Art & Art History
Member of the Division of Humanities
Lee Emma Running
Susan Strauber - Senior Faculty Status
The Department of Art and Art History provides curricular opportunities for the development of technical skills, aesthetic judgment, and historical understanding. Participation in both studio art and art history courses stimulates critical thinking and refines creative potential in the visual arts. The Grinnell College Art Collection of approximately 6,000 original works of art and the changing exhibitions of the Faulconer Gallery and the Print and Drawing Study Room supplement formal course study.
Students elect either a studio art or an art history major, with opportunities for advanced work in 300- and 400-level courses. Students electing an art history major must consult with the department about appropriate foreign language study. Majors are expected to enrich their concentration through selected courses offered by other departments. For example, appropriate courses in film, history, literature, philosophy, and religious studies, or syntheses of these materials in humanities courses contribute to the art history major. Furthermore, computer science, cultural studies, history, film, G.W.S.S., creative writing, and the sciences, especially chemistry, contribute to the study of studio art.
Students are encouraged to consider the advantages of a semester abroad in an approved program. Off-campus programs in this country also are available to majors with adequate preparation for advanced study. Students interested in museum work can take the museum studies course (ARH 260 ) and/or the exhibition seminar (ARH 360 ). There are opportunities for academic internships at the Faulconer Gallery, Axelle Fine Arts (Brooklyn, N.Y.), and others as arranged. Competitive summer internships at national museums and institutions are open to qualifying students with considerable preparation in either discipline. A competitive scholarship in studio art allows for a ninth semester of portfolio preparation for graduate study.
Major Requirements: A minimum of 32 credits
At least 20 credits of coursework must be taken with the Department of Art and Art History at Grinnell. No more than 16 credits within a single art history area may count toward the major unless approved in advance by the department.
The senior project in studio art and the senior thesis in art history will be considered ART 499 or ARH 499 and must follow the College’s procedures for Mentored Advanced Projects (MAPs) as well as departmental procedures. Only one ART 499 or ARH 499 (4 credits) may count toward the major. Pre-architecture students must include one semester each of laboratory physics and calculus and are advised to fulfill the studio concentration, though other majors are possible.
Art History Major Requirements:
Core Requirements: 16 credits
Electives in Art History: 12 credits
- An additional 12 credits of electives beyond ART 103 must be completed.
- With permission up to 8 credits may be taken in related studies outside the department.
Studio Art Major Requirements:
Core Requirements: 28 credits
Non-Studio Requirement: 4 credits
- Students must complete a public exhibition under the advisement of studio faculty in their senior year.
To be considered for honors in Studio Art, graduating seniors, in addition to meeting the College’s general requirements for honors, must submit for review to the Studio Faculty a digital portfolio of artwork that demonstrates superior performance in coursework combined with superior breadth and/or depth of individual creative research.
To be considered for honors in art history, graduating seniors, in addition to meeting the College’s general requirements for honors, must demonstrate, by departmental consensus, superior performance in coursework combined with superior breadth or depth of curriculum.