Art History

Program Description

If you want to spend your life immersed in the world of history, art, and culture, major in Art History within the Fine Arts Department. In AUM’s interdisciplinary Art History program, you’ll be introduced to the history of Western Civilization through an examination of images, artifacts, buildings, and works of art. Our program offers courses on art from the Ancient world to the Contemporary and encourages students to consider works of art and architecture as dynamic objects that reflect the cultural and social history of the time in which they were made. You’ll also be trained in highly desirable, transferable skills prized by employers, such as visual literacy, critical thinking, primary research, and effective written and oral communication skills.


Points of Pride

  • An on-campus gallery hosts exhibitions by established visiting artists and Fine Arts faculty and students and provides hands-on curatorial experience for Art History classes.
  • The Fine Arts Department has a large collection of original artworks, with strengths in 20th-century prints.
  • An active Internship program includes partnerships with more than 15 area cultural sites and organizations, while students have also held prestigious summer internships with the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Historic Deerfield (in Massachusetts), the National Parks Service in AL, and the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection at the University of Virginia
  • Annual guest lectures by visiting Art Historians, augment class offerings and introduce students to key scholars in the field
  • The Museum Studies Certificate program offers additional training for those interested in a career in Museums, cultural heritage, preservation, or public history
  • The nearby Montgomery Museum of Fine Art – which hosts Art History class field trips – has exciting rotating exhibitions and an extensive collection of American art.
  • Summer Study Abroad offerings – most recently to Belgium and England – allow students to travel elsewhere to study significant works of art and architecture in person
  • Our active Student Art Club organizes out-of-town trips for students to attend workshops and visit exhibitions.

Put Your Degree to Work

Note: While salaries vary depending on several factors including your level of experience, education and training, and geography and industry, here is a sampling of the future job growth and salaries in this area.

You can put your degree to work in a variety of ways.  Art historians are needed in museums, art galleries, auction houses, private and corporate art collections, art foundations, and non-profit or government organizations and institutions dedicated to history, arts, and culture. You could work in numerous roles, including researching or coordinating exhibitions for museums, writing grants for an arts-based organizations, assisting with fundraising or marketing for non-profits, managing a collection or archive, creating educational or interpretive materials for a cultural institution, devising public arts programming, or serving as a docent or curator at a historic property, house museum, or heritage site.

Overall employment of archivists, curators, and museum staff is projected to grow 9 percent from 2018 to 2028, faster than the average for all occupations. Regarding American museums, they attract over 850 million visitors per year—more than attendees of all major sporting events and theme parks combined – and employ over 400,000 people nationwide. The need to store information in archives and the public’s interest in science, art, and history should continue to spur demand for archivists, curators, and museum staff.

U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics sample  
JobsMedian PayJob Growth through 2028
Archivists, curators and museum technicians$48,400 per year9%
Grants Officer
Development Officer
Art Handler
Marketing Assistant
Exhibition Assistant
Editorial Assistant
Public Programming Officer
Site Manager
Site Interpreter

For More Information

Fine Arts Department
Auburn University at Montgomery
Goodwyn Hall 104

Soaring Warhawks

  • L.A. Art History alum Chloe Brown won first place in the oral presentation in Creative Scholarship category at Auburn University’s 2016 “This is Research: Student Symposium” competition
  • Rebecca Teague graduated from AUM in 2016 and completed a fully-funded M.A. in Art History from the University of Alabama in 2019
  • Victoria Kenyon was awarded a paid internship at Historic Deerfield (in Massachusetts) in summer 2018 and a paid internship at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in summer 2019

Program Overview

The course listings below are a representation of what this academic program requires. For a full review of this program in detail, please see our official online catalog AND consult with an academic advisor. This listing does not include the core curriculum courses required for all majors and may not include some program-specific information, such as admissions, retention and termination standards.

Course sampling specific to Art History includes:

Course #Course NameCourse Description
VISU 3020The Renaissance in ItalyAn analysis of the visual arts in Italy from the 14th through the 16th-century.
VISU 3050American ArtA study beyond the survey level of the visual arts in America from the Colonial Era to the present.
VISU 3060Art Since 1945A study of international art since 1945 as well as themes and issues in contemporary art.
VISU 3070Women in the History of ArtA study of women artists from 1550 to the present, including cultural and social issues and historiography.
VISU 4100The Artist in Film and FictionThis course examines visual artists and the creative process as depicted in film and fiction. Why does Western culture seem obsessed with the construction of the artist as a tortured genius? Do you have to be crazy to be an artist?

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