Art History

Understanding art

Enrich your understanding of the art of world civilizations through an interdisciplinary and intercultural approach. Analyze images, objects and the cultures that made them to gain an understanding of how material cultural productions are imbued with a multiplicity of meanings. You’ll develop visual literacy and analysis skills as well as acquire the ability to evaluate and synthesize information, conduct scholarly research and articulate your ideas in both written and oral forms.
Why study Art History at Millsaps?

In their own words

Elizabeth Fowler, Class of 2025

“Every art history class I’ve taken has been interesting and exciting. Dr. Williams presents information in a way that’s engaging and informative, and that develops visual and critical thinking skills. Having a knowledge of art history is a way to engage more deeply with the world around you.”

Riley Reech

"Studying Art History has helped me appreciate details and depth, not just within art, but also in everyday life. Looking at the context of both well and lesser known pieces of art these past four years has helped me to learn a new passion that I would have never been able to discover without the Millsaps Art History Department. Now, I am graduating with a minor and a huge sense of appreciation every time I go into a museum."

Featured Courses

Here is a sampling of a few courses that might pique your interest.

ARTH 1200 Baroque Art
Study European art of the 17th century, with special attention paid to Italian, Flemish and Dutch painting and sculpture.
ARTH 2500 Museum Studies
Examine the structure, operations, social and political functions of museums. Students will also consider are the practical, ethical and legal issues related to the acquisition, handling, conservation and exhibition of museum objects.

Degree Options

Discover your degrees, minors, concentrations and certification options available for this field of study.

Open Doors to the Museum World

Our Museum Studies concentration is designed as a foundation for a career in the museum world. We combine the study of art history with the broad scope of museum practice.

Curators, Archivists and Professors

Art history graduates can pursue a variety of positions. Most careers often require workers with strong organizational, planning and creative skills.

9% Projected Job Growth

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 9% growth for archivists, curators and museum workers between 2018 and 2028.

Our distinctive strengths

Our museum studies concentration within the art history major is designed as a foundation for a career in the museum world, either immediately after graduation or after further graduate education in art history or museum studies.
  • Through coursework and internships, you’ll become knowledgeable in art history, museum practice and visual thinking.
  • Our art history degree with a concentration in museum studies is the only undergraduate museum studies major in the state.
  • An art history major can be combined with a concentration in museum studies or minor in museum studies. The combination offers possibilities for employment at a museum.

Gain hands-on experience

You can gain experience at the Mississippi Museum of Art Teaching Fellow Program, Meridian Museum of Art, the Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Experience (The MAX), the Mississippi Children’s Museum and the Mississippi Department of Archives and History (MDAH).


Our curriculum emphasizes problem solving and critical thinking skills essential to any career (and therefore any Pathway), as well as scientific writing and experimentation skills that may be especially critical to students interested in any of our six Pathways tracks.

Study Abroad

Students can participate in a variety of study-abroad classes to enhance their learning experience.

More About the Degree

Recent Career Placements

  • Smithsonian
  • MOMA
  • Sotheby’s
  • Mississippi Museum of Art
  • The Historic New Orleans Collection
  • Indianapolis Museum of Art
  • Arts Center of Mississippi/Municipal Art Gallery
  • Heritage Auctions, Dallas
  • Hirshhorn Museum
  • Denver Art Museum

Postgraduate Study

  • Syracuse University
  • University of Alabama
  • University of Texas
  • University of South Carolina
  • University of Tennessee
  • Auburn University
  • Emory University
  • Richmond University
  • CUNY
  • University of Michigan
  • University of Oregon
  • Vanderbilt University
  • Pratt University
  • University of Kansas
  • Baylor University
  • University of Georgia
  • Mississippi College School of Law
  • Leiden University (The Netherlands)
  • University of Essex
  • University of Amsterdam

Careers of Recent Graduates

  • Arts Administration
  • Interior Design
  • Historic Preservation
  • Art Conservation and Archives
  • Art Therapy
  • Architecture
  • Auction House Specialist
  • Art Appraiser
  • Museum and Gallery operations
  • Education
  • Nonprofit Management

Related Areas of Study

  • Studio Art
  • Nonprofit Management
  • Business Administration
  • Education Studies
  • Self-Designed Major

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Q&A with Victoria Gorham

Q&A with Victoria Gorham

Millsaps was a transformative institution for me. I always knew I wanted to teach at a liberal arts college like it when I finished graduate school.

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