Art history is arguably the most expansive field a student can pursue. It is the study of human civilization across time and culture through the physical things that they make--paintings, sculptures, architecture, graphic and decorative arts, film, performance, and others.
As a discipline, art history considers how these works of art signify ideas, beliefs, practices, and social identities of the groups and individuals that made, viewed, or used them. Students of art history learn how to understand these works of art through research and analysis of aesthetic issues, cultural contexts, and artistic practices. They ultimately acquire specialized expertise in the important roles played by visual media in our own society and that of cultures from around the globe.