Starting in the fall of 2013, Niagara University will offer a new bachelor's degree program in art history with museum studies.
The New York State Department of Education approved the B.A. program this week, which will offer a scholarly study of art, culture and museums while also focusing on professional museum work, including curatorship, education, collections management, museum administration and development.
The program will be presented through Niagara University's College of Arts and Sciences in association with the Castellani Art Museum, one of the region's three major art museums.
"We are very excited to offer a unique program that will marry academic preparation with professional experience at the undergraduate level," said Dr. Nancy McGlen, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. "This will be an academically excellent curriculum that requires degree candidates to accumulate practical experience in the field. We are very confident that our students will be well-prepared for employment positions or advanced study immediately after graduation."
The Buffalo-Niagara region is in the midst of a cultural renaissance, as the past few years have seen growing interest in the area's burgeoning arts scene. Cultural tourism is recognized as an important facet of the region's economy, and the area's museums and arts organizations are attracting visitors not only from Western New York, but around the world. Niagara University's new program will prepare students to participate in the region's growing cultural sector.
What is truly unique about the new degree program is that it is a combined academic and professional program at the undergraduate level. The art history curriculum will survey the history of art from pre-history to contemporary periods and explore stylistic developments that reflect social, economic and political issues. It will also teach students methods of analysis and interpretation for understanding works of art and enable them to discover the rich and complex relationships of art to other aspects of culture.
Museum studies courses will introduce students to the museum field, from the practical day-to-day skills needed to operate a museum to theories on the societal role of museums. The courses will also help prepare students for entry-level positions in museums, galleries and other arts organizations through internship opportunities, including those at the Castellani Art Museum, which is centrally located on the campus of Niagara University.
Additionally, the art history with museum studies program will prepare students for continued academic work at the master's and Ph.D. levels.
Applications for the new program are being accepted now, with courses commencing in the fall of 2013.
A program representative will be available to speak with during Niagara University's fall open house, which is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 27, from noon to 3 p.m.
For further information, contact Marian Granfield, curator of education at the Castellani Art Museum, at 716-286-8367 or visithttp://www.niagara.edu/art-history-with-museum-studies.