- The Champs Elyseés: A Definitive Work of Political Propoganda, Margaret Harris
- The Villa Farnesina: A Painted Panegyric of Agostino Chigi, Calla Holmes-Robbins
- Insight and Oversight: Hermathena at Rubens’s Antwerp Academy of Art, Henry Hundt
- Many Shades of Red: A Modern Paradox for Aboriginal Women, Elsie Freland
Nudity, Sexuality and Bathing in 16th-century France, Theo Harris
- Il Palazzo della Cività Italiana: Mussolini's Dioscuri as Propaganda, Andrew Harter
- Eastern Iowa Rock Shelter Ceramics: An Art Historical Analysis of the Ceramic Assemblage from Minott's Rock Shelter (13LN210), Katelyn D. Hillmeyer
Antinous: Hadrian's Beautiful God, Heather Malmskog
Esther & Penelope: Beauty and Chastity on Florentine Renaissance Wedding Furniture, S.E. Mathews
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
Note: Thesis projects that were presented at the annual Student Symposium have been linked to the respective presentation abstract.
Will Wilson's Auto Immune Response: Restoration of the Diné World, Rio Dulaney
From Tortured Martyr to Politically Charged Figure: Saint Sebastian's Role as Gay Patron Saint, Ryne Kempen
Leda and the Swan: A Concord of Motherhood, Elizabeth Madden
- “My Guernica”: Juana Alicia’s La Llorona’s Sacred Waters, Maricruz Gutierrez
- Justice Evolves in Painted Form, Andrea Rodriguez
- The Discourse on Gender in Guitar Drag, Mathieu Evans
- The Etruscan Athena and the Afterlife, Rachael Maxon
- Fascism on the Fence: Stazione della Santa Maria Novella and Modern Architecture, Willi Mendelsohn
- Tania Bruguera: Transcending Relational Aesthetics and Art in the Social Context, Elinor Wilbur
- Not Just a Black Face: The Syncretization of the Virgin of Regla in Cuba, Ashley Koehnk
- The National Museum of the American Indian: Authenticity and Identity, Mathew Moore
- Graffiti in the Gallery, Ellie Rohan
- Ecce Homo: James Ensor’s The Entry of Christ into Brussels in 1889 as Personal Manifesto, Emily Edwards
- George Grosz’s Dedication to Oskar Panizza: World War One’s 'Dance of Death', Tiffany Ghearing
- The Divine Shepherdess in the Andes: Syncretism in the New World, Marie Glackin
- Salvador Dalí and the Nuclear Cross: Liturgical Art of the 20th Century, Kris Komperda
- Where’s Jules? The Disappearance of Joan of Arc by Jules Bastien-Lepage, Hannah Martin
- Reframing Alison Saar: Obtaining a New Locus, Heather Pavlu
- Perpetuating the paragone and perfecting nature: Rubens's head of Medusa, Erin Daly