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.

Annotations & Announcements

  • Senior trip to Seattle

    October 26, 2016 • Check out the pics from the Senior trip to Seattle. Equipped with a theoretical toolkit and an enthusiasm for art, advanced students in AHVCS hit Seattle's public and private museums, galleries and the urban built environment.

  • Read Prof. Matt Reynolds' Essay on Jacob Hashimoto at Whitman College

    October 12, 2016 • Want to understand the installations of Jacob Hashimoto? To mark the recent acquisition of When Nothing Ends, Nothing Remain, Matt Reynolds' essay, "Maps of the Unknown: Jacob Hashimoto at Whitman College," breaks down the local, regional, and global significance of Hashimoto's work.

  • Is there life after AHVCS?

    October 12, 2016 • AHVCS alum Kyra Arnett shares her experience of graduating from the program.

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