Master of Arts in Modern and Contemporary Art History
The Master of Arts (MA) in Modern and Contemporary Art History is a two-year, 36-credit masters program specializing in modern and contemporary art in its international contexts. Faculty research extends to art and design practices around the world and remains on the cutting edge of present trends in the field. Students engage in the study of a wide range of artists, artistic practices, and art institutions. Their research culminates in an original contribution to scholarship in the form of a Masters thesis written under the supervision of a full-time faculty member in the department. In addition to modern and contemporary art and performance, MA in Modern and Contemporary Art History students also have the option of pursuing a course of study focusing on modern and contemporary Design History.
MA in Modern and Contemporary Art History students enjoy successful careers after graduation, going on to influential positions in museums, art galleries, alternative venues, publishing, and academia.
Globally Recognized Faculty
The department's full-time faculty are the core faculty for the MA in Modern and Contemporary Art History graduate program. All PhD-level art historians with global reputations, they have published widely and are winners of many national and international fellowships and honors, including NEH, École Normale Supérieure, Guggenheim, Graham, CASVA, Institute for Advanced Study, and Getty grants, as well as appointments at prominent art and cultural institutions. The graduate program in modern and contemporary art history incorporates ideas from a breadth of disciplines ranging from design history, museum studies, material culture studies, visual studies, philosophy, film studies, and gender studies; research specialties cover Europe, North America, South Asia, East Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
Campus and Citywide Resources
Chicago is a world-class city with a vibrant art scene, and MA in Modern and Contemporary Art History students enjoy dynamic involvement with contemporary art and exhibitions in the area. Students have access to major cultural institutions such as the Art Institute of Chicago, its Modern Wing, the Museum of Contemporary Art, and numerous artist-run galleries and community-based organizations in the city's independent art scene.
Students also have access to SAIC's libraries and research centers, including the John M. Flaxman Library, Ryerson and Burnham Libraries of the Art Institute of Chicago, Video Data Bank, Joan Flasch Artists Book Collection, Fashion Resource Center, Roger Brown Study Collection, and the Gene Siskel Film Center.
In addition, SAIC attracts numerous visiting artists, historians, and critics, creating opportunities for students to interact and network with scholars from the field. The department hosts a number of visiting art historians every year, most notably through its annual Norma U. Lifton Lecture in Art History and in conjunction with its annual MAAH Graduate Student Research Symposium.
Interested in learning more?
Click around the pages of this website for information on admissions and curriculum requirements, MAAH faculty, students and alumni, and more. For recent news, see the 2015–2016 Welcome Letter from the Chair.