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.

2014 Projects

  • 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

2013 Projects

2012 Projects

2011 Projects