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Our Mission

The Art History Department is committed to providing students with a broad and varied understanding of world art traditions, and to fostering an approach to interpreting art based on sound critical thinking, analytical skills, and an awareness of historical context.


The Department

The Art History department is dedicated to the teaching of undergraduates. Small class sizes, usually comprised of fifteen to thirty-five students, allow for individual attention and close interaction with faculty and other students. All courses count toward the liberal arts requirement.

The breadth of courses offered by the Art History department, ranging from prehistoric times to the present and covering nearly all areas of the world, is rarely found at four-year colleges. Since 1964, the State University of New York at New Paltz has offered a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History with a wide variety of courses in the history of painting, sculpture, architecture, graphic and decorative arts, design, and photography. A minor concentration in Art History is available, as is an Art History major concentration within the Elementary Education Pre-K-6 curriculum.


Art History Student Learning Outcomes

Students in Art History classes will:

  • Learn to recognize and define the artistic styles of historical periods 
  • Analyze the meaning and cultural context of works of art 
  • Explore the materials and creative processes involved in producing artworks  
  • Articulate the significance of images 


To find out what you can do with this major, click here.


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In the Spotlight

Art History Associate Professor Keely Heuer is the 2022 Mentor of the Year

Art History Associate Professor Keely Heuer is Mentor of the Year 2022

In a time-honored tradition, Associate Professor of Art History Keely Heuer was awarded this year’s Undergraduate Research Mentor of the Year. 

Throughout her tenure, Heuer has worked to make the Art History Department into a supportive home for scholars. She helped create and expand the annual Undergraduate Art History Symposium, which has grown from humble origins to become a major international showcase. It is the only undergraduate symposium of its kind based in the United States. 

“I feel so fortunate to be in a place with such fabulous students,” said Heuer. “They make my life so interesting and well-rounded. It’s a joy to have these opportunities to do things with them beyond the standard classroom.” 

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Professor Reva Wolf Organizes International Warhol Symposium

Portrait photograph of Professor Reva Wolf, woman with long hair and glasses in a gray jacket, blue shirt, and necklace

SUNY New Paltz Professor Reva Wolf is the key organizer of an international symposium, “Translating Warhol,” which will serve as a venue for exploring how Andy Warhol’s artistic vision has moved across international boundaries, and how his work has been received outside America.

“Translating Warhol” will be held June 23 and 24 at the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts in the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center at the University of Pennsylvania. It is supported by a generous grant from the Terra Foundation for American Art. The event is free and can be attended in person or virtually, but registration is required.


Digging this summer: Brooke Cammann ’23 travels to Italy for excavation project

Brooke Cammann ’23 travels to Italy for excavation project

Brooke Cammann (Art History; Chemistry) fell in love with Italian art history as a first-year student in the SUNY New Paltz Honors Program, but it took until 2022 for her to fully capitalize on that interest with an international research experience.  

“I saw a flyer on studying art history in Italy, and I was immediately intrigued,” said Cammann, who hails from Croton-on-Hudson, New York. “After doing my own research, I learned that you could pursue a career in conservation with an art history degree. For three years, I waited to study abroad because I knew Italy would be the place to pursue art conservation.”