Pratt Sculpture Garden

B.F.A. in History of Art and Design


our vision

We envision an education that enriches and nurtures the imaginations of our students and provides them with the critical thinking tools of the history of art and design for life-long learning and success.

our mission

We strive to broaden our students’ intellectual and personal horizons through the study of art, design, and culture within a global perspective. We encourage respectful awareness of our pluralistic community and strive to enlighten our students’ understanding of their own cultural environments as well as their places within them. We work to facilitate the acquisition of the tools of critical inquiry needed to explore gender, class, politics, religious practices, conditions and materials of production, aesthetic expression, and the economics of the market within their larger geographic, historical, theoretical, and social contexts.

our values

We value critical thinking, creative exploration and open-minded exchange in a safe, diverse, and socially engaged environment. We offer an inclusive curriculum taught by a faculty with diverse perspectives and backgrounds. We advocate cultural awareness and humility in our investigations, especially when studying cultures and art and design practices and objects outside our own. We also recognize that the writing of history is never neutral and that the choices we make when writing about ourselves and others matter.

B.F.A. majors complete the regular Foundation Program, including the art history survey classes, and can begin to take upper-level electives in their sophomore year. In the required History of Art and Design courses, the goal is to give students a clear idea of the sequence of styles and major artists, and to develop their ability to discuss style and to understand cultural and social contexts.

Learning Outcomes

  • Undergraduates are competent in a broad range of knowledge in the history of cultures and their art.
  • Undergraduates understand that the meaning of works of art is tied to changes in social, political, and economic contexts through time.
  • Undergraduates will be able to demonstrate the necessary writing skills to analytically observe and describe works of art and the research skills to place art in its social context.
  • Undergraduates in the B.F.A. degree with studio training and experience learn traditional and innovative techniques in the manipulation of materials that generate artistic expression.

See History of Art and Design, BFA Curriculum Overview and Yearly Plan of Study