Program Overview

Trace the role that art plays across different eras and cultures. Through reading, analyzing images, critical thinking and experiential learning, you’ll learn to contextualize art and the ways it reflects the human experience over time.

The program in art and art history recognizes the inherent expressive value of art, its enrichment of the human experience, and the dependence of global culture on visual literacy.

Studying art at Agnes Scott is a unique experience. As an art or art history major or minor, you’ll experience the ways that studio art and art history complement and inform one another. You’ll also distill concepts from many other fields of study—including history, literature, science, anthropology, and social justice. These interdisciplinary concepts will combine to inspire your creative process, whether in studio practice or art-historical scholarship. Not only will you develop technical understanding and hone analytical skills, but you will also learn to think critically, act creatively, and communicate articulately.

Three art history major students reviewing art work in class.

What You'll Learn

Our curriculum challenges students to create, read, and analyze images through written and oral communication, critical thinking, and experiential learning. Our mission speaks strongly to the process of creativity, rather than the product. Through a collaborative approach to teaching and learning, we offer an integrated program that compels students to consider the practices required of professional artists and art historians.

  • Critical thinking and written communication skills necessary to construct visual analyses and scholarly arguments
  • Oral communication skills necessary for presentations on contemporary art in a public setting
  • Experiential learning through attending events in the Dalton Gallery and activities off-campus with artists, galleries, museums, and other venues; connecting with the larger art world

Program Highlights

The City of Atlanta

For an artist or art historian, the world is your medium, the city your canvas. Agnes Scott’s proximity to the city of Atlanta promises rich cultural offerings. Visits to the many galleries, museums and artists’ studios in the metropolitan area will complement your course of study.

Visiting Artists and Instructors

The department's faculty and course offerings are enhanced by a variety of visiting artists and professional instructors each year, offering valuable connections and exposure to the off-campus art world to students. Past instructors have included Amanda Hellman, curator of African Art at the Carlos Museum at Emory, Veronica Kessenich, the executive director of the Atlanta Contemporary art museum, and working artists Sarah Emerson, Kojo Griffin, Maria Korol, Jiha Moon, Caroline Rumley, Katherine Taylor, and Jeffrey Whittle.

Seniors Select

Each year the department gives senior art-history majors the opportunity to choose and purchase a work of art for Agnes Scott’s permanent collection. As students research and consider potential acquisitions and present their preferences to the group, they make arguments about the strengths of individual works, their relevance to contemporary art and the college’s collection.

Meet the Faculty

Anne Bidler

Anne E. Beidler

Professor of Art

Beck Bivens

Becky Bivens '07

Kirk Visiting Assistant Professor of Art History and Collections Manager

Nell Ruby

Kathy '68 and Lawrence Ashe Professor of Art/Chair

Katherine Smith

Katherine Smith

Professor of Art History

Working in Art History

Thinking creatively is a job skill that applies to any field.

Before you graduate, you will experience vibrant art events on and off-campus, meet key figures in Atlanta's art world, develop your own practice within a dynamic and diverse community of scholars and deliver public presentations on contemporary art. These experiences will help forge your path forward.

  • Museum Docent
  • Collection Registrar
  • Interior Designer
  • Educator
  • Gallery Assistant
  • Marketing Assistant

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