Art History

Our art history program explores visual and material culture as forms of communication. We seek to understand painting, sculpture, architecture, decorative arts, textiles, jewelry and archaeological objects within the historical and cultural contexts in which they were created. Images have the power to tell stories, and we study works of art to better understand the motivations, beliefs, ideologies, fears and hopes of the people who made them.

Our Program

Our students enjoy the benefits of a small, vibrant program with a focus on individually tailored learning experiences and close working relationships with faculty. Coursework explores a wide range of cultures, periods and traditions from around the world, and students are encouraged to spend a semester studying abroad.

Outside the classroom, our students conduct and publish original research, pursue museum studies and work with collections, curate exhibitions for the University’s gallery, explore historic Newport and its rich architecture, and complete internships at area museums, galleries, libraries, arts institutions and historic homes.

Students have the opportunity to double major in cultural and historic preservation, a complementary academic program that could broaden their career options.

Program Spotlight: Focus on Conservation

After completing an internship with the Preservation Society of Newport County, Sarah Beach, a double major in art history and cultural and historic preservation, was seeking to further her skills at a larger institution.

“The Museum of Fine Arts interested me because of its large, comprehensive collection and advanced conservation facilities,” she said. Through a competitive application process, Beach secured a summer internship with the museum’s Furniture and Frame Conservation Laboratory.

Beach’s internship focused on the conservation of wooden architectural elements, musical instruments and furniture. Daily tasks included maintaining the museum’s period rooms, documenting objects shipped to and from the museum for exhibitions and consolidating gilded furniture, a fastidious process that involves securing fragile gold or silver leaf.

The internship helped Beach discover a passion for conservation, and she now plans to pursue graduate study in the field, with a concentration in wooden objects.

"Undergraduate internships are a great way to try out potential fields and learn what you are most interested in pursuing as a career,” she said. “Gaining experience in real world institutions is invaluable to one’s academic career and cannot be simulated in the classroom setting. Getting to work with professionals in the field in a one-on-one setting has provided me with great insight and hands-on experience."

Our Faculty

Our art history program is coordinated by associate professor Dr. Anthony Mangieri, whose recent book “Virgin Sacrifice in Classical Art: Women, Agency and the Trojan War” is a feminist art history study that explores what we can learn about historical people in ancient Greece and Rome through their artistic representation of myths of maiden sacrifice.​

 

Meet Our Faculty

Life After Salve

We prepare students for a wide range of careers both within and beyond the art world. Traditional career paths include work in museums and galleries, curation, auction houses, nonprofits, arts institutions and public education/outreach (including at museums).

Our program prepares graduates for graduate study in fields such as art history, conservation and museum studies. Due to its interdisciplinary nature, the art history major also provides excellent training for advanced study not only in the humanities, but also for students seeking degrees in law, medicine and business, among other fields.

Our graduates have worked in galleries and museums such as:

  • Arizona State University Art Museum
  • Disney Corporation
  • Guggenheim Museum
  • Morgan Library and Museum
  • William Vareika Fine Arts

 Due to the liberal arts nature of Salve’s curriculum, you can customize your studies in order to recognize and concentrate your specific interests within the vast art field. As an art history major, I was able to incorporate my interests and passions for cultural and historic preservation in addition to studio arts seamlessly into my curriculum, culminating in a well-rounded arts education. My experience at Salve continues to encourage me to gain more knowledge and concentrate on my passions within the field of art history. 

Molly Richard ’13, gallery assistant, William Vareika Fine Arts

Program Spotlight: Curious and Collected

A virtual exhibition space at the University – newportcuriosities.com – highlights the work of Salve student curators, scholars and designers enrolled in the course Curatorial Practices and the Gallery Experience. The website features essays about and photography of selected works from the collections of the Newport Historical Society and Salve’s Noreen Stonor Drexel Cultural and Historic Preservation Program, along with the private collections of Nicholas and Shelley Schorsch and James Baker.

 We hope that studying cabinets of curiosities and creating our own natural history collection at Salve will inspire a sense of wonder in our students and advance the visual study and analysis of the natural world. 

Dr. Anthony Mangieri, associate professor

Major in Art History (B.A.)

14 courses | 40 credits

Required courses:

  • ART091: Freshman Studio Seminar
  • ART208: History of World Art I: Prehistoric to 1400
  • ART209: History of World Art II: 1400 to Today
  • ART312: Classical Art and Archaeology
  • ART316: Narrative and Meaning in Medieval and Renaissance Art
  • ART317: Topics in Non-Western Art
  • ART354: Art Theory and Criticism
  • ART441: Senior Thesis Research in Art History
  • ART442: Senior Thesis Production in Art History
  • ART474: Apprenticeship/Internship in the Visual Arts or ART405: Curatorial Practice and the Gallery Experience

Students also take one elective course in studio art, along with three elective courses in art history or cultural and historic preservation.

Minor in Art History

7 courses | 21 credits

Required courses:

  • ART208: History of World Art I: Prehistoric to 1400
  • ART209: History of World Art II: 1400 to Today

Students also take one elective course in studio art and four elective courses in art history, approved in consultation with a departmental advisor.