Department of Art History and Art

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The Department of Art History and Art offers opportunities to study art history, to participate in a broad range of studio offerings, to pursue state teacher certification in art education, and to engage in pre-professional museum training. The Bachelor of Arts degree is granted in art history and in pre-architecture, and the Bachelor of Science degree in art education. In addition, the department offers graduate programs leading to the degrees of Master of Arts in art history, in art history and museum studies, and in art education; and the Doctor of Philosophy in art history.

All art programs are considerably enhanced by close cooperation with and access to the facilities of cultural institutions located in University Circle, in particular The Cleveland Museum of ArtThe Cleveland Institute of Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland.

The Cleveland Museum of Art/CWRU Art History Program has been in existence since 1967. The museum’s curators serve as adjunct faculty, and graduate research projects under their direction often result in exhibitions and publications. The museum Studies course and internships provide experience in curatorial practices, connoisseurship, conservation, design, and museum education, and the program has a history of producing leaders in the museum field. Graduate students are exposed to both traditional and newer theoretically based art historical approaches in classes taught by faculty renowned for their expertise in a diversity of fields.

Art History Graduate Students Receive Awards in May 2017

Date posted: May 4th, 2017

Aimee Caya, a first-year doctoral student, and Kylie Fisher, a second-year doctoral student in the Department of Art History and Art, have received Graduate Dean’s Instructional Excellence Awards. These awards are given to university graduate students who participate in undergraduate education as teaching assistants and display excellence in their work and commitment. …Read more.

Erin Benay and Catherine Scallen Receive Diekhoff Awards

Date posted: May 4th, 2017

Erin Benay, Assistant Professor of Art History and Catherine Scallen, the Andrew W. Mellon Associate Professor in the Humanities and Chair of Art History and Art, have received Diekhoff awards. This is the third year in a row that a member of the art history faculty has received a Diekhoff award; four of the seven tenured or tenure track art historians in the department are now Diekhoff winners. …Read more.

Annual Harvey Buchanan Lecture in Art History and the Humanities

Date posted: April 24th, 2017

The Annual Harvey Buchanan Lecture in Art History and the Humanities
Friday, April 28, 2017
Cleveland Museum of Art Recital Hall
Richard E. …Read more.

Accepted applicants visit CWRU’s art history programs, March 24, 2017

Date posted: April 3rd, 2017

Current MA and doctoral students show accepted MA applicants through the CMA galleries. We had a full day of events, with a tour of Ingalls Library, lunch with the faculty, an Art Talk by Prof. …Read more.

Erin Benay and Maggie Popkin Awarded Fellowships by the National Endowment for the Humanities

Date posted: December 8th, 2016

Professors Erin Benay and Maggie Popkin were awarded full-year fellowships by the National Endowment for the Humanities, as announced in December 2016.  These highly competitive awards will enable each of them to take a year off from teaching and service to work full time on their new book projects.  …Read more.

Erin Benay Receives Fellowship from the American Institute of Indian Studies

Date posted: September 29th, 2016

Erin Benay, Assistant Professor of Italian Renaissance and Baroque Art, received a 2017-18 fellowship from the American Institute of Indian Studies to support research and travel for her third book project, tentatively titled Italy by Way of India: Routes of Devotional Knowledge in the Early Modern Period…Read more.


Graduation 2017

Our MA graduates after the diploma ceremony.  From left to right: Prof. Holly Witchey, Bailey Pfohl, Tony Huffman, Jerika Jordan,Cara Coleman, Allison Slenker, Prof. Catherine Scallen. Congratulations to all!

43rd Annual Cleveland Symposium Call for Papers

Call for Papers for the 43rd Annual Cleveland Symposium

Ars et Scientia: Intersections of Science and the Visual Arts

October 27th, 2017

Despite the semantic divide that seems to separate art and science in modern culture, the boundaries between the two disciplines have always been fluid and permeable. From the earliest recorded botanical illustrations, painted on papyrus scrolls in Egypt in the 2nd century AD, to contemporary artist Josh Kline’s use of 3D printing in his work, art and science have long been used in tandem to make sense of the world and explore our place within it. The working notes of printers like Louis-Marin Bonnet as they experimented with the technique of chalk-manner engraving resemble nothing so much as a scientist recording data and observations for his experiments. Representations of the scientist at work in his laboratory also abound, from Pieter Bruegel’s Alchemist to Joseph Wright of Derby’s An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump, and serve as social commentaries on the role of the scientist in society. More recently, scientific technologies have proven to be invaluable tools for the modern art historian and museum curator, allowing us to better understand artists’ working methods and materials through the use of imaging technology and chemical analysis. This symposium seeks to foster a re-examination of the complex interactions between artistic and scientific disciplines that are more interdependent than they first appear.

We welcome innovative research papers from graduate students of all disciplines that challenge the divide between humanities and STEM fields. Papers may explore aspects of this topic across any time period, medium, or geographical region.

Topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • depictions of scientists, doctors, astronomers, engineers, etc. at work
  • visual evidence for the transmission of scientific knowledge between cultures
  • scientific diagrams: anatomical, botanical, astronomical, alchemical, etc.
  • technical art history
  • art that incorporates the use of novel technologies: for example early printing or photography, video art, 3D printing
  • aestheticized technology, such as astrolabes and globes
  • microphotography or photographs of patients/specimens
  • descriptions of artistic methodologies in terms of scientific experimentation

For consideration, please submit a 350-word abstract and CV to by July 16, 2017. Selected participants will be notified by early August. Paper presentations will be 20 minutes in length, and participants will be invited to author a blog post about their research to be published at

Please direct all questions to Aimee Caya and Erin Hein at

Graduation 2016

DSC_0194 MA in Art History Graduates Victoria Hepburn, l, and Molly Phelps, r, with Professor Scallen.

.Andrea and Matt Rager May 2016 Professor Andrea Wolk Rager and Matt Rager; Professor Rager received the John S. Diekhoff Award for Distinguished Graduate Teaching at the Graduate Ceremony.

While the Commencement exercises saw snow for the morning procession for the first time in living memory, the day was joyful as always, and skies cleared for the Graduate Ceremony in the afternoon.

Page last modified: May 4, 2017