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Skidmore College
Art History

Student Learning Goals


The student will gain:

  • familiarity with the terminology necessary for the historical study and discussion of objects
  • global and historical breadth of knowledge about objects and their creators, audiences, and cultural contexts
  • knowledge of the creative process, including the possibilities and limitations of various media, acquired through the direct experience of making art.


The student will be able to:

  • recognize and understand different methodological approaches to analyzing objects
  • communicate persuasively in both writing and speaking
  • reason persuasively, i. e. , present a thesis, support that thesis with visual and historical evidence, and come to logical conclusions
  • formulate insightful questions about objects and answer them through research and creative thinking.

Values and perspectives

The student will graduate with:

  • an understanding of the agency of visual representation and experience in both the past and the present, and an interest in the diverse values and ideas evident in the visual expression of different cultures and periods
  • a recognition of objects as experienced in particular environments (including original and intended locations as well as museums and galleries), and the limits of working with reproductions
  • a respect for and willingness to engage productively with modes of visual expression and experience that are unfamiliar (whether temporally, geographically or culturally)
  • an ability to apply habits of critical seeing and historical and cultural awareness to visual experience in everyday life beyond the classroom.