The history of art is the study of humanity's efforts to express its ideas, experiences, and beliefs in visual and graphic form: in painting, sculpture, architecture, graphic art, design, film, and performance arts. It also is the historical study of the attempt to reorder the physical environment through urban and architectural planning. Courses in the Department of Art History are designed to train students to deal with such studies in the context of the cultural, social, political, economic, and religious climates of different historical eras, as well as to foster an understanding of the specific development, materials, theory, and parameters of art. Internships and colloquia in art museum studies afford qualified students more specialized experience in connoisseurship, curatorial practices, and arts management.

Students in Art History at UWM have unique access to thousands of pieces of artwork. The Emile H. Mathis Art Gallery contains over 7,000 objects covering Western and non-Western art and spanning a time frame from ancient to contemporary art. Notable artists represented in the Gallery include Jean Arp, Joan Miro, Henry Moore, Victor Vasarely, Alexander Calder, and Pablo Picasso. Check out the video of the Mathis Gallery.

Art History Courses

NameRankDegreeSchoolGraduate FacultyEmeritus Faculty
Michael Aschenbrenner Senior Lecturer MA University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee No No
Jocelyn Boor Lecturer PhD University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee No No
Derek Counts Professor PhD Brown University Yes No
Jennifer Johung Associate Professor PhD University of California, Berkeley Yes No
Richard Leson Associate Professor PhD Johns Hopkins University Yes No
David Pacifico Assistant Professor and Director, Emile H. Mathis Gallery and UWM Art Collection PhD University of Chicago Yes No
Sarah Schaefer Assistant Professor PhD Columbia University Yes No
Tanya Tiffany Associate Professor PhD Johns Hopkins University Yes No
Ying Wang Associate Professor PhD University of Pittsburgh Yes No
Katharine (Kay) Wells Assistant Professor PhD University of Southern California Yes No