Art History

The Department of Art History at the Tyler School of Art and Architecture educates students to understand art and visual culture from an inclusive and global perspective, fostering knowledge and awareness of human creativity as a fundamental form of expression in a world where visual literacy and cultural production play a vital role in shaping society.

The department offers four dynamic and broad-based degree programs -- with an interdisciplinary approach and multicultural emphasis -- that train undergraduate students in the fundamentals of scholarship, and master’s level and doctoral students in the analysis of artwork and the creation of original research. The degree programs equip all students to flourish in a wide range of careers in varied fields -- from academia, curation, conservation and research to museums, galleries, archives, libraries, and other arts and culture organizations.

  • Bachelor of Arts
  • Master of Arts, Research track
  • Master of Arts, Arts Management track
  • Doctor of Philosophy

Guided by accomplished faculty members with diverse areas of expertise, Tyler’s Art History learn from scholars with deep knowledge in their specialties and benefit from access to the many creative resources of one of the nation’s top art and design schools as well as Temple University, a major public, top-tier research institution.

  • Roman Art and Archaeology
  • Modern and Contemporary Latin American Art
  • Italian and Southern Renaissance and Baroque Art and Architecture
  • Northern Renaissance and Baroque Art, and the History of Printmaking
  • Islamic Art and Architecture
  • Queer Culture and Contemporary Art Theory
  • Digital Humanities and the Ancient Near East
  • North American Art and the History of Photography

Bachelor of Arts

How can an object made thousands of years ago help us understand the culture from which it came? What is the connection between what an artist intends to say with their work and what a viewer grasps? As a Tyler Art History undergraduate student, you’ll learn how to look closely, think critically and conduct research about the historical contexts for works of art in order to build your understanding of the history of culture within a global perspective. Students in the program obtain practical experience as interns in regional museums, galleries and arts institutions. Our alumni work in museums, galleries, libraries, auction houses and publishers and earn placements in the most competitive graduate programs.

Master of Arts – Arts Management Track

Led by a 30-year veteran in arts administration in the New York City art world, the Arts Management track provides a specialized degree pathway for students seeking to advance cultural practice, the production and presentation of art, and community building by becoming arts professionals, cultural organizers and leaders. Students learn about both historical and current forces that shape arts institutions, including institutional missions, art economics, strategic planning, governance and ethics. Additionally, the program explores critically important issues facing cultural institutions, such as structural bias, cultural diversity, non-profit capitalist structures and artistic/organizational endeavors to act as change agents. Course work prepares students for leadership and management roles to align operation and program decisions with mission and social values. 

Master of Arts – Research Track

The Research Track is a two-year program that can either serve as a gateway to the best PhD programs in the discipline for students seeking careers in higher education or research, or as a stand-alone option for students seeking positions in museums, galleries, non-profits, archives, libraries and other institutions. Students develop a deep geographical and chronological understanding of art history that is rooted in historical, cultural, stylistic and ethical analysis. Working closely with individual faculty members, students graduate with an understanding of and ability to conduct original research and organize a sustained project, working collaboratively with artists, administrators, educators, students and the public.

Doctor of Philosophy

The PhD program provides the broad-based training needed for teaching, research and curatorial positions at the highest levels of the discipline. At Tyler, graduate students have access to both the intimacy and collaborative spirit of a world-class school of art, architecture and design — with opportunities to study side-by-side with artists and designers — and the resources of a large, public, comprehensive, Research-1 university. The PhD program cohorts are purposely small so that each student’s primary advisor provides one-on-one mentorship and career development.


Apply Now: Undergraduate First Year 

Apply Now: Undergraduate Transfer  

Apply Now: Graduate  

Upcoming Events

Lecture Series and Seminars

  • October 02, 2023
  • 1:30pm

Explore the wonderful collection of rare books, manuscripts, zines, and artists’ books from Temple’s Special Collections Research Center ...

  • October 09, 2023
  • 1:30pm

Explore the wonderful collection of rare books, manuscripts, zines, and artists’ books from Temple’s Special Collections Research Center ...

  • October 16, 2023
  • 11:30am

Explore the wonderful collection of rare books, manuscripts, zines, and artists’ books from Temple’s Special Collections Research Center ...


  • Emma P. Holter to deliver a paper at 2023 SECAC meeting

    Emma P. Holter, a University Fellow and second-year PhD Art History student, will deliver a paper "Color Wars: Woad, Indigo, and the Emergence of Venetian Blue Paper" ...

  • Michael A. Lally named Tyler Art History Department Graduate Teaching Award 2022/3 recipient

    Based on the innovative syllabus, student outcomes that showed that learning objectives were met in the course and excellent SFFs, the Art History Department has named...

  • Art History Grad Students Curate Print Exhibition at Berman Museum

    Art history graduate students Jessica Braum (left) and Natalie Cruz arrange prints for hanging. In early 20th century American artist Asa Cheffetz’s (1897-1965) wood e...

  • Undergraduate
    Alumni Spotlight

    Laura Turner Igoe

    Laura Turner Igoe (PhD, 2014) is the Curator of American Art at the James A. Michener Art Museum in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. She specializes in American art and material culture of the long 19th century. Laura is the coeditor of A Greene Country Towne: Philadelphia’s Ecology in the Cultural Imagination and she has contributed essays to the journals American Art, Panorama, Common-place, and the exhibition catalogue Nature’s Nation: American Art and Environment. At the Michener, she curated Impressionism to Modernism: The Lenfest Collection of American Art (2019) and the current exhibition, Through the Lens: Modern Photography in the Delaware Valley. More