Art

Susan E. Wegner, Department Chair and Director, Art History Division
Michael Kolster, Director, Visual Arts Division
Martha R. Janeway, Coordinator, Art History Division
Alicia Menard, Coordinator, Visual Arts Division
Isaac Jaegerman, Visual Arts Technician

Professors: Pamela M. Fletcher, Mark C. Wethli
Associate Professors: Michael Kolster, James Mullen, Stephen G. Perkinson, Carrie Scanga, Susan E. Wegner
Assistant Professors: Jackie Brown†, Dana E. Byrd†, Peggy Wang (Asian Studies)
Visiting Faculty: Natasha Goldman, Hilary Irons, Erin Johnson, David Snyder
Fellow: Tara Kohn

The Department of Art comprises two programs: art history and visual arts. Majors in the department are expected to elect one of these programs. The major in art history is devoted primarily to the historical and critical study of the visual arts as an embodiment of some of humanity’s cultural values and a record of the historical interplay of sensibility, thought, and society. The major in visual arts is intended to encourage a sensitive development of perceptual, creative, and critical abilities in visual expression.

Art History

Requirements for the Major in Art History

The art history major consists of ten courses, excluding first-year seminars.

Required courses:

  • Art History 1100
  • one course in African, Asian, or pre-Columbian art history numbered 1103 or higher
  • one course from Art History 2090 (same as Archaeology 1101), 2100 (same as Archaeology 1102), 2130, 2140, 2150, or 2260
  • one course from Art History 2220, 2230, 2240, or 2320
  • one course from Art History 2420, 2520, 2540, 2620, or 2640
  • one additional intermediate course (numbered 2000–2969)
  • two advanced seminars (numbered 3000–3999)
  • two additional art history courses numbered higher than 1100 (Only one independent study may be used to satisfy this requirement.)

Art history majors are also encouraged to take courses in foreign languages and literature, history, philosophy, religion, and the other arts.

A maximum of two courses for one semester of study from another college or university may count toward the major in art history with departmental approval of that transfer credit. If a student studies away for a full academic year, three courses from another college or university may count toward their art history major with departmental approval.

Students who received a minimum score of four on the Art History Advanced Placement exam are exempt from taking Art History 1100, but they must take an additional course to replace Art History 1100. In order to receive this placement, students must have their advanced placement scores officially reported to the Office of the Registrar by the end of their sophomore year at Bowdoin.

Interdisciplinary Majors

The department participates in interdisciplinary programs in art history and archaeology and in art history and visual arts. Art history majors may do a coordinate major with environmental studies or education. See Interdisciplinary Majors.

Requirements for the Minor in Art History

The minor consists of five courses, excluding first-year seminars.

Required courses:

  • Art History 1100
  • two intermediate courses (numbered 2000–2969)
  • one advanced course (numbered 3000–3999)
  • one additional art history course numbered higher than 1100 (An independent study may be used to satisfy this requirement.)

Only one course for one semester of study from another college or university may count toward a student’s art history minor with departmental approval.

Only one art history course may be double-counted toward a visual arts major/art history minor.

Courses that count toward the major and minor must be taken for regular letter grades (not Credit/D/Fail), and students must earn grades of C- or better in these courses.

Seminars in Art History

The seminars are intended to utilize the scholarly interests of members of the department   and provide an opportunity for advanced work for selected students who have successfully completed enough of the regular courses to possess a sufficient background. The department does not expect to give all, or in some cases any, seminars each semester. As the seminars are varied, a given topic may be offered only once, or its form changed considerably from time to time.

Visual Arts

Requirements for the Major in Visual Arts

The major consists of eleven courses.

Required courses:

  • Visual Arts 1101
  • two of Visual Arts 1201, 1401, or 1601
  • Visual Arts 3902
  • Five additional visual arts courses, one of which must be numbered 3000–3999, and no more than one of which may be an independent study course.
  • two courses in art history

Interdisciplinary Majors

The department participates in interdisciplinary programs in art history and visual arts. Visual art majors may do a coordinate major with environmental studies or education. See Interdisciplinary Majors.

Requirements for the Minor in Visual Arts

The minor consists of six courses.

Required courses:

  • Visual Arts 1101
  • one of Visual Arts 1201, 1401, or 1601
  • Three additional visual arts courses, no more than one of which may be an independent study course.
  • one course in art history

Courses that count toward the major and minor must be taken for regular letter grades (not Credit/D/Fail), and students must earn grades of C- or better in these courses.

A maximum of two studio visual arts courses and one art history course (for a total of three courses) taken at another college or university may count toward the major or minor in visual arts with departmental approval of that transfer credit.

Students who receive a four on the Studio Art: 2-D Design, Studio Art: 3-D Design or Studio Art: Drawing AP exams, and complete Visual Arts 1101, 1201, 1401, 1501, or 1601 with a minimum grade of B-, are eligible to receive a general credit toward their degree, but not major/minor credit. If a student has scores for more than one exam, only 1 total credit will
be awarded. For information on credit for IB scores, please see the visual arts department. In order to receive credit for advanced placement work, students must have their scores officially reported to the Office of the Registrar by the end of their sophomore year at Bowdoin.

Visual arts courses without prerequisites are frequently oversubscribed; registration preference is then given to first- and second-year students, as well as to juniors and seniors fulfilling requirements of the visual arts major or minor.

(Visual Arts Department/Program website)(Art History Department/Program website)