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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 Professor Kelly Heuer's Research Featured on "Academic Minute"

Assistant Professor Keely Heuer was the latest SUNY New Paltz faculty member to share her research and insight with national radio audiences on the syndicated program, “The Academic Minute.”

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Chloe Derocker '16 (Art History) Publishes Paper of Thomas Benjamin Pope

cover of Hudson River Valley Review issue

The Art History Department is pleased to announce that alumna Chloe DeRocker '16 has published an article on the landscape painter Thomas Benjamin Pope in The Hudson River Valley Review! Chloe curated an exhibition on Pope at the Dorsky Museum last year. She and Pope made the cover.

Read the Article