Art History

Sail up the Nile. Worship in Rome. Stroll the boulevards of Paris.

Study art history and archaeology to explore the rich visual and material legacy of cultures from ancient Egypt, Renaissance Italy and modern France. Whether in the classroom, on May Term, or studying abroad, travel to different places and times as you discover some of the most spectacular contributions to the history of civilization.

Did you know that art history and archaeology investigate art and material objects as ways to express cultural ideas, values and histories? These disciplines forge connections to people's lives through the objects they've left behind. Learn to be a savvy interpreter of the visual and material record. We'll teach you how to question the deceptively obvious and explain the ambiguous.

Art history can prepare you for careers in teaching, museums, commercial galleries, auction houses, historic preservation, publishing, filmmaking, fashion, advertising, law or the corporate world.

We offer both a major and a minor in Art History.

Katrina King

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"My professors really helped me find my path."

Pouring Themselves into Interesting Work

Sample Course Offerings:

  • ARTH 151: Art, Culture & Society 
  • ARTH 256: Baroque: Popes, Kings & Busin 
  • ARTH 391: Ancient Egyptian Arts

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Our grads work at impressive organizations.

Driven to Fight Art Crime and Preserve Cultural Artifacts

"The college hosted an event for the founder of the FBI's Art Crime Team, Robert Wittman, and this was literally a life changing moment for me. From that day on, I wanted to become a modern day 'monument's woman' and defend communities' rights to their cultural heritage," said Brieanah Gouveia.

Gouveia later received a Fulbright Study Award to Scotland's University of Glasgow to pursue a master's degree in art history after Roanoke. Her program focuses on art crime and art law. There, she hopes to get experience from a law firm on art-related alternative dispute resolution, or in a provenance section of an auction house or museum.

"I want to be involved in safeguarding world cultural sites," said Gouveia, who plans to apply to law school.

Art historians learn through travel

Dr. Jane Long | Art History

In 2012, Dr. Jane Long was one of 25 scholars chosen to study at the National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute: "Leonardo da Vinci: Between Art and Science," held in Florence, Italy.

Long, who has taught art history at Roanoke for many years, said the opportunity to study da Vinci's work in Italy energized and enhanced her classes at Roanoke. "I'm hoping that being inspired will allow me to inspire," said Long, a specialist in the Italian Renaissance who holds a master's degree and doctorate from Columbia University.

Long studied at the Kunsthistorisches Institut, a Florence art history research institution where she spent much time writing her dissertation in the mid-1980s. She was a Fulbright Scholar in Florence at the time, and she has returned to the city many times to study works of art and for May Term travel courses with Roanoke students.

Roanoke students join professor on archeological dig in Egypt

Several Roanoke students are digging for ancient artifacts in Egypt, alongside Art History professor Dr. Leslie Warden, a leader of archeological digs in this part of the world. Warden is one of few Egyptologists in Virginia. In Egypt, she has unearthed pottery and stone tools, which reveal the presence of an ancient industrial zone. During an archeological dig, Warden said she hopes Roanoke students will gain experience in the field and an appreciation for studying small clues of life left behind from ancient civilizations.

Art Exhibition

Come and enjoy the artwork of Steve Keene and Steve West. September 8-October 8.

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Date | Time: Sunday, September 24, 2017 | 6:00 PM
Location: Roanoke College

Performance by Doug Berky, Copenhaver Artist-in-Residence

Doug Berky, who is a Copenhaver Artist-in-Residence at Roanoke, has been creating and evolving his own brand of physical theater for more than 30 years.

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Date | Time: Saturday, September 30, 2017 | 7:30 PM
Location: Olin Theater, Roanoke College