Serve your community through the practice of art: its presentation, documentation, interpretation, appreciation, and conservation.
The Art and Art History Department offers majors and minors in art history and studio art. Artmaking involves examining, transforming, and communicating individual and collective human experiences into visual form. Art history studies the tangible documentation of culture, and it provides a window into the history and philosophy of many societies, past and present.
Why study art and art history at Macalester?
All of our students learn through both observation and hands-on practice. For example, in a sculpture course, you may learn about the history of cast bronze and work with your classmates to create your own sculptures in our bronze foundry. In art history courses, such as Race, Ethnicity, Class, and Gender in American Art, you’ll examine visual culture through the intersectional contexts in which it is created, honing your skills for written analysis.
Our faculty and staff are working artists and scholars, contributing actively to the local, national, and international arts communities. Your Macalester degree in Studio Art or Art History will prepare you for graduate study in art or art history, and it will form the basis for a professional career in the arts. For non-majors, you will gain a foundation for a lifetime appreciation of the arts in their varied contexts. Each spring, art history majors present public lectures of their original capstone research projects while the studio art capstones consist of an exhibition of original artwork in the Law Warschaw Gallery.
Life after Macalester
- American Antiquarian Society, NEH Research Fellow, Worcester, MA
- Anthropologie, Designer & Visual Merchandising, Tucson, AZ
- Aperture Foundation for Photography, Social Media Associate, New York, NY
- Arshile Gorky Foundation, Catalog Raisonné Researcher, New York, NY
- Artist@Large, Owner and Mural Painter, Minneapolis, MN
- Artistry Theater and Visual Arts, Manager of Community Partnerships, Bloomington, MN
- Asheville Art Museum, Curatorial Assistant, Asheville, NC
- Atkins Global Design Studio, Principal Designer, London, UK
- Biomimicry 3.8 Institute, Sustainable Design Project Specialist, Missoula, MT
- BlueR Productions, Digital Designer, Hồ Chí Minh City, Vietnam
- Fundación Casa Wabi, Gallery Curator, Mexico DF, Mexico
- CLUES, Comunidades Latinas Unidas en Servicio, Latino Arts & Culture Engagement Liaison, St. Paul, MN
- City College of New York, Assistant Professor of Electronic Design and Multimedia, New York, NY
- Deborah Gage Works of Art, Gallery Manager, London, UK
- Denver Museum of Nature & Science, Associate Conservator, Denver, CO
- Edition Studios Design, Co-Owner and Creative Director, Minneapolis, MN
- Fox VFX Lab, Lead Animator, Los Angeles, CA
- Freie Universität, Art History Doctorate Fellow, Berlin, Germany
- Gustavus Adolphus College, Assistant Professor of Art History, Saint Peter, MN
- Horticultural Society of New York, Artist and Environmental Educator, New York, NY
- Independent artist, maître verrier, master of stained glass, Paris, France
- Kala Art Institute, Studio Assistant, Berkeley, CA
- LOISOS + UBBELOHDE Associates, LEED Architect, San Francisco, CA
- Metropolitan Museum of Art, Research Associate, New York, NY
- Minnesota Historical Society, Web and Print Designer, Saint Paul, MN
- Museum of Modern Art, Curatorial Intern, New York, NY
- National Geographic, Photographer, New York, NY
- Netflix, Assistant Art Director and Set Designer for television series, Los Angeles, CA
- New York Magazine, Art Production Director, New York, NY
- Northwestern University, Black Arts Initiative Postdoctoral Fellow, Evanston, IL
- Northwestern University, Assistant Professor of Performance Studies, Evanston, IL
- Pacific Northwest College of Art, Dean and Vice President, Portland, OR
- Public Art Saint Paul, Administrative and Development Assistant, Saint Paul, MN
- RECLAIM! mental health organization, Art Therapist, Minneapolis, MN
- Ripon College, Professor of Art, Ripon, WI
- San Francisco School of Needlework and Design, Director of Community Engagement, San Francisco, CA
- South Saint Paul School District, Visual Art Teacher, MN
- Sutro Architects, Project Architect, San Francisco, CA
- The Studio Museum in Harlem, Associate Curator, New York, NY
- Tomorrow Magazine, Managing Editor, Brooklyn, NY
- University of Johannesburg, Visual Identities in Art and Design program, Research Associate, Johannesburg, South Africa
- University of Iowa Libraries, Special Collection Librarian, Iowa City, IA
- University of Minnesota Twin Cities, Theater Department, Set Designer, MN
- University of Pennsylvania Archaeology Museum, Education Department Assistant, Philadelphia, PA
- Walker Art Center, Exhibition Installer, Minneapolis, MN
- Weinstein Hammons Gallery, Gallery Assistant, Minneapolis, MN
- Western Colorado Center for the Arts, Curator, Grand Junction, CO
- Wet Paint Artists Materials and Framing, Co-Owner, Saint Paul, MN
- WRONG design firm, Digital Designer, Riga, Latvia
- Zillow, Mobile Development Manager, Seattle, WA
- Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark
- Adler University, Chicago, IL
- Alfred University, Alfred, NY
- Carnegie-Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA
- Copenhagen School of Design and Technology, Copenhagen, Denmark
- Freie Universität, Berlin, Germany
- Herron School of Art and Design, Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis, IN
- Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY
- Mills College, Oakland, CA
- Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Minneapolis, MN
- New York University, New York, NY
- Northwestern University, Evanston, IL
- Parsons School of Design, New York, NY
- Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY
- Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
- Sciences Po (Paris Institute of Political Studies), Paris, France
- Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
- University of California, Berkeley, CA
- University of California, Davis
- University of Illinois, Chicago, IL
- University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
- University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, MN
- University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC
Art and art history in the cities
The Twin Cities is home to dozens of galleries and major museums for field trips and research.
Student interns are in demand at nonprofit arts organizations, including the Northern Clay Center, the Minnesota Center for Book Arts, the Minnesota History Center, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, and the Walker Art Center.
Explore more than 120 small art galleries throughout the Twin Cities metro area.
Join our community
- Club Scene: The Art Alliance Club plans special art-related activities for those with a common interest in art, and administers the Drawing Co-op, an informal no-cost opportunity to draw the figure from live models. The Art History Club plans special activities for art history majors, minors and any interested non-majors, meeting several times per semester to visit galleries and museum exhibitions, watch films, and carry on discussions about art. Both clubs are student-run.
- Law Warschaw Gallery: Our beautiful campus gallery space hosts several exhibitions each year, including student exhibitions, and is open to the community.
- Lectures & Exhibits: Visiting artists and art and art history alumni make regular visits to campus to lecture, exhibit their work, and connect with students.