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


Andrew Hershberger

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

Andrea Middleton

  • Position: Assistant Teaching Professor
  • Phone: 419-372-8952
  • Email:
  • Address: FAC 1016

Emeriti Faculty

Black and White Photo of Ruthy Light from the chest up

Ruthy Light

  • Position: Senior Lecturer, Art History
  • Phone: 419-372-3896
  • Email:
  • Address: 111 FAC
Photo of Katerina Ruedi Ray from the shoulders up

Katerina Ruedi Ray

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

Art History Alumna Raven Begell-Long on her Internship Experience at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington D.C.

Raven Begell-Long (B.A., Art History, BGSU 2023) recently returned to campus to share her recent experience as an intern at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. Building on her practical focus on cataloging and collection information systems for museums while an undergraduate Art History student at BGSU (including an internship at the National Museum in our gallery of Trinidad and Tobago), her internship position at the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) aligns with her specific academic focus on indigenous issues, indigenous museology, and decolonizing museums.

Collection information systems are the strategies by which a museum organizes all the information it has about its diverse collection of works of art.  “Think of it like a database” Begell-Long says, “there are these are systems that organize information about the works. It'll organize what the work is, the name of it, and the information you have about it. Other systems might also include provenance information or information about the artist and their other works, etc. They'll often have to do lists of the tasks a registrar needs to complete to achieve a specific task, whether it's acquiring a work or sending it out for exhibition. So essentially, the collection information systems’ people regulate how information is organized.”

raven begell nmai workingDuring her internship at NAMI, Begell-Long performed a lot of data standardization for records, such as doing intake and making sure that intake forms are standardized. She also participated in data standardization and data mapping for NMAI's culture thesaurus, which is a vocabulary that lists preferred terms for indigenous people. It helps to remove many of the non-preferred terms or sometimes slurs that have been known to be used against indigenous people.  One of her favorite projects has been her work on cultural care notices, which are little, business card sized, pieces of paper that are fitted into mylar sleeves, then attached to specific works in the collection to designate those as having specific protocols.  During her internship, the team was able add about 800 of these culture care notices onto objects. For example, a cultural care notice might indicate whether the indigenous community wants you to contact them if you want to post an image of that object, or if only men or male identified individuals can handle certain objects, or any number of designations. She believes it is really important to make sure that collection care is continually and clearly determined by community- informed protocols.

“Well, I think being able to have such a good, grounded community here at BG has been really helpful. I don't think I would be anywhere near the same place in art history if I hadn't come here.” 

raven begell nmai museum exterior

raven begell nmai outside

Many of the Art History courses that she took at BGSU built her ability to think critically and to discuss issues in our collective history.  Important to her academic focus was discussing the role of museums, and many of her courses examined thehistory of colonialism, for example in her contemporary classes, which often focused on issues that have arisen in reaction to colonialism, and early modern courses, such as Baroque Art History, when exploration is happening in which Europeans “discover” the so-called “New World”.  According to Raven, each distinct area of art history has a wonderful BGSU professor who has helped her towards her focus.  She thinks it's a focus that a lot of museums are also shifting towards: rethinking how we reconceptualize the museum.  The discussions she’s had at BGSU have led her to this focus. She reflected, “I think what was most significant is to be able to see the threads that lay between things in history and to understand the ways that we can draw conclusions about the art making process and why heritage is important more generally and how institutions hold power like are places that power is and therefore how those institutions have a responsibility to properly and carefully manage and steward their collection.” 

“The mission of museums, especially museums like NMAI, are something I believe in. I think they're really important. And that mission being oftentimes connecting people with their heritage.”

As for Raven’s future, she has several exciting upcoming plans. Her research was accepted to the International Conference on the Inclusive Museum, which was presented in Vancouver this September.  The conference is focused on bringing forth this dialogue between museum professionals to make museums more inclusive. Her presentation, Amerindians are First Peoples, considers ethical cataloging, practice and terminology in museums and outlines on the decision she helped to facilitate to change the outdated term for Amerindian to first peoples for the National Museum and Art Gallery of Trinidad and Tobago.  After the conference, she heads back to NMAI for a second internship continuing her work in collection information systems.  After, she plans on continuing in the collection information systems field.  She is applying to programs to acquire her Master of Library and Information Sciences degree as well as applying to entry level positions in the field.  Her ultimate career goal would be a permanent position at NMAI.  We wish her the best of luck in her upcoming internship and all her future goals!


Art History Association (AHA)

The Art History Association (AHA) is BGSU’s student organization dedicated to fostering an appreciation of art and culture through hands-on engagement with the fields of Art History, Museum Studies, Conservation, and Arts Management. Students meet regularly to discuss current issues in the discipline of Art History, organize excursions to museums and galleries, attend lectures, and meet with scholars and museum professionals. The Art History Association also actively participates in professional development through student- and faculty-led events, such as the curation of an annual exhibition at the annual ArtsX event within the School of Art in December, an out-of-town trip to the annual conference of the College Art Association, as well as hosts numerous student social events throughout the year.

Interested students should attend an AHA meeting and/or contact the AHA President, Rose Brookhart, for information on how to join or attend an event:

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

Meet our 2023-24 Art History Association Officers!


President:  Rose Brookhart

Rose is a senior Art History major with a minor in Nonprofit Administration. Her favorite AHA event was our collaboration with BGSU Grad Arts to create and install the exhibition Them, Myself, and Us for ArtsX 2022.


Vice President: Kennedi Jones

Kennedi is a third year Art History major with a minor in film studies. Her favorite AHA memory is the Halloween party! Kennedi particularly loves studying Modern art, especially Impressionism and Post Impressionism.


Treasurer: Rachel Wentling

Rachel is a second year Art History major. Their favorite AHA memory is traveling to Ann Arbor during spring break 2022. AHA visited the University of Michigan Museum of Art and attended a lecture by Cheech Marin.


Secretary: Evan McGuire

Evan is a third year Art History major with a minor in Chemistry. His favorite AHA event is our TMA visit at the end of each semester, “visiting the TMA together is always a chance to talk to others and see what pieces catch their eyes and interests them. It makes me feel like I can learn a lot based on how people react to the art on these trips.”


Senior Officer: Lillian Oberschlake

Lillian is in their final semester as an Art History major with minors in Digital Art and Classics. Their favorite AHA memory is our day trip to the Cleveland Museum of Art. In January 2022, AHA attended a lecture on Indian Art and explored the museums vast collection

Fall 2023 AHA Events:

Tuesday, September 12th at 4:00pm:

First AHA Meeting in Art History Seminar room (1024, School of Art)

All interested students are welcome!

Friday, October 6th at 3:15:

AHA @ Toledo Museum of Art!

Those interested in carpooling can meet AHA officers at the SoA at 3:15; if traveling on your own, meet at Libbey Court in the Museum at 4:00pm.

Thursday, October 12th at 5-6pm:

Public Lecture Sponsored by the Division of Art History at BGSU

Dr. Rebekah Compton (Assoc. Professor, Art History, University of Charleston)

Enchanting Fashion: The Colors and Designs of Botticelli's Garments

This talk provides a close look at Sandro Botticelli's techniques for rendering enchanting fashions in his paintings. By folding and pleating fabric with light and shadow, simulating colorful dyes with rich pigments, and weaving complicated patterns into his garments, Botticelli captured the alluring beauty of the textile industry in fifteenth-century Florence. This talk examines examples of garments and textiles that appear in Botticelli's works, specifically his figure of Venus in the Primavera, the maiden warrior in his Pallas and Centaur, as well as the Virgin Mary in his Adoration of the Magi. While looking closely at garments in these paintings, we will also examine pigments and painting techniques through the interspersed demonstrations.

Evening of Wednesday October 25th:

AHA Halloween Party

Time and Location TBD. 

A poster that includes information for the upcoming guest speaker, Rebekah Compton. The lecture will be October 12th, 2023 from 5 - 6pm at the Donnell Theater in the Wolfe Center for the Arts, BGSU

Selected Guest Speakers, 2006-present


Dr. Cristina Cruz González is an associate professor of art history at Oklahoma State University.


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

Embracing Global Engagement Conference Award Winner

Art History major, Rose Brookhart, was awarded a prize for Best Undergraduate Student Presentation at BGSU’s Embracing Global Engagement Conference. Her presentation on “Storytelling in the Oltrarno” described her experience immersing herself in the art and culture of Florence through ISI-Florence courses and her internship with the Augustinians of Santo Spirito.

Rose Brookhart, first American to intern with the friars of Santo Spirito in Florence

Rose Brookhart (BA, Art History; expected graduation 2024) was the first American to intern with the friars of Santo Spirito in Florence and was trained to give English-language tours at the Renaissance church designed by Filippo Brunelleschi this summer. Her work was highlighted in an article published by the friars on their website

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Allie Terry-Fritsch and Erin Felicia Labbie, eds. Beholding Violence in Medieval and Early Modern Culture (Routledge, 2016; Ashgate, 2012)

Interested in the ways in which medieval and early modern communities have acted as participants, observers, and interpreters of events and how they ascribed meaning to them, the essays in this interdisciplinary collection explore the concept of beholding and the experiences of individual and collective beholders of violence during the period.

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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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Raven Begell-Long is set to give a paper at the smithsonian in september

Raven Begell-Long, graduating in August, has been accepted to give a paper, which will be based on her work in Trinidad and at the Smithsonian, at the International conference on the Inclusive Museum, to be held in Seattle WA in September.

Allie Terry-Fritsch, Somaesthetic Experience and the Viewer in Medicean Florence: Renaissance Art and Political Persuasion,1459-1589 (Amsterdam University Press, 2020)

Viewers in the Middle Ages and Renaissance were encouraged to forge connections between their physical and affective states when they experienced works of art.

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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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BGSU Art History alumni Olivia Jones

Olivia (“Liv”) Jones (BA, Art History; 2020) has been accepted into the Master of Arts Program in Art History at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago

BGSU Art History alumni Jenna Henderson

Jenna Henderson (BA, Art History; 2020) has been accepted into the Master of Arts Program in Museum Studies at Western Illinois University.

Coming soon by BGSU Faculty member Allie Terry-Fritsch

Allie Terry-Fritsch, Fra Angelico's Public: Renaissance Art, Medici Politics, and the Library of San Marco

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BGSU Art History BA alum Micaela Deogracias has new grad degrees and a tenure-track job at Indiana University Library

Congratulations to Micaela Deogracias who successfully completed both her Master of Library Science and her MA in Art History, and was offered a job as an Outreach and Engagement Librarian for the Education Library at Indiana University. We are proud and send best wishes to our BGSU alumni as she starts tenure-track faculty position.

Updated: 02/14/2024 11:02AM