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Art History

Study the intriguing styles displayed in art. Understand the context and the significance of a particular piece. Experience the immaculate design and God-given talent used to create it. That’s what an art history emphasis from Dordt can help you do.

By understanding the history of art, you learn more about how art has influenced culture and shaped conversations around current events.

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Program Overview

An art history emphasis combines an appreciation of art with a passion for history. You’ll learn to develop your observation skills and critical judgment. You’ll recognize and appreciate the context of art and culture throughout various time periods. And you’ll understand the theory and practice of the making of art and the way it’s received critically and culturally.

Dordt’s art history emphasis features teaching from highly qualified and experienced professors. Our facilities provide the resources students need to succeed. And the opportunities to gain experience both inside and outside the classroom are second to none.

A stone face hung up on the wall of the art exhibit

What You'll Learn

With an art history emphasis, your education will include both classroom learning and interactive experiences with art. You’ll also develop your research, writing, project management, and project management skills. Coursework includes classes covering ancient and medieval art history, 14th-19th century art history, contemporary art and architecture, and printmaking.

What You Can Do With An Art History Emphasis

When you choose an emphasis in art history, you open up doors to a world of studying and appreciating significant pieces of culture. Whether you work in a museum, teach art history, or get a job writing about art, you’ll graduate with the tools you need to thrive.


A Curator typically manages different collections of artwork and historic items.

Museum Director

A Museum Director oversees all aspects of museum operations as well as maintains and researches the collection.

Art Authenticator

An Art Authenticator provides customers with the assurance that the work they are about to acquire is genuine and authentic.

Students who choose the art history emphasis will complete various art courses in addition to completing the general requirements for an art degree. Additionally, students will pick two first-level and two second-level studio courses such as ceramics, painting, or photography.

  • Art History: Ancient and Medieval: This course is the first of a three-semester survey of the history of the visual arts. It investigates the role of the visual arts in the historical and cultural development of world civilization between prehistory and the 14th century.
  • Art History: 14th to 19th Centuries: This course is the second of a three-semester survey of the history of art. It covers the history of architecture, painting, and sculpture from the 14th century through the 19th century.
  • Non-Western Art History: This course studies non-European art and culture including Islamic, Japanese, and Chinese art.
  • Sculpture I: An introductory course emphasizing 3-D design and utilizing a variety of materials including clay, wood, plaster, stone, and mixed media.
  • Ceramics I: An introduction to clay and the basic process of slab, pinch, coil, and wheel-thrown constructions.
  • Painting I: An introduction to painting, emphasizing techniques and methods of communicating ideas visually.
  • Printmaking I: An introduction to some basic printmaking methods including serigraphy, linocuts, collagraphs, and intaglio. Class size is limited.
  • Photography I: An exploration of black and white photography as an art form. Students must provide their own 35mm camera. Class size is limited.
  • Graphic Design I: An introductory class in the use of the Macintosh computer, covering basic layout software, object-oriented drawing software, and a paint program for scanning, image manipulation, and their use in graphic design. Through assignments that address the functional and experimental aspects of typography, students explore the interaction of form and meaning in typographic design. This course provides an initial exploration of visual communication issues and applications along with design methodology.
  • Drawing II
  • Sculpture II
  • Ceramics II
  • Painting II
  • Printmaking II
  • Photography II
  • Graphic Design II: A continuation of Art 240, students apply their growing knowledge of the interaction between typography and visual form to specific design
    situations. Type/image relationships are important aspects of this course. Typographic syntax and arrangement are stressed. Design methodology, research, the development of a variety of ideas, and print production technology is emphasized.

See the course catalog for more information.

Ready to take the next step?


With experience in a variety of fields, our faculty members are equipped and ready to help you succeed.

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