About Us

The Department of Art, Art History & Visual Studies has three distinct parts: Visual Arts, Art History and Visual & Media Studies. But all of our faculty and students – undergraduate and graduate alike – are engaged in international research, interdisciplinary learning, and the study of visual culture across geographic and historical categories, through the perspectives of theory and practice, methodology and criticism, and digital technologies.

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Statement in Support of Black Lives

The faculty, students, and staff of the Department of Art, Art History, & Visual Studies state unequivocally that Black Lives Matter. We stand in solidarity with the Movement for Black Lives and connected international campaigns in condemning antiblack racism, police brutality, and the violence and loss inflicted on the Black community through the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Tony McDade, Dominique Rem’mie Fells, Riah Milton, Rayshard Brooks, and countless others. 

As a community we recognize the responsibility that our department has to cultivate equity within Duke as an institution and the larger Durham community as a whole. Continue Reading 

Undergraduate Program

The historical study of art, architecture, and visual culture provides the understanding and the language necessary for analyzing images, objects and buildings, and for recognizing and theorizing their social impact.

With our 8 majors and 6 minors, we offer undergraduate students an extensive program that develops their critical-thinking and visual skills, appeals to their passions, and helps prepare them for their eventual careers.

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Featured Courses

Joseph Kosuth, A Zoology of Thinking

Methodologies of Art History consider theoretical approaches that have shaped many diverse historical and contemporary perspectives on art, from Renaissance classicism to romanticism, symbolism, and… read more about Methodology of Art History »

Moving Chinese Art

Special Topics in Art History: Moving Chinese Art Stan Abe   A history of the movement of Chinese art from palaces, tombs, and temples to collectors and dealers to overseas museums and private… read more about Special Topics in Art History »

CINE 210

We often choose films based on genre (Comedy, Drama, Sci-Fi, Romance, Action, Horror, etc.) But why do we choose to watch the same genres over and over again? This course explores the way genres work… read more about Film Genres »

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Graduate Programs

We currently offer a Ph.D. program in Art History and Visual Culture, and Master's programs in Digital Art History and Computational Media.

We also participate in an interdisciplinary Ph.D. program in Computational Media, Arts & Cultures – co-sponsored by the Department of Art, Art History & Visual Studies, the Program in Literature, the Franklin Humanities Institute, and the Information Science + Studies certificate program – and many of our faculty are involved in the MFA in Experimental & Documentary Arts.

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Degrees & Affiliated Degrees
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Courses Available
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Faculty Members

Spotlighted Faculty & Student Projects