What can works of art reveal about their creators and cultural contexts? Explore hidden meanings, different ways of seeing the world, and the relationship between creative genius and historical forces.
About the Program
When you study art history at Mills, you’ll examine painting, sculpture, architecture, and other visual art forms from the earliest civilizations to the present. In small, lively classes, you’ll learn about artists and artworks in their historical, cultural, and religious contexts, as well as the changes that have shaped visual culture over time. Your professors will include highly regarded scholars of European, American, and Asian art whose knowledge extends from Bronze Age vessels to contemporary performance art. Each year, visiting faculty and lecturers will share their expertise on new directions in art history and criticism.
Ideas and discussion will be valued in all your classes. Professors will empower you to think independently and find your own voice. You’ll develop essential critical analysis, research, and communication skills that will enable you to discuss artists and interpret images with discernment. You’ll also have opportunities to gain hands-on skills in arts administration and to study abroad in Europe or Asia. View our program details for in-depth information on the major and minor.
When you graduate, you’ll be prepared for graduate study or to begin a career in the visual arts, culminating in a position as a museum or gallery curator, arts administrator, conservator, art critic, educator, or lawyer, for example.
Courses You Could Take
The Art of Coexistence: Jewish, Islamic & Christian Art in Medieval Spain
History of Performance Art
Contemporary US Women Artists & the Feminist Art Movement
The Image & the Law
Museum Studies Workshop
Gender & the Western Visual Tradition