Art History

A Place to Belong. A Person to Become.

The history of art is the story of fascinating cultures, dramatic events and personal triumphs. And it all comes to vivid life through the renowned art historians teaching at Hanover College. These are no ordinary history classes. You’ll find Hanover students exploring firsthand the masterpieces on display in cities as close as Cincinnati and as far away Florence, Italy, and Paris, France.

Hanover is one of the few U.S. colleges of its size to offer extensive courses in Asian art history, where you might even try your hand at calligraphy. Through it all, you’ll learn how the great artists contributed to and reflected the history of their time.


At Hanover, you’ll get early practical experience in your field by curating an exhibition of visiting artists, students or the works in the our private collection. From label writing to lighting, you’ll progress step by step and gain valuable real-world experience that can make you a competitive candidate for internships, job opportunities and graduate schools. Hanover students often pursue positions such as:

  • Museum curator
  • Archivist
  • Auctioneer
  • Appraiser
  • Specialist in the preservation and restoration of art


  • History of Eastern art
  • History of Western Art
  • Other topics that interest you, from contemporary art to medieval art to the art of China and Japan.



ARTH 111 History of Eastern Art 1.00 A general introduction to the art of the ancient civilizations and traditional arts of Asia, focusing on India, China and Japan. Topics covered include Buddhist and Hindu art, landscape painting, sculpture, woodblock print, and important monuments in East Asian art. Partially satisfies the LA CCR and satisfies CP ACE.

ARTH 112 History of Western Art 1.00 A historical survey from cave paintings to present. The course deals with Western art forms derived from the Near East, Europe and the United States. Partially satisfies the LA CCR.

ARTH 171 Beauty and Idea in Asian Art 1.00 An examination of selective monuments and canons in Asian art in relation to the major religious and philosophical traditions in Asia. This course will analyze primary sources, both textual and visual, related to Hinduism, Buddhism, Daoism, Confusianism, Legalism, Shinto, and Islam, and study artistic traditions such as Hindu Temples, Buddhist sculpture, Shinto shrines, funerary art, landscape painting, and Islamic architecture. Partially satisfies the LA CCR and satisfies the W1 ACE.

ARTH 210 Arts & Culture of China 1.00 An introduction to major artistic traditions in China. Topics include art and ritual, visual arts and the quest for immortality, Buddhist art, landscape painting, palace architecture, and modern and contemporary art. Partially satisfies the LA CCR. Satisfies the CP ACE. Satisfies the W2 ACE.

ARTH 212 Arts and Cultures of Japan 1.00 An introduction to important works of sculpture, architecture and painting from prehistory through the nineteenth century, including Shinto shrines, Buddhist art, narrative scrolls, Zen art, and woodblock prints. Partially satisfies the LA CCR and satisfies S and CP ACEs.

ARTH 213 Art for Death and Afterlife 1.00 Although death is the ultimate truth of life, how to commemorate the deceased in funerary arts and ritual is fundamentally associated with cultural and religious traditions. How do funerary arts and ritual practices reflect religious beliefs? How do funerary arts respond to religious demands creatively in different contexts? This course will answer these questions and more. We will examine how religious values, cultural traditions, and mortuary art shape the experiences of death, grieving, and expectations about mortality and immortality, and the overall meaning of life. Satisfies the RP CCR.

ARTH 214 Asian Art and Film 1.00 Students will learn about traditional Asian art and analyze Asian films from India, China, and Japan as lenses through which to view and to understand the variety and richness of the Asian cultures: their religions, philosophy, and art. Since film is a relatively recent art form, even older films are characterized by a relatively modern point of view, so students will examine how these films both uphold and challenge traditional cultural values revealed in the arts. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing. Partially satisfies the LA CCR. Satisfies the CP ACE.

ARTH 223 Art and Social LIfe in Taiwan 1.00 Examines how material culture was created, viewed, and used by different peole in Ancient China and modern day Taiwan through visits to museums, cultural sites, and public places in Taipei, Taiwan. Uses art historical, anthropological, and sociological perspectives to understand cultural representations and human social behaviors. Offered during Spring Term only. Satisfies the CP ACE. Identical to ANTH223/ARTH223/SOC223. Not open to students with prior credit in these cross-listed courses.

ARTH 225 Intro Classical Art & Archaeology 1.00 This course examines the degree to which the art and artifacts of the ancient Greek and Roman worlds can help to inform us about the cultural settings in which they were created. Throughout the semester, students will chart the evolution of Classical art and architecture and discover how an archaeologist might use the remains of the ancient past to reconstruct daily life and broader cultural phenomena. This overview is intended to introduce the student to the most widely referenced material works of the Greek and Roman past and the factors which influenced their style and substance. Identical to CLA225. Partially satisfies the LA and HS CCRs.

ARTH 328 Contemporary Art 1.00 Analysis of contemporary art, its forms and display. Role of museums as exhibitor. Study of modern criticism and its role as interpreter of contemporary art. Field trips to major museums and galleries. Partially satisfies the LA CCR.

ARTH 335 Archeology of East Asia 1.00 This course examines the most celebrated archaeological discoveries in China, Korea, and Japan from the Paleolithic Age to the 8th century CE. Students will examine archaeologically excavated artifacts and structures in relation to some basic theoretical issues in Archaeology and Art History, such as development of agriculture, settlement patterns, burial practices, craft traditions, writing, ritual, urbanism, rise of civilization and empire, and the role of art and material culture in these processes. Satisfies CP ACE.

ARTH 339 Ancient Art and Architecture 1.00 The exploration of the history of painting, sculpture and architecture in the art of ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece and Rome. Offered alternate years. Partially satisfies the LA CCR.

ARTH 343 Baroque & 18th Cent Art/Architectur 1.00 European art seen in relation to the periods of the Counter-Reformation, the Age of Absolutism and the Enlightenment. Offered alternate years. Partially satisfies the LA CCR.

ARTH 344 19th Century Art and Architecture 1.00 A survey of art extending from the revolutionary eras in America and France to the beginnings of modernist art at the turn of the century. Offered alternate years. Partially satisfies the LA CCR.

ARTH 345 Art in the United States 1.00 A survey of American art and architecture from the revolution to World War II. Field trips are a required element of this class. Offered alternate years. Partially satisfies the LA CCR.

ARTH 348 Modern and Contemporary Chinese Art 1.00 Visual arts created by Chinese artists from the mid-19th century to the present day, focusing on innovative responses to the dynamic relationship between traditional Chinese art, artistic movements in the west, and sociopolitical changes in China. Partially satisfies the LA CCR and satisfies S and CP ACEs.

ARTH 362 Theories and Methods in Art History 1.00 A methodology seminar that introduces the basic interpretive theories and research methods in the art historical discipline, such as Iconography, Formalism, Connoisseurship, Biography, Psychoanalysis, Marxism, Social Art History, Feminism, Semiotic, Postcolonialism, material, ritual, reception, and display. Offered alternate years. Prerequisite: ARTH 111 or ARTH 112. Satisfies the W2 ACE.


Xiaolong Wu Professor of Art and Art History 812-866-7341

Mandy Wu Associate Professor of Art and Art History 812-866-6877