Participation in Conferences

The art history department strongly encourages students to present research papers at academic conferences such as the College Art Association Conference, the American Studies Association Conference, the Midwest Art History Society meeting, or the Association for Asian Studies conference. The department supports those efforts by providing travel funding on a competitive basis.

Students are given the opportunity to present their papers in advance to a department audience including faculty and graduate students. Through this annual rotating series of “dry run” talks, organized by the Art History Graduate Association, students receive feedback and questions that help them prepare excellent presentations.

Department Governance

Art History Graduate Student Association

The Art History Graduate Association is both a vehicle for student involvement with the department and a liaison between graduate students, faculty, and staff. The association elects officers as well as representatives to department committees (including faculty search committees, which always include a student representative).


Annual Lecture Series

Graduate students in the department volunteer to participate in the Visiting Scholar Lecture Committee and work as a group to schedule the annual series, gaining valuable experience in event planning and bringing innovative scholars to meet with graduate students and address faculty and students from across the college.

Graduate Workshop Series

The art history department sponsors a series of informal talks for graduate students on topics such as publishing, grant writing, teaching strategies, ethics in research and teaching, and the job market. Presentations are held once a month on Fridays, usually around the noon hour.

Art Museums

The department is fortunate to have working relationships with several museums in the Twin Cities at which students do research, undertake internships, and participate in classes offered on site:

The University of Minnesota Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum

The Weisman opened in November of 1993 and now is the permanent home for the University's main art collection. The holdings are primarily modern art, with rotating exhibits. Director Lyndel King and curator Diane Mullin are affiliate members of the art history graduate faculty. The Weisman hosts dance and theatre performances and a lively lecture series. Art history graduate students and faculty have presented lectures at the Weisman.

There are research and volunteer opportunities at the museum and it sponsors the annual O’Brien Curatorial Fellowship.

The Goldstein Museum of Design

Located in McNeal Hall on the St. Paul campus, the Goldstein Gallery is the design museum for the University of Minnesota. The Goldstein collections include costumes, textiles, and decorative arts. There is a Collections Research Center and a Reference Library in conjunction with the gallery.

The Walker Art Center

The Walker is the centerpiece for modern and contemporary art exhibitions in the Twin Cities. The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is on the grounds and is currently being expanded. The Walker hosts film series and artists' discussions. There is a reference library containing material on contemporary art, which students may access by making an appointment with the reference librarian.

Students may volunteer or intern at the Walker in a variety of positions.

The Minneapolis Institute of Art

The MIA has both permanent and rotating collections of international acclaim. The MIA also has holdings in Asian, African, European, Native American, and Decorative Arts.  It has an extensive research library and hosts events such as lectures by visiting scholars and artists. Several paid and unpaid internships are available.

The Minnesota Museum of American Art

The MMAA has a large collection of American Art, with strong holdings in the work of midwest artists. It concentrates its exhibitions on the work of regional contemporary artists in a wide range of media.