The Department of Art seeks to help students acquire visual literacy, that is, the ability to understand and critically respond to our current visual culture and how it has been influenced by the traditions of visual representation from the past.

Faculty

Our faculty are both scholars and teachers who devote their careers to making important contributions to their disciplines through writing and research. They are committed to undergraduate education and teach everything from first-year seminars to advanced courses.

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Department Overview

The art department has created programs of major study that are deeply integrated with the overall liberal arts education that is the hallmark of Oberlin. A chief goal of the department is to help students acquire visual literacy, that is, the ability to understand and critically respond to our current visual culture and how it has been influenced by the traditions of visual representation from the past. Students also acquire sophisticated written, technical, and visual abilities that allow them to convey their ideas, their understanding, and their appreciation of art through formal as well as new media.

The department’s access to campus facilities, including the internationally acclaimed Allen Memorial Art Museum, and the college’s proximity to the Cleveland Museum of Art and the Toledo Museum of Art enrich the art major’s overall academic development and experience.

Art Bulletins

Upcoming Art Events

Art News

A girl laying in the grass in the park.

This Week in Photos: A Walk in the Park

September 25, 2020
On any given day a walk through Tappan Square could lead to a performance, art exhibit, or even a wedding day photo shoot. On this day the park is many things for many people.
A girl poses next to her art book

Winter Term: The Art of the Artist Book

September 15, 2020
After spending a month researching artist books and creating a book of her own, Marie Romanelli ’21 is officially hooked on the craft, both as an artist and as a short-form poet.
A woman holds a large painting.

A Successful Art Rental

September 15, 2020
Many students added a piece of museum work to their dormitory room walls by participating in Art Rental this past weekend.

Art Facilities

Art Museum

Allen Memorial Art Museum

Founded in 1917, the Allen Memorial Art Museum (AMAM) is recognized today as one of the five best college and university art museums in the United States.
Two octagonal, wood-sided structures with windows and a door are connected by a small rectangular building of similar design.

Art Studios

Art department studios serve many functions. Faculty, students, and some staff use these spaces for instruction, project development, collaboration, individual study, and to exhibit their works.
Art Library

Clarence Ward Art Library

A visual feast for those who love art and the creative process, the Clarence Ward Art Library has more than 110,000 books, exhibition catalogs, and bound periodicals, as well as about 250 journals.
art building

Clarence Ward ’37 Art Building

The Clarence Ward ’37 Art Building, also referred to as the Ward Art Building, features the Fisher Gallery for student exhibitions, art history classrooms, painting and silkscreen studios, and the Visual Resources Collection.
Art Studio

Hales Art Studio

Hales Art Studio is a space on the lower level of the Hales Gymnasium. Students who take certain art department classes meet here for instruction and to work on large-scale projects.
exterior view of art building

Venturi Art Building

The Venturi Art Building is named for architect Robert Venturi, who, along with Denise Scott Brown and Associates, designed the building as part of a 1976 expansion of the art museum.