Seniors majoring in art history are expected to complete a rigorous research project for their capstone. Progress on this project requires more than a single block. Students begin their studies with a methodology course (ART 484) and follow this with an independent tutorial (ART 392), and a thesis block (ART 487).

The papers engage with existing literature on a given topic and often consider approaches standard to art historical methods such as iconography, patronage and reception, style, connoisseurship, social history, historiography, or critical theory. The topics should be thoroughly researched and cogently argued with a thesis that demonstrates the student’s ability to locate and address secondary and primary sources appropriate to the subject with the goal of offering an original contribution to the discipline of art history.

Just as studio art majors offer a public exhibition of their work, art history majors present an abbreviated paper orally to the college community. This particular step in the thesis process may be completed through presenting a paper at the all-college symposium. Together the art and art history faculty evaluate the paper, the presentation and the oral defense. The final product is then catalogued as part of the Cole Library collection.

Recent Senior Thesis Projects

2014 Projects

  • “My Guernica”: Juana Alicia’s La Llorona’s Sacred Waters, Maricruz Gutierrez
  • Justice Evolves in Painted Form, Andrea Rodriguez

2013 Projects

2012 Projects

2011 Projects

Other Art History Projects

In addition to senior thesis projects, students frequently complete significant work. See examples of recent projects.