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Idealized Imperfection exhibition in the Department of Art History Gallery.

Educating the next generation of art historians

Department of Art History

About the Department of Art History

The Department of Art History at the University of St. Thomas seeks to explore the many dimensions of art in a wide range of periods and worldwide cultures. Art history embodies the liberal arts by considering art and architecture within its broader context.

As a student in any of our programs, you will be encouraged by our passionate faculty to become an investigator, learning to ask and answer questions about art. You will have the opportunity to conduct and present independent research to a larger audience, making art accessible inside and outside of the classroom. You will learn the professional standards needed to work in museums of all types. Plus, you will have the chance to work with the university's teaching collection of art and digital visual resources, adding a practical dimension to your education and gaining invaluable skills for the future.

Our Programs

All of our undergraduate and graduate programs offer unique opportunities to engage with faculty and your peers inside and outside of the classroom while gaining practical skills that will benefit you in your future career.

Graduate Certificates

Our graduate certificates are flexible and give you the opportunity to gain mastery of core concepts while exploring areas of passion and interest.

Upcoming Events

University Galleries and Collections

Our department is committed to providing exhibitions, collections and galleries that foster a better understanding of the power of art in our lives. Students work closely with curators and artists to learn proper curatorial and exhibition management and techniques.

An art history student cleans and positions artwork in a display case.

Department of Art History Gallery

The St. Thomas Art Collection includes many types of art from painting to outdoor sculpture.

An interior photo of the American Museum of Asmat Art.

American Museum of Asmat Art

The American Museum of Asmat Art features the work of the Asmat people of Papua, Indonesia, and is one of the preeminent teaching collections in the United States.

Items from an exhibit featuring the Voorsanger Architects Archive.

Voorsanger Architects Archive

The Voorsanger Architects Archive consists of a digital collection of 25 projects and the physical files of Voorsanger Architects PC in New York City.


Our faculty are passionate scholars and researchers that are eager to connect with students inside and outside of the classroom.

Dr. Heather Shirey speaks to students during a visit to the site of the Minneapolis Police 3rd Precinct and surrounding area.

Dr. Heather Shirey

Dr. Shirey is Professor and Chair of the Art History Department and is primarily interested in arts of the African Diaspora, the history of photography and global street art.

Dr. Heather Shirey
Mark Stansbury-O’Donnell smiles as he gives an interview.

Dr. Mark Stansbury-O’Donnell

Dr. Stansbury-O'Donnell's research centers on ancient Greece, as well as narrative and context.

Dr. Stansbury-O'Donnell
Elizabeth Kindall leans on a tree for a headshot.

Dr. Elizabeth Kindall

Dr. Kindall focuses on Chinese art in her classes and research. Her current research focuses on farewell culture and landscape identity, and representations of the Yandang mountain range in Chinese painting.

Dr. Elizabeth Kindall

Contact Information

Dr. Heather Shirey, Department Chair

Mailing Address

University of St. Thomas
2115 Summit Avenue, Mail 44C
Saint Paul, MN 55105

Campus Location

Our offices are located in the Department of Art History House at 44 Cleveland Avenue North.