Art and Art History

Art and Art History
Art student in her studio with two paintings behind her

Explore the Department of Art and Art History

The Department of Art and Art History provides an integrated studio and art history experience. Through the study of history, critical analysis, materials, techniques and contemporary art practices, we encourage you to construct meaning, understand multiple perspectives, employ differing academic disciplines and unravel the complexities of creativity. Our department is committed to fostering an education that inspires you to innovate, while honoring the traditions of the past and the techniques of the masters. Our alumni go into the workforce employing creative and critical thinking that ultimately manifests in a diverse scope of professional careers. From authors to teachers, designers to business owners, we are proud of the imaginative successes of our former students.

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Statement regarding the opening of the UNH Gallery of Art, following the closure of the Museum of Art

 

The closure of the UNH Museum of Art is a loss to the entire University.  

From 2010 to 2024 the Museum offered vibrant programming through exhibitions, lectures, and community outreach. Many accomplished artists and culturally significant exhibitions were brought to the community, fostering a diverse and vibrant dialogue. In addition to serving the Department of Art and Art History, the Museum significantly influenced the University's teaching and research mission across various disciplines and curricula. Its permanent collection has served as an invaluable resource for scholars, artists, and students, offering the opportunity for close study and firsthand experience of significant works of art. 

The most significant loss has been the people, the dedicated staff of museum professionals who endeavored to enrich the cultural life of the University community. We owe them a debt of gratitude for their years of service and commitment. 

The closure of the Museum of Art is a result of the University's financial constraints. The impacts of this reality have been spread broadly across our community and do not reflect a diminished commitment to the Arts from the College of Liberal Arts. There can, and should be, vigorous debate on the allocation of diminished resources. The continued support of this exhibition space and collection underscores the College's unwavering commitment to supporting the Arts within our community. 

The Arts are vital to the wellbeing of any community. Their source of power is not dependent on the support of institutions. Although institutional resources and support can aid in the flourishing and reach of the Arts, they are not essential to their existence. The Arts will find a way to flourish in the most inhospitable terrains. They cannot be silenced, marginalized, or ignored. THE ARTS ARE RESILIENT

From 1959 to 2010, this exhibition space and collection under the direction of the Department of Art and Art History was known as the UNH Gallery of Art. It has now returned to this earlier manifestation. The Gallery of Art and collection will more directly focus on the immediate University and surrounding communities. This focus will highlight the creative spirit throughout our student body and organizations, faculty research, and broader community voices. The Gallery of Art will be founded on a grassroots movement of creative vitality from across the University community. The permanent collection will continue to serve as a valuable resource for our faculty, students, and staff. The creative life of the Arts is not dependent on institutional support, but they are dependent on community support in the form of active engagement and initiative. The Gallery of Art welcomes your participation and is grateful for your creative spirit. 

Benjamin Cariens, Associate Professor 
Chair, Department of Art and Art History 
University of New Hampshire

Department News

  • Leah Woods with chainsaw

    Building Skills

    A recent issue of the UNH TODAY Newsletter includes a story featuring our very own woodworking professor, Leah Woods. The article discusses Professor Woods’ participation in a prison outreach program in New Hampshire that teaches woodworking skills to women.

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  • Design professor Liese Zahabi

    Thinking Out Loud

    Professor Liese Zahabi has recently had an article published in the design journal Dialectic. “Thinking out Loud: An Invitation for Designers to Consider the Voice User Interface” discusses voice-activated devices and interfaces (specifically VUI) becoming normalized in places like the U.S.

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  • Portrait of Professor Susan Wager

    Boucher's Spirit

    Congratulations to art history professor Susan Wager on the publication of her article, “Boucher’s Spirit: Authorship, Invention, and the Force of Porcelain” in The Art Bulletin. Published by the College Art Association of America, The Art Bulletin is one of the most prestigious journals devoted to art historical scholarship.

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  • Portrait of Patricia Emison

    Art and Its Observers

    What ties western art together? This extended essay by art history professor Patricia Emison attempts to distill some of the basic ideas with which artists and observers of their art have grappled, ideas worthy of ongoing consideration and debate. 

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Video Highlights

  • Student on top of table painting on a canvas

    Immerse Yourself in the Arts

    Explore a wide range of artistic techniques and study the rich history of art in a creative and inspiring community.

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  • Ceramics students at UNH

    Spotlight on Ceramics

    "The opportunity to do ceramics at such a beautiful campus is really inspiring."

    Ember Nevins

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  • Lily Soucy

    Spotlight on Printmaking

    "The professors here are really welcoming. They are all excited and passionate about their art and they want to instill that passion in their students."

    Lily soucy 

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  • Maddie Pender in painting studio

    Spotlight on Painting

    "We're a really tight-knit community. You're able to come to this safe, creative space that really gets your mind flowing and makes you want to come in and paint every day."

    madeline pender

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  • Female student in front of white background

    Spotlight on Photography

    "I've learned so many great techniques and so quickly, with the help of my professors."

    Jacquelyn Weik

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  • Lorna Bostwick-Pope

    Spotlight on the BFA Program

    "I chose to apply to the BFA program because of the studio spaces and the one-on-one time you get to have with each of the professors."

    Lorna bostwick-pope

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Upcoming Events

Recent Stories

painting of women huddled around ill woman on bed

Myths Retold, In the Garden

Myths Retold, In the Garden

New exhibitions open at the Museum of Art, January 26

Article
three women in classroom showing their woodworking projects

Building a Skill

Building a Skill

Prison outreach program in New Hampshire teaches woodworking to women

Article
books in a pile

On the Bookshelf and Streaming

On the Bookshelf and Streaming

A year-end roundup of books and recordings published by College of Liberal Arts faculty

Article
Plaster sculpture of a head lying on its side

Research Snapshot: Pox

Research Snapshot: Pox

2019; plaster, ink, cement

Article
men unloading fish in a boat

Frame of Mind

Frame of Mind

COLA faculty take snapshots to capture their research — and bring fascinating insights to the images

Article
Illustrated postcard of Italian landscape

Going Places

Going Places

Madison Hoppler '24 headed to Italy after winning travel scholarship

Article
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Student & Alumni Spotlights

  • E.J. Theriault in her studio
    Fine Arts Major (Sculpture)
    How did you choose your major and why? As an undeclared student my first semester as a freshman, I explored a variety of classes and enrolled in a biology class which I immediately dropped after the first meeting. With a gap that needed to be filled, I registered for Professor Ben Cariens evening drawing class and was instantly sucked back into the magical world of creating…
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    Studio Art Major
    As an art major, Kaitlyn Grant ’20 of Somersworth, New Hampshire, is, in some ways, learning the same things over and over — but not out of redundancy. Instead it’s part of an arts education that allows students to hone their skills and develop their personal style. It’s why art students can sometimes take the same course twice — where one professor focuses on composition and light one…
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  • headshot
    Psychology and Studio Art Majors, Liberal Studies Masters | Library Services Specialist
    What you are currently doing for work? I currently work at the UNH Dimond Library in the Circulation unit. I have a supporting role in training, scheduling and supervision of circulation student assistants. As an undergraduate I worked at the Dimond Library as a student assistant for one…
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  • Tejas Moses with Don Williams, senior lecturer in art
    Fine Arts Major
    A native of Dublin, N.H., Tejas Moses came to UNH because he wanted to maintain his relationships to people and places he had before college, while feeding his desire “for challenge and adventure and bliss.” Those and “a really good financial aid package” that included a prestigious Hamel Scholarship, landed Tejas in Durham and UNH, where he majored in fine arts with a concentration…
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  • headshot
    Studio Art Major | Art Instructor and Artist
    Describe what you are currently doing for work and how you got to this point. I teach art at Phillips Exeter Academy, where I have been an instructor in painting, printmaking and photography. I have been working there for almost 20 years. Prior to that, I worked at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston in the Design Department, which was my first job after graduating from UNH. I designed signage and banners before computers were used, which was very related to the hands-on project oriented major that I had just completed and fulfilled my desire to pursue graphic design in an art-centered institution.
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