Why Study Art History at USC?
The Department of Art History at USC offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs that are designed to prepare students for teaching, research, and curatorial careers. It draws its strength from a dynamic and productive faculty in the fields of North American, Continental European, British, Mediterranean, Latin American, and Asian Art. Studying objects in their complex physical, cultural and intellectual contexts, our program is committed to a historically situated, materially engaged, and theoretically nuanced approach to art history and visual culture.
Art history combines the study of art with the study of culture. The undergraduate major provides general knowledge of the history of art and, through upper-division courses, specialized knowledge in a variety of areas.
USC’s department of Art History offers its doctoral degree in a wide range of fields of Western and Asian art history, from ancient to contemporary. It is designed to prepare students for university teaching, research, and curatorial careers.
USC is a diverse community of scholars in the heart of Los Angeles — a dynamic center for technology, health services, media and the arts.
News and Events
Congratulations to Professor Sonya Lee! This year’s Raubenheimer awardee!
Sonya Lee has been named one of this year’s Raubenheimer awardees, given by Dornsife for excellence in scholarship, teaching, and service.
Please join us in offering Sonya Lee a warm congratulations on receiving the Independent Publisher Book Award!
Sonya Lee’s masterful book, Temples in the Cliffside: Buddhist Art in Sichuan, is the winner of the highly competitive Independent Publisher Book Award in the nonfiction/religion category (no.71).
The Department of Art History welcomes Assistant Professor, Luke Fidler
Professor Luke Fidler will join the department of Art History starting Fall 2023. A specialist of twelfth-century North German and Southern Scandinavian sculpture, Fidler is interested in questions of the sculptural, landscape, political and social order, and especially questions around embodied coercion. In addition to his scholarship on Medieval art, he is a curator of contemporary art, an active art critic, and an activist for prison education.
Hector Reyes on how math and art are closely linked in USC Dornsife video feature “The Mathematics of Art”
In this USC Dornsife video feature, mathematics and art may seem diametrically opposed, but there is creativity and beauty in both. USC Dornsife’s Felicia Tabing is a mathematician who approaches her field of study through a creative lens. USC Dornsife’s Enrique Martinez Celaya is a professor, artist and former physicist who uses his mathematical background to inspire his work. Together with Dornsife art historian Hector Reyes, the three examine how math and art are more closely linked than it appears.
Congratulations to Professor Vanessa Schwartz on project awarded FNRS for 2023-2026 “Globetrotting: Touring Round the World (1869-1914)”
Professor Vanessa Schwartz is a co-PI on an international, interdisciplinary, multi-year project directed by Jean-François Staszak, (Geography, University of Geneva) – and the project, “Globetrotting: Touring Round the World (1869-1914),” was selected for funding of close to one million Swiss Francs by Fonds National de la Recherche Scientifique (Suisse) (FNRS) for 2023-2026.
Institute for Advanced Catholic Studies (IACS) staff and faculty, including art history Professors, Lisa Pon and Hector Reyes, visited the studio of muralist Fabian Debora to learn about his art and the transformative work happening at Homeboy Industires Art Academy in communities, colleges and correctional facilities across SoCal.
Congratulations to Weronika Malek-Lubawski. She has received the Albert and Elaine Borchard Foundation European Studies Fellowship, a Fulbright Fellowship for research in Poland, and a three-month Wolfsonian fellowship to study constructivist books.
Congratulations to Anne LaGatta for receiving an USC Endowed Fellowship in the Humanities 2023-2024
Congratulations to Danielle Charlap for receiving an USC Endowed Fellowship in the Humanities 2023-2024
Congratulations to Ph.D. Graduate, Grace Converse!
Dissertation Title: “Making Belief: Theosophy and the Creative Production of Truth, 1875-1945”
Advisor: Amy Ogata
Congratulations to Ph.D. Graduate, Dina Murokh!
Dissertation Title: “A Sort of Picture Gallery”: Encounters with Print in Antebellum US Society
Advisor: Vanessa Schwartz
Isabel Frampton Wade
Congratulations to Ph.D. Graduate, Isabel Frampton Wade!
Dissertation Title: “Exposing Urban Form: Commercial Architectural Photography in Los Angeles, 1938-1981”
Advisor: Vanessa Schwartz
Art History Ph.D Alumni
Jessica Brier, Ph.D
Congratulations on her position as Curator of Photography at the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY.
Grace Converse, Ph.D
Congratulations on receiving a Karsh Curatorial Fellowship at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) in Los Angeles, CA.
Robert Gordon-Fogelson, Ph.D
Congratulations on his new position as Visiting Lecturer at Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York.
Rika Hiro, Ph.D
Congratulations on her position as Associate Curator of Japanese Art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) in Los Angeles, CA.
Grant Klarich Johnson, Ph.D
Congratulations on his position as Director of Communications at the Regen Projects Gallery in Los Angeles, CA.
Natalia Lauricella, Ph.D
Congratulations receiving the 2023 Schulman and Bullard Article Prize.
Avigail Moss, Ph.D
Congratulations on receiving a Paul Mellon Centre Postdoctoral Fellowship, London, UK.
Dina Murokh, Ph.D
Congratulations on her position as Assistant Director, Williams Graduate Program in the History of Art, Williamstown, MA.
Isabel Wade, Ph.D
Congratulations on her position as an USC Dornsife Teaching Fellow, Los Angeles, CA.
Local Area Resources
USC’s program takes great advantage of our location within the vibrant cultural environment of Los Angeles. undergraduate fieldtrips and Graduate seminars are regularly held on site or work with collections in area museums including the including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), the Getty Center, the Getty Villa and the USC Fisher Museum of Art among others.
Los Angeles Museums
USC Museums, Archives and Special Collections
Art History Main Office
USC Dornsife Department of Art History
3501 Trousdale Parkway, THH 355
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0351
Chair of Art History
Amy Knight Powell
Associate Professor of Art History
Interim Chair, Dept. of Art History, Spring 2024