FB Pixel Skip to Main Content

Art History & Theory

Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts

Degree Type

Emphasis

Department

Art Department

Art history is the language of visual, historical and critical analysis across cultures, geographies and historic periods. Whether you want to work as a museum gallery curator, educator, arts administrator or intellectual property lawyer, art history provides a multidimensional view of the world.

Program Overview

Explore the world of visual art and the history of global cultures.

The arts have the unique ability to influence the history of societies and cultures worldwide. In the Art History & Theory program, you’ll learn how to seek answers to questions about the historical context of artwork, the biographical details of the artist, the artistic objects emphasized and everything in between.

The curriculum provides a strong foundation in western and worldly art history and theory, emphasizing the development of solid research, writing and presentation skills. Through dynamic courses that focus equally on visual art practices and history, you’ll gain the knowledge and experience necessary to be successful in your area of specialization.

Theory and history

The Art History & Theory emphasis provides a strong foundation in western and worldly art history and theory, focusing on the development of solid research, writing and presentation skills.

Program Requirements

At Western, course rotations are crafted to encompass a variety of subject fields for a comprehensive education and versatile degree. For required courses and degree plans, visit the official University Catalog. Below is a general overview of courses at Western Colorado University related to this area of study.

Program Requirements

A minimum of 57 credits is required, including the 27 credits of Art Foundation Courses, six credits of Art electives, six credits of non-art supporting courses selected in consultation with an Art History advisor:

Art Foundation Courses
ART 000Exhibition and Convocation Attendance (six semesters with “S” grade required)0
ART 119Foundation Drawing I3
ART 120Foundation Drawing II3
ART 171Foundation Design: Two-Dimensional3
ART 172Foundation Design: Three-Dimensional3
ART 173Foundation Design: Digital Art and Design3
ART 222Art History I3
ART 223Art History II3
ART 319Intermediate Drawing3
ART 400Artist's Portfolio/Senior Exhibition3
Total Credits27

And the following 18 credits:

ART 321American Art: Colonial to Modern 13
ART 324Art Criticism and Critical Theory in Contemporary Art3
ART 325Women Artists 13
ART 421Art of Mesoamerica and the Andean of South America 13
ART 422Native American Art of North America 13
ART 424Modern Art History, Aesthetics, Theory, and Criticism3
Total Credits18
Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredits
ART 000Exhibition and Convocation Attendance0
ART 119Foundation Drawing I3
ART 171Foundation Design: Two-Dimensional3
ART 173Foundation Design: Digital Art and Design3
OR
Gen Ed/Minor
General Education or Minor course
ENG 102Academic Writing (GT-CO1)3
HWTR 100First Year Seminar1
MATH 105Mathematics for the Liberal Arts (GT-MA1)3
Credits16
Spring
ART 000Exhibition and Convocation Attendance0
ART 120Foundation Drawing II3
ART 172Foundation Design: Three-Dimensional3
ART 173Foundation Design: Digital Art and Design3
OR
Gen Ed/Minor
General Education or Minor course
COM 202Academic Writing and Inquiry (GT-CO2)3
OR
Gen Ed/Minor
General Education or Minor course
Gen Ed General Education3
Credits15
Year Two
Fall
ART 000Exhibition and Convocation Attendance0
ART 222Art History I3
ART Intro Art Elective3
Gen Ed General Education9
Credits15
Spring
ART 000Exhibition and Convocation Attendance0
ART 223Art History II3
ART 319Intermediate Drawing3
Gen Ed General Education9
Credits15
Year Three
Fall
ART 000Exhibition and Convocation Attendance0
ART Intro Art Elective3
ART 324Art Criticism and Critical Theory in Contemporary Art3
ART 421
or ART 422
Art of Mesoamerica and the Andean of South America
or Native American Art of North America
3
ART/Minor ART or Minor related Elective6
Credits15
Spring
ART 000Exhibition and Convocation Attendance0
ART 321
or ART 325
American Art: Colonial to Modern
or Women Artists
3
ART 424Modern Art History, Aesthetics, Theory, and Criticism3
ART/Minor ART or Minor related Elective6
Elective Non ART Elective3
Credits15
Year Four
Fall
ART 000Exhibition and Convocation Attendance0
ART 400Artist's Portfolio/Senior Exhibition3
ART/Minor ART or Minor related Elective9
Elective Non ART Elective3
Credits15
Spring
ART 000Exhibition and Convocation Attendance0
ART 422
or ART 421
Native American Art of North America
or Art of Mesoamerica and the Andean of South America
3
ART/Minor ART or Minor related Elective12
Credits15
Total Credits121

Courses listed in the Fall are only offered in Fall. Courses listed in the Spring are only offered in the Spring. With the exception of ART 286 Introduction to Watercolor, and ART 271 Typography and their Intermediate counterparts, Intro classes are exclusively offered in the Fall and Intermediate courses are offered exclusively in the Spring. Advanced offerings are available for all disciplines every semester.

ART 000 Exhibition and Convocation Attendance and ART 319 Intermediate Drawing are offered in both the Fall and the Spring.

Careers

Career preparation starts your first year at Western and is the primary focus of every degree.

Visit Career Services in Library 120 or online to discover your interests, define your goals, and land the career of your dreams.

The data below is automatically collected by Burning Glass Technologies, a firm that sources job market data and provides analytics. The statistics illustrate general trends in U.S. careers, but do not precisely represent every job and salary.

Scholarships

Eligibility

  • Full-time Western Senior majoring in Art
  • Overall GPA of 3.0 or above
  • Student must exhibit service to the Art program by involvement with the ART League or other co-curricular art activities
  • Preference will be given to a BFA Senior Veterans of the United States Armed Forces

Description

This scholarship is provided by Dr. Al Caniff.

Amount: $1000

Selected by: Art Faculty in consultation with the Financial Aid Office.

Application:

Contact the Art Department at 970.943.3093 | Quigley Hall 202

Alumni Association Future Alumni Scholarship

The Alumni Association Scholarship is a one-time scholarship of $1,000 and is applicable for the student’s junior or senior year at Western.

Any child or grandchild of an alumni is eligible to receive the Future Alumni Scholarship.

  • This is a one-time non-renewable scholarship of $1,000.
  • Only one Future Alumni Scholarship will be awarded per academic year.
  • GPA must be 3.2 or above (college).

Due date has been extended to April 15 for 2021. An Alumni selection committee, appointed by the Alumni Advisory Board, will review applicants and select awardee by June 1.

Apply

Alumni Legacy Scholarship

The Alumni Legacy Scholarship is a one-time non-renewable scholarship and is only applicable for the student’s first year at Western (incoming freshman or new transfer students are eligible).

Do you have a son or daughter looking at college? Have they considered attending Western? As an alumni, your son, daughter and/or grandchildren are eligible for certain benefits distributed through this scholarship, as follows:

  • This is a one-time scholarship of $1,000.
  • Nominee must be an incoming freshman or new transfer.
  • The cost of orientation is reduced by half (a $45 value).
  • The admission application fee is waived (a $30 value).
  • GPA must be 2.5 or above (high school or college of transfer).

The applicant must fill out the application form found here (click). Application forms are accepted year-round. If the applicant meets the GPA guidelines, the scholarship will be awarded.

Apply

Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship

The Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship is a one-time non-renewable scholarship and is only applicable for the student’s first year at Western. This scholarship is not available to midyear transfers or students beginning in the spring semester.

Are you an alumni or employee of Western and know a prospective (or incoming) student who would be a great fit at Western? A recommendation from alumni and employees can support any new student and provide them a $500 scholarship their first year. (Western employees may not recommend a spouse or dependent receiving tuition benefits).

  • Any Western alumni/employee may nominate only one student per academic year to receive the $500 scholarship (distributed $250 per semester).
  • The scholarship is good for the first year only and is non-renewable.
  • The recommended student must be a full-time undergraduate student, attending Western for the first time.

The applicant must fill out the application form found here. The nominating alumni/employee must fill out the application form and submit the required documents by June 1. The recommended student must meet university admissions acceptance standards and complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The Presidential Promise is guaranteed to students who have received a scholarship through the Denver Scholarship Foundation (DSF) and/or GearUp—and are eligible for a Pell Grant.

For students who meet these criteria, Western will cover the cost of tuition and fees through the combination of federal, state and institutional aid. For more information on the Presidential Promise, visit our scholarships page.

Description

The Western Presidential Honors Scholarships, established by the Jack and Marilyn MacAllister Foundation shall be an elite class of scholarships awarded to Western’s highest achieving and most deserving students, celebrating the ideals of academic excellence and service to the campus and community. Recipients of the Scholarships will be members of the Western Colorado University Honors Program.

There are eight Presidential Honors Scholarships of $2500 each. Each year two new Presidential Honors Scholarships will be awarded to two incoming freshmen.

Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) or Central Plains (CP) tuition represents a substantial savings relative to normal, out-of-state tuition. Students eligible for the WUE or CP program will be charged 150% of Western’s total in-state tuition. For 2018-19, total in-state tuition was $8,934. WUE/CP tuition was $13,401. The WUE/CP discount is valued at $4,695.

For more information about the WUE and CP geography-based programs, visit Western’s Tuition Discount Programs Page.

Immediately upon acceptance at Western, every student is considered for a merit scholarship worth between $2,500-$4,500 per year for in-state students and $8,000-$10,000 for out-of-state students. The amount is based on the student’s GPA and ACT/SAT scores. Visit our Net Price Calculator at western.edu/cost to determine whether you qualify for a merit scholarship.

For more information about merit scholarships at Western, visit our scholarships page.

Get Involved

Take advantage of everything Western has to offer.

A college education is more than just taking courses. Meet new people, apply your skills and stretch beyond your comfort zone. Make your education an experience.

  • Gallery Exhibits: Students have opportunities to display their work in numerous shows, exhibits, convocations and galas—on campus and in the community.
  • Pathfinder Magazine: An annual publication for student creative work.
  • Student Art League: A branch of the Council for Creative expression, the Student Art League is dedicated to providing visual arts, experiences, professional development, educational opportunities, and outreach for art students.

A step into the past

Students Madeline and Carly look at a piece of work in the “Linking Asia: Art, Trade, and Devotion” exhibit.

News & Research

western quigley hall art students

The Quigley Quarantine Quarterly Binds Hearts Through the Arts

Read More about The Quigley Quarantine Quarterly Binds Hearts Through the Arts
MGES student achieves Visitors Services Assistant job at Art Omi

MGES student achieves Visitors Services Assistant job at Art Omi

Read More about MGES student achieves Visitors Services Assistant job at Art Omi
MGES student lands Gallery Manager position from internship

MGES student lands Gallery Manager position from internship

Read More about MGES student lands Gallery Manager position from internship
Western’s MGES program welcomes new director

Western’s MGES program welcomes new director

Read More about Western’s MGES program welcomes new director
Gunnison Art Walk features alumni artist

Gunnison Art Walk features alumni artist

Read More about Gunnison Art Walk features alumni artist

Department Information

Art Department

Department Chairperson

S. Chase Hutchison, MFA

Art Department Chair, Associate Professor of Art

Administrative Assistant

Anna Flynn

Administrative Assistant

Contact Information

970.943.3093

970.943.2329

Campus Location

Western Colorado University
Quigley Hall 202
1 Western Way
Gunnison, CO 81231

Take the Next Step

Apply to Western

Apply to Western

We understand that applying to a university can be daunting, which is why we make our admission process as simple and straightforward as possible. Learn more about applying to your program of choice at Western.

Visit Western

Visit Western

The best way to find out what makes Western such a special place is to experience it for yourself. Our student-led tours give you an insider’s perspective on everything from academics to student life.

Alumni Community

Alumni Community

We keep the Mountaineer spirit going strong within our alumni community. Whether getting together with friends at an annual event, making a donation or mentoring a student, graduates continue to play an important role in the Western community.