Art History

Prospective students should use this checklist to obtain specific admissions requirements on how to apply to Graduate School.

Degree Offered: M.A.*
Director: Dr. Cathleen Cummings
Phone: (205) 934-7909
E-mail: cathleen@uab.edu
Website: www.uab.edu/art
*

A program leading to the Master of Arts degree in art history is offered jointly by UAB and the University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa). The MA degree in Art History prepares students for further academic study at the doctoral level or for professional careers in museums, galleries, and other arts-related fields.

Admission Requirements

For admission in good standing, applicants to UAB must meet Graduate School requirements for scholarship and GRE General Test scores. . A Minimum GPA of 3.0 (B) is required for acceptance into the program. The applicant should have completed 24 semester hours in art history and related areas such as history, aesthetics, archaeology, and anthropology, although this requirement may be reduced depending on the applicant's background and preparation. It is desirable that an applicant be able to read a foreign language related to the proposed field of study. Students may apply for admission for either the fall or spring semester.

Degree Requirements

Courses

Students must complete 24 semester hours in art history.* Students must take courses in two  of the following six general areas: Medieval Art, Early Modern Art (ca. 1400-1700), Eighteenth-Century/ Nineteenth Century Art, Twentieth-Century/Contemporary Art, South Asian Art,and East Asian Art. It is recommended that students take at least one course outside of these two fields for breadth of knowledge. A maximum of 3 semester hours of independent study will be permitted. Each student must take ARH 680 Methods and Approaches to the History of Art, which should be taken in the first semester of enrollment in the M.A. program. Each student must take at least 6 semester hours of coursework at the University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa).

*

Note: A maximum of 6 of the required hours in art history may be taken in a related field with the concurrence of the joint faculty.

Foreign Language Requirement

By the completion of 15 hours of coursework towards the M.A., students should have met the language requirement of a reading knowledge of one foreign language relevant to the student’s area of study, approved by the Graduate Program Director and Faculty Advisor. Students may demonstrate language competency by passing a translation exam administered by the Department of Foreign Languages (French or German) or by passing a 200-level course (i.e. FR 201 or FR 202 or GN 201 or GN 202). For other languages, students must consult with the Graduate Program Director and Faculty Advisor and arrange an appropriate translation exam or course to fulfill the language requirement. Students may not sit for the M.A. exam until the language requirement is completed. A reading knowledge of a second foreign language is strongly recommended.

Comprehensive Examination

For admission to candidacy, the student must pass a comprehensive examination prepared and graded by the joint art history faculty. Written examinations are scheduled twice a year, at the end of fall and spring semesters.

Thesis

The student must present a thesis under the direction of a member of the joint art history faculty. Each student will register for ARH 699 for 6 semester hours of credit. Students must be registered for at least 3 hours of thesis credit (ARH 699) in the semester of graduation.

UAB Faculty:

Cummings, Cathleen
Dallow, Jessica
McPherson, Heather
Turel, Noa

UA-Tuscaloosa Faculty:

Castenell, Wendy
Curzon, Lucy
Feltman, Jennifer
Jones, Tanja
Stephens, Rachel

Additional Information

Deadline for Entry Term(s): Fall or Spring Semester
Deadline for All Application Materials to be in the Graduate School Office: April 1 for Fall, October 1 for Spring
Number of Evaluation Forms Required: Three
Entrance Tests: GRE (TOEFL and TWE also required for international applications whose native language is not English.)
Additional Requirements: Students must provide a writing sample

Contact Information

For detailed information, contact Dr. Cathleen Cummings, Graduate Program Director, UAB Department of Art and Art History:

Telephone 205-934-7909; Fax (205) 996-6986.
E-mail cathleen@uab.edu

Prospective students should use this checklist to obtain specific admissions requirements on how to apply to Graduate School.

Master of Arts in Art History

RequirementsHours
ARH 680Methods and Approaches to the History of Art3
Foreign Langauge Competency 1
Students must complete 24 hours in two of the six general areas listed below24
Medieval Art
The Art of Rome
Arts of Death in the Middle Ages
Early Modern Art
The Art of Rome
Italian Renaissance Art
The Birth of Painting: Portable Pictures Across Renaissance Europe
Study Abroad: European Art
Northern Renaissance Art
Eighteenth-Century Art in Europe
European Painting in the Seventeenth Century
Arts of Power in Early Modern Europe
Special Topics: Early Modern Art
Special Topics: Modern Art
Special Topics: Gender and the Visual Arts
Seminar: Early Modern Art
Seminar: Early Modern Art
Eighteenth-Century/Nineteenth-Century Art
Nineteenth Century Art I: Neoclassicism, Romanticism, and Realism
Nineteenth-Century Art II: Impressionism and Post-Impressionism
American Art to 1900
Special Topics: Modern Art
Seminar: Modern Art
Seminar: Modern Art
Twentieth-Century/Contemporary Art
Twentieth Century Art to 1945
Modern Design
Art Since 1945
Aspects of Contemporary Art
Modern Architecture
Race and Representation
Special Topics: Contemporary Art
Seminar: Contemporary Art
Seminar: Contemporary Art
East Asian Art
Tomb Art in East Asia
Japanese Prints and Printmakers
Landscape and Image in East Asia
Japanese Art
Buddhist Arts of East Asia
Special Topics: East Asian Art
Seminar: East Asian Art
South Asian Art
Topics in Asian Cinema
Buddhist & Hindu Art in India to 1200
Piety and Power: Art in India after 1200
Study Abroad: Art and Culture of South Asia
Special Topics: South Asian Art
Seminar: South Asian Art
Comprehensive Examination 2
Admission to Candidacy
Thesis 36
Thesis Research
Total Hours33
1

Demonstrate language competency by passing a translation exam. French & German studies must pass FR 201, FR 202 or GN 201, GN 202. Students must consult with the Graduate Program Director and Faculty Advisor.

2

 For admission to candidacy, the student must pass a comprehensive examination.

3

 Students must present a thesis.  Each student will complete 6 hours of ARH 699 and be registered for at least 3 credits in ARH 699 in the semester of graduation.

Courses

ARH 507. The Art of Rome. 3 Hours.

Covers Ancient Rome, but focuses on Medieval through early Baroque painting, sculpture, and architecture. Examines the city of Rome over time. Also considers the impact of the papacy on the city and its use of ancient Roman models.

ARH 519. Arts of Death in the Middle Ages. 3 Hours.

The visual culture of death and the afterlife from the Roman catacombs to cadaver tombs, 300-1500.

ARH 521. Italian Renaissance Art. 3 Hours.

The visual arts of the Italian Renaissance (1300-1550) in their historic context.

ARH 522. The Birth of Painting: Portable Pictures Across Renaissance Europe. 3 Hours.

The emergence of modern easel painting, 1300-1600.

ARH 523. Study Abroad: European Art. 3 Hours.

On-site study of art and architecture in Europe.

ARH 524. Northern Renaissance Art. 3 Hours.

The visual arts of the Northern Renaissance (1300-1600) in their historic context.

ARH 530. Eighteenth-Century Art in Europe. 3 Hours.

Visual culture in eighteenth-century Britain and France including study of eighteenth-century holdings in the Birmingham Museum of Art.

ARH 531. European Painting in the Seventeenth Century. 3 Hours.

Painting in Europe from Italian and Spanish Baroque through the Dutch Golden Age.

ARH 535. Arts of Power in Early Modern Europe. 3 Hours.

The visual arts in service of kings, popes, and the people, 1300-1700.

ARH 540. Nineteenth Century Art I: Neoclassicism, Romanticism, and Realism. 3 Hours.

Painting, sculpture, and graphic arts in Europe, 1780-1850.

ARH 541. Nineteenth-Century Art II: Impressionism and Post-Impressionism. 3 Hours.

Painting, sculpture,and graphic arts in Europe,1860-1900.

ARH 550. American Art to 1900. 3 Hours.

Painting, sculpture, and architecture in the U.S., with an emphasis on 19th century.

ARH 560. Twentieth Century Art to 1945. 3 Hours.

Painting, sculpture, and architecture in Europe and the United States, 1900-1945.

ARH 561. Modern Design. 3 Hours.

History of modern design. Will examine various design disciplines, design theory, well as the relationships between design, fine art, architecture and popular culture.

ARH 564. Art Since 1945. 3 Hours.

Painting, sculpture, and architecture, primarily in the United States, 1945 to the present.

ARH 565. Aspects of Contemporary Art. 3 Hours.

Topics in contemporary art, ca. 1970 to the present. Course offerings will vary from year to year and will study a specific historical moment, medium, theme, or subject. Prerequisite: ARH 204 or permission of instructor.

ARH 567. Modern Architecture. 3 Hours.

History of modern architecture, covering examples from the late 18th century to the present and emphasizing the United States.

ARH 568. Race and Representation. 3 Hours.

History of 20th-century African American art in context of contemporary theories of identity and in relation to African art. Includes study of objects in the Birmingham Museum of Art.

ARH 570. Tomb Art in East Asia. 3 Hours.

What is the purpose of a tomb? How do its structure and décor convey ancient perceptions of death? Who are the occupants, and how did they envision their journey into the afterlife? This course is a survey of the funerary arts of China, Korea, and Japan. By investigating tombs, shrines, sarcophagi, wall paintings, and grave goods throughout East Asia, we will gain a deeper understanding of ancient religions, social structures, ethnic identities, and cross-cultural interactions. Lectures will be supplemented by several visits to the Museum's Asian collections.

ARH 571. Topics in Asian Cinema. 3 Hours.

This course offers students an introduction to a vital aspect of contemporary Asian culture, recognizing that film can be an important focus of contemporary cultural commentary and critique. The course presumes no prior knowledge of Asia or cinema and its artistic tradition. The goal of the course is to view and discuss, as a class, approximately ten films, emphasizing an understanding of their cultural background and an appreciation of their aesthetic merits as films and cultural settings in Asia. Attendance at weekly screenings is mandatory.

ARH 572. Buddhist & Hindu Art in India to 1200. 3 Hours.

This course explores the environments of worship and devotion particular to India’s major indigenous religious traditions, from their earliest expressions in approximately the fifth century BCE through to the arrival of Islam in India, ca. 1200. We will examine aesthetic conventions, religious ideals, and urban cultures by focusing on the sculpture and architecture traditions of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism.

ARH 573. Japanese Prints and Printmakers. 3 Hours.

History of Japanese wood-block prints and printmakers from the seventeenth through the twentieth centuries.

ARH 574. Landscape and Image in East Asia. 3 Hours.

This course surveys the major traditions of landscape art in East Asia. We will explore the ways in which places and spaces are transformed into famous places and sacred sites and consider the critical role played by visual representation in this process. Major topics include the relationship between landscape and power,cultural memory, literature, mythology, seasonality, travel, and literati culture. We will examine the functions of landscape art in various cultural, geographical, and temporal contexts of East Asia. We will look at landscape painting in China from the Tang through the Ming dynasties and consider the complex processes of cultural dissemination and adaptation by looking at the reception of Chinese landscape painting tradition in Korea and Japan.

ARH 575. Japanese Art. 3 Hours.

Art and culture of Neolithic era through Nineteenth century.

ARH 577. Piety and Power: Art in India after 1200. 3 Hours.

This course looks at the arts of India after 1200, when Indian art and culture was increasingly influenced and altered by religious and secular powers from outside the subcontinent. We will examine Islamic art and architecture under the patronage of various Sultanate traditions, and finally the Mughals, who expressed their power and piety in monumental architecture and extensively illustrated books. We will also consider the influence of Europeans in South Asia, culminating with the colonial project of the British Raj. Ongoing negotiations between these newly-arriving groups and Indians older, indigenous traditions will be studied. Throughout the course we will dissect the categories of knowledge about South Asia and its art that were constructed primarily by the British, considering, for example, the usefulness of dividing India’s art history into categories of “Hindu,” “Islamic,” “European,” and etc.

ARH 578. Buddhist Arts of East Asia. 3 Hours.

Survey of art and architecture created for Buddhist religious purposes in China, Japan, and to a lesser extent Korea and Central Asia. The course will include a brief overview of Buddhist monuments in South Asia, study of the iconography of Buddhist images in graphic and sculptural media, and analysis of a variety of Buddhist styles in painting, sculpture, and architecture.

ARH 579. Study Abroad: Art and Culture of South Asia. 3 Hours.

This course allows students to become immersed in the art and culture of Asia through direct experience in the field. Focus will be primarily on South Asia but may vary with each course offering to include Nepal, Tibet, and Southeast Asia. Preliminary lectures in Birmingham and significant written assignments required.

ARH 580. Art Criticism and Theory. 3 Hours.

A topics course on subjects in art criticism and theory. The specific focus will vary by instructor and may emphasize either non-Western or Western theories, criticisms, and approaches.

ARH 581. Special Topics: Early Modern Art. 3 Hours.

Special topics in the arts of the Early Modern period in the Western Art tradition. Subject will vary with each offering.

ARH 582. Special Topics: Modern Art. 3 Hours.

A special topics course on subjects in the Modern period in the Western tradition, beginning in the later eighteenth century. Specific course topics will vary by semester.

ARH 583. Special Topics: Gender and the Visual Arts. 3 Hours.

Topic will vary, depending on instructor. This course will address ways in which gender has affected the history of artistic practice and patronage. It will consider such issues as the gendering of pictorial practice and space, strategies of representing gendered subjects, and the impact of women as patrons of art and architecture.

ARH 584. Special Topics: Contemporary Art. 3 Hours.

Special topics in the arts of the Contemporary period in the Western art tradition. Subject will vary with each offering.

ARH 585. Special Topics: Museum Studies. 3 Hours.

Museum operation; organization and preparation of exhibitions; cataloging objects in collection; experience with UAB Institute of Visual Art and Birmingham Museum of Art.

ARH 586. Special Topics: South Asian Art. 3 Hours.

Special topics in the arts of South Asia. Subject will vary with each offering.

ARH 587. Special Topics: Field Study. 3 Hours.

Trips to prominent museums and galleries in United States. Preliminary lectures in Birmingham and significant written assignments required.

ARH 588. Special Topics: East Asian Art. 3 Hours.

Special topics in the arts of East Asia. Subject will vary with each offering.

ARH 590. Art Theory: Special Topics. 3 Hours.

Topics in art theory will vary with each offering.

ARH 592. Museum/Gallery Internship. 3 Hours.

Through active participation in the daily operations of a museum, gallery, or art space, students will acquire direct working knowledge of cooperating art institution. Students will be required to work at the institution a minimum of 10 supervised hours per week during the term. Permission of instructor required. May be repeated to a maximum of 6 semester hours.

ARH 593. Seminar: South Asian Art. 3 Hours.

Seminar in the arts of South Asia. Subject will vary with each offering.

ARH 594. Seminar: East Asian Art. 3 Hours.

Seminar in the arts of East Asia. Subject will vary with each offering.

ARH 595. Seminar: Early Modern Art. 3 Hours.

Seminar in Early Modern Art. Research seminar focused on topics in the visual arts of Europe and its colonies 1300-1750. Subject will vary with each offering.

ARH 596. Seminar: Modern Art. 3 Hours.

Seminar in Modern Art. Subject will vary with each offering.

ARH 597. Seminar: Contemporary Art. 3 Hours.

Seminar in Contemporary Art. Subjects will vary with each offering.

ARH 598. AEIVA Internship. 3 Hours.

The AEIVA Intern Team will participate in all phases of daily gallery operations, ranging from curatorial practices, exhibition design, video/photographic documentation and production, technical and analytical writing, graphic design, etc. This team will act as a support staff for the AEIVA curatorial/ administrative staff in a hands-on museum/gallery work environment. May be repeated to a maximum of 6 semester hours.

ARH 630. Seminar: Early Modern Art. 3 Hours.

Seminar in Early Modern Art.

ARH 640. Seminar: Modern Art. 3 Hours.

Seminar in Modern Art.

ARH 660. Seminar: Contemporary Art. 3 Hours.

Seminar in Contemporary Art.

ARH 670. Seminar: South Asian Art. 3 Hours.

Seminar in South Asian Art.

ARH 680. Methods and Approaches to the History of Art. 3 Hours.

This literature-intensive course covers the historiography of the field and a range of theoretical approaches. Should be taken in the first semester of enrollment in the M.A. program.

ARH 698. Independent Studies. 2-6 Hours.

Independent Study Topics vary. Permission of instructor required.

ARH 699. Thesis Research. 3,6 Hours.

Thesis Research. Must be admitted to master level candidacy to take this course. At least 6 graduate credits needed for graduation.
Prerequisites: GAC M

Faculty

Cummings, Cathleen A., Associate Professor of Art History, 2006, B.A. (Mills College), M.A. (University of London), M.A. and Ph.D. (Ohio State)
Dallow, Jessica, Associate Professor of Art History, 2002, B.A. (San Diego), M.A., Ph.D. (North Carolina-Chapel Hill), Contemporary Art, American Art
McPherson, Heather A., Professor of Art & Art History, 1982, B.A. (Oregon), M.A. (Sorbonne), Ph.D. (Washington), Modern European Art (18th -20th Century), focusing on portraiture
Turel, Noa, Assistant Professor of Art History, 2012, B.A. (State University of New York), M.A. (University of London), Ph.D. (California-Santa Barbara), North Renaissance Art, Late Medieval and Early Modern Visual Culture and Science, Performance Art and theory