The MA in Art History encourages students to access the wealth of cultural resources in the National Capital Region.  Carleton University’s practicum program places students on-site in collecting institutions to prepare them for future careers in the cultural sector.

Our program focuses on visual culture and critical approaches, engaging the dynamic nature of the discipline at the beginning of the twenty-first century.  Once dominated by biographical, connoisseurship, formalist, and iconographical studies, art history is now increasingly inclusive, interdisciplinary, and a self-reflective discourse.

Current critiques of traditional art history have come partly from the introduction of methodological practices developed in a wide variety of fields (anthropology, semiotics, post-structuralism, and feminism), and partly from an examination of the historiographic traditions of the field itself.  The discipline has moved away from positivist practice towards a greater theoretical awareness of the interplay of visuality and language in the construction of social relations and historical narratives.  As such, art history now locates itself within the broader intellectual landscape offered by other fields in the humanities.  The result is not a unified field of art history, but a diverse set of discourses, which can be mapped onto the complex relationship of visual culture and methodological strategies.

Banner image: Manon Gaudet is on a MuSe Internship at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. “This is one of the most prized student internships in the art museum world,” says Associate Professor Carol Payne.