- Mon – Fri
8:30 am – 4:30 pm
- Key Contact
- Gail Hughes
- 401 454-6572
- College Building
- Room 418
- 2 College Street
Open to both undergraduate and graduate students, Theory and History of Art and Design (THAD) courses are rich and varied, taught by faculty scholars with fabulously diverse interests ranging from ethnomusicology to landscape in American film, the role of femme fatales in Western art, contemporary African artists, French surrealism and much more. Behind-the-scenes access to the RISD Museum’s extraordinary collection of 85,000 works of art—from early Egyptian relics to 21st-century experimental light sculptures—provides students and faculty with unparalleled opportunities for in-depth research. THAD faculty work to provide access to actual works of art— both at the RISD Museum and elsewhere—image reproductions of works in books or on screen.
Students who wish to focus their Liberal Arts study in the theoretical and historical aspects of art and design may opt to complete a THAD concentration.
StaffEric Anderson THAD H102 Coordinator 401 277-4871 email@example.com
Ijlal Muzaffar Department Head 401 454-6526 firstname.lastname@example.org
Sean Nesselrode Moncada THAD H101 Coordinator 401 277-4978 email@example.com
Foad Torshizi Concentration Coordinator 401 277-4976 firstname.lastname@example.org
Undergraduation Concentration in Theory and History of Art and Design
Students can pursue a concentration (like a minor) in addition to their studio major. Concentrations are offered by three of the departments in the Liberal Arts division: History, Philosophy and the Social Sciences (HPSS); Literary Arts and Studies (LAS) and THAD. Information, including requirements, on undergraduate and graduate THAD concentrations can be found below.
Undergraduate Concentration in Theory and History of Art and Design
RISD offers art history courses that span a wide range of cultures, media and time periods. The College offers a 24-credit undergraduate THAD concentration designed for students who wish to complement their studio major with in-depth studies in art history, theory, criticism and museum studies. The undergraduate THAD concentration can be completed within a 4 or 5-year degree program. All RISD BFA candidates are eligible to add this concentration to their program of study. Interested students should contact the THAD concentration coordinator (listed above) or complete and submit the THAD concentration form.
Typically, concentrators meet or communicate with the concentration coordinator once or twice a year to discuss course options and to update their records. As part of the process, concentrators may pre-register for THAD courses that will be used for the concentration. The concentration coordinator will contact all concentrators with the relevant instructions shortly before the official registration period; this option is offered in the fall and spring semesters only.
Curriculum Requirements for an Undergraduate Concentration in Theory and History of Art and Design
(8 courses = 24 credits)
I. Introduction to Theory and History of Art and Design:
Global Modernisms (THAD-H101)—3 credits
History of Architecture and Design (THAD-H102)—3 credits
II. Theory and Methods:
Choose 1 THAD course in this topic area—3 credits
Choose 5 THAD courses at least one of which must be a seminar—15 credits
Total: 8 courses (24 credits)
- Concentrators may need to take two courses in at least two Wintersessions to complete concentration requirements.
- Certain HPSS and Literary Arts and Studies courses may fulfill concentration requirements. If used for that purpose, they may not also be counted for HPSS or LAS credits.
- Liberal Arts electives may be applied towards the concentration.
- Enrollment in the EHP (European Honors Program) in Rome fulfills one THAD course in prehistory through 18th century.
Graduate Concentration in Theory and History of Art and Design
The THAD graduate concentration offers the opportunity to augment an MFA with a 15-credit art history concentration. Knowledge of the histories and theories of art and visual culture is increasingly demanded of artists and designers, and THAD has designed this concentration in recognition of this phenomenon and that MFA, MLA, MAT and MID recipients often enter teaching careers in which they are expected to teach history and theory as well as studio classes. The concentration offers a structured curriculum in the history, theory and criticism of Western art, as well as that of cultures throughout the world. These studies are enriched by ready access to the collections of the RISD Museum of Art and the experience of its curatorial staff. Through the concentration, you may choose to focus on the history and theory of your particular studio discipline, or any other area that interests you.
Any Liberal Arts graduate degree requirements and certain graduate courses offered within the individual programs may be incorporated in the credits necessary to complete the concentration. All master’s degree candidates are eligible to add this concentration to their program of study. Interested students should contact the THAD concentration coordinator (listed above) or complete and submit the THAD grad concentration form. Typically, concentrators meet or communicate with the concentration coordinator at least twice a year to discuss course options and to update their records. As part of the process, concentrators may preregister for THAD courses that will be used for the concentration. The concentration coordinator will contact all concentrators with the relevant instructions shortly before the official registration period; this option is offered in the fall and spring semesters only.
Curriculum Requirements for a Graduate THAD concentration
(5 courses = 15 credits)
I. Methodology/Art Historiography/Aesthetics/
2 courses (6 credits) to be completed at the beginning of the concentration program. (One of these is the Open Seminar in History of Art and Visual Culture (HAVC-H750).)
3 courses (9 credits) to be selected based on a study plan to be discussed and developed with the THAD concentration coordinator. At least 6 credits of the 9 to be taken as THAD seminars for which concentrators will be pre-registered.
Total: 5 courses (15 credits)