College of Arts and Sciences

Department of Art History and Art

Department of Art History and Art

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Art History

Case Western Reserve University affords an outstanding opportunity to pursue graduate study in Art History and Museum Studies. Enjoying the resources of a major research university that is closely affiliated with the Cleveland Museum of Art, our graduate programs provide a remarkable environment for direct acquisition of specialized knowledge as well as for professional curatorial and interpretive experience. In addition to their work with department faculty, our close collaboration with the CMA offers students unparalleled access to the museum’s collections and its comprehensive art library (the third largest art research library in the US), and opportunities to work and study with curators and museum educators.

The department’s graduates are particularly well represented in museum professions at such institutions as the Freer/Sackler Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery, Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Birmingham Museum of Art, Cleveland Museum of Art, Toledo Museum of Art, Dayton Art Institute, Arkansas Arts Center, Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, McNay Art Museum, and the Rose Art Museum.

Our affiliation with a world-class museum encourages an intensive object-oriented course of study. Graduate students help contribute to cutting edge scholarship sponsored by the CMA in conjunction with its ongoing exhibition programs and research of its permanent collections. Through internships students receive supervised training in a variety of departments. A new program of collections seminars, to begin in 2015, will expand student opportunities to learn first-hand about the exhibitions process and other museum research projects by working with a curator or faculty member to plan, research, and stage an exhibition or prepare a database or website based on the CMA collections.

The department’s areas of strength include classical, medieval, early modern, Asian, American, and modern and contemporary art; students benefit from small classes and close mentoring provided by faculty members. Department faculty members are active scholars with busy lecture schedules and significant publication records. They produce books, articles, and exhibition catalogues, also serving as guest curators for exhibitions worldwide. Many curators at the Cleveland Museum of Art hold adjunct faculty status, teaching as well as supervising independent projects and participating on doctoral committees.

The development of knowledge and skills at a professional level at CWRU is greatly enhanced not only by internship opportunities at the Cleveland Museum of Art and other University Circle and Northeast Ohio gallery and museum venues, but also through a program of visiting lecturers, symposia and workshops sponsored by the Art History and Art department, the CMA, and the University’s Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities. Each year the department’s Julius Fund sponsors visits by prominent scholars in ancient, medieval, early modern, and Italian art, while the Buchanan lecture series brings to campus leading scholars and curators who have bridged the academic and museum worlds in their career. In addition, the Graduate Art History Association sponsors the Cleveland Symposium—one of the oldest graduate symposia in art history convened in the United States—and the department fosters a distinguished alumni lecture series. Graduate students at both the doctoral and master’s level are encouraged to deliver papers at national and international conferences; to that end, the department has established the Edward J. Olszewski Travel Fund, which helps defray doctoral students’ expenses associated with travel to conferences, research libraries, and collections.