Welcome to the History of Art Department website

Here you will find information about the people who make up the Department – faculty and graduate students – with descriptions of our fields of research. Also featured are listings of many student- and faculty-organized events. In the past these have taken place in our Department’s home at the Loria Center in New Haven, but at present, all are on line. Among the highlights this year were our Yale Alumni Research Forum and the Art/Race/Violence Colloquium. In the future, we hope to return to our in-person events, while retaining some of our on-line programing, which will continue to allow people from all over the world to have a chance to share in our work.

We are an intellectual community committed to studying art made by all people everywhere at all times. Central to all we do is a commitment to Diversity. In April 2021, the Department’s faculty and graduate students voted to adopt a Diversity Statement that was jointly authored through a process of open collaboration between all members of the community. This provisional and dynamic statement reflects current thinking and initiatives and will be revised and updated annually.

The Department has played a role in establishing art history as a discipline that explores all forms of art and visual culture across the globe. Yale’s faculty members over decades have made field-changing contributions to the study the arts of the Americas (notably Pre-Columbian art and the full range of North American art and architecture from colonial to contemporary), African art and arts of the African Diaspora, Asian and Islamic Arts, and European art from ancient times to today. These fields, and more, are central to our current research and teaching. 

Among the greatest privileges of studying History of Art at Yale is the presence of some of the world’s greatest museum and library collections. The Yale University Art Gallery, the oldest university art museum on this continent, is notable for collections in African, American, Asian and European arts from prehistoric to contemporary. The Yale Center for British Art is the world’s most important collection of paintings, prints and drawings and rare books relating to the art of Britain and the former British Empire. Much of the Department’s teaching is done in the galleries and in the West Campus facility, which houses off-site storage and the Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage. Students and faculty frequently collaborate with curators on exhibitions, programs and collection-based research. Details of the Graduate Student Assistant program, an important feature of the History of Art PhD, can be found on the Graduate Study page.

Owing to the pandemic, we were unable to open our doors to a new cohort of graduate student this academic year, using the resources instead to support students already in the program. We look forward to receiving applications to our graduate programs next academic year and to welcoming a new cohort of students in Fall 2022.

Milette Gaifman