Research

The Department of Art History and Archaeology interprets the visual and material culture of the classical world, Europe, and the Americas through its research, publication, and teaching activities. This visual culture can take many forms: the traditional “high arts” of painting, sculpture, and architecture; the decorative arts of ceramics, furniture, and various objects; the literary arts of book design, illustration, and textual description; and the broader construction of space through the built environment. Although the faculty possesses great diversity in the approaches and methodologies they bring to the visual arts, certain threads recur among their work. All share a strong interest in the material nature of art and architecture, the physical characteristics of the object, as a basis for further understanding. We offer notable concentrations of expertise in important areas: classical archaeology, the arts of the Americas; the history of architecture; Byzantine and medieval art; gender, sexuality, and the arts; material culture; and the transmission of the classical tradition in later European and American art.