College of Letters & Science

From the Chair

December 19, 2017

As 2017 draws to a close, I look back on the path the art history department took this year and where we are headed. The university and our department faced many challenges in recent years, but we also achieved many successes and are well positioned for the years ahead. I am very excited to be leading the department at this point as we look ahead to the future.

The art history department takes great pride in the achievements of our stellar faculty and students. Our junior faculty members continue to win recognition and honors for their contributions to the field. Assistant Professor Jennifer Pruitt, for instance, was just honored with a “first book” award from the Center for the Humanities to complete her manuscript on religious identity in medieval architecture in Egypt. Our senior faculty members publish and lecture in prestigious venues; as I write this, Prof. Jill Casid is giving a keynote lecture at the University College Dublin. Perhaps most importantly, our graduate students are earning their degrees more quickly than ever before, in no small part because your financial generosity has afforded them more opportunities to complete their research travel in a timely fashion.

As Chair, I will build on these strengths as we grow in new and exciting ways. The bedrock for our growth is evident in some of our recent initiatives:

  • Designing and teaching more cross-disciplinary courses to grow our enrollments dramatically by engaging majors and non-majors alike, thereby offering all students the advantages of the investigatory and visual skills unique to art history;

  • Developing new partnerships with other schools on campus, such as the School of Engineering in a new certificate program in Architecture, demonstrating how deeply relevant the study of art history is to all fields of study, including the sciences;

  • Forging new ways to collaborate with the Chazen Museum of Art, so more of our students gain hands-on experience and skills in all facets of museum work, giving them a major advantage in the competitive job market;

  • Pursuing more financial support for students passionate about studying art history, by multiplying the number of awards and grants made possible through your generous donations.

Of course, the path to excellence comes with a cost. I invite you to consider making a tax- deductible year-end contribution to the department today online through No amount is too small—showing your support with any sized gift demonstrates that we have a strong community of supportive alumni and friends.

The students and faculty deeply value your commitment to our mission and thank you in advance. We all wish you the best this holiday season.


Anna Vemer Andrzejewski
Professor and Chair

P.S. : If you would like a printed copy of this year’s annual newsletter, please email Chris Stricker. GET INVOLVED—BE ACTIVE—STAY CONNECTED: visit our website (, like our Facebook page, or follow us on Twitter (@UW_arthistory).