Art History

Art History

Art History at Baylor

Four full-time art historians on the faculty comprehensively cover the ancient Greek and Roman worlds, the Renaissance and Baroque, 19th-century Europe and America, and modern and contemporary European and American art. The small size of the art history program fosters a high degree of individual interaction with the faculty and a serious intellectual atmosphere. In addition to university funding, qualified students in the program may be supported by the Bronstein Scholarship for Study Abroad (priority is given to art history majors), which is around $8,000 annually, and the Allbritton Art Institute Student Scholarship, which is given annually to an upper-level art history student and is approximately $18,000.

There are several opportunities for motivated students to engage with original works of art, to participate in study abroad and international travel, and to develop original research under faculty supervision. For select upper-level art history courses, the Allbritton Art Institute provides support and travel for faculty-led trips to domestic and European locations. Subsidized travel is unique to Baylor among undergraduate history programs in North America. Most recently, class field studies have returned from trips to New York in the fall of 2018 and London in the spring of 2018.

Each of the art historians works extensively with undergraduate research. Dr. Elkins enhances ancient art courses through the use of a small teaching collection of ancient coins and through fieldtrips to area museums. Many students also participate in archaeological fieldwork with him at the excavations of the late Roman synagogue at Huqoq, Israel or are employed as his research assistants. Students who have developed provocative research in his upper-level courses often present at Baylor Undergraduate Research and Scholarly Achievement (URSA) Scholars Week or at national conferences such as the Annual Meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America. Dr. Hornik provides opportunities for one-on-one interaction with original art objects and also directs original research in her upper-level courses. Recently she offered a seminar on Connoisseurship that used the Kress collection of paintings at Baylor's Armstrong Browning Library. Past students in her courses developed novel research topics that have been presented at URSA Scholars week and at national conferences such as the Midwest Art History Society (MAHS). Many have written honors and undergraduate theses under her direction.

Studying Art History

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Dr. Heidi Hornik with students
Dr. Heidi Hornik with students
Dr. Nathan Elkins and 'Greek Painted Pottery' students at the Blanton Museum of Art
Dr. Nathan Elkins and 'Greek Painted Pottery' students at the Blanton Museum of Art
Dr. Katie Larson and students at the Dallas Museum of Art
Dr. Katie Larson and students at the Dallas Museum of Art
Professor Heather White (left) with guest printmaker Kyle Chaput, educating first year students on the art of printmaking.
Professor Heather White (left) with guest printmaker Kyle Chaput, educating first year students on the art of printmaking.
Advanced Art History Students conducting primary research on Renaissance painting
Advanced Art History Students conducting primary research on Renaissance painting
Dr. Nathan Elkins with Art History students in Israel on Excavation - Baylor in the Galilee
Dr. Nathan Elkins with Art History students in Israel on Excavation - Baylor in the Galilee
Dr. Heidi Hornik and Art History students in the 20 foot screen visualization lab.
Dr. Heidi Hornik and Art History students in the 20 foot screen visualization lab.
Professor Heather White teaching first year students how to understand and appreciate the art of photography.
Professor Heather White teaching first year students how to understand and appreciate the art of photography.
Baylor Art History students at the ruins of the Great Temple at Petra, Jordan.  They accompanied Dr. Nathan Elkins on the Huqoq Excavations and additional travels in Israel and Jordan.
Baylor Art History students at the ruins of the Great Temple at Petra, Jordan. They accompanied Dr. Nathan Elkins on the Huqoq Excavations and additional travels in Israel and Jordan.
Dr. Heidi Hornik | Advanced Renaissance
Dr. Heidi Hornik | Advanced Renaissance
Dr. Nathan Elkins and students at the Blanton Museum of Art
Dr. Nathan Elkins and students at the Blanton Museum of Art
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Dr. Heidi Hornik | Art History Survey
Dr. Heidi Hornik | Art History Survey
Examining Italian Renaissance Painting in Armstrong Browning LIbrary
Examining Italian Renaissance Painting in Armstrong Browning LIbrary
Class taught in the Armstrong Browning Library
Class taught in the Armstrong Browning Library
Dr. Nathan Elkins with his Roman Coinage Seminar Students
Dr. Nathan Elkins with his Roman Coinage Seminar Students
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The fact that each of the art history faculty are both active scholars and strong teachers provides unique opportunities for Baylor's art history majors to develop significant experience and expertise both inside and outside of the classroom. Our art history students are very competitive for top graduate programs in the country, or succeed in other fields. Our alumni have gone to graduate programs at Yale University, the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Missouri, the University of Kentucky, Rutgers University, Penn State University, George Washington University, Georgetown University, Kansas State University, Texas Christian University, and Southern Methodist University among many others. Other art history graduates, have gone on to work in museums and art galleries, or to business school, law school, and medical school, and into other graduate programs such as industrial design, civil engineering, and architecture.

The art history program regularly brings world-renowned art historians, artists, art critics, and museum professionals to speak to students. Some recent and notable guests include:

  • Kathleen Brandt (Professor of Art History, New York University / Michelangelo)
  • Joan Breton Connelly (Professor of Classics and Art History, New York University and a MacArthur Grant Recipient / The Parthenon)
  • Wanda Corn (Professor of American Art History, Stanford University / Norman Rockwell)
  • Senior Special Agent Brent Easter (Homeland Security Investigations / Art Crime)
  • June Hargrove (Professor of 19th-Century Art History, University of Maryland / Gauguin)
  • Paul Joannides (Professor of Art History, Cambridge University / Titian)
  • Jason Kaufmann (art critic and museum consultant)
  • Judith Mann (Curator of European Art until 1800, Saint Louis Art Museum / Artemisia Gentileschi)
  • Edgar Munhall (Director of the Frick Collection, New York / Jean-Baptiste Greuze)
  • Rosie Rios (Treasurer of the United States from 2009 to 2016 / Currency Redesign)
  • Robert Simon (Owner Robert Simon Fine Art NYC /Improving the Old Master)
  • Frank Stella (the great minimalist artist)
  • William Wallace (Professor of Art History, Washington University of Saint Louis / Michelangelo as CEO)
  • Alan Wallach (Professor Emeritus of American Art History, College of William & Mary / Hudson River School)
  • Gabriel Weisberg (Professor of 19th-Century Art History, University of Minnesota / Japonisme)
  • David Wilkins (Professor of Art History, University of Pittsburgh / The Brancacci chapel by Masaccio)
  • Area & Facilities

    The area of Art History has two computerized art history classrooms, equipped to project video and digital media and to accommodate up to 36 and 150 students respectively. These classrooms are located within steps of faculty offices, the Visual Resource Center, and the Martin Museum of Art, and with most of the art studios just down the hall, offering optimal convenience and access for both faculty and students.

    Faculty

    Nathan T. Elkins, PhD, Associate Professor of Art History | Greek & Roman Art

    Dr. Elkins is well-known and published in the field of Roman art and imperial coin iconography. Students in his classes benefit from occasional fieldtrips to see original works of art. A recurrent theme in his courses is the necessity of interdisciplinary study in ancient art and the immeasurable importance of historical and archaeological context. He often includes students in his own research and has taken students to both Israel and Germany. Students often present on research developed in his seminars, or on their participation in his research, at the Archaeological Institute of America Annual Meeting and at Baylor’s URSA Scholars Week.

    Heidi J. Hornik, PhD, Professor of Art History | Italian Renaissance & Baroque Art

    Dr. Hornik is the leading scholar on the Late Renaissance artist, Michele Tosini. Her work on attribution issues and primary documents allows undergraduates to fully understand those aspects of the field of art history. She also researches in art and theology creating an opportunity for students to comprehend the iconographic, social and religious contexts of the Renaissance and Baroque. Students often present on research developed in her classes at the Midwest Art History Society Annual Conference and at Baylor’s URSA Scholars Week

    Katie Larson, PhD, Assistant Professor of Art History | Modern and Contemporary

    Dr. Larson is a scholar of modern and contemporary art with a specialty in postwar Italy. Her current book project examines the early career of Roman artist Alberto Burri (1915-1995), contextualizing his work in relation to the legacies of Fascism and Futurism, receptions of Surrealism, and the development of multimedia artistic strategies in Europe. Dr. Larson has conducted extensive archival research in Italy with the support of a Gerda Henkel Stiftung Ph.D. Scholarship and the Chuck Close Pre-Doctoral Rome Prize in Modern Italian Studies at the American Academy in Rome.

    Heather White, Temporary Lecturer of Art History | 18th and 19th Century Art

    Heather Elizabeth White is a museum professional and art historian with over a decade of teaching and programming experience in informal learning environments. Her areas of expertise include visual literacy, interpretation, engagement, student centered learning, museum education, and knowledge creation in the gallery and classroom environments. She also specializes in American art history and Texas regionalism.