Based on the training and exposure they receive as part of our Art History program, as well as the personal mentoring they receive from our faculty, many of New College’s graduates in Art History go on to careers in teaching and/or museum and gallery work. Others successfully pursue a wide range of careers, including law, business and the Foreign Service.
Students in Art History at New College enjoy a benefit that is rare for their counterparts at other leading liberal arts colleges in America. Not only does our program offer the intimate learning environment, advanced seminars and exceptional faculty that one would expect from a small but top notch program in the field, but our campus actually straddles the world-renowned Ringling Museum of Art. Besides offering free admission to our students, the Ringling provides New College’s Art History students with access to the museum’s excellent library as well as regularly scheduled exhibits, lectures and films. Internships and opportunities to present lectures at the museum also afford opportunities for our students to gain real world experience as actual working art historians, which gives them a leg up when applying for graduate school and future employment.
As an Art History student at New College, you will be both intensely challenged and richly rewarded as you acquire a deeper understanding of the major periods and movements of Western art. With small class sizes, advanced seminars and tutorials, and an emphasis on reading scholarship rather than mainstream textbooks, our Art History program functions more like a graduate school program than one you typically find at the undergraduate level. Thanks to an abundance of internship, presentation, research and study abroad opportunities, you will also gain hands-on experience actually learning and using the various methods currently practiced by art historians in the field.
You’ll study the traditional object-based analysis of style and subject matter, as well as the interpretation of art in its broader cultural context, using a variety of methods ranging from social history to feminist theory. You’ll also be encouraged to pursue your personal intellectual interests, arriving at your own definition of what constitutes “art” and formulating your own critical approaches to the discipline.
Our faculty members specialize in everything from medieval, Renaissance and baroque art to surrealism and identity theory in the modern period. Thanks to a special partnership with the adjacent Ringling Museum of Art, we offer classes in contemporary art and contemporary critical theory as well.
Thanks to a recent partnership with the Ringling, we also have been able to expand our programming in Art History to include classes in contemporary art and contemporary critical theory. These additions help round out our existing core strengths in the medieval, Renaissance, baroque and modern periods.
Based on the training and exposure they receive as part of our program, as well as the personal mentoring they receive from our faculty, many of New College’s graduates in Art History go on to careers in teaching and/or museum and gallery work. Others successfully pursue a wide range of careers, including law, business and the Foreign Service.
All of these factors help our graduates excel when it comes to graduate school placement and to gaining meaningful and rewarding employment as art historians, educators and museum curators, as well as a host of other careers.
An Area of Concentration in Art History at New College typically includes the following:
• A broad selection of courses in the discipline covering all of the major periods and emphasizing the field in which the senior thesis will be written. This involves taking no fewer than 12 courses and/or tutorials in the discipline, with two each in the Ancient/Medieval, Renaissance/Baroque and Modern periods. Two studio courses or their equivalent are also required.
Here’s a list of recent course offerings in Art History:
American Painting of the Twentieth-Century
A term paper, which should develop a clear thesis or theoretical framework, will be required. Since extensive research is critical, the idea for the term paper will need to be submitted by the end of the second week of the term. The development of bibliographies will be stressed with a particular emphasis on reviewing the literature. Two exams or several quizzes will allow students to demonstrate their command of the artists covered. Students who are interested in exploring contemporary art and issues related to postmodernism are certainly welcome. However they may do so only when there is a sufficient amount of published (articles and monographs) and visual material available. (This cannot include material from the Internet.) In previous classes, students worked on a wide range of topics from: Thomas Hart Benton’s Regionalism, Man Ray’s Surrealism, F. L. Wright’s local architecture, Images of Food in Pop art, and finally contemporary art such as Conceptual Art, Basquiat and David Salle. Prerequisites: Preference will be given to students who have had “Introduction to Twentieth-Century Painting” and one other course in Art History.
An-Other Story: The Art of Women through the Ages
Caravaggio and His Era
The First Millennium: The Invention of a New Tradition
The Gothic Cathedral
The Image of the Artist in the Western Tradition: Craftsman, Courtier, Businessman, Genius
Italian Renaissance Art: The Fifteenth Century
Medieval Women: Art, Gender, And Spirituality
We will also consider the experiences of actual women, beginning with the early martyr, Perpetua (d. 203), who strode into the arena shortly after giving birth to her son: her breasts still leaking with milk, she directed the shaking hand of a young gladiator to the cutting of her own throat. We will conclude with Christine de Pizan (d. ca. 1430), a young widow who crafted a career as the first professional woman writer. Our primary sources will be visual materials, supplemented by a variety of written texts from the medieval period and by recent critical scholarship. We will also consider some important developments in the later Middle Ages: the “feminization” of images of Christ, uses of visual images in religious as well as secular life, and attitudes about asceticism, the body, and affective experience. No prerequisites, although relevant background in art history, history, religion, women’s studies, or other appropriate fields would be useful.
Michelangelo and His Era
Motherhood: Image and Experience
Nineteenth Century Painting
The Renaissance in the North
Seminar: Film Noir, Dark Visions of the City
Seminar: Images Of Women
Seminar: Modernism And Madness
Twentieth Centruy Post Pop/Postmodern
Twentieth Century Painting
For a complete list of courses, click here.
Sharon Corwin ’88 is director and chief curator at Colby College Museum of Art. Before working at Colby, she was a faculty fellow at the University of California, Berkeley; a guest curator at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive; and acting assistant director of the Mills College Art Museum. She earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in 2001 from Berkeley and has been the recipient of fellowships and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Henry Luce Foundation/American Council of Learned Societies, the Smithsonian Institution, Duke University, the University of California, and a professional development grant from the College Art Association. Her book, American Modern: Documentary Photography by Abbott, Evans, and Bourke-White was published in 2010 by the University of California Press. Most recently she oversaw a 26,000 square-foot addition to the Colby Museum by Los Angeles-based architect Frederick Fisher and Partners. Her New College thesis was entitled “Postmodern Art and the Politics of Representation: An Exhibition.”
New College is proud of the many Art History graduates who have contributed to the field. Here’s a sampling of some of our graduates:
• Nicole Archer is on the faculty at San Francisco Art Institute and chairs the program in History and Theory of Contemporary Art. She researches contemporary art and material culture with an emphasis in modern textile and garment histories. She also concentrates on critical and psychoanalytic theory, corporeal feminism and performance studies. In her teaching, she explores the relations of politics and aesthetics through examinations of style, embodiment, and desire. She combined her AOC in Art History with Gender Studies.
• Jennifer Belt has worked in the permissions department at HarperCollins Publishers, in the rights & reproductions office at the Whitney Museum of American Art, and as associate permissions director at Art Resource.
• Cheryl Belz is an architect in Boulder, Colorado. At New College she studied art history and fine art.
• Eleanor Cecconi, who studied Art History and Literature at New College, ismarketing coordinator at Acosta Tax & Advisory CPA, PA in the Miami area. She has also been a features writer at Monochrome Effect, a literary agent assistant at Trident Media Group and a rights associate at Jane Rotrosen Agency, LLC.
• Andrea Cox is director and CEO at Art & History Museums Maitland.
• Robin Danzak is assistant professor of communication sciences and disorders at the University of South Florida, Sarasota-Manatee.
• Deirdre Fennessy is head of school at Golden Oak Montessori School in the San Francisco Bay area.
• Carol Gaskin is the owner/editor at Editorial Alchemy, a full time book-editing business. She has published 15 books for adults and children, both fiction and nonfiction, as well as hundreds of periodical articles on countless subjects.
• Pooja Gehi is a staff attorney at the Sylvia Rivera Law Project (SLRP) where she represents low-income, transgender and intersex people of color in the areas of discrimination, immigration, access to government benefits, proper identification and healthcare. Prior to working at SRLP she wrote criminal appeals in 4th circuit and was a member of the Justice and Solidarity Collective in Washington D.C. She studied Sociology and Art History at New College.
• Samuel Howell Jr. is assistant professor of art history at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
• Brian Lukacher is professor of art at Vassar College. His teaching addresses the social formation of European visual culture and its philosophical and literary affiliations from the Enlightenment until the threshold of modernism. He is the author of the monograph Joseph Gandy: Architectural Visionary in Georgian England and a contributing author to Nineteenth-Century Art: A Critical History.
• Jennifer Posey is assistant curator of the Circus Museum at John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art.
• Katrine Solli earned a Fulbright Scholarship to Germany and is currently an education assistant at The National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.
• Peter Tush is director of education at the Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida.
• Janice Wilke is chair of the art department at the Baldwin School in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, and teaches drawing, painting, and art history in Baldwin’s Upper School. She is represented in the collections of the State Museum of Pennsylvania in Harrisburg, the Community College of Philadelphia, the William and Uytendale Scott Memorial Study Collection of Works by Women Artists at Bryn Mawr College, and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts Fellowship.
• Jessica Willis is director of curriculum and assessment at Girls Preparatory Charter School in New York City.
• Claire Albiez graduated in 2013 and received a Fulbright Scholarship to Germany.
• Alejandra Martino graduated in 2013 and earned a French Government Teaching Assistantship.
• James Glisson is the Bradford and Christine Mishler Assistant Curator of American Art at the Huntington Library in San Marino, California.
• Lissa McClure is director of the Marian Goodman Gallery in New York City.
• Carla Funk is the director of university museums for the Florida Institute of Technology.
Sample of Graduate Schools Attended by NCF Students in Art History
• Bryn Mawr
|Each academic experience builds toward your senior thesis project. It’s required for graduation, and our students tell us that while it’s demanding, it’s also one of the most rewarding experiences of their lives. Here are some thesis projects in Art History:
“Beyond Decorative?: Painted Images of the Woman as Part of The Cult of Domesticity” by Eugenie Fortier
“Paint Her Like One of Your French Girls: The Rise And Plummet of Sappho’s Creative Reputation from 1775 To 1846” by Sherise Gamble
“Counteracting Symptoms of Emotional Suppression with Artistic Expression” by Katherine Evarts
“Transubstantiation through Time: Peter Paul Rubens’s “Triumph of the Eucharist” Tapestry Series and “The Meeting of Abraham and Melchizedek”” by Sarah Schlosser
“La Perspectiva de Otra Ribdera: The Grotesque Aethetic in Francisco de Goyas Los Capricnos and Ramón Maria de Valle-Incians Esperpento” by Zoe Mirziai
“Artistic Partnerships: Intimacy and Inequality” by Natale Van Dine
“Gustav Stickley’s Craftsman Homes in the Early 20th Century” by Sarah Brainard
“Anti-Androgyne: Feminist Analysis of the Fin-de-Siecle Androgyne and the Hermaphrodite as a Radical Queer Employment in Visual Culture” by Lauren Ondercin Edwards
“Hans Baldung Grien’s Witches’ Sabbath and Fall of Man: Intersection of the Secular and the Sacred” by Eleanor A. Cecconi
“Weimar Women: (De)constructing Urban Identities in the Art of Women Realists” by Mackenzie Karp
“”La Donna Terribile:” Artemisia Gentileschi’s Judith Paintings” by Katherine Beggs
“Alchemy and Hieronymus Bosch” by Samantha Maederer
“”Breaking the Frame”” by Katherine Peterson
“The Body as Costume: The Art of Claude Cahun and Cindy Sherman” by Katelyn Weissinger
“OoooOO0ooOOOoooo0O0ze” by Eugenia Semjonova
“The History of History Painting in Nineteenth-Century France: From Classical Allusions to Painting of Everyday Life” by Mary Brink
“Off with Their Heads!’: Judith and Salome Revisited an Iconographical Study of Biblical Decapitations from the Medieval to Modern Periods” by Elizabeth Renes
“Visions and Revisions: Women’s Identity in Early Eighteenth-Century British Literature and Art” by Anne Marie Newman
“A Methodological Approach to the Study of the Imperial Panels of San Vitale,Ravenna” by Helena Dean
“Beyond Sensual Truth: Käthe Kollwitz’s Reconstruction of Maternity in Art” by Katrine Elizabeth Solli
“Dermatography and the Chemical Composition of Tattoo Pigments” by Matthew Ramsey
“Inanimate Abjections: Configuring Identity in the Work of Hans Bellmer, Cindy Sherman, and Mike Kelley” by Lauren O’Neill-Butler
“Glass Inlayed Gravestones: Historical Archaeology of Irish Funerary Folk Art” by Shannon Dunn
“Performing the Grotesque: Identity and Abjection in the Work of Paul McCarthy and Cindy Sherman” by Chloe Johnson
“Bad Boy[s]: The Image of Women in the Works of Three Postmodern Male Artists: Jean-Michel Basquiat, Francesco Clemente, and David Salle” by Annie Nelson
“Uncompromising Travesity: Caravaggio, Homosexuality and Interpretation” by James Glisson
“Middling Notions: The Visual Representation of English Identity, 1760-1800” by Britt Bailey Dunn
“Nihonga: The Rebirth of Japanese Style Painting in Meiji Japan” by Phoebe Bishop
“Body/Politic: Sculptural Representations of the Ideal Male Body as a Metaphor for the State in Nazi Germany” by Jessica Willis
“Subversion or Sell Out? Possibilities for Resistance in Media-Influenced, Public Political Art” by Pooja Gehi
“Critiquing the Critics: Gendered and Sexualized Interpretations of Georgia O’Keeffe’s Artwork” by Andrea Bailey Cox
“Re-(Dis)Covering History and Subjectivity: The Artwork of Carrie Mae Weems” by Ginger Hill
“Fabric(ated) Bodies:The Empty Dress in Art and Culture” by Nicole Archer
“From Midway to Museum: The Evolution of the Image of the Freak” by Amy DaSilva
“Indices of Authority, Contested Corporealities: Figurations of the Wounded World War I Soldier in Weimar Germany” by Jessen Kelly
“Image of the Other Outside: Social Alienation and Self-Imposed Isolation in the Work of Walter Inglis Anderson” by Jennifer Lemmer
“Crossing the Border, Finding the Great Wall:A Look at Two Mural Artists of Mexican Heritage in Los Angeles (1932-1983)” by Jesse Card Potterveld
“A Look at Chilean Women’s Art, 1973-1990” by Robin Stockseth
“The Commodification of Women in the Advertising Posters of Alphonse Marie Much and Henri De Toulouse-Lautrec” by Shannon Duskin
“A Comparative Analysis of the Arts and Crafts Movement and the Bauhaus” by Asha Natalie Wedeking
“Contemplative, Corporeal and Charismatic: Saint Catherine of Alexandria in the Belles Heures” by Ali Givens
“French Feminism and Representations of a Feminine Self” by Sara Weber
“Stein as Cubist: Comparative Analysis of Gertrude Stein’s Writing Techniques with Cubist Painting Techniques” by Jeffrey T. Pittman
“The Displacement and Rearticulation of the Gaze within Nineteenth-Century Art” by Karen Stock
“Milk, Blood, and Tears: Maternal Images of the Virgin in Art of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries” by Carla Leonore Funk
“Postmodern Art and the Politics of Representation: An Exhibition” by Sharon Corwin
“Pains, Pleasures, and Puns: Women Artists of the 70s Reclaim the Female Body” by Lissa A. McClure
“Surrealism & Phenomenology: The Surrealists’ Counter-Discourse within Modernism” by John A. Sindelar
“Max Ernst’s Une Semaine de bonté: A Model of the Freudian Unconscious” by Samantha Kavky
“The Desires of Egon Schiele and Georges Bataille” by Jennifer Belt
“Jim Dine: A Crisis of Identity” by Peter Tush
“The Role of the Spectator in the Art of Jasper Johns” by Valerie Gutchen
“Mariology in Early Netherlandish Painting” by Jane Schenk
“Renaissance and Invention in Nineteenth Century Metz: An Iconographic Study of the Drogo Sacramentary” by Erin Valerie Loftus
“Raphael’s School of Athens: A Work of the High Renaissance Classical Style” by Claire Robinson
“A Bibliographic Introduciton to Female Painters, Sculptors, and Composers of the Seventeenth, Eighteenth, and Nineteenth Centuries” by Janice Wilke
“A Stylistic and Iconographic Study of Michelangelo’s Last Judgment” by Lynne Berggren
“In Search of the American Carpenter Gothic” by David Murray
“An Analysis of the Approaches to Art History: E. H. Gombrich and Herbert Read” by Susan Slocum
“Human Experience and Visionary Landscapes in English Romantic Art” by Brian Lukacher
“The Enigma of Metaphysical Reality: A Comparative Study of Paintings by Arnold Bocklin, Georgio de Chirico and Yves Tanguy” by Cheri Belz
“The New Spirit of Domestic Architecture in Late Nineteenth Century England: A Study of C. F. A. Voysey and M. H. Baillie Scott” by Joanne Martin
“Surrealist Imagery: Iconography or Personal Symbolism?” by Judy Schatz
“Schizophrenia and the Artist: Franz Xaver Messerschmidt, Richard Dadd, and Ernst Josephson” by Lori McGeehan
“An Introductory Study of the Abstract Expression of Robert Motherwell” by Prudy Tuttle
“Landscape Prints of Ukiyo-E: Katsushika Hokusai and Ichiryusai Hiroshige” by Susan L. Biringer
“Cheyenne Ledger Art from the National Anthropological Archives” by A. AmandaBrown
“Five Precursors to Symbolist Painting: Moreau, Redon, Puvis de Chavannes, Burne-Jones, Rops” by Carol L. Gaskin
“The Descent of Mary: A Study in the Evolution of the Mother Goddess” by Sam Howell
“Evolving Traditions in Contemporary American Art: The Washington School of Color Painters” by Susan D. Jenson
“Expression in Germany with Selections from The Blue Rider Almanac” by Katherine Hickish Manasian
“Three Masters of Modern Architecture: Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe; A Comparison with Emphasis on Domestic Architecture” by CatherineWells
“Monumental Sculpture of the Maya Civilization” by Diana von Reutter
“The Evolution of Functionalism and the Bauhaus (1919-1928)” by Hilary Blocksom
New College Art History students are fortunate to have two of Florida’s greatest art museums within easy walking and driving distance from campus. Our campus literally straddles the world-renowned John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, which features paintings and sculptures by Bernini, Rubens, van Dyck, Velázquez, Titian, Tintoretto, Veronese, El Greco, Gainsborough and a host of others. The museum offers free admission to students and acts as a sort of living laboratory where Art History students gain real-world experience as art historians through internships, by conducting research in the museum library, and by hosting lectures for museum patrons.
Just 45 minutes north of campus, the Dali Museum in nearby St. Petersburg, FL, is home to 96 oil paintings, many original drawings, bookworks, prints, sculpture, photos, manuscripts, and an extensive archive of documents from the great Spanish artist, Salvador Dali. Numerous students in our Art History program have enjoyed internships and research opportunities at the museum.
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“Sharing the Scholarship” is an annual student art lecture series between New College and the Ringling Museum Library. Student papers are selected from courses taught by New College Professor of Art History Cris Hassold, who says the series “gives the students the opportunity to be heard and to reach a wider audience.” The lectures give students the chance to explore their own ideas about works of art and share these ideas with the wider community.
The lectures, which take place in the Ringling Museum’s Johnson-Blalock Education Center, are free and open to the public during March and April of each year and cover a range of artists and time periods. Past topics have included: