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Our Mission

The Department of Art History 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 Department of Art History 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 Department of Art History, 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 Early Childhood & Childhood Education 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

Professor Kerry Dean Carso discusses ornamental architecture in early America for “The Academic Minute”

Kerry Dean Carso, Art History Chair F21-S22

Listen to Carso's ”Academic Minute” in its entirety at this link.

Kerry Dean Carso, Professor in the Department of Art History, became the latest SUNY New Paltz faculty member to share research with radio audiences on the nationally syndicated program “The Academic Minute.”

Carso’s segment draws on her studies of “Follies in America”: small architectural structures that were popular among English and American aristocrats in the 18th and 19th centuries.

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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.”