Art / Art History

BA in Art
Art History
Studio Art

The Art and Art History Department provides training in the study of art and the practice of making art, with an emphasis on critical thinking. Courses in art history explore the roles of art and the artist in societies over time and around the world, providing context for the creation of art. Work in art and art history prepares students for a wide range of graduate programs and careers, including many only tangentially related to the arts. 

Options within the department

Art majorpreparation to work as a practicing artist of fine art or graphic design or to attend graduate school


Studio art minoran introduction to visual and design fundamentals, color theory, and a range of essential media


Art history minorstrong background in the history and cultural significance of art and the artist (highly recommended for those interested in historic preservation, arts management, and museum or gallery work) Art history courses trace the innovations, aspirations, and achievements of individuals and groups as well as the significance of paintings, sculptures, architecture, and other visual art. Besides enlarging students’ understanding of the precious nature of their cultural heritage worldwide, art history sharpens each student’s capacity to discern between valid and invalid imagery in our culture. It offers a career path to graduate work and careers in teaching, curatorial work, museum education programs, publishing, arts management, and a range of other culturally productive activities. Above all, it opens the eyes of every student to the beauty and meaning in the built environment around them.


WHAT our Majors do afTer college
  • Attend a wide range of graduate programs 
  • Teach at public and private schools and colleges
  • Work as painters, illustrators, graphic designers, architects, production designers, curators, architectural historians, fashion designers, interior designers, gallery directors, and more

See the College Catalog for more detailed information about our program and departmental learning outcomes.



You Can Do More Here

While attending Principia, art major Lauren Powers (C’11) also:

  • Traveled on two abroads—to Greece and Turkey, and to Prague
  • Served as president of Energy Coalition and of the Camera Club
  • Helped form a sustainability council
  • Was a member of the Entrepreneurship Club
  • Organized a photography show in Holt Gallery

Imagine what you could do!

Prin provided a strong foundation in the creative software I use daily, as well as the ability to translate an idea into a tangible piece of design work. Prin also gave me important communication skills that prepared me to interact with clients.