Department of Art History and Art

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.

Cleveland Symposium 2016–Collections: Celebration

Date posted: May 25th, 2016

Collections: Celebration
42nd Annual Cleveland Symposium
The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, Ohio
Friday, October 28, 2016
The Case Western Reserve University/Cleveland Museum of Art Joint Graduate Program in Art History and Museum Studies is proud to announce its 2016 Annual Symposium: Collections: Celebration. …Read more.

Henry Adams to Participate in Environmental Think Tank at Wesleyan University 2016-17

Date posted: May 25th, 2016

Henry Adams will be on Leave of Absence for the 2016-17 academic year.  He has an appointment as a Fellow of the College of the Environment and Visiting Professor of Environmental Studies at Wesleyan University where he will teach one course, “The Experience of American Landscape,” participate in a think tank on a weekly basis and attend the monthly Environmental Studies senior colloquia.  …Read more.

CWRU Alumnus Christopher Bedford named Director of the Baltimore Museum of Art

Date posted: May 23rd, 2016

Christopher Bedford, who received an MA in Art History from CWRU in 2003, was named the tenth director of the Baltimore Museum of Art; he will begin his term in August. …Read more.

Art History Faculty Receive Recognition from the Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities for 2016-17

Date posted: May 23rd, 2016

Two assistant professors in art history, Erin Benay, a specialist in early modern Italian art, and Maggie Popkin, a specialist in ancient Roman art, received awards from the Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities at CWRU.  …Read more.

Andrea Wolk Rager receives Diekhoff Award for Distinguished Graduate Teaching

Date posted: May 23rd, 2016

Andrea Wolk Rager, the Jesse Hauk Shera Assistant Professor in art history, received a John S. Diekhoff Award in spring 2016, the second year in a row that a professor in art history has received this award.  …Read more.

41st Annual Cleveland Symposium, October 23, 2015

Date posted: September 29th, 2015


41st Annual Cleveland Symposium
Unity and Division in the History of Art
Recital Hall, Cleveland Museum of Art
Friday, October 23, 2015
Sponsored by the Nancy and Joseph Keithley Institute for Art History
with additional generous support from the Friends of Art
and the School of Graduate Studies, Case Western Reserve University
Presented by the Joint Graduate Program in Art History and Museum Studies
of Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Museum of Art
  …Read more.


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.

Art History Graduate Students Receive Competitive Pancoast Awards

Nikki DeLuca, a doctoral student in medieval art history, and Molly Phelps, who just graduated with an MA in Art History, received Eva L. Pancoast Awards from CWRU this spring.  The Pancoast awards, available to women graduates or students in the College of Arts and Sciences or the Graduate School, fund foreign travel or study abroad opportunities.   With the assistance of the Pancoast award and funding from the Keithley Institute for Art History, Nikki will deliver a paper at the international medieval studies conference in Leeds, England, in July.  Molly will use her Pancoast award to attend a Dutch language program in Utrecht, The Netherlands, in July.  In August Molly will travel to Europe again,  to deliver a paper at the Sixteenth Century Studies Conference in Bruges, Belgium, funded by the department and the Keithley Institute for Art History.



Professor Elina Gertsman receives the prestigious American Council for Learned Societies Fellowship

Elina Gertsman, associate professor of medieval art, received a year-long ACLS fellowship to pursue research on her next monograph, tentatively titled Empty Spaces: Figuring Absence in Late Medieval Art. From over 1,000 applications received this year, the ACLS selected 70 fellows. Matthew Goldfeder, the director of fellowship programs, said that “fellows were chosen for their potential to create new knowledge resulting from investigations and reflections on diverse cultures, texts, and artifacts from across the globe and human history… ACLS employs a rigorous multi-stage peer-review process to ensure that humanities scholars themselves select those fellows who exemplify the very best in their fields.” Prof. Gertsman”s second monograph, Worlds Within: Opening the Medieval Shrine Madonna, was published by Penn State Press this month.

See the feature on Prof. Gertsman’s award in The Daily:

For more information on Prof. Gertsman’s project, see