Stand Out With an Undergraduate Degree From Webster

Alumni from our Global Campuses

Art history explores the world and its cultures through artistic productions. It provides insight into the values and concerns of various peoples, the ways in which they interpreted and interacted with their environment, and helps to determine the impacts and outcomes of such outlooks on our future. Through such critical engagement with the past and present, the art history student becomes uniquely situated to help determine their community鈥檚 and culture鈥檚 identities and its decisions. In this, the Art History and Criticism program participates within 四虎影视鈥檚 mission to create global citizens. The program鈥檚 close relationship with the Department鈥檚 studio programs lends a strong contemporary focus to the Department鈥檚 outlook, and the student鈥檚 studies, while a simultaneous focus on the foundations of contemporary culture provide historical groundwork.

student examining line art on display

Webster's Art History and Criticism program details

The program balances a strong art historical foundation for further study with space for students to explore other interests whether specifically complementary or not. The diverse curricular offerings of the university complement the interdisciplinary nature of art history, allowing students to pursue interests in other disciplines that also assist in their art historical studies. After taking introductory courses in both areas, students take advanced courses in two major tracks 鈥 early modern art and modern/contemporary art. Additional offerings in non-western and ancient art round out the learning opportunities. As a final project, Art History and Criticism majors produce a thesis in an area of their choosing and present it at the annual Art History and Criticism Symposium.

The following curriculum for an Art History and Criticism major is an example only. It represents the department鈥檚 concern that an ARHS graduate have some working knowledge of the materials and techniques of art practice, an exploration of historical and cultural topics, ideas and methods outside of art history and general education requirements; a pursuit of language both for research and a better cultural understanding; the encouragement of study abroad to study works in person; and the gaining of practical experience in the field. See the degree requirements and the Degree Audit Worksheet for specific requirements and options.

ART 1010 Creative Strategies 3
ART 1150 Observational Drawing 3
ART 1300 Materials and Maaking 3
ARHS 2200 Current Art 3
ART 1900 First Year Exhibition 1
GLBC Cornerstone Seminar 3
ARHS 2210 Intercultural History of Art 3
MUSC 1052 History of Rock and Roll (GCP ARTS/WCOM) 3
PHIL 2320 Contemporary Moral Problems (GCP SSHB/ETH) 3
RELG 2070 Introduction to Eastern Religions 3
THEA 2040 History of Theatre: Restoration to 1915 (GCP ROC/OCOM) 3
ARHS 3110 Early Renaissance Art 3
ARHS 3210 Nineteenth-Century Art 3
ART 2410 Painting I 3
HIST 2210 Early Modern Europe (GCP ROC/CRI) 3
GRMN 1090 Elementary German I (GCP GLBL/INTC) 3
GRMN 1091 German Workshop 1
ARHS 2320 Asian Art 3
ARHS 3120 High and Late Renaissance Art 3
ARHS 3250 Modern Art 3
HIST 2230: Age of Total War: Europe 1890鈥1945 3
GRMN 1100 Elementary German II 3
GRMN 1101 German Workshop 1
ARHS 3130 Northern Renaissance Art 3
ARHS 3270 Contemporary Art I 3
ARHS 4600 Topics: English Country Houses 3
ANTH 1300 Intro to Archaeology 3
PSYC 1100 Intro to Psychology (GCP SSHB/CRI) 3
ARHS 2700 Intro to Curatorial Studies 3
ARHS 3150 Baroque Art 3
ARHS 3280 Contemporary Art II 3
ART 2610 Printmaking Concepts and Techniques 3
PHIL 2630 Environmental Ethics (GCP PNW/ETH) 3
ARHS 2000 Short-Term Study Abroad Venice or Florence 3
ARHS 4610 Reading Course: Historiography 3
ARHS 4700 Cultural Organizations: Structure and Theory 3
ART 2530 Ceramics: Space 3
ANTH 2300 Culture and Communication 3
GRMN 2090 Intermediate German I 3
GRMN 2091 German Workshop 1
ARHS 4920 Senior Thesis 3
KEYS 4019 Art and Social Engagement (GCP Keystone) 3
PHIL 2510 Philosophic Classics 3
GRMN 2100 Intermediate German II 3
GRMN 2101 German Workshop 1

The final project for the Art History and Criticism major is the senior thesis. A student chooses a paper written for an earlier ARHS course that they found of interest and want to develop the ideas further. Typically they work with the full-time faculty member for which they wrote that paper. The student applies in the fall semester of the senior year to do the senior thesis in the spring semester. During the Spring semester, they meet regularly with their thesis mentor, and also periodically with the senior thesis director and other students.

Art History and Criticism majors present their senior thesis to an audience in the Annual Art History Symposium. The symposium is modeled on professional art history conferences, to provide students with an introduction to the practices of the career. Each student presents a twenty-minute paper, and responds to questions from the audience.

Global Study Opportunities 

Webster鈥檚 global focus provides art history students with several unique opportunities for expanding their studies. International campuses offer opportunities to pursue other interests or fulfill other requirements. The Department offers two alternating short-term study abroad trips to Venice for the Biennale and to Florence to study Renaissance art. At the same time, the Department has relationships with many local (St. Louis and Webster Groves) artistic institutions to enhance a student鈥檚 experiences, from internships at a museum or gallery, to networking with local professionals.

These relationships 鈥 local, national, and international 鈥 are sustained because the Art History and Criticism faculty are also active professionals in their field. They curate exhibitions in the Hunt Gallery, publish scholarship and criticism, and speak publicly on a regular basis. They bring that same professionalism to their courses and to their students. Although we firmly believe in the power and importance of art history as a liberal arts degree to empower an inquisitive and flexible mind to succeed in any situation, we also prepare students for work in the art world should they choose to continue in that career. This unique blend of local and global outlook, of professionalization and exploration, of art history and other fields, has enabled our students to successfully pursue paths to graduate school, museums, art foundations, galleries, academics, and ultimately to contribute to their community in whichever form and field they choose.



[Music fades in with text appearing over a photo of the St. Louis Arch.]

Text on screen: Welcome to 四虎影视

[Overhead shot of Webster Groves campus with fall leaves and students walking to class.]

Text on screen: and to our Global Campus Network

[A blue and black map of the world.]

Text on screen: 四虎影视鈥檚 Study Abroad Locations

Text on screen: Athens, Greece, Geneva Switzerland, Leiden, the Netherlands, Vienna, Austria

[Various photos of students at a historical site in Athens, aesthetic plants and the beachfront.]

Text on screen: Athens, Greece

[Photos of Geneva campus with mountains in the background, the campus dorms and a group student photo.]

Text on screen: Geneva, Switzerland

[Video of the Webster Leiden campus: multiple white and red buildings, a Webster Leiden flag, and a moving photo of students posing.]

Text on screen: Leiden, the Netherlands

[A photo of the Vienna campus, a large white building. A timelapse of the bustling city and a photo of three diverse students hanging out.

Text on screen: Vienna, Austria

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Text on screen: A Leader in GLOBAL EDUCATION

[One of the pieces of the collage mentions Webster鈥檚 WINS program and the photos slide out of frame.]

Text on screen: 四虎影视, WINS (Webster International Network of Schools)

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Text on screen: Webster鈥檚 Global Campuses EXPAND STUDY ABROAD for universities & students.

[The text is replaced by a fast-paced photo slideshow. The first photo is five students posing at the Athens campus, sitting on a railing with the sunset behind them. A student takes a photo with their camera phone.]

[A photo of six dance majors posing in the hallway with arms and legs outstretched. A student taking a photo of mountains and water, equipped with camera and hiking gear. A Vienna student bounces a ball on their knee.]

[A brief video of tourists and students at the Acropolis. A photo of a student posing with Greece behind them. A snippet of another video of a windmill in Leiden and cyclists crossing a bridge.]

[The photo slideshow continues. A photo of three students talking with old architecture behind them. A Gorlok poses with a student at an event.]

[Footage of a graduation ceremony at Webster Leiden. Students throw their caps in the air as the video fades to a blue screen.]

Text on screen: 四虎影视

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