History of Art and Architecture

History of Art and Architecture

The Department of the History of Art and Architecture (HIAA) at Brown University is committed to the ongoing study of art, architecture, and material culture.

Courses and research in the Department of History of Art and Architecture are grounded in the humanities, and intersect with study in visual art, global cultures, science and technology studies and the built environment. Our nationally renowned faculty scholars span diverse areas of study, and help to train students to become conversant in visual, historical and critical analysis across visual cultures, historical periods and geographic regions. Our alumni have gone on to successful careers as scholars, educators, arts administrators, intellectual property lawyers and museum curators among other rewarding professions in art and culture. 

Academic Pathways

The Architecture concentration places greater emphasis on technical training, and allows students to develop a broad understanding of the concepts and methods for the planning and design of buildings, landscapes and cities.
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The History of Art and Architecture concentration trains students in the techniques of close-looking, visual description and interpretation, and critical analysis that are necessary to locate the work of art in history.
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Brown's Ph.D. program in the History of Art and Architecture offers professional training in the history of art and architecture and, more broadly, in the history of visual and material culture and the built environment.

The deadline for application for the 2024-2025 academic year is January 2, 2024.
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Recent News

Congratulations to Professor Holly Shaffer, Robert Gale Noyes Assistant Professor of Humanities, whose book "Grafted Arts: Art Making and Taking in the Struggle for Western India, 1760–1910" (Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art / Yale University Press, 2022), won a Historians of British Art Award for Exemplary Scholarship on the Period between 1800–1960.
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Nude painting flourished among Arab artists in the 20th century during a period of cultural renaissance. Now these rarely seen works are on view at the Wallach Art Gallery.

Sara Aridi interviews Adrienne Minassian Professor of Islamic Art & Architecture, Margaret Graves, and discusses her research alongside other art historians focused on the Arab world.
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Mailing Address

Brown University
Box 1855
64 College Street
Providence, RI 02912