The discipline of art history and field of visual culture studies move across a spectrum of social and historical contexts and conceptual frameworks. Students taking courses in AHVCS focus on histories of artistic production and material culture. They investigate the lives of images, artifacts, and built environments, and consider how visual practices have shaped values, experience, identity and action.

Whitman College offers major and minor study programs in art history and visual culture studies. Both programs present a flexible and rigorous curriculum that incorporates perspectives from other fields, including Environmental Studies, Asian Studies, Race and Ethnic Studies, and German Studies. Our courses enable students to explore, understand and evaluate topics as diverse as the form and function of early Indo-Islamic architecture, European design theory and production, art and urban revitalization, and decolonizing the museum.  Major and minor students become familiar with the history and historiography of visual texts, and contemporary interdisciplinary approaches to the study of representation in its multiple forms.

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