The Department of the History of Art and Architecture familiarizes DePaul students with works of art that define civilizations around the world from their emergence to the present day. The study of art is integral to the development of human knowledge and thus consistent with the academic goals of DePaul University as well as a liberal arts education. We extend the Vincentian mission in our particular focus on comparative culture and art in its urban setting. In an increasingly interconnected world, art history encourages a critical engagement with the visual and its role in individual and social formation.
The study of art and architectural history prepares students for a wide variety of careers and post-graduate pursuits. Thus, all of our classes foster critical thinking by developing visual literacy, close reading, persuasive writing, research skills and oral communication. Taking advantage of the rich cultural resources of Chicago through classroom lectures, discussions and site visits to exhibits, museums, and architectural monuments, students come to understand how art is produced and how it operates in its social and historical moment. In more advanced classes, students become well-versed in the nature of the field and its current and traditional theoretical issues. In these classes, too, consideration is given to the professional world, including museums, galleries, cultural institutions, and the global art market.
All of these goals are consistent with our professional aspirations, not only as faculty, but as scholars who distinguish ourselves by the breadth of our geographical and chronological interests and through our record of publishing and professional achievements. Although our approaches vary widely, we are united in our shared interest in the creative, social, and political forces that both determine and emanate from all works of art.