Art History Department

A passion for art extends beyond words. By studying art history, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of all art forms, both past and present. You can use this knowledge to expand your horizons or as a springboard for a career in the arts.

Why study art history at CapU?

Our world is understood through images. Studying art history gives you the ability to evaluate and interpret all works of art. You’ll gain the tools to critique the art forms you’ll find in museums, galleries and daily life.

Artistic techniques are constantly changing. By exploring the works of artists such as Van Gogh or Michelangelo, we can gain a deeper appreciation of art on a technical level. Understanding the techniques of the masters can also help you chart a path for artistic innovation.

Become knowledgeable. Be inspired.

At CapU you’ll investigate the many functions of art in our society, through a variety of genres and media. You’ll learn how to pinpoint artistic influences in films, ads and propaganda. You’ll also come to understand the fundamental role art plays in culture and politics.

Our courses incorporate group discussions, high-definition illustrated lectures and written research assignments. Through field trips, you’ll step outside campus to explore our artistic world.

Career paths in art history

Our courses provide a wide-ranging overview of art topics and history, preparing students for careers in many related fields of study and practice.

Visual literacy is key to critical thinking. This skill is applicable to many types of employment, but art history is the springboard for careers in museum and curatorial work, restoration work and teaching art history. Other examples of related careers include antiques appraiser, art dealer, art critic, art historian or museum archivist.

Related programs

Art history courses can be applied to many CapU programs, including:  

Art history courses

We offer a diverse range of lower- and upper-level courses covering a range of locations and eras, from pre-historic times to the present. This includes the foundational survey courses required to transfer to other post-secondary institutions. 

Student opportunities

Here you’ll find information about lectures, field trips and other events.

And don't miss the Student Resources section below, with a multitude of links to help you get started learning, connecting and building your career.

Experiential learning

We often invite guest speakers to our campus in order to enrich student understanding of the relevant course material. In addition, we frequently go on field trips to local art galleries and museums.

This annual event introduces relevant, pressing and important themes in art history and visual and popular culture. This year, our department is hosting two lectures.

Spring Lecture 2019 Series

Artist Talk: Nicole Dextras

Thursday, March 14, 2019 11:30-1 p.m., Room LB321

"A Dressing the Future, a look at art and ecology today"

Local artist Nicole Dextras brings her 10 years of environmental art to the climate change debate. She reflects on the role of her own artistic practice in the face of the environmental challenges we face today. She will discuss her work with nature-based materials and the underlining concepts behind her future forward approach to climate action.

Presentation by Art Historian Dr. Guy Tal

Thursday, March 21, 2019 11:30-12:45 pm LB215​

"The witch, the devil & the broom"

 Why does the witch ride on a broom? Why were witches considered to be old women? And why were artists so fascinated by the witch figure? This lecture offers some answers by exploring images of witches from 16th to 18th centuries.

Past Lectures

  • 2018: Heiltsuk artist Shawn Hunt joined us for a special presentation to talk about his life and creative journey. 
  • 2017: Guest speaker Megan Smetzer discussed Indigenous women artists in the age of truth and reconciliation.

 

 

We include field trips for all course offerings wherever possible. Previous trips have included visits to the Vancouver Art Gallery, a behind-the-scenes look at the Vancouver Museum and an exploration of Dr. Sun Yat Sen Classical Chinese Garden.

Volunteer opportunities

CapU’s art history students who are in their third or fourth year may apply to volunteer at the Gordon Smith Gallery of Canadian Art on Lonsdale. Contact the department for further details and paperwork.

Student resources

Christopher Pearson BA (Hons), MA, PhD
Instructor, Art History
School of Humanities
School of Humanities - Art History
Faculty of Arts and Sciences

604 986 1911 ext. 7314
Fir Building, room FR404
cpearson@capilanou.ca
Efrat El-Hanany BA, MA, PhD
Inst., Art History & Women's & Gender, Art History Coordinator
School of Humanities
School of Social Sciences
Women's & Gender Studies
Faculty of Arts and Sciences
School of Humanities - Art History

604 986 1911 ext. 2489
Fir Building, room FR404
eelhanan@capilanou.ca
Megan Smetzer
Instructor, Art History
School of Humanities
School of Humanities - Art History
Faculty of Arts and Sciences

604 986 1911 ext. 2446
Fir Building, room FR404
megansmetzer@capilanou.ca
Patricia Tatum
Divisional Supervisor
School of Humanities
School of Humanities - Art History
School of Humanities - Chinese
School of Humanities - English
School of Humanities - French
School of Humanities - History
School of Humanities - Japanese
School of Humanities - Language Resource Centre
School of Humanities - Linguistics
School of Humanities - Philosophy
Faculty of Arts and Sciences
School of Humanities - Spanish
School of Humanities - Writing Centre

604 984 1713 ext. 1713
Fir Building, room FR404
ptatum@capilanou.ca
Sandra Bishop
DDA 1, Humanities
School of Humanities
History
School of Humanities - Art History
School of Humanities - Language Resource Centre
School of Humanities - Japanese
School of Humanities - Linguistics
School of Humanities - Philosophy
School of Humanities - Spanish
School of Humanities - Writing Centre
School of Humanities - Chinese
School of Humanities - English
School of Humanities - French

604 986 1911 ext. 7151
Fir Building, room FR404
sbishop@capilanou.ca
Sandra Seekins BA, MA
Art History Coordinator, Instructor
Faculty of Arts and Sciences
School of Humanities
School of Humanities - Art History

604 986 1911 ext. 2288
Fir Building, room FR406A
sseekins@capilanou.ca
Tisha Singer
Instructor, Art History
School of Humanities
Faculty of Arts and Sciences
School of Humanities - Art History

604 986 1911 ext. 2413
Fir Building, room FR404
psinger@capilanou.ca

Contact

Have questions about this department?

Art History Department


604 984 4957
Fir Building, room FR404
humanities@capilanou.ca

Student Information Services


604 984 4900
604 984 1798 (fax)
Birch Building, room BR230
registration@capilanou.ca