About Us

History of Art

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We are a vibrant learning community of researchers committed to advancing the study of visual arts, material culture, and built environment through interdisciplinary scholarship, teaching, and public engagement.

Our internationally recognized faculty and lecturers, outstanding graduate students, talented undergraduate students, and exceptional group of department staff all contribute to making us one of the world’s leading art history departments. Our teaching encompasses a broad range of questions and specializations, spanning the globe and traversing cross-regional zones of contact. Employing diverse methodologies, including formal analysis, social and cultural history, gender and sexuality studies, critical race theory, eco art history, and digital humanities, our faculty and students investigate the production, circulation, reception, and meaning of visual forms across different media, genres, geographies, and regimes of perception. We seek to cultivate critical thinking, visual literacy, and cultural awareness in our teaching and to promote diverse perspectives, inclusivity, and social justice in our scholarship and pedagogy.

Program Overview

The UC Berkeley Department of History of Art offers undergraduate and graduate programs that explore the history, theory, and practice of the visual arts in their cultural and historical contexts. 

Undergraduate majors and minors develop programs of study that combine foundational skills related to the study of visual-material cultures with focused inquiry in particular areas. We encourage students to shape their programs in ways that prepare them to respond to the intensified visual turn in our society and to develop careers in scholarship, teaching, curation, arts management, and non-profit and community-based work. Department majors are recognized and supported through the student-organized undergraduate association, H.Art.

Our PhD program prepares students for academic and curatorial careers as well as leadership in a broad array of professional, critical, and creative communities and contexts. We emphasize interdisciplinary training, professional development, and pedagogical skills. Our students benefit from close mentorship and collaboration with faculty within the department and across the campus as they research and write dissertations involving deep object, site, archive, and community-based research.

In addition to our academic programs, the Department of History of Art sponsors lectures, symposia, and exhibitions that bring together scholars, artists, and the public to engage with critical issues and debates in our fields.

We are located in Doe Library with the administrative office, faculty offices, and seminar rooms on the 4th floor and the department’s Visualization Lab for Digital Art History and event and seminar rooms on the 3rd.

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