Visual Arts

Art History: Major, Minor
Museum Studies: Minor
Architectural Studies: Self-Designed Major, Self-Designed Minor
Studio Art: Major, Minor

The study of the visual arts provides a powerful lens through which you can better see, evaluate and understand the world that surrounds you. 

Encompassing multimedia studio explorations, art historical research, and specialized opportunities in architectural and museum studies, the Department of Visual Arts empowers the broader examination of the liberal arts at the College. You will hone your sensitivity to visual culture and the built environment, refine your skills of visual expression and critical analysis, and engage the surrounding community as points for visual inspiration, reflection, and advocacy.

In the classroom, you will study the rich heritage of global artistic and cultural traditions through specialized lecture and seminar courses. In the studio, you will engage traditional and new methods of art-making, becoming absorbed in the process of creating original work. Outside the College, you will immerse yourself in the architecture, galleries, and museums of Worcester and nearby Boston. The New England region’s rich cultural resources form an integral part of the visual arts curriculum, and will provide you with abundant learning, community engagement, and internship opportunities.

The department — comprised of the divisions of art history and studio art — is composed of a group of highly respected scholars and artists who regularly lecture, publish, exhibit, and curate nationally and internationally. The faculty place great emphasis on student mentoring in the classroom and in the field, facilitating student research projects and exhibitions, and leading excursions to area sites, galleries and museums.

Program Highlights

Art history areas of study include:

  • Introductory
  • Pre-1800
  • Cross-cultural
  • Modern and contemporary
  • Architectural studies
  • Museum studies

Studio art areas of study include:

  • Drawing
  • Painting
  • Photography
  • Printmaking
  • Sculpture
  • Digital media and new media
students in cantor art gallery
Studio Concentration Seminar

Senior studio art majors participate in a yearlong course centered on the development of an individual body of work.

Sun rising over a city
Study Abroad

Study abroad in programs that support both art history and studio art.

group in the worcester art museum looking at art on a wall
Visiting Artists and Excursions

There are frequent visiting artists and lecturers and regular field trips to museums and galleries throughout the region.

Visual Arts News

Maggie Hartnett '23 and Professor David Karmon
Student-Generated Urban Studies Minor Debuts at Holy Cross
Maggie Hartnett '23 & faculty advisors team up to create new Urban Studies minor, which will explore themes around how we build our cities, what we do in them and how they shape us
Grace Morrissey '22
Americana Decorative Art Internship – Holy Cross Student Summer Series
Grace Morrisey '22 shares her intern experience at Sotheby's in New York
(Left to right) Paige Reynolds, Susan Schmidt, and Kendy Hess
Three Holy Cross Professors Honored for Scholarship and Advising
The professors of English, philosophy and visual arts received awards at the Provost's address this spring