College of Arts and Sciences

Department of Art History

Department of
Art History

Art History at IU

The Department of Art History is dedicated to exploring and demonstrating the significance and meaning of art, visual experience, and their histories globally to the University and its communities through exemplary research and teaching. The Department has been awarding Ph.D. degrees in art history since 1965. Our work investigates how art and visual culture engage the social world and give life to the world of human imagination in its many facets. The Department collaborates with the Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, Fine Arts Library, the School of Art + Design, and many other humanities departments and programs in the College of Arts and Sciences. 

Read more

Department News

Professor Phillip Bloom's article, "Ghosts in the Mists: The Visual and the Visualized in Chinese Buddhist Art, ca. 1178" is featured in this month's Art Bulletin. Water-Land Retreat (cover image), a late twelfth-century Chinese Buddhist painting crafted for use in large-scale offering rituals, depcits the liminal moments of ghosts' manifestation during a nocturanl liturgy of spectral salvation. Taking inspiration from the sensory dimensions of ritual performance and making use of sophisticated stratigraphy of pigmentation, the painting leads the viewer-worshipper from consideration of extranal acts of offering and recitiation to contemplation of internal visualiztions performed soley in the minds of meditating monks. The viewer-worshipper is thus awakened to the multisensory matrix of ritual that unites liturgical art, text, and performance. Read more

Professor Bret Rothstein has launched a new seires, Ludic Cultures, 1100-1700, with fellow editors Alessandro Arcangeli and Christina Normore.Ludic Cultures treats medieval and early modern play in all its innumerable eccentricities, from toys and games to dramatic performances, courtly intrigues, and the like. Read more

Professor Adelheid Gealt has curated the Eskenazi Museum of Art's upcoming Exhibition of important drawings by Italian masters, Giambattista and Domenico Tiepolo: Master Drawings from the Anthony J. Moravec Collection. The opening reception will be held on Friday, September 30 from 6:30-8:00p.m. Read more

"Since finishing up my studies in Italy at the beginning of June, I've moved to Washington, DC, where, I'm pleased to report, I am now gainfully employed. I work as a legal assistant two block from the White House at a law firm specializing in government contracts procurement. It's not exactly art historical, but I can thank my studies nonetheless for developing the skills that I rely on every day (e.g. critical reading and writing). . . . Even though many people discount art history as impractical ("But, like, what are you going to do with that?"), I think choosing this major was one of the best decisions I've made. I wouldn't be the person I am today were it not for the classes I took in the department. My choice of college major has given me so many opportunities, led me down so many interesting paths, and really expanded the range of things I find enjoyable in life." Read more

Jacob Schmalz (BA, 2016)


Department of Art History
1201 East 7th Street, Office 132
Bloomington, IN 47405
Phone: 812-855-9556