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The faculty and students of the Department of Art History and Archaeology form a dynamic core within a major research university. The faculty offer a diverse selection of courses in the art and archaeology of Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas. Within this global range one finds a stimulating variety of individual faculty interests, extending to field archaeology, feminist interpretation, connoisseurship, iconological scholarship, codicology, semiotics, reception theory, and cultural contextual analysis. The faculty members are scholars and teachers, readily available to students and genuinely concerned to provide guidance from the student's first year to the last draft of the doctoral dissertation.
The Art Library, located on the second floor of the Art/Sociology Building, contains a collection of approximately 100,000 volumes.
The Michelle Smith Collaboratory for Visual Culture, part of the Art History Department, is designed to foster innovation in teaching and research by combining cutting-edge visual technology with an environment that encourages collaboration among faculty, students, and external scholars. The Collaboratory combines space for work and for meetings with advanced technology and helpful staff to provide a venue in which teachers and students can gather to work, share ideas, and find the resources necessary to explore new technologies and pursue intellectual interests.
The University Art Gallery contains a permanent holding of twentieth-century American paintings and prints, as well as a collection of traditional African sculpture.
For hands-on study of archaeological artifacts the Department houses the Lloyd and Jeanne Raport Collection, the Slator Clay Blackiston, Jr. Collection, and the Richard R. Redinger Collection. These study collections contain objects from ancient Egypt, Palestine, Greece, Rome, Pre-Columbian America, and Africa.
The Department encourages graduate students to participate actively in our program of lectures, symposia, and events, including especially the Rearick Forum, the Pressly Forum, and the Middle Atlantic Symposium.
In addition to the resources offered by the university are the artistic and research institutions in the Washington D.C. (The campus is eight miles from the Capitol Building.) The National Gallery of Art is one of the world's great museums and also the site of the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, with its research facilities and its changing group of visiting art historians; the National Gallery of Art Library comprises about 250,000 volumes and a vast assortment of auxiliary material, while its photo archive includes one-and-a-half million photographs plus a far greater number of microfiche images. An authoritative survey of modern art, frequently punctuated by exciting exhibits of contemporary work, is found at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. The permanent collection of the Corcoran Gallery is also augmented by news-making temporary shows. The National Portrait Gallery and the National Museum of American Art are unique repositories of the painting and sculpture of the United States; the latter museum administers the Archives of American Art. The Phillips Collection displays masterpieces of nineteenth- and twentieth-century painting. Two adjacent museums, the National Museum of African Art and the Freer and Sackler Galleries, devoted to the arts of Asia, display large holdings. The new National Museum of the American Indian highlights Native American cultures. The work of women artists is celebrated at The National Museum of Women in the Arts. Dumbarton Oaks, in Georgetown, has substantial collections in Byzantine and Pre-Columbian art, and superb research centers for the advanced study of those fields and of the history of landscape architecture; included at Dumbarton Oaks is the Princeton Index of Christian Art, an invaluable tool for the study of Christian iconography. The Museum of Natural History contains the art of many tribal cultures. The Textile Museum presents examples of cloth art from around the world, with particular emphasis on Asia, the Middle East, Egypt and Latin America. The Renwick Gallery mounts distinguished showings of design, crafts and folk art. Architectural history is the theme of the exhibition programs of the National Building Museum, which is in the dramatic Old Pension Building, and the galleries of the American Institute of Architects, which are in the Octagon House, an architectural gem dating from the Federal period.
Beyond organizations primarily devoted to the visual arts, the Washington area is home for a miscellaneous wealth of study resources useful to art historians according to their individual needs. Foremost among these is the Library of Congress, perhaps the world's largest library. Of diverse interest are the Folger Shakespeare Library, the National Archives (large portions of which are now located adjacent to the College Park campus) or the Smithsonian Institution's Museum of American History, with its assortment of artifacts related to the history of technology and popular culture.
In Baltimore, about thirty minutes from College Park, important collections are located at the Baltimore Museum of Art, with objects ranging from antiquity to major examples of contemporary art and work in non-Western traditions, and The Walters Art Museum, offering a similarly broad historical scope and housing an outstanding collection of medieval manuscripts. Lesser-known Baltimore art institutions include the Peale Museum, established by Rembrandt Peale and recognized as America's oldest museum, and the art collections of the Peabody Institute and the Maryland Historical Society.
Maryland is in the forefront of exploring new technological resources for art historical teaching and research. The Department's Michelle Smith Collaboratory for Visual Culture provides leading-edge visual technology for faculty and students, as well as technical support and an environment that encourages intellectual exploration. D.I.G. (Digital Innovation Group) Fellows play a critical role in creating this environment and providing this support. They are Graduate Assistants working in the Collaboratory who, each semester, propose and develop projects, in consultation with the Director of the Collaboratory, that enhance the teaching and research carried out in the Department.
The Department offers two graduate degrees: the Master of Arts and the Doctor of Philosophy. The M.A. program is designed to provide a sound knowledge of art history, essential bibliography, and basic methods of research. The Ph.D. program trains scholars to pursue advanced research in more specific areas of study. In addition to the departmental conditions, all pertinent requirements of the University of Maryland Graduate School must be met; please consult the Graduate School Catalogue for those stipulations. Interested students may call Deborah Down at: 301-405-1487, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org .
The Department's graduates have long held a strong record of success in job placement. Many of our alumni pursue successful careers in academia, in the museum and gallery professions, as well as in the private sector.
Graduates of our program are presently employed in tenure-track positions at a range of institutions, including state universities and private liberal arts colleges. Since 2005, graduates have accepted tenure-track positions at institutions that include Augustana College, Clarke College, Hood College, Lindenwood University, National Cheng Kung University, Texas Tech, Western Kentucky University, University of North Dakota, Virginia Military Academy, and Azusa Pacific University.
Others among our recent graduates are employed in the museum profession, as curators at the Portland Museum of Art, Oberlin College, Rollins College, and, closer to home, at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the National Gallery of Art, and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington. Many are museum educators in departments of education across the United States, including the National Gallery of Art and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Before moving on to other positions, our graduates are often active as post-docs, visiting faculty, consultants, and independent curators. Several have attained senior administrative positions; more recently, at the
University of Pennsylvania and the Walters Art Museum.
Application for Admission
Applications for admission and for financial support are accepted for the fall semester only. A Graduate School application form must be received no later than midnight December 15, 2016. Supporting documentation includes a statement of experiences and research interests, three letters of recommendation, transcripts from all colleges and universities attended, a recent research paper, cv/resume, and Graduate Record Examination. TOEFL scores are required for all non-native English speakers and should be included with supporting documentation.
Applications will be carefully reviewed by the Departmental Graduate Admissions Committee. All aspects of the application will be considered, including background, academic strength, recommendations, and the professional plans of the applicant. Admission to the program is very competitive. Many factors influence the decision, including the availability of the professor to work with a prospective student.
Applicants judged insufficiently prepared in specific areas may be required to audit additional courses. Students intending to concentrate in African art, Asian art, Native American art, or other highly specialized fields and possessing a strong academic background in those subjects but little training in the history of Western art may be admitted to the graduate program with the provision that they, in consultation with their advisor, audit without credit a number of undergraduate courses in art history sufficient to prepare themselves for colloquia and seminars in other fields.
For additional information, please see Apply to the Graduate Program.
The Graduate School offers Recruitment Fellowships for students entering the University.
Four Department of Art History and Archaeology Museum Fellowships, which have stipends equal to Graduate School assistantships and fellowships, are awarded each semester and are renewable for a second semester. The Department has also initiated the Frank Di Federico Fellowship, in memory of Professor Di Federico, to provide support for research and work on the doctoral dissertation.
In addition, the Department awards approximately seventeen graduate assistantships each academic year and five or more additional assistantships in the summer. Assistantships are usually awarded for one year at a time and are not automatically renewed, although the normal tenure for assistantships is two years at the M.A. level and four years at the Ph.D. level. A graduate assistant must meet the Graduate School requirements for full registration (48 units per semester, as explained in the Graduate School Catalogue).
An applicant to the graduate program wishing financial assistance should so indicate on the admissions form. All fellowships and assistantships granted in the Department provide a stipend and remission of tuition; assistantships also carry health insurance.
In honor of its former chair, the Department has established the George Levitine Art History Endowment, a heavily funded source of support for research activities of both faculty and graduate students, providing finances for travel, photographs and other materials as well as for visiting scholars and symposia. The Graduate School and the Department also make available to Ph.D. candidates assistance for travel expenses required by the presentation of papers at scholarly conferences.
The student may wish to apply for financial assistance from outside sources. Our graduate students have competed successfully for grants from the Kress Foundation, the Fulbright Program, the American School of Classical Studies, the Smithsonian Institution, the National Gallery of Art and other funding organizations. The Department's Coordinator of Fellowships can assist in locating and applying for outside grants.
A temporary adviser will be assigned to a new student until the student has chosen a field of concentration and has obtained the agreement of a professor to supervise his/her work. At that time that professor will become the student's adviser. The student should be in touch with his/her adviser regularly and may not register for courses without the permission of the adviser and/or the Director of Graduate Studies.
Foreign Language Examinations
The foreign language examinations at both the M.A. and Ph.D. levels are administered by the Department and are designed to test the student’s ability to use a language as an effective scholarly tool. Students needing additional preparation are urged to register for an intensive language course. All students are expected to take the foreign language examinations in French and German. Substitution of required foreign languages are at the discretion of the student’s advisor and the Director of Graduate Studies.
All entering students must take their first foreign language examination in the first semester, scheduled for the second or third week of September. If the examination is not taken during the first semester, it will be considered an unsuccessful attempt. If any student fails the examination, another opportunity to take it will be given at the end of the second semester, normally at the end of April or the first week of May. If the examination is failed a second time, the student will not be allowed to register for credit after that semester. Resumption of the program may be accomplished by passing the examination at a later time.
Ph.D. students must take their second foreign language at the beginning of the third semester, scheduled for the second and third week of September. M.A. students intending to continue in the Ph.D. program must take their second foreign language at the beginning of the fifth semester, scheduled for the second and third week of September.
Foreign language examinations consist of a passage approximately 500 words in length. Students will be asked to translate the passage, with the use of a dictionary, within two hours. Two or more members of the graduate faculty read and assess the examinations. They are graded pass or fail. Past examinations may be consulted in the administrative secretary’s office.
The academic achievement of all M.A. and Ph.D. students is evaluated by the Graduate Faculty at the end of each semester. Exceptional students will be commended and recommended for fellowships or assistantships if that is appropriate. Programmatic or academic deficiencies noted by the faculty will be reported to a student by the advisor or Director of Graduate Studies. A student whose performance is deemed unsatisfactory may be asked to withdraw from the program.
Liaisons with other Institutions
For the enrichment of its curriculum, the Department of Art History and Archaeology regularly asks scholars from local research institutions and museums to conduct courses. Arthur Wheelock, who is both a professor in the Department and curator at the National Gallery of Art, regularly holds classes in the museum setting, and other departmental faculty members often take advantage of these kinds of opportunities, as well.
Every spring, the Department, with the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art, hosts the Middle Atlantic Symposium in the History of Art, giving selected graduate students representing leading universities in the Middle Atlantic region the opportunity to present their research papers at the National Gallery; the sessions, which are now in their forty-seventh year, include a distinguished lecture presented in honor of George Levitine.
To facilitate study of Chinese art, an agreement has been signed with the Taipei Fine Arts Museum to provide opportunities for faculty, independent researchers, and students to pursue their research and training at the University of Maryland and the Taipei Museum. Scholars from Taiwan, China who have served as visiting scholars are Professor Hsiu-Hsiung Wang, formerly Dean of the Graduate Institute of Fine Arts, National Taiwan Normal University; and Professor Te-Hsing Yuan, Curator, The National Palace Museum in Taiwan.
The Department is a member of the Washington Area Art History Consortium, uniting the graduate art history programs in the greater Washington area and allowing students to take courses at member institutions. Advanced students may also participate in seminars given by the prestigious Folger Institute at the Folger Shakespeare Library.