Art History (MA, PhD)
Telephone: (302) 831-8415; Fax: (302) 831-8243
Faculty Listing: http://www.arthistory.udel.edu/people/faculty
The department offers programs leading to the degrees of Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy. The department offers studies in the history of art from ancient to modern times, with special concentrations in art of the Americas and in European art from the Renaissance through the modern eras. Cooperative arrangements with Bryn Mawr College and the University of Pennsylvania permit students to take courses at both institutions. Other arrangements with various institutions enable students to work with original objects and documents and to arrange, under faculty and museum staff supervision, exhibitions on a variety of subjects. The University Gallery, located on the campus, has a collection of about 6,000 objects for teaching and student research as well as providing opportunities for organization of exhibitions. The collections of Gertrude Käsebier photographs and Abraham Walkowitz paintings and drawings, e.g., are the largest in existence. The University Gallery has received the Paul R. Jones Collection of African American Art, the Frederick and Lucy S. Herman Native American Art Collection, and the Mabel and Harley McKeague Alaskan Inuit Collection. There is also a collection of books and ephemera on Italian Futurism. The Mark Samuels Lasner Collection in the University Library is especially rich in Victorian materials, including many illustrated books. Periodically, art history graduate seminars have contributed to the research for, and organization of, exhibitions at such museums as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Delaware Art Museum, and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, as well as the University Gallery.
Another university resource is the Center for Historic Architecture and Design (CHAD), a multidisciplinary research and public service group exploring the evolution of historic architecture, engineering, and the built environment. Based in the College of Arts & Sciences, CHAD is cosponsored by the departments of Art History, History, and Geography, the College of Engineering, and the Museum Studies Program, and the Winterthur Program in American Material Culture. CHAD is the first American university center in this field recognized by the Department of the Interior. Graduate students in art history may pursue a graduate specialization both in architectural history and in historic preservation and may qualify for CHAD grants, internships, and assistantships.
The Department of Art History enjoys a longstanding relationship with the Center for Material Culture Studies, a dynamic collaboration of individuals, programs, and departments engaged in the documentation, interpretation, and preservation of objects and images. The Center builds on our collective national reputations and extraordinary strengths in well-established academic, research, and public service programs in the fields of material culture, historic preservation, museum studies, and historical archaeology. The Center for Material Culture Studies capitalizes on institutional partnerships with the Winterthur and Hagley museums, Historical Society of Delaware, and Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs. The Center’s programs reach into its University constituencies ranging from the humanities to the performing and studio arts, and reaching out to larger public and scholarly communities.
The Winterthur Museum Library, open to graduate students in art history, is especially strong in American art and in Western European art and design, a special concentration in the Department of Art History.
The nearby Delaware Art Museum, pre-eminent in its collection of pre-Raphaelite art and the art of illustration, includes a comprehensive collection of American paintings, sculpture, and prints from about 1800 to the present day, the Samuel and Mary R. Bancroft English Pre-Raphaelite Collection, the John Sloan Collection, the Howard Pyle Collection, and the N.C. Wyeth papers.
Requirements for Admission
Graduates of the program have entered careers in college and university teaching, museum curatorship and administration, national and state arts agencies, architectural preservation and historic sites, librarianship, and research. Although it is desirable for candidates to have majored in the history of art, well-qualified applicants from other fields will be considered. Applicants are required to take the Aptitude Test of the Graduate Record Examination.
Applications for admission in the fall semester must be in the Office of Graduate and Professional Education by January 2. Applicants may request assistantships as part of the online application. See Graduate Admissions for further information.
Students are admitted to the graduate program in Art History on the basis of consideration of a combination of all of the following materials: a writing sample; a personal statement; letters of recommendation; undergraduate and, if relevant, graduate records; and Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores. Normally, for admission the minimum GRE scores considered are 156 (Verbal), and 151 (Quantitative), and 3.5 (Writing), and the minimum undergraduate grade point average (GPA) is 3.00. However, achievement of that minimum score and GPA does not by any means guarantee admission, as the majority of admitted students have considerably higher scores and averages. On the other hand, under special or unusual circumstances, other strengths may obviate the need to meet one or both of those stated minima.
Please refer to Graduate Fellowships and Assistantships for further information.
Requirements for the Degrees
Requirements for the MA degree in Art History consist of 27 credits of course work plus 3 Master’s Paper credits, satisfactory completion of the foreign language requirement (one language), and satisfactory completion of the Master’s Paper. All students will be required to take 27 credit hours, of which at least 21 hours must be Art History graduate courses. With prior permission from the Director of Graduate Studies, students may substitute one or more courses in such related fields as Anthropology, Early American Culture, Historic Preservation, History, Museum Studies, and Philosophy. The degree requirements should be completed within two years of full-time study.
For students seeking a PhD in art history, the department offers two routes to degree completion. One is designed for students who hold an MA in art history or its equivalent. The other, the Direct PhD Program, is designed for students who hold a Bachelor’s Degree in art history, or a related field, and are seeking a PhD in art history. Students admitted to the Direct PhD Program have the option of stepping out of the program at the MA degree.
Requirements for students in the Direct PhD program consist of a minimum of 36 credits of graduate course work and satisfactory completion of the language requirement (2 languages), the Master’s Paper, and major and minor PhD field exams. At least 27 of the course credits are to be in Art History seminar courses and the other 9 to be selected from additional seminars, graduate lecture courses, or independent study courses, or a combination of these. In addition to the 36 credits of graduate course work, 3 credits of ARTH 870 Master’s Paper and 9 Dissertation Credits are required. Candidates then produce a dissertation, which is defended in an oral examination.
Requirements for the PhD for students holding an MA include a minimum of 24 credits of graduate course work beyond the MA and satisfactory completion of the language requirement (2 languages) and major and minor PhD field exams. At least 18 of the course credits are to be in Art History seminar courses and the other 6 to be selected from additional seminars, graduate lecture courses, or independent study courses, or a combination of these. In addition to the 24 credits of graduate course work, 9 Dissertation Credits are required. Candidates then produce a dissertation, which is defended in an oral examination.
Curatorial Track PhD Program in Art History
The Curatorial Track PhD program (CTPhD) is intended to prepare graduate students in Art History for curatorial careers in specialized art historical fields. The program is open to students who have been accepted into the department’s doctoral program (students wishing to join the CTPhD program must apply no later than May 1 of their first year in the program). The nature of the CTPhD program is twofold: 1) a scholarly component will provide students with a thorough and intensive specialized training in graduate-level art historical studies; 2) a practical, interdisciplinary component will involve coursework in such related fields as art conservation, technical art history, preservation studies; curatorial and museum studies; and business and non-profit management. This second component also comprises a minimum of two internships in art museums (ARTH 664 ), including our program’s partners: the Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the Delaware Art Museum, and the Walters Art Museum, among others.
Requirements for the CTPhD:
Students with a BA entering the Art History Direct PhD program and admitted to the Curatorial Track will follow all the rules and regulations (https://www.arthistory.udel.edu/graduate/rules) of the Art History Direct PhD except as follows:
- The credit minimums and distribution for CTPhD students will be: 8 courses (24 credits) in Art History graduate courses, following the same breadth requirements, etc., as the regular Art History Direct PhD and 6 courses (18 credits) in CTPhD Program Courses (see below for specific distribution requirements);
- The total minimum courses/credits for CT students in the Direct PhD Program will therefore be 14 courses (42 credits), plus 3 Master’s Paper credits (ARTH 870 ), plus 9 Dissertation credits (ARTH 969 ) = 54 credits.
Students with an MA admitted to the CTPhD follow all the rules and regulations of the Art History PhD program, except as follows:
- The credit minimums and distribution for CTPhD students will be: 6 courses (18 credits) in Art History graduate courses, following the same breadth requirements, etc., as the regular Art History PhD program and 6 courses (18 credits) in CTPhD Program Courses (see below for specific distribution requirements)
- The total minimum courses/credits for CT students entering the program with an MA will therefore be 12 courses (36 credits), plus 9 Dissertation credits (ARTH 969 ) = 45 credits.
A minimum of 6 graduate courses (18 credits), one in each of the following six areas:
- Art Conservation, Technical Art History, Preservation Studies, Techniques and Materials - Courses that fulfill this requirement will focus on such topics as: techniques and materials of paintings; examination and treatment of art objects; conservation ethics and research methods.
- Curatorial Studies, Museum Studies, Exhibition Courses - Courses that fulfill this requirement will focus on such topics as: collections management; museum education; exhibition design and organization; acquisitions and fund-raising; public engagement.
- Business and Non-Profit Management, Organizations, Human Resources, Administration, Accounting, or a course in a similar area with advisor’s approval - Courses that fulfill this requirement will focus on such topics as: understanding people in organizations; or ethical issues in the business environment ; non-profit management.
- Elective - One course in any area (e.g.: Material Culture Studies, Art Conservation, Business and Non-Profit Management, Art History, etc.) with the approval of the advisor and the Director of Graduate Studies.
- Internship A (ARTH 664 , max. 6 credits) - One semester of curatorial internship in an art museum (a 2-month or longer summer internship will be deemed to count as a semester).
- Internship B (ARTH 664 , max. 6 credits) - A second semester of curatorial internship, either in the same museum as the first or in a different one (a 2-month or longer summer internship will be deemed to count as a semester).
Upon completion of the second semester of the CT Internship, the student will organize a colloquium for a scholarly audience on a topic approved by the student’s advisor in consultation with the museum curator who has sponsored and overseen the internship.
Doctoral Examination for the CTPhD
- Major Field Exam will include a connoisseurship component, which, when feasible, will include original objects.
- The Minor Field exam is not required.
Relation To The MA In American Material Culture
At the University of Delaware, there are two avenues to the historical study of the visual arts: (1) The MA and PhD program in the Department of Art History; and (2) the MA in American Material Culture sponsored by the Winterthur Program, a multidisciplinary graduate course of study offered cooperatively by the University and the Henry Francis du Pont Winterthur Museum. Students interested primarily in studying American decorative arts in a material culture context should consider the Winterthur Program in American Material Culture described in this catalog.
At the PhD level, the department offers specialization in the decorative arts through courses at Winterthur, and students may take their minor field examination and elect to write their dissertations in this area. These students have access to the collections and teaching staff at Winterthur. Master’s Papers may also be written on the subject.