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

20
Feb

On Drawing

5:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Oberlin Center for Convergence (StudiOC)

Art News

A view from a snow pillar porch.

This Week in Photos: February 18

February 19, 2020
An acclaimed tenor and some of the conservatory’s most outstanding students perform in Warner Concert Hall; tributes to author Toni Morrison permeate the Irene and Alan Wurtzel Theater; a comfortable seat inside a large orange ball in Mudd Center; alumni in a life-changing program return to campus; and a view of campus from Baldwin Cottage are featured in this week’s photo series.
Seven women dance in full skirts and a man dances with them on stage.

This Week in Photos: February 12

February 12, 2020
In this photo series, we meet five Betties and the Cuban ambassador; stop by a busy woodshop; dance on stage in Finney Chapel; throw our hands in the air in the campus coffeehouse; play like a girl; and make ourselves comfortable in Afrikan Heritage House.
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.

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 100,000 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.