About Our Department

The Department of Art History and Archaeology at Washington University in Saint Louis offers a diverse program of study in art history, archaeology, and visual studies at the undergraduate and graduate level. We are home to some 60 majors and minors, and to over 20  graduate students working on AM and PhD degrees. We enjoy strong partnerships with other Humanities programs, and with local arts institutions.  Housed within the distinguished School of Arts & Sciences, the Department is an active collaborator with schools across the Danforth campus, as well as with the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, the Pulitzer Arts Foundation, and the Saint Louis Art Museum.


"The Weil Dissertation Award did more than support two months of research in Italy: it facilitated opportunities and relationships that have been and will continue to be foundational to my development as a scholar for years to come."


―Lindsay Sheedy PhD Candidate and 2020-2021 Rome Prize Recipient
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Faculty Spotlight

Dr. Esther Gabel, Lecturer in Art HIstory

Esther Gabel is a specialist in the Art and Architecture of Venice, with particular emphasis on the Eighteenth Century. After receiving her doctorate from the University of Cambridge, Dr. Gabel has published on Giambattista Tiepolo, marriage, and female patronage in Venice. Her current book project, Venice in the Age of Tiepolo, addresses social upheaval in early modern Venice and a new genre of painting that emerged from it. At Washington University since 2015, Dr. Gabel teaches courses in Renaissance Architecture, Baroque Painting, and Eighteenth-Century Europe. 

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Nancy Ruth Rubin, 1962-2020

Nancy Rubin was a valued member of the administrative support staff over many years at Washington University.  At the time of her retirement in 2018, she was an administrative assistant in the Department of Art History and Archaeology in Arts and Sciences, where she had worked for 11 years.  She died of a cardiac arrest on Saturday, June 27th, 2020 at St. John's Mercy Hospital in St. Louis. Nancy was deeply appreciated by all those who knew her. To learn more about Nancy, visit this tribute to her life and read a collection of memorial statements by students, staff, and faculty.  

Our Alumni

We actively encourage multiple outcomes for our students of art history, and alumni follow diverse career paths both in the United States and abroad. Our majors and minors pursue graduate and professional degrees in a variety of disciplines, ranging from art history, visual culture, and archaeology to advanced work in all aspects of the humanities. Many go on in curatorial and museum education work, collections management, the business of the art market, arts criticism, and diverse positions in arts management. Yet others pursue advanced professional degrees in law, medicine, business, social work, and international affairs. Our doctoral program is the oldest in the midwest, and our network of alumni stretches internationally to Europe and Asia.

Learn more about our undergraduate alumni

Learn more about our graduate alumni