then present it during the annual symposium.

Associate Professor of Art History Genevieve Hendricks says, “The Art History Symposium provides the whole Hollins community with the chance to share in our students’ success and celebrate them as emerging art historians.”

  • Recent Topics

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    “Dorothy Gillespie: A Forgotten Chapter of the Women’s Art Movement”

    “‘A Beautiful Body and a Beautiful Mind:’ Florentine Women in Quattrocento Portraiture”

    “Unbuilt Modernity: Florence and the Visionary Architecture of Superstudio and Archizoom”

    “Clémentine-Hélène Dufau’s Deuxième Début: Reintroducing a Forgotten Female Artist”

    “The Implications of Architectural Style in the Gilded Age: Biltmore House and Maymont Mansion”

    “A Matter of Class: Sin Yun-bok’s Depictions of Kisaeng as Participants of Everyday Life”

    “Minimalism to Sustainability Practice: the Work of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe”

    “A Matter of the Family: The Macdowell-Eakins Collection”

    “Food: Crossing the Binary”

    “Artificial Archives: Memory and Ephemera in Installation Art”

    “Binary Opposition: Greek Myths on Greek Pottery and Etruscan Hand Mirrors”

    “Echo and Narcissus”

    “‘Take This as an Example, You Maidens’: Lessons of Decorum in Santa Maria Novella”

    “Eternal Wanderer: Displacement and Fragmentation in Chagall’s Jerusalem Windows”

    “On Her Knees. Wyeth’s Helga Portraits Through a Feminist Lens”

    “A Paradox of Forms: Feline Goddesses as Protectors and Destroyers”

    “Samuel H. McVitty: The Passionate Collector”

    “Sex, Slumming, and a Striptease: Robert Henri’s Salome”

    “A Lack of History. A Lack of Land. A Lack of Art? Jewish Art in Diaspora”

    “Margaret Rosalie Culligan: Half Sick of Shadows: Reexamining the Pre-Raphaelite Lady of Shalott”

    “Ariel K. Rudy: Between Heaven and Earth: Collective Memory Across Time and Place in the Quilts of Harriet Powers”

Genevieve Hendricks

“As their capstone project, Senior Art History majors spend the fall semester researching, workshopping, writing, and editing a thesis paper on a topic of their choosing. In the spring semester, they craft their thesis paper into a public presentation. Through this process, they gain confidence with public speaking and learn the art of presenting their ideas in a clear, concise manner.”

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