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Art History

Study art in historical context

Art History involves the study of artworks as both aesthetic and historical objects. Studying art history at MVC exposes students to a breadth of cultures, time periods, and artistic media. An understanding of art history is ideally suited for the practicing artist, the budding art historian or curator, and the everyday art viewer.

Programs of Study

  • A
    Associate Degree
  • T
    Transfer Degree
  • C
    Credit Certificate
  • N
  • Limited Enrollment
    Limited Enrollment
  • Online Options Available
    Online Options

Art History for Transfer

Associate in Arts for Transfer

  • A
  • T
  • Online Options Available

Art history students learn how to identify, describe, analyze, and discuss the stylistic characteristics of a wide variety of countries, regions, and periods of European and non-European artworks. Students will critique, compare, and contrast various key artists, artworks and styles across a wide span of time using appropriate art terminology. Students will also build skills in critical thinking, analysis, and communication.

This program assists with seamless transfer to a California State University.

Program Code



18 Units

Why study art history?

Art history allows students to examine how past generations saw themselves, their place in the world, and what was societally important across hundreds of years. At MVC, students are prepared for future study in the arts and humanities and for a wide range of careers in museums, non-profits, education, and beyond.

What You'll Learn

  • How to formulate and synthesize observations and evaluations regarding the historical, social, and political context in which various forms of art were created in both written and oral form.
  • How to apply various methodologies for interpreting a range of art forms to evaluate and analyze the ideas and philosophies expressed and explored within the art works.
  • How to recognize distinctive iconography from a mixture of different geographical areas and relate these manifestations to local, social, cosmological, and political institutions.

Career Options

  • Museum or gallery curator
  • Exhibition designer
  • Cultural Preservation or Conservation
  • Art and estate appraisal and sales
  • Antiques dealer
  • Art authenticator
  • Costume, fashion and set design