Welcome to the Graduate Program!

Strategically located on the Northeast Corridor between New York City and Philadelphia, Rutgers University’s Art History Department offers both M.A. and Ph.D. students an exceptional combination of an outstanding faculty, rigorous, imaginative scholarship, innovative critical approaches, a spectrum of cross-disciplinary programs, and professional opportunities.  Taking full advantage of the great museums, galleries and academic institutions in the northeast, our students benefit from internships in the New York/New Jersey/Philadelphia area and from a consortium of art history programs that allows our PhD students to register for graduate courses at Columbia University, Fordham University, The Graduate Center at CUNY, the Institute of Fine Arts, The New School, New York University, SUNY at Stony Brook, Princeton University and the University of Pennsylvania.

Our distinguished faculty offers an intellectually rigorous and theoretically sophisticated program of study.  The faculty comprises fifteen full-time members whose research interests and teaching span all periods of Western, Sub-Saharan and Asian Art. We have a uniquely strong cluster of faculty offering graduate training in the areas of modern Europe and the Americas, Medieval art and architecture, Italian Studies from Ancient through Baroque, contemporary Latin America, South Asia, and Russian, Soviet and Eastern Europe art and architecture. 

The increasingly global and interdisciplinary scope of the department has fostered new collaborative research in fields such as gender and women’s studies, visual culture, the history of science and medicine, and the history of photography.  Many faculty and students have been actively involved with the vital research institutes and programs within Rutgers. The Center for Cultural Analysis sponsors two different working groups organized by the Art History department: (1) one, the Developing Room, focused on the history and theory of photography, and (2) another organized around the interdisciplinary field of the Medical Humanities.  Faculty are also involved with the British Studies Center, American Studies, South Asian Studies, The Department of Latino and Hispanic Caribbean Studies, Italian Studies, the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, the Institute for Research on Women, the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies and the Center for Historical Analysis.

In addition to a Ph.D. in art history, we offer two different M.A. degrees: (1) one in art history, and (2) the other in Cultural Heritage and Preservation Studies (CHAPS).  For full details about our exciting new CHAPS M.A., see http://chaps.rutgers.edu.  All graduate students can also pursue a certificate in both Curatorial Studies and CHAPS.  The Curatorial Studies certificate encompasses specialized courses, including one taught by a professional curator, an exhibition seminar taught by a faculty member, and a series of internships at museums in the area.  Over its thirty-three year history, the graduate program has awarded seventy-five Doctoral and about one hundred and fifty Master’s degrees. For the past decade, many students have also pursued a certificate in Curatorial Studies, and can now also obtain a certificate in Historic Preservation.

Funding opportunities for students admitted into the Ph.D. program usually include a combination of fellowships and teaching assistantships.  Additional research assistantships may be available through the Norton Dodge Collection of Soviet Non-Conformist Art.  Both the department and the graduate school also provide opportunities to apply for additional funding to support conference travel, summer research, and dissertation completion. We are unfortunately unable to promise financial support for M.A. students.

Our doctoral students have been very successful in securing outside funding for their dissertation travel, research, and writing. A selection of the honors recently awarded includes: the two-year Rome Prize at the American Academy in Rome; two different Kress Institutional Fellowships for study at the Hertziana Library in Rome; Fulbright Fellowships to Austria, Estonia, Germany, Italy, and Moscow; the Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (DAAD); the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art in London, and residential fellowships to the Smithsonian Institution and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  Our students also participate enthusiastically in a wide range of graduate student symposia, as well as international conferences.  The Graduate Student Organization arranges a Distinguished Speakers series each year, complemented by the annual Sydney Jacobs Lecture in American Art and the newly inaugurated Edwin L. Weisl Lecture in Early Modern Art and Architecture.

Many alumni/ae currently hold academic and/or curatorial appointments at distinguished institutions, among them Duke, Universities of Iowa, North Carolina, and Houston, John Carroll University, Pepperdine University, Boston College, Dartmouth College, Kenyon College, and the Metropolitan Museum, Pierpont Morgan Library, Hunterdon Museum of Art, and Art Institute of Chicago; other alumni/ae enjoy positions in the commercial art world with Christie’s, Johnson and Johnson, and Wildenstein & Co.

Art Library and Zimmerli Museum

Graduate students make frequent use of the Rutgers Art Library, which is located conveniently next to the department's main office. Housed in a new building since 1992, the Art Library not only supports research and instructional needs, but also has been an active partner in co-sponsoring cultural events, lectures and exhibitions. With its staff of graduate students under the Director’s supervision and in an expanded facility since 1993, the Visual Resources Collection is using Luna Insight software in collaboration with the University Libraries to make huge image-bases available for instruction throughout the university. A new Sensors Lab in the department, fully equipped thanks to a generous gift from Sensors Inc., allows students to prepare and deliver digital presentations.

Program faculty and students closely collaborate with The Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Museum on exhibitions and research. Through the new museum initiative ArtReach, students present lectures on art to the wider community. 

Rutgers Art Review

The Rutgers Art Review, which is published annually and produced entirely by graduate students, is the country’s oldest journal of graduate scholarship in art history. Program faculty and students have repeatedly won competitive awards from the Graduate School, as well as national and international awards, for distinction in teaching and research.