Art History

Art History: Introduction

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Faculty Affiliation

Arts and Science

Degree Programs

Art History

MA and PhD

  • Fields:
    • Ancient;
    • Medieval;
    • Early Modern;
    • Modern and Contemporary

Collaborative Specializations

The following collaborative specializations are available to students in participating degree prog​rams as listed below:

Overview

The Department of Art History’s graduate programs emphasize the research, writing, and teaching necessary to pursue a career in academia or museum work. The programs benefit from affiliations at the University with the Centre for Medieval Studies and the Centre for Renaissance and Reformation Studies, as well as resources in Toronto including the Royal Ontario Museum, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Aga Khan Museum, and the Gardiner Museum.

Contact and Address

Web: arthistory.utoronto.ca
Email: graduate.arthistory@utoronto.ca
Telephone: (416) 946-3960

Graduate Department of Art History
University of Toronto
Sidney Smith Hall
Room 6037A, 100 St. George Street
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3G3
Canada

Art History: Graduate Faculty

Full Members

Anderson, Christy - BA, MA, PhD
Bear, Jordan - BA, MA, MPH, PhD
Caskey, Jill - AB, MA, MPH, PhD
Cheetham, Mark - BPhil, MA, PhD
Cohen, Adam - PhD
Ewald, Bjoern - AM, PhD
Gu, Yi - BLitt, MMSt, PhD
Harney, Elizabeth - AB, MA, PhD (Director of Graduate Studies)
Jain, Kajri - PhD
Kaplan, Louis - AB, AM, DPhil
Kavaler, Ethan Matt - PhD
Knappett, Carl - MA, PhD (Chair and Graduate Chair)
Legge, Elizabeth MM - BA, BA, MA, PhD
Levy, Evonne - MFA, PhD
Mostafa, Heba - AM, PhD
Periti, Giancarla - PhD
Purtle, Jennifer - BA, MPH, MA, PhD
Ricco, John - BA, MA, PhD
Sohm, Philip - BA, MA, PhD
Syme, Alison - PhD

Members Emeriti

Richardson, Douglas - BA, MA, PhD
Shaw, Joseph - BA, MAT, PhD
Shaw, Maria - PhD

Associate Members

Sapirstein, Philip - PhD, PhD, PhD

Art History: Art History MA

Master of Arts​

Program Description

The MA program is a course-based and research-intensive degree designed to prepare art history students for doctoral research, curatorial work, art consultation, heritage programs, cultural journalism, and secondary school teaching.

The MA program can be taken on a full-time or part-time basis.

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Graduate Department of Art History's additional admission requirements stated below.

  • Strong overall grade average in art history and closely related subjects and at least a B+ average in recent senior art history courses. Outstanding applicants with other backgrounds may be considered.

Program Requirements

  • Coursework. Students must complete 3.0 graduate full-course equivalents (FCEs) as follows:

    • Coursework must be chosen from at least three of four fields: 1) Ancient, 2) Medieval, 3) Early Modern, 4) Modern and Contemporary. No more than 2.0 FCEs may be taken in any one of the four fields.

    • Coursework must also be taken in at least two geographic zones (Western, East Asian, South Asian, African, etc.). Courses without a specific regional focus may count toward the geographical distribution requirement if the student's final paper is on an appropriate topic.

    • The equivalent of 1.0 FCE may be taken in another graduate department (e.g., Medieval Studies, Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations), subject to approval of the Department of Art History and the other department concerned.

  • Reading knowledge of a language other than English (normally French, German, Italian, Arabic, or Chinese); tested in the first session.

  • Orientation to Art Historical Research Methods, a workshop led by the Department of Art History's librarian, normally taken in Year 1.

Program Length

3 sessions full-time (typical registration sequence: F/W/S);
6 sessions part-time

Time Limit

3 years full-time;
6 years part-time

Art History: Art History PhD

Doctor of Philosophy

Program Description

The PhD program is designed to prepare art history students for college and university teaching, museum curatorships, and other research positions.

Applicants may enter the PhD program via one of two routes: 1) following completion of an appropriate master's degree or 2) direct entry after completing a bachelor's degree.

 

PhD Program

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Graduate Department of Art History's additional admission requirements stated below.

  • Minimum A– average in their master's program.

  • Reading knowledge of two foreign languages relevant to the student's research.

  • Students unable to meet language requirements for particular courses may be refused admission to courses; enrolment in Fall courses is limited and subject to instructor's approval.

Program Requirements

  • Coursework. Students must complete 3.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs) of graduate courses as follows:

    • FAH 5000Y Comprehensive Examinations and Dissertation Topic Reading Course (1.0 FCE; Credit/No Credit) with the student's interim supervisor to prepare for the comprehensive examinations.

    • FAH 1001H Methods of Art History (0.5 FCE), a departmental methodology course, must be taken in Year 1. With departmental approval, credit may be given for a research methodology course taken previously.

    • Students are encouraged to take courses reflecting a variety of time periods and geographic zones.

  • Orientation to Art Historical Research Methods, a workshop for new students, is recommended.

  • At the end of each academic year, students' progress will be reviewed to ensure that they have made satisfactory progress through the program; this includes maintaining full-time status with a GPA of at least A– and completion of all language requirements.

  • Students must pass examinations in two foreign languages by the end of Year 2. Students who have completed a language exam during their MA may apply to have the exam counted towards fulfilling one of the two foreign language requirements. The appropriate languages will be set by the interim supervisor in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies, and additional languages may be required depending on the research needs of the student's dissertation topic.

  • Within Years 1 and 2, students complete coursework and language requirements and secure a prospective supervisor with whom they will discuss plans for the comprehensive examinations.

  • Additionally, within Years 1 and 2, students must take a three-part comprehensive examination: 1) the first part focusing on one of the four fields, 2) the second on the student's dissertation field, and 3) the third (oral) discussing the first two.

    • The exam consists of an in-house written section, a take-home essay, and an oral exam.

    • The student will meet with the Examination Committee (normally made up of at least three members of the department, one of whom will be the prospective dissertation supervisor), in order to define the areas of the examination, the length of study, and such readings and special topics as deemed appropriate.

    • If a student fails the comprehensive examinations, one further attempt is allowed, no more than three months later. A second failure results in the immediate removal of the student from the program.

    • Once the student passes the exam, their graduate record will be updated to reflect successful exam completion.

  • Immediately following successful completion of comprehensive examinations, students must formally establish their PhD Supervisory Committee. This will include the faculty member acting as the dissertation supervisor, and two other graduate faculty members. These arrangements must be approved by the department's Graduate Program Committee.

  • Working with the PhD Supervisory Committee, the student will develop a detailed proposal for their research, to be submitted 3 months after the successful completion of their comprehensive exam. The length and specific nature of the proposal will be determined by the Supervisory Committee and the PhD student. The drafted proposal must be approved, first by the Supervisory Committee, and then by the Director of Graduate Studies.

  • At some point during the dissertation stage, students will present their work to the faculty and students at a colloquium in an appropriate format and at a time to be determined by the supervisor in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies.

  • Normal timeline through the program: By the end of Year 1, students should have completed all course requirements for the degree. By the end of the following year of registration, students should satisfy any remaining requirements, select a thesis committee, pass the comprehensive examination, and submit a thesis proposal. Thereafter, the candidate selects a member of the thesis committee to be the thesis supervisor and begins work on their thesis.

Program Length

4 years

Time Limit

6 years

 

PhD Program (Direct-Entry)

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Graduate Department of Art History's additional admission requirements stated below.

  • Applicants with a bachelor's degree who have an exceptionally strong academic record; minimum grade average of A– in art history and humanities courses in the last two years.

  • Reading knowledge of two foreign languages relevant to the student's research.

  • Students unable to meet language requirements for particular courses may be refused admission to courses; enrolment in Fall courses is limited and subject to instructor's approval.

Program Requirements

  • Coursework. Students must complete at least 5.5 full-course equivalents (FCEs) in art history as follows:

    • FAH 5000Y Comprehensive Examinations and Dissertation Topic Reading Course (1.0 FCE; Credit/No Credit) must be taken in Year 2 with the student's interim supervisor to prepare for the comprehensive examinations.

    • FAH 1001H Methods of Art History (0.5 FCE), a departmental methodology course, must be taken in Years 1 and 2. With departmental approval, credit may be given for a research methodology course taken previously.

    • The remaining 4.0 FCEs must be chosen from at least three of the following fields: (1) Ancient, (2) Medieval, (3) Early Modern, 4) Modern and Contemporary. Any course that covers more than one of these time periods may only be used to fulfil one of the FCE distributions.

    • Coursework must be taken in at least two geographic zones (Western, East Asian, South Asian, African, etc.). Courses without a specific regional focus may count toward the geographical distribution requirement if the student's final paper is on an appropriate topic.

  • Students must maintain an A– average.

  • Orientation to Art Historical Research Methods, a workshop led by the Department of Art History's librarian, normally taken in Year 1.

  • Students must pass examinations in two foreign languages by the end of Year 2. Students focusing on Ancient, Medieval, and Renaissance and Baroque will normally be expected to pass the examination in German as one of their two languages. The appropriate languages will be set by the interim supervisor in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies, and additional languages may be required depending on the research needs of the student's dissertation topic. Language requirements must be completed prior to approval of the dissertation proposal.

  • At the beginning of Year 3, students' progress will be reviewed to ensure that they have made satisfactory progress through the program; this includes maintaining full-time status with a GPA of at least A– and completion of all language requirements.

  • Within the first three years, students must take a three-part comprehensive examination: 1) the first part focusing on one of the four fields, 2) the second on the dissertation field, and 3) the third (oral) discussing the first two.

    • The exam consists of an in-house written section, a take-home essay, and an oral exam.

    • Upon the completion of all coursework, PhD students must seek out and secure the participation of a prospective supervisor with whom they will discuss plans for the comprehensive examinations.

    • The student will meet with the Examination Committee (normally made up of at least three members of the department, one of whom will be the prospective dissertation supervisor) in order to define the areas of the examination, the length of study, and such readings and special topics as deemed appropriate.

    • If a student fails the comprehensive examinations, one further attempt is allowed, no more than three months later. A second failure results in the immediate removal of the student from the program.

    • Once the student passes the exam, their graduate record will be updated to reflect successful exam completion.

  • Immediately following successful completion of comprehensive examinations, students must formally establish their PhD Supervisory Committee. This will include the faculty member acting as the dissertation supervisor, and two other graduate faculty members. These arrangements must be approved by the department's Graduate Program Committee.

  • Working with the PhD Supervisory Committee, the student will develop a detailed proposal for their research, to be submitted 3 months after the successful completion of their comprehensive exam. The length and specific nature of the proposal will be determined by the Supervisory Committee and the PhD student. The drafted proposal must be approved, first by the Supervisory Committee, and then by the department's Director of Graduate Studies.

  • At some point during the dissertation stage, students will present their work to the faculty and students at a colloquium in an appropriate format and at a time to be determined by the supervisor in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies.

  • Normal timeline through the program: By the end of Year 2, students should have completed all course requirements for the degree. By the end of the following year of registration, students should satisfy any remaining requirements, select a thesis committee, pass the comprehensive examination, and submit a thesis proposal. Thereafter, the candidate selects a member of the thesis committee to be the thesis supervisor and begins work on their thesis.

Program Length

5 years (some students may take longer to complete the program)

Time Limit

7 years

Art History: Art History MA, PhD Courses

Not all courses are offered each year. Check the departmental website for course availability under the current timetable.

Methods

​FAH 1001H
Methods of ​Art History​

Ancient

​FAH 2018H
Art and the Aegean Bronze Age: Contemporary Perspectives​
​FAH 2021H
Myth and Fantasy in Roman Painting​
​FAH 2023H
Mind and Materiality: Views from Art History and Archaeology​
​FAH 2025H
​Visual Narrative and Time in Ancient Greek and Roman Art
​FAH 2026H
​Myth into Art: Myth and Visual Narrative in Antiquity
​FAH 2027H
​Women and Gender in Ancient Greece
​​FAH 2028H
Art and the Philosophy of Time​​​
FAH 2029H The Art of Perception
​FAH 2034H
​Topics in Roman Imperial Art
FAH 2037H Empathy, Embodiment, and Emotion in Ancient Art
FAH 2038H Greek and Roman Sculpture in the Royal Ontario Museum
FAH 2060H Artisans and Artists in the Ancient Mediterranean

Medieval

​FAH 1114H
​Multicultural Arts of Medieval Sicily
​FAH 1118H
​The Medieval Treasury
​​FAH 1119H
​Global Medieval Art in China
​FAH 1121H
12th-Century Renaissance?​
​​​FAH 1125H
​Medieval Pilgrimage Art and Architecture
​FAH 1127H
Early Medieval Art​​​
FAH 1175H Early Islamic Architecture: 7th-10th c.
FAH 1176H History of Islamic Cairo (7th-16th c.)
FAH 1177H Building the Islamic Empire: Architecture of the Umayyads

Early Modern​​​​

​FAH 1202H
​​Correggio and the Problem of Italian Renaissance Art
​FAH 1204H
The Cassinese Art of Reform in Renaissance Italy​
​FAH 1205H
​Early Modern Intermediality
FAH 1206H Artistic Localities in the Early Modern World
FAH 1207H Formalism and Its Objects
​FAH 1221H
Inside the Painter's Studio​
​FAH 1229H
​Architecture of the Global Renaissance
​FAH 1231H
Northern European Sculpture​ 1400–1600
​FAH 1245H
Pieter Bruegel and Netherlandish Sixteenth-Century Painting​
​FAH 1249H
Margaret of Austria and the Renaissance in the Netherlands​
​FAH 1299H
Heinrich Wö​lfflin's Principles of Art History (1915) @ 100: A Worldwide Reception History​

Modern and Contemporary

​FAH 1410H
Artwriting, Past and Present​
FAH 1411H Art and Analogy
FAH 1457H Vernacular Photography
​​FAH 1458H
​Viewing History: The Visual Experience of the Past, 1750–1900​
​FAH 1462H
​Photography and Scientific Representation in the 19th Century
FAH 1463H Realisms
FAH 1464H The Recalcitrant Icon
​FAH 1471H
​The Aesthetics of Democracy​
FAH 1475H Picasso in View of Nanette
FAH 1476H Surrealism and Art
​FAH 1482H
​The Time of ​Art History
​FAH 1486H
​Bloomsbury and Vorticism
FAH 1488H The Nature of Landscape
FAH 1489H Re: Vision (Comparative Histories of the Senses)
FAH 1495H Art, Empire, Colonization
​​​FAH 1500H
​Augmented Reality Art
FAH 1755H Architecture and the Project of Industrial Modernity
FAH 1756H Acoustic Space
FAH 1757H Animal Images
​FAH 1800H
​James Wilson Morrice
​FAH 1801H
Portraiture in Canada: 1750–1870​
​FAH 1920H
Primitivism to Gl​obalism: Theories of Otherness in Modern and Contemporary Arts​
​FAH 1921H
GeoAesthetics​
FAH 1922H Contemporary Art and Ethnography: Renewed Exchanges
FAH 1934H Cosmopolitan/Comparative Modernisms
​​FAH 1935H
​Contemporary Art Practices and the Modernist Archive
FAH 1936H The Retro-Modern and the Time of the Contemporary
​FAH 1940H
​Photography and Humour
​FAH 1951H
​Contemporary Chinese Art and its Discontents
FAH 1960H Indigenous Art, Land, and Material Relations in the Great Lakes

​Reading Courses

​FAH 3000H
​Special ​Studies in History of Art (only 1.0 FCE with this prefix is permitted in any one degree program)
​FAH 3011H
Readings in Ancient Art​​
​FAH 3012H
Readings in Medieval Art​
​FAH 3013H
​Readings in Renaissance and Baroque Art
​FAH 3014H
​Readings in Modern and Contemporary Art
​FAH 5000Y
​Comprehensive Examinations and Dissertation Topic Reading Course

Undergraduate/Graduate Courses

Periodically, the department may offer fourth-year undergraduate courses that have been recognized for graduate credit. Please visit the departmental website and discuss with the Graduate Coordinator.

Relevant Courses in Other Departments

​EAS 1229H
Topics in Chinese Aesthetics​
​EAS 1339H
Topics in Chinese Art Theories​
​MSL 2240H
The Photographic Record​
​NMC 2500H
​Early Islamic Art and Architecture