Duke University

Duke University was created in 1924 by James Buchanan Duke as a memorial to his father, Washington Duke. The Dukes, a Durham family that built a worldwide financial empire in the manufacture of tobacco products and developed electricity production in the Carolinas, long had been interested in Trinity College. Trinity traced its roots to 1838 in nearby Randolph County when local Methodist and Quaker communities opened Union Institute. The school, then named Trinity College, moved to Durham in 1892. In December 1924, the provisions of James B. Duke's indenture created the family philanthropic foundation, The Duke Endowment, which provided for the expansion of Trinity College into Duke University.

As a result of the Duke gift, Trinity underwent both physical and academic expansion. The original Durham campus became known as East Campus when it was rebuilt in stately Georgian architecture. West Campus, Gothic in style and dominated by the soaring 210-foot tower of Duke Chapel, opened in 1930. East Campus served as home of the Woman's College of Duke University until 1972, when the men's and women's undergraduate colleges ... [ Read All ]


United States

2138 Campus Drive
North Carolina
NC 27708
Phone: (919) 684-3214
Fax: (919) 681-8941
Website: http://www.duke.edu/web/a

College Photos (10)

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Our Aims

The mission of Duke University is to provide a superior liberal education to undergraduate students, attending not only to their intellectual growth but also to their development as adults committed to high ethical standards and full participation as leaders in their communities; to prepare future members of the learned professions for lives of skilled and ethical service by providing excellent graduate and professional education; to advance the frontiers of knowledge and contribute boldly to the international community of scholarship; to promote an intellectual environment built on a commitment to free and open inquiry; to help those who suffer, cure disease, and promote health, through sophisticated medical research and thoughtful patient care; to provide wide ranging educational opportunities, on and beyond our campuses, for traditional students, active professionals and life-long learners using the power of information technologies; and to promote a deep appreciation for the range of human difference and potential, a sense of the obligations and rewards of citizenship, and a commitment to learning, freedom and truth.

By pursu...  [ Read All ]

Location and Getting there


Department and information about the department

The Department of Art, Art History & Visual Studies, as its name implies, has two distinct yet profoundly complementary units, one primarily devoted to the making of works of art, the other primarily devoted to the historical understanding and current interpretation of visual images and constructed space. All members of the Department are actively engaged in teaching and research as well as scholarly or artistic production. Our faculty and students, undergraduate and graduate, are committed to international research, interdisciplinary courses, and the study of visual culture across geographic and historical categories. Brief descriptions of the Department's course offerings and programs are provided in the Courses and Programs sections of this website. Although founded in 1931, Duke University's Department of Art, Art History & Visual Studies has taken its present shape within the last 20 years. Since 1986, the Department broadened its perspective by introducing courses in theory, methodology, and criticism; by attracting faculty specialists in African and African Diaspora, East Asian, and Latin American art histories in addition to...  [ Read All ]

Academic Staff and Description


News and Events


Information For  Undergraduates

Art History
The major in Art History requires that you take at least ten courses. Two of the three introductory Art History courses, ARTHIST 69, 70 and 71, are required. ARTHIST 71 will not fulfill the non-Western requirement. The other eight courses should be distributed across the fields of Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance/Baroque, Modern, and Non-Western (Pre-Columbian, African, Asian). Students must take one course in each of these five areas. One of these ten courses must be a 200 level seminar.

Students planning to attend graduate school in the field of Art History should consider taking at least two 200-level seminars: ARTHIST 296S, Methodology of Art History, and a second seminar in the same field as any 100-level course, already taken by the student. (For example, ARTHIST 141, Fifteenth Century Italian Art, is a logical prepration for ARTHIST 247S, Topics in Italian Renaissance Art.) They should also seriously consider taking a Degree with Distinction. Two years of a foreign language at the college level are strongly recommended.

Students interested in preparing for graduate work in architecture should consider the de...  [ Read All ]

Information For  Postgraduates

The Department of Art, Art History & Visual Studies at Duke University offers an interdisciplinary Ph.D. Program in the History of Art. We invite applications from highly qualified students interested in careers in research, teaching, and criticism.
The Ph.D. Program is committed to preparing students for advanced research in the visual cultures of the past and present. The Department recognizes that visual literacy plays an increasingly important role in negotiating contemporary society. Art, architecture, mass media (television, video, film, internet), and urbanism all work through reference to visual and spatial conventions. We strive, in consequence, to provide our graduate students not only with the necessary tools to understand objects and archives, but also the skills to interpret visual and material culture for the benefit of the broader community.


Information For  International Students




Student Facilities

The Visual Arts program has new state-of-the-art studio facilities in the Art, Culture and Technology (ACT) Warehouse, a beautifully-renovated tobacco warehouse between S. Buchanan St. and Campus Drive, which opened in Fall 2005 for classes in painting, drawing, printmaking (intaglio, lithography and silkscreen), digital graphics, digital photography, multi-media and architectural design. A new stop on the East/West bus route stops at the ACT Warehouse.

The sculpture studio is located at 406 Oregon Street west of the ACT Warehouse. The high ceilings and slab concrete floors makes it a sufficiently versatile facility to handle large scale works of art. The interior is divided into large areas for welding in steel and woodworking.

Studio classes in photography are offered collaboratively with the Center for Documentary Studies, (http://www-cds.aas.duke.edu) located at 1317 W. Pettigrew St., off of Swift Ave.


Student Life

The mission of the Division of Student Affairs is to promote and enrich students' education through teaching, mentoring, advising, and counseling by way of on-going direct contact with students in their every day lives. Student Affairs educates students in community living, social intelligence and responsibility, ethical behavior, citizenship skills and social justice, appreciation of the arts, leadership skills, coping with adversity, health and wellness, diversity, and adaptive skills for living.



The Department of Residence Life and Housing Services is committed to providing Duke students an environment that is a great place in which to live and learn. To this end, RLHS seeks to develop and maintain, in collaboration with student residents and others in the Duke community, environments which support classroom learning, and in which students are stirred to seek learning opportunities in the world around them; promote opportunities for students to connect with others and develop a strong and enduring sense of belonging; intentionally provide opportunities for students to grow and develop, especially as they wrestle with issues of identity, autonomy and responsibility; are rooted in mutual respect and civility; and in which the dignity and self worth of all members are celebrated; are safe and secure; and are comfortable and well maintained.


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