History of Art and Architecture offers courses on cultures from across the globe, including Impressionism, Latin American and US Latinx, Islamic, African, Buddhist, American, Medieval, Renaissance, Armenian, Contemporary, and Byzantine art, as well as courses on the history of architecture, film, and photography. Our approach is fundamentally interdisciplinary, and many of our courses are cross-listed with other departments and programs including International Relations, Religion, Classics, Film and Media Studies (FMS), American Studies, Studies in Race, Colonialism, and Diaspora (RCD), Latino Studies, Anthropology, Africana Studies, and Middle Eastern Studies.
Tufts is an ideal place to study the history of art and architecture, not only because of small class sizes and the quality of the faculty, but also because of the vibrant local academic culture, and particularly the many nearby art institutions, including the Tufts University Art Galleries, the Harvard Art Museums (Tufts students enjoy free admission), the Isabella Stewart Gardner, the Institute of Contemporary Art, and Boston's renowned Museum of Fine Arts (where Tufts students enjoy free admission).
The history of art as a discipline witnessed a tremendous expansion in its discourse, institutions, and practitioners over the course of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Colleges and universities in the United States played a crucial role in this development.
The first course in art history at Tufts was taught in 1899. The program and its curriculum has since evolved into the diverse and distinctive department it is today, with its connections to related programs in architectural studies, museum studies, multimedia arts and more.
The account here is an introduction to the Department of the History of Art and Architecture at Tufts University, outlining its presence at the university and within the field at large. The story presented here will describe the chronological development of the Department, its faculty, facilities, and the diversification of its curriculum.