School of Athens c. 1510 Raphael

Introduction to the History of Art


Start Date






End Date


Meeting Day

Monday thru Thursday



This online course features the following types of interaction:

  • Live meetings

Introduction to the History of Art is a wide-ranging, multi-vocal introduction to the fundamentals of Art History and to many of the major moments, movements, artists, and works in the history of global art. Mindful of, but by no means limited by, traditional chronological and geographical approaches to the examination of artistic creation in history, the processes of confronting, describing, contextualizing, and interpreting major monuments of art in every medium will be foregrounded in a series of lectures driven above all by the motivation to engage students in the active and essential dialogue between all artists and the history, or histories, of what they do. With no claims to comprehensiveness, students and faculty will be free to examine key artifacts and case studies in a variety of visual media, including painting, sculpture, architecture, textiles and metal work, printmaking and photography and film, etc. Experts from many areas in the History of Art (Ancient Mesopotamia, African and African Diaspora, South America, the Arts of Asia, Design, Medieval and post-Medieval European Art, Modernism, etc.) will present concise introductions to historically significant works of global art and to the questions that naturally arise from them-questions they have posed throughout history, and continue to pose to us in our own time.

This remote class uses the ZOOM platform.

Course includes one or two visits to the MFA Boston. Students living outside the Boston area and unable to travel to Boston may visit their local museums instead in consultation with the instructor.

No class Wednesday, June 19th.   Juneteenth Holiday

David Nolta is Professor of Art History at MassArt. He holds a BA from the University of Michigan, an MA from the University of Chicago, and a PhD from Yale University. His fellowships and awards include: Fulbright, Kress, Mellon, American Society for Eighteenth Century Studies, Harvard University; and the Frances Blanshard Prize for outstanding dissertation … Read more