Art History

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Students work closely with faculty as they learn about the relationship of art to fields such as anthropology, sociology, music, dance, literature, science and engineering.

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Meadows art history professors closely mentor their students, offering help and guidance with classes, internships, jobs and grad programs.

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The art history department offers curriculum in Hispanic art from both sides of the Atlantic. Pictured: The Meadows Museum, holding one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of Spanish art in the world.

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Faculty members are recognized nationally and internationally as expert researchers, speakers and authors. Connections in the U.S., Mexico, South America and Europe help foster networking and internships for students.

Dallas Resources

Museums, Private Collections and Architecture

SMU students have exceptional access to world-class collections in Dallas-Fort Worth. Thanks to support from a vibrant community of artists, collectors, enthusiasts and philanthropists, the arts in Dallas are thriving.

The SMU campus is located only five miles from downtown Dallas, home of the largest urban arts district in the nation (larger than Lincoln Center in New York and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.).  Students not wishing to drive downtown can take the light rail trains; a DART station is located only a couple of blocks from campus. Students can also take the Trinity Railway Express between Dallas and Fort Worth.

SMU art history students have opportunities to intern at several area museums and collections.

Dallas Museums

The Dallas Museum of Art has an encyclopedic collection of over 22,000 objects with strengths in the areas of American silver, furniture, painting and sculpture; contemporary European and American art, Indonesian textiles, Etruscan jewelry, and African, Pre-Columbian and south Asian art.

SMU’s own Meadows Museum is home to one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of Spanish art outside of Spain, and is open to SMU students free of charge, year round.

The Nasher Sculpture Center, designed by Renzo Piano, contains a stellar collection of modern sculpture that includes works by Picasso, Matisse, Giacometti, David Smith, Henry Moore, Richard Serra and Alexander Calder.

Fort Worth Museums

The Amon Carter Museum, housed in a recently expanded building by Philip Johnson, has one of the world’s best collections of American photography and a very strong collection of American paintings and sculpture.

The Kimbell Art Museum is one of the world’s premiere art museums. Housed in Louis Kahn’s seminal building, the small collection of 300 works offers a wide-ranging survey of European, Asian, Latin American, African, Ancient, Pre-Columbian and Oceanic art of the highest quality.

The Fort Worth Modern Museum, chartered in 1892, is housed in a striking building by Tadeo Ando and is touted by Travel + Leisure magazine as one of the world’s most beautiful art museums. Its collection includes post-1945 paintings, sculpture, photographs and video by such artists as Francis Bacon, Donald Judd, Jackson Pollock and Andy Warhol. 

Collections in Dallas

Dallas also is home to several first-rate private collections of contemporary art, some available for viewing by appointment. The Marguerite and Robert Hoffman Collection includes significant work by Joseph Beuys, Joseph Cornell, Marcel Duchamp, Willem de Kooning, Jasper Johns, Ellsworth Kelly, Gerhard Richter, Mark Rothko, Sol Lewitt, Cy Twombly and Louise Bourgeois; the Deedie and Rusty Rose Collection emphasizes sculpture, modern furniture and handmade objects and includes work by Ana Mendieta, Bruce Nauman, Sigmar Polke, Robert Ryman, Richard Tuttle and Franz West; and the Cindy and Howard Rachofsky Collection and House, distinguished by its concentrations in Arte Povera and Minimalism. Moreover, the Rachofsky House was designed by Richard Meier to showcase and rotate this extensive art collection.

Architecture in Dallas

In addition to extraordinary museums and collections, Dallas is home to more than nine buildings designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architects, many of which are located within the downtown arts district: I.M. Pei (Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, Dallas City Hall); Renzo Piano (Nasher Sculpture Center); Norman Foster (AT&T Performing Arts Center Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House); Rem Koolhaas (AT&T Performing Arts Center Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre); AIA “Gold Medal” recipient Edward Larrabee Barnes (The Dallas Museum of Art); Thom Mayne (Perot Museum) and Philip Johnson (Thanksgiving Square, The Crescent and others).

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