The Art History Department and its faculty members have wide ranging and longstanding connections to museums and museum professionals around the country and especially in Houston. An array of established programs of study, fellowship opportunities and collaborative projects connect undergraduate and graduate students to the museum world from the introductory classroom experience to advanced study and practice in the museum setting.
Museums and Heritage Studies at Rice
Through on-campus and in-museums opportunities, the department offers several avenues (and venues) for degrees and certification at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The department offers numerous fellowships for both undergraduate and graduate students to work in museums.
See the Prizes and Awards page for more information.
Museum Practice Focus
Students in the Rice Art History PhD program benefit from longstanding ties between the department and major museums in the area. The Museum Practice Certificate puts students in direct, continuous contact with important curators, conservators, registrars, designers, and other museum professionals. A core museum studies course, led by a Rice faculty member and taught through weekly classes with the heads of departments at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, establishes a framework for those interested in a future in the museum world. Graduate seminars taught by curators in Houston area museums foster museum-based scholarship, and year-long fellowships at the MFAH, Menil, Asia Society and elsewhere provide a platform for advanced research on site.
PhD Track for Houston Curators
The department offers a Museum Professionals track, which is designed for students who currently hold professional appointments at local museums. All the requirements for language proficiency, Graduate Research Paper, Oral and Written Qualifying exams and Dissertation Prospectus and Doctoral Dissertation are the same as those for all other Ph.D. students. However, graduate students who continue to hold their position at museums have a longer timetable of seven years. For more information, see the Graduate page.
Rice Moody Arts Center
The Moody Center for the Arts is a new, internationally focused arts institution on the Rice University campus, built as a free public platform for creating collaborative works of all kinds and for presenting innovative, transdisciplinary experiences to the public and hte university community.
For more than twenty years, Rice Gallery was the only university gallery in the nation devoted to commissioning site-specific installation art. Open from 1995 to May 2017, Rice Gallery invited artists early in their careers, as well as artists of international reputation, to construct temporary works that visitors could enter and explore. View the online archive.
Houston, National and International Collaborations
Many Art History faculty members and graduate students have ongoing collaborations, which provide opportunities for students at all levels to gain a foothold in advanced research projects.
Collections Analysis Collaborative: Arts of the Ancient Mediterranean at the Menil
The Collections Analysis Collaborative unites scholars at three key institutions in Houston -- Rice University, the Menil Collection and the University of Houston-Clear Lake to achieve two goals. The first is to develop a rich understanding of the Menil’s collection of art from the Ancient Mediterranean through extended research projects by scholars and students from these institutions and specialists from around the country. The second is to foster and sustain open-ended dialogue among participants regarding the acquisition, collection maintenance, display and publication of arts from the ancient Mediterranean, perhaps the most legally and ethically complex area of museological practice. The unique collaboration between students, art historians, archaeologists and museum professionals will identify innovative approaches to address the contemporary issues of cultural heritage, object-based research, and public display confronting cultural institutions today.