MA in Art History
The art history master’s program curriculum is focused on four areas of art history: Renaissance/Baroque, Modern European, American/Contemporary, and Asian Art (emphasis on Japan), with each area emphasizing a variety of approaches such as cultural studies/social history, feminist/gender studies, reception theory, nationalism, and post-colonialism. The MA program is known for its study of feminist art history and gender studies.
Courses are offered on museum studies and internships at the many renowned museums in the D.C. area are encouraged. Through internships, students have gained experience in curatorial research, education and conservation programs, and in the registrar’s and development offices at the National Gallery of Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery, the Corcoran Gallery, and many other prominent museums and galleries.
Financial support is offered to the best applicants, and several research travel grants are available for master’s thesis research projects. American University also offers competitive research and travel awards for MA students, and the Graduate Student Council usually provides annual funds that can be used for travel to the College Art Association conference in New York or day trips to museums in Baltimore or Philadelphia. Master’s students have opportunities to present research at multiple conferences each year.
The program has prepared students for PhD programs at Princeton, Rutgers, Yale, Bryn Mawr, Pittsburgh, Temple, and other prominent graduate schools. Alumni are working in a variety of career options, including teaching in high schools or community colleges, diverse types of museum work (curatorial, development, education, registrar, etc.), historical preservation research, library and archival positions, editing, and other employment opportunities.
Program faculty and students work closely together. This mentoring is a hallmark of the program. For more information, please contact Program Director Helen Langa, or one of the professors listed below for specific fields of interest:
Juliet Bellow, Modern European Art
Kim Butler Wingfield, Italian Renaissance Art
Namiko Kunimoto, Asian Art (Historical and Contemporary), Photography
Helen Langa, American and Contemporary Art
Andrea Pearson, Northern Renaissance Art