Art History

Art History is the study of visual arts within a cultural and historical context. It is the study of art and visual culture as instruments of knowledge and methods of human expression. Students of Art, Graphic Design, Photography or future Art Historians understand that this discipline is vital to their academic growth and art education.

Art historians understand the importance of human creativity and artistic expression that represent the ethnic, aesthetic, social and cultural traditions over time. Through observation and investigation, art historians seek to understand the styles, techniques and methodologies of the visual arts created throughout the ages. In doing so, they uncover the cultural aspects of societies from a global perspective to gain a deeper understanding of the human experience.

Shoreline Community College provides classes in the Art History of the Ancient, Renaissance and Modern periods in western culture. In addition, there are also offerings in Asian and Japanese art history. For distance learning students, all of these courses are available online during the academic year. Art History courses also form an important component of the Associate of Fine Arts degree and can be part of a transfer curriculum for a BFA program at a four year college.


  • Identify and explain formal aspects of style specific to ancient art as it contributes to the Western artistic tradition.
  • Identify and explain purpose, patronage and motivation for art specific to each relevant ancient culture.
  • Explain the impact of historical, religious and socio-economic influences on the art of each ancient culture.
  • Experience, visually analyze, compare, contrast and discuss art first hand.