Art History

exploring tapestries

Our world is increasingly saturated by visual images that both reflect and shape our experience and understanding. The discipline of art history teaches students to unpack the meanings of images and objects, whether they were created thousands of years ago to decorate the tombs of Egyptian pharoahs, last year for a performance art exhibition in New York City, or just last night to "go viral" on YouTube.

Studying art history improves essential skills that are the building blocks of 21st Century learning: observation, analysis, synthesis, and creative and critical interpretation. As a minor in art history, you will study visual culture that spans the spectrum of humanity from cave paintings to the present day, and learn to make sense of its meanings through the study of both form and context.

Terryl Kinder, FSA

Visiting Distinguished Professor of Art History

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Areas of expertise

Medieval art
Ancient and medieval archeology
Medieval monasteries
Medieval pilgrimages
Stone quarrying and medieval construction
History and architecture of the Cistercian Order

Courses I Teach

Survey of Ancient and Medieval Art
Saints, Kings, Barbarians: Early Medieval Art
Castles, Cathedrals, Cities Culture and Society in Medieval Burgundy

My Saint Mike's

St Michael's College has always been a very special place to me, and I'm honored to be a bridge between Pontigny Abbey––where the Society of St Edmund was created in the 19th c.––and the College today. It's my pleasure to bring students to Burgundy (France) each year and to teach them them about the roots of SMC while exploring the history of this region through its historic architecture, museums, cities, castles, battlefields (as well as food, of course!).  At SMC this medieval world view–– and my excitement about it––spills over into my courses, whether a survey of Europe and the Middle East from prehistoric times to the Renaissance, or specialized seminars in various aspects of the Medieval World, such as arts made by nomadic tribes in the 7th century, stained glass of the soaring cathedrals, or the architecture of monks who lived in silence in immense, exquisitely designed stone buildings.  “Material culture” is so relevant for today when communication is, above all, visual, and I love being a conduit for the SMC community.

Our students benefit from numerous opportunities to study art and architecture "up close and personal." From local and regional field trips, to short- and long-term study abroad, our students are on the move! Back at home, we work closely with Burlington City Arts and the Shelburne Museum to provide internship opportunities, so that students can gain real-world experience.
After Saint Michael's, art history minors go on to graduate school in Museum Studies, Historic Preservation, Library Science, and other disciplines in the Humanities. Saint Michael's art history alumni work in exciting fields including Landscape Design, Urban Planning, Art Gallery and Auctions Administration, Historic Preservation, and Marketing and Development for non-profit organizations.

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