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Art does not happen in a vacuum. Art history is no different. Art history should be an interdisciplinary field of study wherein understanding works of art requires more than memorizing images. Literature, philosophy, psychology, anthropology, to name a few, all bear on the study of the arts. Therefore, the history of art is not to be limited to the study of styles and aesthetics. Instead, art history is concerned with the convergence of form and idea within cultural and historic contexts.

Learning to see has relevance for every other field of study and is paramount in the study of art history. For this reason the skills of looking, analyzing and thinking critically are stressed in art history. The art history faculty represents diverse areas of expertise that complement each other, providing students with varied offerings and different, scholarly approaches.

Nearby museums in Cincinnati, Columbus, Dayton, Indianapolis, and Louisville offer - both in their permanent collections and through special exhibitions - opportunities to experience firsthand works from the cultures and countries mentioned above.


Teacher teaching art history class

Kimberly Allen-Kattus | Art History

students studying on computers


State of the art smart classroom. University membership in “artstor” the largest repository of digital images perhaps in the world. The Artstor Digital Library provides over 1.8 million digital images in the arts, architecture, humanities, and sciences with contributions from outstanding international museums, libraries, photographers, scholars, archives, artists and artists' estates.


Checklists & Procedures

BA • Art History Track

The BA is a general studies degree, teaching the student about design from a broad point of view. This degree requires either a minor or an area of concentration outside of art and design, expounding upon the general studies thrust of this degree.


BFA • Art History Track

The BFA degree is the nationally accepted professional degrees in art and design. These degrees carry a high level of expected growth and involvement on the student’s part. BFA students are not required to earn a minor outside of art and design, so spend more time studying in studios. Upon completion of 60 semester hours* in the university and 27 semester hours in art, majors who intend to apply for admission to the BFA degree option should register for ART 297 Portfolio Review. ART 297 Portfolio Review is the mechanism for faculty to review student portfolios so they may be admitted into the BFA program. All BFA majors are guaranteed a senior exhibition at NKU.


Minor • Art History

The Art History discipline offers students the opportunity to examine art and design in context with its historical, cultural and religious roots. The minor is meant to give students an introduction to understanding visual literacy and is very much like detective work; we sift for clues and draw conclusions; learning about artists, artworks and life.

Art History Coordinator

Kimberly Allen-Kattus
Kimberly Allen-Kattus
Associate Professor
Office: FA 417 | (859) 572-5641
Students with a passion for looking, asking questions, and thinking about what they see, should explore the Art History track. In addition, many students in art history take advantage of our international programs to study abroad.


Career Paths

The discipline of art history offers rich panoply of skills (both cognitive and technical) that can enhance student’s potential in many career choices as well as enriching their lives deeply. Careers in art and design are ripe with opportunities. Here are possible paths your NKU Art & Design education will prepare you for...


Art Consultant

Art Critic/Writer

Art Director

Art Historian, Art Law Specialist

Art Lecturer/Visiting Scholar

Arts Management

Art Supervisor

Art Teacher

Arts Organization Administrator

Auction House Assistant


Curator - Corporate, Museum, University

Development/Grant Writer

Director of Visual Arts Program

Exhibition Coordinator

Fine Arts Appraiser

Gallery Director

Museum Educator/Researcher

Professor of Art/Design


Restorer, Conservator

Visual Resources Curator