Pratt sculpture garden

Mission Statement

The mission of graduate studies in the History of Art and Design Department is to provide students with the skills and knowledge to pursue careers as art and design historians and professionals in museums, galleries, and libraries, or to pursue graduate work at the doctorate level. Through comprehensive study of global art and design within historical and cultural contexts and intensive research and scholarship in specialized areas, students develop a critical understanding of the field as well as research and analytical skills. Graduates demonstrate excellence in independent and critical thinking and understanding of the historic roles and responsibilities of art and design. Internships at museums, libraries, non-profit art organizations, and galleries provide opportunities for students to work in professional areas of their interests and prepare for future careers.

The Program's Structure

The History of Art and Design Department develops courses, organizes excursions, and establishes internships to take advantage of our extensive working relationship with the city's museums, galleries, and cultural organizations.

Dual M.A./M.S.L.I.S. or M.A./M.F.A.

Dual master's degrees with Fine Arts or Library Science are available resulting in a M.A./M.F.A. or M.S.L.I.S./M.A. degree. For these programs 30 (instead of 36) credits of art and design history are required.

Museum Studies Certificate

The 15-credit Advanced Certificate in Museum Studies provides learning opportunities for students who wish to acquire the essential knowledge and skills needed to engage with the museum world as professionals. The curriculum features experiential learning and field research through the two-semester museum practicum/internship giving students hands-on experience in current museum practice while working in NYC’s leading cultural institutions. Taught by an expert faculty, coursework brings focus to exhibitions, curation and conservation. Students obtain positions as a result of their internships and the knowledge and skill sets they acquire in the program.

Materials Focus

Art's historical concern with materials and techniques exists naturally in connection with the programs in the practice of art. This is an emphasis in all our courses, but takes specific form in our required Chemistry of Materials, Techniques, and Conservation course taught in collaboration with the Brooklyn Museum, which has one of the oldest and best-equipped conservation laboratories in the country. In addition, issues related to conservation problems in Venetian art history are explored with the help of local experts on site in our Venice program.

Pratt in Venice Summer Program

Pratt in Venice is a six-week summer program hosted in collaboration with Universita Internazionale dell'Arte and Scuola Internazionale di Grafica, taking place in the city of Venice each summer through June and July. The program Itinerary includes group visits to Padua and Bassano/Maser. The curriculum fosters crucial interaction between art history and studio art practices through group events, faculty and student discussions, visiting lecturers, and sharing company over the six-week period of the program. Participants experience the unique visual riches of Venice and have the opportunity to conduct research in the city's extraordinary historic museums and libraries. Graduate and undergraduate students enroll in the program for 6–8 credits, choosing from: 

​HA5901 Art History of Venice (3 credits)
HA600I Materials and Techniques of Venetian Art (3 credits)
ART 5901 Painting   (2–3 credits)
ART 5911 Printmaking and Drawing   (2–3 credits)

Learning Outcomes

  • Graduates command of a body of knowledge that describes the forms and creation of valued and acknowledged works of art.
  • Graduates have a historical understanding of subjects tied to changes in social, political, and economic contexts through time.
  • Graduates demonstrate an understanding of the discipline’s tools and methods and are able to apply these to a specialized body of information.
  • Graduates are able to read and translate texts in French, or German, or another research language.
  • Graduates achieve the ability to research and write an in-depth thesis on a topic of their choice.

Degree Requirements

Applicants must demonstrate skills of observation and description, analysis and criticism, the potential to successfully complete the course work, and to design and present a graduate thesis of merit. Undergraduate study in art and/or design history is encouraged, and at least an introduction in those fields should be included in the completed undergraduate curriculum. The online application must contain a personal statement describing the selection of Pratt and motivation for the degree, a writing sample demonstrating analytic and communication skills, and recently earned scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE code 2669). Applicants whose first language is not English must submit results of the TOEFL exam. Competence in a research language other than English must be demonstrated prior to submission of the thesis. For more specific information, please see: Graduate Departmental Requirements.

Course Requirements – M.A. History of Art and Design

Core Required Courses – 9 credits

HA-602  Art Historical Methodology
HA-650  Material Techniques and Conservation
HA 605  Thesis (Research language requirement must be completed before registering for thesis)

Other Courses must fulfill distribution requirements in:

  •     Film, Design, or Photography
  •     Non-Western design art and history
  •     Architecture
  •     Ancient or Medieval World
  •     Renaissance or Baroque
  •     19th, 20th, or 21st centuries

Please note that a single course may fulfill more than one of these distribution requirements.


Curriculum

Requirements for MA History of Art & Design

  • Semester 1

    Complete these courses plus 3 Elective credits.

    HAD-602 Art Historical Theory and Methodology

    COMPLETE 3 CREDITS FILM/DESIGN ELECTIVE FROM THIS LIST:

    HD-501 Survey of Design History 1750 to the Present
    OR
    HD-511 History of Illustration
    OR
    HD-551 Issues in Design History
    OR
    HD-606 Concepts of Design II
    OR
    HD-640 Aspects of Japanese Design
    OR
    HD-651 Problems in Design History
    OR
    HD-664 History of Interior Design I
    OR
    HD-665 History of Interior Design II
    OR
    HA-514 Film Criticism
    OR
    HA-551 Issues in Art History
    OR
    HA-552 Women in Photography
     
    COMPLETE 3 CREDITS ARCHITECTURE ELECTIVE FROM THIS LIST:

    ARCH-551B Frank Lloyd Wright
    OR
    HA-551 Issues in Art History
    OR
    HA-651 Problems in Art History
     
  • Semester 2

    Complete these courses plus 3 Elective credits.


    COMPLETE 3 CREDITS NON-WESTERN ELECTIVE FROM THIS LIST:

    HAD-502 Asian Art
    OR
    HAD-510 Chinese Landscape Painting Or HAD-512 = African Art
    OR
    HAD-522 Pre-Columbian Art
    OR
    HAD-551 Issues in Art History
    OR
    HAD-651 Problems in Art History
    OR
    HAD-640 Aspects of Japanese Design
    OR
    HAD-651 Problems in Design History
     
    COMPLETE 3 CREDITS RENAISSANCE/BAROQUE/ROCOCO FROM THIS LIST:

    HAD-501 Renaissance Art
    OR
    HAD-507 Art by Women 15th Century to the Present
    OR
    HAD-515 Southern Baroque Art
    OR
    HAD-519 Drawings & Prints Seminar Pisanello to Present
    OR
    HAD-551 Issues in Art History
    OR
    HAD-590I Art History of Venice (Venice)
    OR
    HAD-616 Northern Renaissance Art
    OR
    HAD-623 Dutch Art Seminar
    OR
    HAD-630 Michelangelo Seminar
    OR
    HAD-632 Venetian Renaissance Seminar
    OR
    HAD-651 Problems in Art History
    OR
    HAD-551 Issues in Design History
    OR
    HAD-651 Problems in Design History
     
  • Semester 3

    Complete these courses plus 3 Elective credits.

    COMPLETE 3 CREDITS PRE-RENAISSANCE ELECTIVE FROM THIS LIST:

    HAD-504 Aegean and Greek Art
    OR
    HA-529 Roman Art
    OR
    HAD-531 Medieval Art I
    OR
    HAD-532 Medieval Art II
    OR
    HAD-551 Issues in Art History
    OR
    HAD-631 The Making and Decoration of Medieval Manuscripts
    OR
    HAD-651 Problems in Art History
    OR
    HAD-551 Issues in Design History
    OR
    HAD-651 Problems in Design History
     
    COMPLETE 3 CREDITS 20TH CENTURY ELECTIVE FROM THIS LIST:

    HAD-509 Impressionism and Post-Impressionism
    OR
    HAD-511 African Art
    OR
    HAD-551 Issues in Art History
    OR
    HAD-552 Women in Photography
    OR
    HAD-633 19th Century German Art and Culture
    OR
    HAD-634 The Beginnings of Abstract Art
    OR
    HAD-635 Creating Exhibitions
    OR
    HAD-651 Problems in Art History
    OR
    HAD-551 Issues in Design History
    OR
    HAD-651 Problems in Design History
     
  • Semester 4

    Complete these courses.

    HAD-605 Thesis