2019-2020 University Catalog 
    Jul 20, 2024  
2019-2020 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Art and Art History

Professors Godfrey, Kaimal (Chair), McVaugh, Schwarzer, Stephenson
Associate Professors Guile, Luthra, Marlowe
Assistant Professors Hatton, Haughwout, Moure Cecchini
Visiting NEH Professors Charlesworth, Leoshko 
Visiting Assistant NEH Professor Weleski
Visiting Assistant Professor Drummer
Visiting Instructor Flood

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 .

Course Information

Course classifications:

Studio Arts (SA)
Art History (AH)

Honors and High Honors

After completing ARTS 475 Senior Project: Art History (AH)  in the fall semester, students have the opportunity to apply to continue their work with an honors-eligible project in the spring semester. The award of honors in art and art history is dependent on departmental evaluation.

Art History: The honors-eligible project could be a substantial reworking of the senior project completed in the fall semester of senior year, or a discrete project that meaningfully engages ideas raised in ARTS 475 .The thesis adviser and the coordinator of senior projects will decide together on the student’s application to continue on to honors-eligible work. Students pursuing honors-eligible work in the spring enroll in an independent study (ARTS 491 ) with their senior project adviser. Honors presentations take place at the end of the term and faculty decide whether the project is worthy of honors. Honors will be conferred only on work of outstanding quality.

Studio Art:  The students work closely with a faculty member to develop and realize a coherent body of studio work that serves as a capstone for the concentration. It is the culmination of previous coursework that has required conceptualization and understanding of artistic theoretical frameworks and technical knowledge. Class meetings serve as an opportunity to share ideas and work in progress; regular critiques incorporate the critical language acquired in ARTS 375 . Work from the project is shown as part of a senior exhibition at the end of the term. All students with a studio arts emphasis are required to take and complete this course in fall of the senior year.

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


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.

Transfer Credit

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 taken outside Colgate will fulfill the seminar requirement within the art history major.

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