From the Roman Forum to the Sistine Chapel to the MAXXI Museum of Contemporary Art, Rome houses countless art treasures, each contributing irreplaceable insight to the field of Art History. Art History students at AUR go beyond textbooks to come face to face with these masterpieces in the unique atmosphere of our on-site classes. By learning in this interactive manner, our students can fully grasp the intrinsic nature of a wide variety of works of art, including painting, sculpture and architecture.

The  program in Art History combines the comparative method and critical approach typical of American curricula with an intense immersion in one of the greatest art centers in the world, the city of Rome. Courses at all levels emphasize on-site observation and analysis and the use of Rome’s unique resources for individual study and research. Students develop skills of visual analysis, connoisseurship, oral and written articulation of visual patterns and phenomena, the ability to read and to make use of advanced scholarship in the discipline, and the ability to conduct independent research. Art history majors are prepared to live and work in a world in which visual images are ubiquitous, the ability to analyze them is essential, and the preservation of material heritage requires a citizenry informed by knowledge of history and aesthetic value.

Innovative Education in an Ancient Setting

The Art History Program at The American University of Rome provides an innovative education focused on western and neighboring visual cultures. The program stimulates the acquisition of knowledge and encourages critical thinking skills, creativity and cross-cultural understanding. Our international faculty of active scholars instructs small classes, many on site in Rome and around Europe. The AH 318 class, Picasso and his Times, for example balances in class study and a trip to Nice, France to see one of the birthplaces of modernism. Through interactive teaching and personalized supervision we aim to develop each student’s intellectual potential and life-long engagement with cultural heritage by fostering the skills necessary for the modern workplace.

Studying Art History at The American University of Rome will develop your perceptual analysis of the visual arts and your ability to situate a work of art in its historical and cultural context. We will teach you how works of art are examined by using a variety of theoretical and methodological frameworks. Students will also learn effective oral and written communication skills relevant to the disciplines of Art History and the Humanities.

The Art History major (36 to 42 credits) comprises core courses emphasizing both the visual culture and urban history of Rome and Italy in relation to the Western art tradition as well as offering a more global curriculum in courses like AH 103 Arts of Modernity, which explores the internationalism of modern art. Art History electives range from AH 104 Saints and Sinners in Rome to AH 212 Contemporary Art in the Global Village, offering a wide variety of courses and encouraging interdisciplinary studies. You may choose to focus solely on classical Art History, or combine Art History with our Art Business concentration. Students who study Art History will have access to our constantly expanding internship program, which provides further preparation and an important bridge between university and postgraduate study and the workplace. AUR students have recently completed internships at the Vatican Museum in Rome and the Guggenheim Collection in Venice.