Sarah Laursen

Asst Professor of History of Art & Arch; Curator, Asian Art

 Spring Term 2015- Tuesday and Thursday 10:45am-12:15pm and by appointment
 Mahaney Center for the Arts 119

History of Art & Architecture Learning Goals

Learning Goals in History of Art

Through courses across a wide continuum of times and cultures, students of art history not only learn to articulate histories of visual production, but also to think critically about the stakes of artistic creation and objects of culture more generally.

Students in the major will, by inquiring into the modes and meanings of visual arts and culture:

  • develop their abilities as critical thinkers by questioning works of art and architecture and developing arguments about the circumstances of  their production and meaning
  • learn to build extended arguments based upon composite evidence: visual, historical, and textual
  • engage creative research problems that, over time, yield new insights into art, architecture, history and culture
  • become strong, convincing writers through using a variety of approaches to write about  the history of the arts, architecture, and visual culture
  • become highly skilled at presenting their work through oral, public presentations

Learning Goals in Architectural Studies

The Architectural Studies Program has been designed to offer students enough of an exposure to the field that they can determine whether they wish to pursue it professionally.  It also helps them develop the skills and credentials necessary for admission to graduate study in architecture.  For those who decide this is not something they wish to build upon after Middlebury, it still provides a fine way to acquire a liberal arts education in a synthetic manner.  It combines study in the history of art and architecture (important for developing critical awareness and skills) with art studio work, calculus, physics, and elective work in a range of fields: environmental studies, geography, economics, sociology, and theater design.

Students in the major will develop:

  • an understanding of the complex factors that condition the built environment through design analysis, theory and history
  • critical and analytical skills through a study of history, theory and design studios
  • an ability to communicate ideas through written, graphic and oral means in an organized and articulate fashion through presenting history papers, design critiques, and presentation booklets
  • an ability for creative problem-solving in the design studio
  • an ability to visualize in spatial and three-dimensional terms

Richard Saunders

Director of the Middlebury College Museum of Art; Walter Cerf Distinguished College Professor

 Tuesdays & Thursdays 2:00 pm-3:00 pm or by appt.
 Mahaney Center for the Arts

Art History Slide Collection

Slide Library

The Art History Slide Collection consists of 175,000 35mm slides and covers the history of art and architecture from prehistoric to present times. The collection has been built primarily to support the Art History curriculum.

Faculty and students may borrow slides for classroom presentations. If you are a newcomer and wish to use the Slide Collection, please make an appointment with the Visual Resources Curator for a brief orientation.


The Visual Resources Collection provides high quality slides and digital images for teaching and scholarship in the arts and associated fields. We also provide training and support for faculty and students in all aspects of using digital images for classroom presentations.

Kevin P. Mahaney '84 Center for the Arts

Kevin P. Mahaney '84 Center for the Arts, 1992

Our facility houses an extensive collection of 175,000 35mm slides, and we provide access to millions of digital art images primarily through ARTstor. Our local digital art image collection also resides in Artstor's Shared Shelf.

The Visual Resources Collection (formerly known as the Slide Collection) is housed in the Kevin P. Mahaney '84 Center for the Arts with the Department of History of Art and Architecture.

History of Art & Architecture

The visual arts constitute a compelling vehicle for a liberal arts education in a global context. Our department offers emphases in art history, museum studies, architectural history, architectural studies, and architecture and the environment.

In art history we study works of art and architecture as bearers of meaning and as manifestations of culture, often considered in a historical context. In architectural studies we scrutinize the built environment in relationship to its natural and cultural contexts, firmly grounded in both theory and praxis.



Katy Smith Abbott

Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of the College

Assistant Professor of the History of Art and Architecture

 Thursdays 2:00-3:30 p.m., and by appointment
 Old Chapel 104