Graduate Programs

Director of Graduate Studies: Professor Elina Gertsman,

The Department of Art History and Art offers the following graduate programs: Doctor of Philosophy in Art History, Master of Arts in Art History, and Master of Arts in Art History and Museum Studies. In conjunction with the School of Law the department also offers a combined JD/Master of Arts in Art History and Museum Studies; graduate students may also wish to add the Graduate Certificate in Public Humanities and Civic Engagement. Qualified CWRU undergraduates majoring in art history may participate in the Integrated Graduate Studies Program.

Case Western Reserve University affords an outstanding opportunity to pursue graduate study in art history, with a distinguished faculty and a Joint Program with the Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA). Enjoying the resources of a major research university that is closely affiliated with the CMA and other area museums, galleries, and institutions, our graduate programs provide a remarkable environment for direct acquisition of specialized knowledge as well as for professional curatorial and interpretive experience. The department’s 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 USA), and allows opportunities to work and study with curators and museum educators.

Our affiliation with a world-class museum encourages an intensive object-oriented course of study. Graduate students help contribute to the generation of new scholarly knowledge sponsored by the CMA in conjunction with its ongoing exhibition programs and the research of its permanent collections. Through internships students receive supervised training in a variety of departments. A new program of collections seminars expands student opportunities to learn first-hand about the exhibitions process and other museum research projects by working with a curator and/or faculty member to plan, research, and stage an exhibition, or prepare a database or website based on the CMA collections. Many curators at the Cleveland Museum of Art hold adjunct faculty status, which enables them to teach and supervise independent projects, as well as to participate on doctoral committees when appropriate.

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 Department of Art History and Art, 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, and early modern art, while the Buchanan lecture series brings to campus leading scholars and curators who have bridged the academic and museum worlds in their career. A prominent Renaissance specialist gives the annual Olszweski lecture and the department’s own graduates are invited to deliver distinguished alumni lectures. In addition, the department sponsors the annual Cleveland Symposium—one of the oldest graduate-student-organized symposia in art history in the United States. 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’s support organization, Friends of Art, has established the Edward J. Olszewski Travel Fund, which helps defray students’ expenses associated with travel to conferences, research libraries, and collections. The Carolyn Carr Travel and Research Fund also helps support students.