Art History

Art History is the study of the visual arts, design, and architecture over time. Students in art history classes explore the visual cultures of our global world. Art History classes draw upon a variety of critical theories and methodological approaches to offer students a comprehensive understanding of the contexts of art production, art reception, collecting, exhibition, and publication. Art History faculty are internationally recognized in their research specializations which they bring to their classrooms through both scholarship and hands-on experiences.

The Art History Division's relatively intimate size, together with BGSU's commitment to teaching, ensures a strong connection between students and faculty, and offers an opportunity for students to profit from close faculty attention. The research specializations of the faculty include the history and theory of: classical and late antique art and archaeology; renaissance art and visual culture; modern and contemporary art, architecture, design, and photography; and the arts and cultures of Africa and the Caribbean. Given the global breadth of our faculty expertise, the Art History Division offers a revolving curriculum of advanced courses representing every continent with chronological and thematic breadth. Students are encouraged to take advantage of BGSU's unique opportunities for interdisciplinary study both within the School of Art and the other colleges of the university (please see catalog for a complete list of courses available).

A Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History from BGSU prepares individuals for a variety of careers in the arts and humanities, including continued study in art historical graduate programs. Students have the opportunity for gaining hands-on experience both on and off-campus. Our undergraduate majors have had internships at places such as: the Museum of Modern Art; the Salvador Dalí Museum; the Art Institute of Chicago; the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland; and the Marino Marini Museum in Florence, Italy. Our students have gone on to prominent national careers in the arts, including teaching positions, curatorial, and administrative posts at the Smithsonian Institution's Museum of Natural History, the Museum of Art at the University of California, Santa Barbara, the Toledo Museum of Art, the Cincinnati Art Museum, the University of Findlay, and Idaho State University. Because the art history program at BGSU is housed in the School of Art and is part of its curriculum, the art history major receives constant exposure to the various art processes, and has ample opportunity to see and participate in a variety of art processes. Students can also take advantage of the close proximity to some of the country’s finest art collections, including the Toledo Museum of Art and the numerous museums and galleries in Detroit, Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, and Chicago. Here the art history major may study first-hand many excellent examples of art from all periods and cultures, view the museums changing exhibitions, and attend special lectures and symposia.

In addition, our students have full access to library collections (including the BGSU's famous Popular Culture Library) and image resources such as ARTstor, OhioLINK, and vast repositories of literature online via Jerome Library's website.

Art History students also have had the opportunity to study abroad in Florence, Italy, and in Ghana, West, Africa, and in Bali, Indonesia. Please see the School of Art's study abroad for more information.

At Bowling Green State University, the student interested in art history as a career choice can obtain a solid general grounding in the discipline, which will serve as a background for graduate work towards an advanced degree. The art history faculty at Bowling Green offer the students expertise gained at some of the country's and world's best graduate schools (including the University of Oxford, the University of London, the University of Chicago, Indiana University, and Princeton University), as well as through years of professional experience in the discipline.

Students who begin their study of art history at Bowling Green often go on to advanced study at a reputable graduate school, as professional careers in art history usually require training beyond the bachelor's degree. This is especially true for students who plan a career in college or university teaching where a doctoral degree is required. Other possible careers to which a study of art history could lead include: curatorial and library positions in museums; art restoration and conservation; art auction houses; art and law; art and business; cultural resource management; positions in commercial galleries; and even, for those with sufficient capital to enter the field, art dealing; and arts administration. To these ends, art history majors (and minors) can pair their studies through minors (and majors) in many areas, including Art Studio, Chemistry, History, English, Education, Sociology, American Culture Studies, Popular Culture, Area studies (Africana, Asian, Canadian, etc. &), Music, Business, Marketing, or the newly formed minor in Arts Management.

For students who may be interested in exploring graduate school, and a career, in art conservation and restoration, please see our new Art Conservation Studies Concentration and explore the "Description" and "Study Abroad" pages above and at left as well for more information about the hands-on art conservation courses at SACI.

Students who have begun their studies in art history at Bowling Green have gone to advanced work in the discipline at some of the country's finest graduate schools, where a number have earned the doctoral degree. A number of BGSU's art history graduates have, after earning their Ph.D.s, obtained teaching positions at institutions of higher education, some reaching high level administrative positions including department chair and college dean. Others have attained curatorial positions at prestigious museums, and at least one has written and produced television specials for PBS.


The Art History Association is a student-driven organization dedicated to fostering professional development in the arts, with an eye toward careers in art history after graduation. Students meet to discuss current issues in the discipline of art history and to organize excursions to museums, galleries, lectures and site-specific destinations. The Art History Association also organizes the Annual Undergraduate Art History Symposium at BGSU each spring within the School of Art. Interested students should contact the AHA for information on meetings, excursions, and events.

2018 Upcoming Events:

Africana Studies 2018 Annual Conference

Global Sanctity and the Colonial Imaginary with Cristina Cruz González


Monday, February 13th, 5pm (Doors open at 4:45pm)

Donnell Theater, Wolfe Center for the Arts

Dr. Cristina Cruz González is an associate professor of art history at Oklahoma State University. She received her PhD in art history from the University of Chicago and is a past Getty Research Fellow. A specialist in the visual culture of Latin America, González has written on Franciscan image theory in New Spain, the art of Mexican confraternities, and the female imitation of Christ in Spanish America. Her work is especially informed by the borders and frontiers of the Spanish Empire and with the popular devotions that emerged in these areas. She is currently organizing the exhibition, Saints and Santos: Picturing the Holy in New Spain, which will open at the New Mexico Museum of Art in Santa Fe in 2024.


Dr. Allie Terry-Fritsch, an expert on Italian art and architecture, and Charles Kanwischer, Director of the School of Art, will introduce you to our new partner school in Florence, ISI-Florence, housed within the Renaissance palace, Palazzo Rucellai, in the historic center of the city. We are now recruiting students for the Summer Sessions in Florence!  

Summer session I will run from May 17-June 30 (six weeks)

Summer session II will run from July 1-July 29 (four weeks)

For either Summer session, students will choose two courses from the ISI course offerings, which include art history, studio, humanities, and social sciences. Students will be housed in apartments in the historic city center with other students from the ISI program. All students will be given a pre-departure orientation, as well as an onsite orientation to the school and the city once you arrive. Field trips, parties, and extracurricular activities are included in tuition fees.  

Dr. Terry-Fritsch and Director Kanwischer will introduce you to the exciting possibilities of study abroad in Florence and answer your questions regarding logistics of application, funding, and travel.

If you are interested in studying in Florence but cannot attend the informational session, please contact Dr. Terry-Fritsch at


Andrew Hershberger

  • Position: Professor, Art History
  • Phone: 419-372-2895
  • Email:
  • Address: 113 FAC
Ruthy Light

Ruthy Light

  • Position: Senior Lecturer, Art History
  • Phone: 419-372-3896
  • Email:
  • Address: 111 FAC
Katerina Ruedi Ray

Katerina Ruedi Ray

  • Position: Professor Emeritus, Art History
  • Phone: 419-372-8511
  • Email:
  • Address: 126 FAC
rebecca skinner green

Rebecca Skinner Green

  • Position: Associate Professor, Art History
  • Phone: 419-372-8514
  • Email:
  • Address: 1010 FAC
allie terry-fritsch

Allie Terry-Fritsch

  • Position: Division Chair, Professor, Art History
  • Phone: 419-372-8533
  • Email:
  • Address: 1012 FAC

Resources for art history students at BGSU include the university’s extensive collection of art history and art theory texts housed within Jerome Library, resources on material culture housed in the Popular Culture Library, as well as the art library located in the nearby Toledo Museum of Art. Through OhioLINK, students have access to library collections across all of Ohio's universities and colleges. Students also have access to the online digital image database ARTstor, as well as databases of digitized art history texts and publications on JStor, and BGSU's subscriptions to art history journals.

In addition to the courses offered to art history students at BGSU, study abroad programs and internships provide the opportunity to have hands-on experience in art museums, galleries, and archaeological sites. Many BGSU art history students spend a semester in Florence, Italy. 

Art History Association in Front of Frank Gehry
Image description: Students pose in Millennium Park in Chicago

Art Historian's Association

The Art Historians' Association is a student-driven organization dedicated to fostering professional development in the arts, with an eye toward careers in art history after graduation. Students meet to discuss current issues in the discipline of art history and to organize excursions to museums, galleries, lectures and site-specific destinations. The Art History Association also organizes the Annual Undergraduate Art History Symposium at BGSU each spring within the School of Art.

Interested students should contact the AHA for information on meetings, excursions and events. 

For more information about the Art Historian's Association, click here.

Selected Guest Speakers, 2006-present


Dr. Galina Tirnanic, Assistant Professor of Art History, Oakland University/ Guest speaker for ARTH6020/WS6800: The Performative Viewer

Osamu James Nakagawa, Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar and Ruth N. Halls Distinguished Professor of Photography, Indiana University, for ARTH 4650-5650



Dr. Timothy McCall, Associate Professor of Art History, Villanova University/Metropolitan Museum of Art/ Seminar speaker and workshop facilitator of hands-on panel experiment for ARTH4350/5350: Critical Issues in Early Modern Art

Cynthia Crow, Fulbright Scholar Program Officer (and BGSU Grad Alum), for ARTalks and What's Next Panel

Bohyun Yoon, Assistant Professor of Glass, Virginia Commonwealth Univ., for ARTH 6060



Mary Natvig, Professor of Musicology, BGSU/Class lecture for ARTH3330: Medieval Art

Dr. Timothy Messer-Kruse, Professor of Ethnic Studies, BGSU, for ARTH 3610



Dr. Megan Holmes (ArtTalks Speaker), Professor of Art History, University of Michigan

Claudia Weber, Artist (Berlin-NYC)/ Public lecture and onsite installation workshop for “Immersive Installation Art: Renaissance and Present”

LaShawnda Crowe Storm, Artist (Indianapolis-based)/ Public Lecture and Installation of Artwork, “Her Name was Laura Nelson,” in the Fine Art Gallery, School of Art

Dr. Francisco Cabanillas, Professor of Spanish, BGSU, for ARTH 3670



Creative Minds Scholar-in-Residence, James Elkins, Professor of Art History and Criticism, School of the Art Institute, Chicago

Dr. Jill Pederson, Assistant Professor in Art History, Arcadia University/ Guest speaker for ARTH3350 (Italian Renaissance Art)

Dr. Diana Bullen Presciutti, Assistant Professor in Art History, Wooster College/ Guest speaker for ARTH3350 (Italian Renaissance Art)

Dr. Roberta Lapucci, Art Restorer, SACI-Florence/ Guest speaker for ARTH6020: Art, Ritual, Performance in Renaissance Florence

Celia Bertoia, on her father, artist Harry Bertoia (1915-1978), for ARTH 3690 and 4690/5690

Tom Loeffler, Curator of Photography, Toledo Museum of Art, for ARTH 4650/5650



Dr. Richard Shusterman, Philosopher, Florida Atlantic University/Guest Speaker for ARTH6020: Somaesthetics (Body, Art, Experience)

Dr. Richard Putney, Univ. of Toledo, for ARTH 3630 & ARTH 3670

Julia Hayes, Toledo Museum of Art (BGSU Grad Alum), for ARTH 3630

Mr. Tom Chidester, Chief Court Constable, Wood County Courthouse, for ARTH 3630



Skewed Visions, Site-Specific Performance Artists, Minneapolis, MN/ In-Class workshop for ARTH4950/5820: Collaboration in the Arts

Dr. Timothy D. McCall (ArtTalks Speaker), Art Historian, Villanova University

Dr. Nell Andrew, Art Historian, University of Georgia, Athens/ Keynote Speaker, 5th Annual Art History Association Undergraduate Symposium

Honorable Reeve W. Kelsey, Judge, Wood County Courthouse, for ARTH 3630

Jim Sarks, Architect, The Collaborative, for ARTH 4690/5690



Dr. Chriscinda Henry (ArtTalks Speaker), Art Historian, Yale University

Dr. Ravin, Opthamologist, Toledo/ Guest Speaker for ARTH 6020: Vision and Visuality

Karin Jacobsen, Art Educator, Art Institute of Chicago/ Plenary Speaker at the 4th Annual History Symposium at BGSU

Seder Burns (BGSU Grad Alum), Photography Instructor, University of Toledo, for ARTH 4430/5430



Dr. Galina Tirnanic (ArtTalks Speaker), Art Historian, Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, CA

Bob Elliott, U.S. Army Infantryman in WWII and Liberator of Ohrdruf Concentration Camp, for ARTH 3650



Beholding Violence: A Conference on Medieval and Early Modern Culture

Provost Lecture Series/ArtTalks, Dr. W.J.T. Mitchell, Professor of Art History and English, University of Chicago; Editor, Critical Inquiry



Fred Marsh, Photography Professor, Otterbein College, for ARTH 3650

Jutta-Annette Page, Curator of Glass, Toledo Museum of Art, for ARTH 4950

Dr. Montana Miller, Popular Culture Professor, BGSU, for ARTH 4570



Dr. Cecily Hilsdale (ArtTalks Speaker), Art Historian, Assistant Professor, Northwestern University

Dr. Stephen Van Hook, Professor of Physics & Astronomy, BGSU, for ARTH 4950

News and Stories

Cover of Somaesthetic Experience and the Viewer in Medicean Florence: Renaissance Art and Political Persuasion

Rose Brookhart – Vice President

Congratulations to Rose Brookhart, a sophomore Art History major, who was elected Vice President of the BGSU Student Government! According to her professors, Rose is “a highly engaged, articulate, mature student who will be an excellent advocate for the arts and humanities during her time on BGSU USG”. We are so proud to have a representative from the arts in USG and look forward to the impact Rose makes in this position!

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Raven Begell-Long and Katherine Bozzo – National Museum and Art Gallery Internship

Art History students Raven Begell-Long and Katherine Bozzo will be traveling to Trinidad this summer for a 6-week long internship at the National Museum and Art Gallery (NMAG). NMAG is an international museum which houses heritage works and oversees all the art collections in Trinidad, involving work within the museum’s vast collections. Raven has also been awarded a Hoskins grant to fund her internship with the museum.

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Dr. Andrew Hershberger at Yale University for the 2022 Summer Teachers Institute in Technical Art History (STITAH)

Over the summer, from July 10 to 16, Dr. Andrew Hershberger, BGSU’s Professor of Contemporary Art History, was fortunate to be among a group of twelve selected professors, arriving from all over the USA, to convene at Yale University for the 2022 Summer Teachers Institute in Technical Art History (STITAH)

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Updated: 02/10/2023 01:21PM