Art History

University of California, Berkeley

About the Program

The Department of History of Art offers a two-stage integrated master's and doctoral program (MA/PhD) in preparation for college teaching, writing, and specialized curatorial careers. Students are not admitted to work for a terminal MA degree, though students may apply for the MA after meeting Stage I requirements toward the PhD. Students work closely with faculty in courses, seminars, and on independent research projects to develop independent thought and a thorough knowledge of the field and its critical methods. Cross-disciplinary work in Berkeley's distinguished departments of languages and literature, philosophy, rhetoric, film studies, women's studies, history, and the social sciences is strongly encouraged. A student may opt for a more formal relationship with other departments through Designated Emphases programs, including film studies; folklore; women, gender, and sexuality; and critical theory.

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Admissions

Admission to the University

Minimum Requirements for Admission

The following minimum requirements apply to all graduate programs and will be verified by the Graduate Division:

  1. A bachelor’s degree or recognized equivalent from an accredited institution;
  2. A grade point average of B or better (3.0);
  3. If the applicant comes from a country or political entity (e.g., Quebec) where English is not the official language, adequate proficiency in English to do graduate work, as evidenced by a TOEFL score of at least 90 on the iBT test, 570 on the paper-and-pencil test, or an IELTS Band score of at least 7 (note that individual programs may set higher levels for any of these); and
  4. Sufficient undergraduate training to do graduate work in the given field.

Applicants Who Already Hold a Graduate Degree

The Graduate Council views academic degrees not as vocational training certificates, but as evidence of broad training in research methods, independent study, and articulation of learning. Therefore, applicants who already have academic graduate degrees should be able to pursue new subject matter at an advanced level without need to enroll in a related or similar graduate program.

Programs may consider students for an additional academic master’s or professional master’s degree only if the additional degree is in a distinctly different field.

Applicants admitted to a doctoral program that requires a master’s degree to be earned at Berkeley as a prerequisite (even though the applicant already has a master’s degree from another institution in the same or a closely allied field of study) will be permitted to undertake the second master’s degree, despite the overlap in field.

The Graduate Division will admit students for a second doctoral degree only if they meet the following guidelines:

  1. Applicants with doctoral degrees may be admitted for an additional doctoral degree only if that degree program is in a general area of knowledge distinctly different from the field in which they earned their original degree. For example, a physics PhD could be admitted to a doctoral degree program in music or history; however, a student with a doctoral degree in mathematics would not be permitted to add a PhD in statistics.
  2. Applicants who hold the PhD degree may be admitted to a professional doctorate or professional master’s degree program if there is no duplication of training involved.

Applicants may apply only to one single degree program or one concurrent degree program per admission cycle.

Required Documents for Applications

  1. Transcripts: Applicants may upload unofficial transcripts with your application for the departmental initial review. If the applicant is admitted, then official transcripts of all college-level work will be required. Official transcripts must be in sealed envelopes as issued by the school(s) attended. If you have attended Berkeley, upload your unofficial transcript with your application for the departmental initial review. If you are admitted, an official transcript with evidence of degree conferral will not be required.
  2. Letters of recommendation: Applicants may request online letters of recommendation through the online application system. Hard copies of recommendation letters must be sent directly to the program, not the Graduate Division.
  3. Evidence of English language proficiency: All applicants from countries or political entities in which the official language is not English are required to submit official evidence of English language proficiency. This applies to applicants from Bangladesh, Burma, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Latin America, the Middle East, the People’s Republic of China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia, most European countries, and Quebec (Canada). However, applicants who, at the time of application, have already completed at least one year of full-time academic course work with grades of B or better at a US university may submit an official transcript from the US university to fulfill this requirement. The following courses will not fulfill this requirement:
    • courses in English as a Second Language,
    • courses conducted in a language other than English,
    • courses that will be completed after the application is submitted, and
    • courses of a non-academic nature.

If applicants have previously been denied admission to Berkeley on the basis of their English language proficiency, they must submit new test scores that meet the current minimum from one of the standardized tests.

Where to Apply

Visit the Berkeley Graduate Division application page

Doctoral Degree Requirements

Curriculum

HISTART 200Graduate Proseminar in the Interpretation of Art Historical Materials4
Electives12
Six must be HISTART Electives re specialization
introductory language courses excluded
HISTART 375Seminar in History of Art Teaching2

Courses

Art History

HISTART 200 Graduate Proseminar in the Interpretation of Art Historical Materials 2 or 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Fall 2016, Fall 2015
An introduction to the fundamentals of art history, including traditional and innovative perspectives designed for candidates for higher degrees. Offerings vary from year to year. Students should consult the department's "Announcement of Classes" for offerings before the beginning of the semester.

Graduate Proseminar in the Interpretation of Art Historical Materials: Read More [+]

HISTART 203 Seminar in Material Culture: The Interpretation of Objects 2 or 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2014, Spring 2012, Spring 2006
This seminar looks at both material culture theory and the practice of interpreting objects in the West and in Asia. It draws on the practices and inquiries of multiple disciplines including archaeology, anthropology, cultural geography, and art history . We will consider the variety of ways and contexts in which objects have been understood to "speak" as aesthetic vehicles and as cultural texts. Taught by two faculty members who
have extensive experience as museum curators--one of American Art, the other of Asian Art, this class will combine theory with hands-on learning.
Seminar in Material Culture: The Interpretation of Objects: Read More [+]

HISTART C204 Proseminar in Classical Archaeology and Ancient Art 2 or 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2015, Spring 2012, Spring 2010
This seminar is intended to introduce graduate students--both archaeologists and non-archaeologists--to the discipline of classical archaeology, history, and evolution, and its research tools and bibliography. Since it is both impossible and undesirable to attempt to cover the entire discipline in one semester, after two introductory lectures on the history of the field, we will address a selection of topics that seems representative of its
concerns.
Proseminar in Classical Archaeology and Ancient Art: Read More [+]

HISTART C220 Seminar in Near Eastern Art 2 or 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2012
Seminar on critical aspects of Near Eastern art requiring intensive study and presentation of a research paper. Topics vary from semester to semester.

Seminar in Near Eastern Art: Read More [+]

HISTART 230 Seminar in Chinese Art 2 or 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2017, Spring 2015, Fall 2013

Seminar in Chinese Art: Read More [+]

HISTART 234 Seminar in Japanese Art 2 or 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2016, Fall 2015, Spring 2015

Seminar in Japanese Art: Read More [+]

HISTART 236 Seminar in the Art of India 2 or 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2015, Spring 2013, Spring 2012

Seminar in the Art of India: Read More [+]

HISTART 240 Seminar in Greek Art 2 or 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2017, Fall 2011, Fall 2010

Seminar in Greek Art: Read More [+]

HISTART 258 Seminar in Late Medieval Art in Northern Europe 2 or 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2013, Spring 2010, Spring 2007

Seminar in Late Medieval Art in Northern Europe: Read More [+]

HISTART 260 Seminar in Italian Renaissance Art 2 or 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2016, Spring 2013, Fall 2012

Seminar in Italian Renaissance Art: Read More [+]

HISTART 262 Seminar in European Art 2 or 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2015, Fall 2013, Spring 2012

Seminar in European Art: Read More [+]

HISTART 263 Seminar in European Art: Mimesis 2 or 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2014
Mimesis, Greek for "imitation" is a key term in recent debates in a number of disciplines. However, what is at its core is often astonishingly undefined, open and ambivalent. Starting with antique and medieval works addressing key moments of mimesis we will also explore modern theories of mimesis. Crossing the threshold between pre-modern and modern examples will help us to understand the premises for the visual culture involving the rise of naturalism,
and more generally the nature of representation in medieval and early modern culture.
Seminar in European Art: Mimesis: Read More [+]

HISTART 270 Seminar in Baroque Art 2 or 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2017, Spring 2016, Fall 2013

Seminar in Baroque Art: Read More [+]

HISTART 281 Seminar in 19th-Century Art 2 or 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Spring 2016, Fall 2013

Seminar in 19th-Century Art: Read More [+]

HISTART 285 Seminar in 20th-Century Art 2 or 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2016, Fall 2014, Spring 2010

Seminar in 20th-Century Art: Read More [+]

HISTART 286 Seminar in 20th-Century Painting and Sculpture 2 or 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2009, Fall 2008, Fall 2007

Seminar in 20th-Century Painting and Sculpture: Read More [+]

HISTART 289 Seminar in American Art 2 or 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2013, Fall 2011, Fall 2010

Seminar in American Art: Read More [+]

HISTART 290 Special Topics in Fields of Art History 2 or 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Spring 2017, Fall 2016
Topics explore themes and problems, often reflect current research interests of the instructor, and supplement regular curricular offerings. Detailed descriptions of current and future offerings available in 416 Doe Library.

Special Topics in Fields of Art History: Read More [+]

HISTART 291 Judith Stronach Graduate Travel Seminar in Art History 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2017, Spring 2015, Spring 2014
This course explores site-specific themes, topics, and problems, reflects current research interests of the instructor(s), and suppplements regular curricular offerings. Detailed descriptions of current and (where known) future offerings available in 416 Doe Library.

Judith Stronach Graduate Travel Seminar in Art History: Read More [+]

HISTART 296 Directed Dissertation Research 3 - 12 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Spring 2017, Fall 2016
Independent study open to qualified students directly engaged upon the doctoral dissertation.

Directed Dissertation Research: Read More [+]

HISTART 298 Group Study for Graduate Students in the History of Art 1 - 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Spring 2017, Fall 2016
Directed group discussion for graduate students, focused on selected books, articles, problems, primary sources, and/or works of art. Usually but not necessarily offered as preparation for a travel seminar or other supervised fieldwork.

Group Study for Graduate Students in the History of Art: Read More [+]

HISTART 299 Special Study for Graduate Students in the History of Art 1 - 12 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Spring 2017, Fall 2016

Special Study for Graduate Students in the History of Art: Read More [+]

HISTART 300 Supervised Teaching of History of Art 1 - 5 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Spring 2017, Fall 2016
Weekly meetings with the instructor to discuss the methods and aims of the course, to plan the content and presentation of the material for the discussion sections, and to set standards and criteria for grading and commenting upon papers and exams. In addition, after visiting sections early in the semester, the instructor will discuss with each GSI individually his or her performance and make any necessary recommendations for improvement.

Supervised Teaching of History of Art: Read More [+]

HISTART 375 Seminar in History of Art Teaching 2 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Fall 2016, Fall 2015
This pedagogical seminar introduces graduate students to methods and theories of teaching history of art. The course has two primary goals: (1) to train new graduate student instructors to assist in teaching History of Art classes at UCB; and (2) to introduce students to techniques of designing and teaching their own classes. The seminar may be taken concurrently with the first teaching assignment or in the semester before beginning teaching.

Seminar in History of Art Teaching: Read More [+]

HISTART 601 Individual Study for Master's Students in the History of Art 1 - 12 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2016, Spring 2016, Spring 2015
Individual study in consultation with the graduate adviser.

Individual Study for Master's Students in the History of Art: Read More [+]

HISTART 602 Individual Study for Doctoral Students in the History of Art 1 - 12 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2017, Fall 2016, Spring 2016
Individual study, in consultation with the graduate adviser, intended to provide an opportunity for qualified students to prepare themselves for the various examinations required of candidates for the Ph.D. degree.

Individual Study for Doctoral Students in the History of Art: Read More [+]

Faculty and Instructors

+ Indicates this faculty member is the recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award.

Faculty

Diliana Angelova, Assistant Professor. Gender, early Christian art, Byzantine art, late antique art, the Virgin Mary, early Christian empresses, imperial iconography, power and material culture, the empress Helena, the relic of the True Cross, urban development of Constantinople, textiles, ivories, mythology in Byzantine art, myth and genre in Archaic and Classical Greek art, romantic love in ancient and medieval art.
Research Profile

Patricia Berger, Professor. China, buddhist art, East Asian studies, history of art, Asian architecture and art.
Research Profile

Julia Q. Bryan-Wilson, Associate Professor. Contemporary art, feminist theory, queer theory.
Research Profile

Whitney Davis, Professor.

Beate Fricke, Associate Professor. Medieval art and architecture, idolatry, iconoclasm, history of allegory, formation of communities, incest, anthropophagy, animation, emergence of life and procreation, theories and practices in use of images and relics, visual and material culture, Carolingian Art, Gothic Art, Ottonian Art.
Research Profile

+ Darcy Grimaldo Grigsby, Professor.

Christopher Hallett, Professor. Classics, Roman art, visual culture, portraiture, Hellenistic art, Roman Asia Minor, Hellenistic and Roman Egypt.
Research Profile

Imogen Hart, Assistant Adjunct Professor.

Elizabeth A. Honig, Associate Professor. Painting, Rome, baroque, Renaissance, Antwerp, digital humanities, Brueghel, Rubens.
Research Profile

Lauren Kroiz, Assistant Professor.

Henrike Lange, Assistant Professor.

Anneka Lenssen, Assistant Professor.

Gregory Levine, Associate Professor. East Asian studies, history of art, Japanese art and architecture, histories of collecting, history of museums, Buddhist art and architecture, Buddhist visual culture.
Research Profile

Margaretta M. Lovell, Professor. Architecture, design, American art.
Research Profile

Sabrina Sonia Maras, Assistant Adjunct Professor.

Todd Olson, Professor.

Sugata Ray, Assistant Professor. Early modern, visual culture, Hinduism, Islam, architecture, Urban cultures, environmental studies, ecology, aesthetics, globalization, postcolonial studies, colonialism, museums, historiography, art history, India, South Asia.
Research Profile

+ Andrew F. Stewart, Professor. Archaeology, classics, Greek sculpture, ancient art and architecture, the Hellenistic east after Alexander, the Renaissance reception of antiquity.
Research Profile

Lisa Trever, Assistant Professor. Pre-Columbian Art History, Latin American Art History, archaeology, visual studies, historiography, Illustration.
Research Profile

Lecturers

Ivy Mills, Lecturer.

Catherine Mary Telfair, Lecturer.

Emeritus Faculty

+ Svetlana Alpers, Professor Emeritus.

Timothy J. Clark, Professor Emeritus.

Jacques De Caso, Professor Emeritus. History of European art of the XVIIIIth and XIXth centuries.
Research Profile

Loren Partridge, Professor Emeritus. Urbanism, architecture, Italian Renaissance painting, sculpture, Rome, Florence, Venice, Italian courts, churches, palaces, villas, fresco decoration.
Research Profile

Peter Selz, Professor Emeritus.

Anne Wagner, Professor Emeritus.

David H. Wright, Professor Emeritus. Art from Augustus to Charlemagne, palaeography and codicology, late Roman numismatics.
Research Profile

Contact Information

Department of the History of Art

416 Doe Library #6020

Phone: 510-643-7290

Fax: 510-643-2185

art_history@berkeley.edu

Visit Department Website

Acting Department Chair

Bonnie C. Wade

416 Doe Library

Phone: 510-643-7290

bcwade@berkeley.edu

Graduate Student Services Adviser

Blaine Jones

416 Doe Library

Phone: 510-642-5510

blainejones@berkeley.edu

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