Director's Message

Message from the Director of the School of Art & Art History

The School of Art & Art History was founded on the principle that history, theory and practice are intimately entwined endeavors. Our programs ignite intellectual curiosity and creative innovation, and empower students to expand the boundaries of what is possible, making an impact on the world.

Art students are encouraged to work across the media-specific disciplines of studio arts, photography, moving image, and new media and actively engage departments across the university as well as the larger cosmopolitan city of Chicago. Faculty are equally committed to their research, practice and teaching, and foster an intense intellectual and creative environment where individual research and studio work are complemented by collaborative efforts and socially relevant public projects and civic engagement. The Department offers a BFA and MFA.

Art History students critically inquire into the ways in which people have reimagined their worlds by visual and other means through art, architecture, photography, film, performance, and design. Students are prepared in the fundamentals of historical analysis, visual literacy, and theoretical understanding. Classes span all historical periods and most of the world’s cultures. The Museum and Exhibition Studies program focuses on the social and political contexts of cultural institutions with an emphasis on social justice. The Department offers a BA, MA (Art History or Museum Studies), and PhD.

Gallery 400, a contemporary art gallery is an important resource for our students that provides culturally transformative experiences through exhibitions and by bringing world-class artists, activists, writers, and scholars to the School.