The Department of Art History of the Hebrew University wishes to endow students with both the basics of the discipline as well as the artistic experience by presenting various and different models for the analysis of works of art within the broad spectrum of history, culture, society, etc.
The department invites specialization in any of four historical periods of Western art from its beginnings until our own times. In addition, there are specializations that take into account the special place of the Hebrew University: a comparison between the arts of the three main religions of the Holy Land, as well as Jewish Art and Islamic Art. One can also specialize in the art of other cultural areas that are studied outside the department, for instance Japanese art is studied in the Department of Asian Studies.
In addition, we wish to endow the student with an understanding of art as a universal language, and we therefore see our courses as providing models for the analysis of the visual arts that can be applied to any given culture. In this way the studies also strengthen the global aspect of the visual language.
The program offers a three-year progressive sequence, during which students learn the basics of the discipline, develop critical thinking and take their first steps as an art historian able to conduct independent research on the basis of primary sources and the critical evaluation of secondary sources.
In the first year, students learn introductory historical courses that present a panoramic view of the history of the different periods of Western art, studying in depth the main issues of each period, and being exposed to various relevant methods of inquiry and complex analytical models. These courses are studied alongside auxiliary courses that are necessary to understand the progress of Western art, such as Christian Sources in Art, Classical Mythology in Art, and Aesthetics.
During the second year students take two advanced courses in the fields that especially interest them, concentrating on more specific subjects. Such courses allow students to deepen and strengthen their methodological and theoretical tools.
In the third year, students choose two advanced seminars in their fields of interest.
The program of studies also goes beyond the campus and significantly utilizes the varied art treasures from different periods that can be found in Jerusalem. In addition, some of the classes take place in the museums and allow direct contact with works of art in collaboration with the most important museum curators.