Welcome to History of Art

Here you will find information about the people who comprise the Department – faculty and graduate students – with descriptions of our fields of research. Also featured are listings of many student- and faculty-organized events. We are an intellectual community committed to studying art made by all people in many media everywhere at all times. Central to all we do is a commitment to Diversity of people, ideas, and works of art. 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 dynamic statement reflects current thinking and initiatives and is revised and updated annually.

The Department has played a significant role in establishing art history as a discipline that explores all forms of art, inclluding visual and material 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.  We are particularly thrilled to welcome Nana Adusei-Poku and Allison Caplan, who joined our faculty in July 2023.

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 most important collection of paintings, prints and drawings, and rare books relating to the art of Britain and the former British Empire outside of Britain. Much of the Department’s teaching is done in the galleries and in the West Campus Collection Studies Center, which houses off-site museum collections 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.

Milette Gaifman