Department of Art History and Art

Department of Art History and Art About The Department

About the Art History and Art Department

The CMA/CWRU Art History Program has been in existence since 1967. The Museum's curators serve as adjunct faculty, and graduate research projects under their direction often result in exhibitions and publications. The Museum Studies course and internships provide experience in curatorial practices, connoisseurship, conservation, design, and museum education, and the program has a history of producing leaders in the museum field. Graduate students are exposed to both traditional and newer theoretically based art historical approaches in classes taught by faculty renowned for their expertise in a diversity of fields.

Resources and Facilities

Many classes are held at the Cleveland Museum of Art where students have access to the permanent collections and to a rotating schedule of exhibitions. Graduate students also have access to the full array of resources and services offered by the museum's Ingalls Library, The Ingalls Library is the third largest art research library in the United States, with more than 456,000 volumes, including major art periodicals, auction catalogues and electronic resources. In addition, the library's image collection includes more than 6.4 million images, many of which are housed in special collections. Graduate students have assigned shelves for their research materials and are assigned to individual reference librarians who are able to assist them with their research.

The University's Kelvin Smith Library, with approximately 1.7 million volumes, also offers an additional 48 million items available through membership in Ohiolink. Case faculty, staff, and students can identify, locate, and request these items from any of the other Ohiolink member institutions which includes 88 Ohio colleges and universities.

The department sponsors the annual Cleveland Symposium, organized by its graduate students for the presentation of papers. The annual meeting of the Midwest Art History Society offers another yearly venue for graduate students to present their research. The Cleveland Museum of Art's active schedule of symposia, held in conjunction with its major exhibitions, provides students with the opportunity to hear distinguished national and international scholars, as do university sponsored programs of the Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities. Various conferences sponsored by CWRU, notably the American Studies program's collaboration with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, also engage topics of interest in visual and cultural studies. The department sponsors an annual lecture in honor of Professor Emeritus Harvey Buchanan. Speakers have included Marilyn Stokstad, Arthur Danto, Charles Rosenberg, Michael Conforti, Joan Marter, and Theodore Reff.


Case Western Reserve University provides students with the unique opportunity of taking courses in one of America's major art museums. Its outstanding collections enable students to study at first-hand important examples of both Western and Non-Western art. The curriculum is designed to give students a broad grounding in painting, sculpture, architecture and the decorative arts, with a strong emphasis on understanding the cultural context in which they were produced. Students also develop a technical and critical vocabulary as well as sound writing skills to express ideas and feelings about a work of art.

Complete information for the undergraduate art history major is available online, in the Handbook for Undergraduate Majors


Case Western Reserve University, in conjunction with The Cleveland Museum of Art, offers graduate degree programs in art history (M.A. and Ph.D.) and art history and museum studies (M.A. and Ph.D.). The CMA/CWRU Art History Program provides a unique opportunity for qualified graduate students to participate in academic and hands-on course work within one of America's major comprehensive art museums, located in University Circle, a cultural park comprising fifteen art institutions. Committed to training museum professionals as well as scholars and teachers, these programs draw on the collective strengths of a major research university and a world-renown museum which is at the forefront in development of new technologies and approaches that will define museum practice in the next century.


The M.A. program in art history is designed to provide broad knowledge of the major art historical periods, as well as the historiography and critical methodologies of art history. Opportunities to investigate art historical problems are provided in lecture and seminar settings. The doctorate is awarded in recognition of advanced mastery of a specific area within the discipline. Mastery of one approved foreign language is required for the M.A. (a total of 30 hours of course credit) and two for the Ph.D. (18 hours of course credit and 18 hours of dissertation research).

The M.A. and Ph.D. in art history and museum studies includes, in addition to the above, the study of art museum procedures and connoisseurship, and a supervised museum internship (2-6 additional credit hours). Dissertation topics for this specialty may be related to museum practice if they satisfy scholarly standards within the field.

Fellowships and Assistantships

The Graduate Program offers financial assistance based primarily on academic excellence and scholarly promise. M.A. and Ph.D. candidates are eligible, and all awards are renewable. Diversity fellowships are available on a university-wide competitive basis. Awards take the form of tuition waivers and/or stipend and require the recipient to serve as a teaching or research assistant. One Cleveland Museum of Art Fellowship is given on a competitive basis each year; it provides tuition remission and stipend (see full description and application process under "Funding.") Women students may apply for the university's Eva L. Pancoast Awards, which provide up to $3,000 for research and study abroad.

Information and Application Procedures

Application forms and further information on degree programs and requirements, as well as financial assistance, should be requested from the Chair, Department of Art History and Art, Case Western Reserve University, 10900 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44106-7110. Telephone: (216)368-4118. Information may also be requested from the Case website. Applications for the fall semester are due January 1st. GRE scores, undergraduate and post-graduate transcripts, three letters of recommendations, and two writing samples are required for admission consideration. The Graduate School Application is online here:

Complete information for the graduate degrees in art history and museum studies is available online, in the Graduate Handbook.

Click Here to Go to the Online Application System for the CWRU Graduate School Program.