Art History & Museum Studies

The history of art is the history of the world in visual terms. These terms have been expanded dramatically in the 20th century by developments in photography, graphic design, film, performance art, video and computer art. Each of these modes of production has had a profound impact on more conventional art forms and, simultaneously, has fostered an ever-changing body of theory.

The art history and museum studies course offerings are designed to enable students to explore these new developments and better understand their relationship with art of the past. Toward that end, works of art and pertinent theories are discussed in a broad context, to include social, political and economic motivations for an artist’s choice of medium, as well as the formal, stylistic and aesthetic elements of his or her work. Museum and gallery offerings in Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and New York City are utilized to amplify points made in classes. Our own collection of photographs, films and videos also provides students with a unique source of reference material.

Students concentrating in art history and museum studies are strongly encouraged to take more than one studio course. Two years of one language are required. For those who intend to go to graduate school, a second language is recommended. Students work closely with their advisor in developing individualized programs.

At UMBC, I was able to grow intellectually and artistically and to find my true passion and drive both as an artist and a future art scholar. UMBC offered me both theoretical and practical grounds for exploring the cutting edge topics of concern in film, photography, media, art theory and history. I will always remember UMBC as an institution that challenged and nurtured me.

Hadi Gharabaghi
M.A. in Cinema Studies, NYU, Tisch School of the Arts
B.A., Visual Arts, UMBC