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 interdisciplinary center will provide space for arts education, performances and gallery exhibitions on campus and promote collaborations with Houston’s world-class art museums. The Department of Art History will have close ties to the Center, which will allow for undergraduate and graduate collaboration on a large scale. The building is currently under construction, and Alison Weaver, an art historian and former director of affiliates for the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, has been named executive director of the center. There is much more to come...
The Rice Gallery presents one kind of art: installation. Five times a year, the curators invite an artist to create a single work of art that transforms our space. When you walk into Rice Gallery, you enter the art and move through it.
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.