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The department offers programs leading to the degrees of Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy. The department offers studies in the history of art from ancient to modern times, with special concentrations in American art and in European art from the Renaissance through the modern eras. Cooperative arrangements with Bryn Mawr College and the University of Pennsylvania permit students to take courses at both institutions. Other arrangements with various institutions enable students to work with original objects and documents and to arrange, under faculty and museum staff supervision, exhibitions on a variety of subjects. The University Gallery, located on the campus, has a collection of about 6,000 objects for teaching and student research as well as providing opportunities for organization of exhibitions. The collections of Gertrude Käsebier photographs and Abraham Walkowitz paintings and drawings, e.g., are the largest in existence. The University Gallery has received the Paul R. Jones Collection of African American Art, the Frederick and Lucy S. Herman Native American Art Collection, and the Mabel and Harley McKeague Alaskan Inuit Collection. Periodically, art history graduate seminars have contributed to the research for, and organization of, exhibitions at such museums as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Delaware Art Museum, and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, as well as the University Gallery.
Resources of the department include an extensive image collection, the Decimal Index of the Art of the Netherlands, the “Illustrated Bartsch,” and the Wayne Andrews photographic archive of American architecture, a cumulative index of dissertations and theses in American art. The University Library includes the Esther I. Schwartz Collection in the American Decorative Arts and special collections of books on museology and the conservation of works of art, as well as the George M.A. Hanfmann Professional Library of Ancient Art, the E.P. Richardson Library, and the Lloyd and Edith Havens Goodrich-Albert Pinkham Ryder Archive. There is also a collection of books and ephemera on Italian Futurism. The Mark Samuels Lasner Collection is especially rich in Victorian materials, including many illustrated books.
Another university resource is the Center for Historic Architecture and Design (CHAD), a multidisciplinary research and public service group exploring the evolution of historic architecture, engineering, and the built environment. Based in the College of Arts & Sciences, CHAD is cosponsored by the departments of Art History, History, and Geography, the College of Engineering, and the Museum Studies Program, and the Winterthur Program in Early American Culture. CHAD is the first American university center in this field recognized by the Department of the Interior. Graduate students in art history may pursue a graduate specialization both in architectural history and in historic preservation and may qualify for CHAD grants, internships, and research assistantships.
The Department of Art History enjoys a longstanding relationship with the Center for Material Culture Studies, a dynamic collaboration of individuals, programs, and departments engaged in the documentation, interpretation, and preservation of objects and images. The Center builds on our collective national reputations and extraordinary strengths in well-established academic, research, and public service programs in the fields of material culture, historic preservation, museum studies, and historical archaeology. The Center’s programs reach into its University constituencies ranging from the humanities to the performing and studio arts, and reaching out to larger public and scholarly communities.
The Winterthur Museum Library, open to graduate students in art history, is especially strong in American art and in Western European art and design, a special concentration in the Department of Art History. It also contains the Waldron Phoenix Belknap, Jr., Research Library of American Painting and the Joseph Downs Manuscript Collection.
The nearby Delaware Art Museum, pre-eminent in its collection of Pre-Raphaelite art and art of illustration, includes a comprehensive collection of American paintings, sculpture, and prints from about 1800 to the present day, the Samuel and Mary R. Bancroft English Pre-Raphaelite Collection, the John Sloan Collection, the Howard Pyle Collection, and the N.C. Wyeth papers.
For students seeking a Ph.D. in Art History, the Department offers two routes to degree completion. One is designed for students who hold an M.A. in art history or its equivalent. The other, the Direct Ph.D. Program, is designed for students who hold a Bachelor's Degree in art history, or a related field, and are seeking a Ph.D. in Art History. Students admitted to the Direct Ph.D. Program have the option of stepping out of the program at the M.A. degree.
Requirements for students in the Direct Ph.D. Program consist of a minimum of 36 credits of graduate course work and satisfactory completion of the language requirement (2 languages), the M.A. Paper, and major and minor Ph.D. field exams. At least 30 of the course credits are to be in Art History seminar courses and the other 6 to be selected from additional seminars, graduate lecture courses, or independent study courses, or a combination of these. In addition to the 36 credits of graduate course work, 3 credits of ARTH870 (Master's Paper) and 9 Dissertation credits are required. Candidates then produce a dissertation, which is defended in an oral examination.
Requirements for the Ph.D. for students holding an M.A. include a minimum of 24 credits of graduate course work beyond the M.A. and satisfactory completion of the language requirement (2 languages) and major and minor Ph.D. field exams. At least 18 of the course credits are to be in Art History seminar courses and the other 6 to be selected from additional seminars, graduate lecture courses, or independent study courses, or a combination of these. In addition to the 24 credits of graduate course work, 9 Dissertation credits are required. Candidates then produce a dissertation, which is defended in an oral examination.
- Applicants to a University of Delaware graduate program must possess (or be in the final year of completing) a U.S. equivalent bachelor’s degree.
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- 3 Letters of Recommendation
- Write your Graduate Application Essay
- Resume (optional)
- International applicants need to pass the TOEFL (minimum 100, with at least 20 in each section) or IELTS (minimum 7.5, with at least 6.5 in each section) language test, unless they have a postsecondary degree from an institution in an English-speaking country.
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