student docent leads a group of people our tour of gallery in art museum.
A student docent leads a tour in the Allen Memorial Art Museum as part of the art history program. Photo credit: Scott Shaw
Program Overview

Art History

Program Type: Major, Minor
  • Bachelor of Arts (BA)
Department: Art

Art history at Oberlin offers majors the chance to study art from around the world, including Africa and the Black Atlantic, East Asia, Islamic cultures and the West. Coursework will broaden an art history major’s historical knowledge, visual sensitivity, and expertise, and hone their ability to write analytically and critically.

Why Study Art History at Oberlin?

illustration of a blue book that is open.
Variety of Courses
 illustration of a blue library book
Special Collections
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Study Away Programs

Curating Art History

Erik Inglis ’89, professor of medieval art history, describes some of the art in the campus-based Allen Memorial Art Museum. The Allen and its diverse collection of original works serve as a teaching resource for faculty. Inglis describes how students are involved in expanding and enhancing the museum’s collection.

woman in black suit siting in office in front of bookshelves.
Associate Professor Christina Neilson in her office in the Clarence Ward Art Building. Photo credit: Jennifer Manna

Exploring Art History

Associate Professor Christina Neilson discusses the range of curricular and extracurricular  opportunities that await students who decide to study art history at Oberlin. Neilson, cochair of the Department of Art History, specializes in renaissance and baroque art history, and teaches such courses as Gender and Visua Arts in Europe 1450-1700 and Art of Italian Renaissance.

About art history with Professor Christina Neilson

Mini lecture with Professor Matt Rarey

Sample Courses

  • ARTS 150 - Approaches to Western Art 4 credits
  • ARTS 299 - Methods of Art History 4 credits
  • ARTS 353 - Paintings, Portraits, and Prints: Arabic and Persian Book Arts 4 credits
  • ARTS 471 - Accessibility & Disability in Contemporary Art 4 credits

Art History Faculty

Art history faculty members are both scholars and teachers whose focus is on undergraduate education. Their specialties include Africa and the Black Atlantic, East Asia, Islamic culture, medieval art and history, and contemporary art history.

Explore Faculty within Art History

Art History News

Allen Memorial Art Museum exterior.

Allen Memorial Art Museum Shares its Collections in New Ways

April 3, 2020
During the temporary closure of the museum, staff have embraced the challenge of moving education online. In the process, they are finding silver linings, including a broader audience for their programming and fewer constraints on how to present artwork.
Students look at paintings in the museum while seated in chairs in the gallery.

Practicum in Museum Education

January 31, 2020
Students get a behind-the-scenes look at the Allen Memorial Art Museum and are introduced to the theory and practice of museum education and gallery teaching as they take their first step to becoming an AMAM docent.