2017-2018 University Catalogue 
    Jul 14, 2024  
2017-2018 University Catalogue [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Art and Art History

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Professors Godfrey, Kaimal (Chair), McVaugh, Schwarzer, Stephenson
Associate Professors Guile, Lane, Marlowe
Assistant Professors Luthra, Maroja, Moure Cecchini

The Department of Art and Art History offers courses of study in the history, theory, and practice of the visual arts for the general liberal arts student as well as the art history or studio art major.

Art History The department offers more than 20 courses that trace the visual arts from antiquity to the present day. Classroom lectures are supplemented by visits to museums in the area and in New York City, as well as Colgate’s Clifford Gallery, Picker Art Gallery, and Longyear Museum. In this way, students increase their understanding of the visual arts as expressions of fundamental cultural values.

Studio Art Courses explore creative modes of expression and problem solving while gaining familiarity with contemporary issues in visual art. The curriculum supports a variety of mediums including digital art, drawing, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, and video art at the introductory and advanced levels. Studio arts courses are enriched by an ongoing series of visiting artists’ lectures, exhibitions, and screenings as well as regular visits to New York City galleries, museums, and artists’ studios.

The Clifford Gallery is a teaching gallery featuring four to six exhibitions a year. Exhibitions are selected by the art and art history faculty to explore issues originating in the academic curriculum. The primary focus is the display of professional work by contemporary artists. These artists are often featured in the weekly public lecture series described below. The Clifford Gallery is open to the entire community and contributes to the cultural life of the central New York area.

The Department of Art and Art History Lecture Series Lectures take place every other week in Little Hall’s Golden Auditorium. The series features presentations by studio artists, art historians, and critics, and serves as an arena for discussion of a wide range of subjects relevant to the study of the visual arts. Recent participants have included art historians and practicing sculptors, painters, film and video makers, printmakers, photographers, architects, and artists working in digital art and performance. The series is required as part of the curriculum and is open to the community. It also serves as a venue for welcoming Colgate graduates back to discuss their work in the visual arts.

The Alternative Cinema Series takes place weekly on Tuesday evenings. This is a series of films and videos ranging from “classic” cinema to the current avant-garde. Each semester several film/video makers, historians, or curators visit campus and present work in person for the series.

The Picker Art Gallery This professional gallery maintains the Colgate University collections, including some 11,000 works from a wide range of cultures and historical periods. Although it is not part of the Department of Art and Art History, the Picker Art Gallery provides an important resource to students, faculty, alumni, and friends of Colgate through exhibitions and sponsorship of the Friends of the Visual Arts.

The Longyear Museum of Anthropology For a full description, please see Sociology and Anthropology .

Pre-Architecture Preparation Students anticipating graduate work in architecture should be aware that liberal arts experience is highly valued by the best graduate schools. To prepare for graduate work in architecture, it is essential to take PHYS 105  or PHYS 111  and one semester of calculus. Experience in studio courses, especially drawing (ARTS 211  ), sculpture (ARTS 263  or ARTS 264  ), is extremely valuable in the preparation of a graduate portfolio. The study of historical architecture and the ways in which architecture connects to society is promoted in many art courses such as ARTS 207  , ARTS 216 , ARTS 220 , ARTS 226 , ARTS 275 , ARTS 277 , ARTS 344 , ARTS 360 , and ARTS 372 . Students interested in careers in architecture should contact the architecture adviser.

Honors and High Honors

The award of honors in art and art history is dependent on departmental evaluation of work done as a senior project and the student’s GPA.

Art History: Students may be nominated for departmental honors after completion of a two-semester senior project beginning in ARTS 475. Following that presentation, faculty decide whether the project is worthy of honors. Honors will be conferred only on work of outstanding quality, while high honors will be awarded only to exceptional work of highest distinction.

Studio:  During the fall of the senior year all studio art concentrators are required to complete a senior project in ARTS 406. Senior projects will be installed in an exhibition, opening at the end of the fall term and closing at the beginning of the spring term. Upon completion the senior project may be nominated for honors. Honors presentations will take place early in the spring term.

GPA Requirements: Honors — 3.20 in courses within the department and 3.00 overall; High Honors — 3.70 in courses within the department and 3.00 overall.


The Fitchen Award for Excellence in Art and Art History — awarded by the department to an outstanding art and at history major.

The Harriette Wagner Memorial Award — established in 2004 by Professor Joseph Wagner, created in memory of Harriette Zeppinick Wagner. The award will be given annually to the senior art and art history major whose work exemplifies the way visual arts enrich the spirit and express the dignity of human beings.

Advanced Placement and Transfer Credit

Advanced Placement (AP) is granted in art history and in studio art. Departmental credit for ARTS 102  is granted in art history for a score of 4 or 5 on the AP art history exam. Departmental credit for ARTS 100  may be granted for a score of 4 or 5 on both the AP studio art 2D and 3D design exams, subject to approval of the department based on a portfolio review. The portfolio must demonstrate competence in a variety of media and conceptual approaches.

The department allows two courses to be transferred for credit toward the major, with prior approval of the courses by the department. No more than one period requirement may be fulfilled by means of courses transferred and no seminar may be taken outside Colgate.

Study Groups

Students are encouraged to participate in study groups; they may not schedule off-campus study during the senior year. Study abroad must be scheduled around the seminar requirement in art history or the ARTS 240  or ARTS 243 requirement in studio art. For information, see Off-Campus Study .

Majors and Minors



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