About us!

The Department of Fine Arts invites students to experience art through scholarship and as a process of creation. By combining intellectual inquiry with artistic excellence, we affirm the importance of broad education and prepare our students for creative participation in a changing society. Founded in 1951 by the social realist painter Mitchell Siporin, the Department of Fine Arts has a distinguished faculty of recognized artists and accomplished art historians. Although the department consists of two separate majors and three minors, the curriculum overlaps as we aim to provide studio artists and architects with a rich historical context and art historians with a practical insight into practice. There are also many opportunities for learning experiences outside of the classroom in the form of artist talks and museum trips.

Find out about our major and minor subjects

The Art History major encourages a retrospective analysis of the art of the past and engages critically with the art of the present. The program offers a variety of courses in ancient to contemporary Western and Asian art. We also offer a minor in Art History. This gives students from another department the flexibility to put together a program of six art history courses that reflects their personal or scholarly interests.

The Studio Art course offers diverse approaches to painting, sculpture, printmaking, drawing and new media through the fundamental process of direct experience. Our established faculty fosters students’ ability to make informed judgments and push themselves beyond expectations. In addition, we offer the Studio Art minor, which is intended both as a standalone degree for students outside the Fine Arts department and as a complement to art history majors exploring studio offerings that include drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking and digital media. Minors are expected to work alongside majors in the Senior Studio, a senior year during which students develop a year-long portfolio of personal work.

The minor in architecture studies is aimed at students who aspire to a career in architecture – be it as a professional architect, architectural historian or in a related field of architecture or urban planning.

Meet our Undergraduate Advising Heads

Muna Guvenc

expertise: Modern and contemporary architecture, critical urbanism, urban movements

Joseph M Wardwell

expertise: Painting and drawing

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Meet our representatives from the Undergraduate Department

Aria Smith

Hi! My name is Aria Smith and I am a junior double major in Studio Art and Computer Science with a minor in Film. I have an eclectic passion for art, film and technology and have extensive course and field work in digital photography and film and digital editing. I love painting, printmaking and sculpture. I have always enjoyed learning about the history of art and how it has changed over the years and influenced other artists including myself. My passion is painting and pushing my creative limits. You can often find me visiting Boston’s museums or sketching or capturing fascinating moments.

Angela Sun stands in front of a colored background

Hi! My name is Angela and I am a major in Art History and East Asian Studies with a minor in History. My interests as an Art History major are very diverse – I enjoy learning about Italian Renaissance and Baroque art, Japanese and Chinese art history, and contemporary art. Some of my favorite artists are Bernini, Titian, Vincent Van Gogh, Utagawa Kuniyoshi and Yue Minjun. I love visiting different museums in the Boston area whenever I get the chance and some of my favorites are the MFA and the Gardner Museum. I am also an avid fan of language learning and am currently taking Japanese and Chinese courses with Brandeis. Outside of class, I do subtitles for Chinese variety shows and translate for Chinese hip-hop. I love meeting new people interested in the Fine Arts Department so please don’t hesitate to contact me!

Melo Wilsted

Hi! My name is Mello Wilsted and I’m in Class 2022. I’m studying Art History and my particular interests are Architecture and East Asian Art. In my own art practice I am a multimedia artist. I love crocheting, paper cutting, watercolor and drawing. I love printing and letterpress. Last summer I was an apprentice in the shop of David Goines and Richard Seiburt, Saint Heronimous Press. I’m also a certified bookbinder from the San Francisco Center for the Book. My favorite artists are Alessandro Sicioldr, Hieronymus Bosch and the street artists of Oakland. I’m seriously interested in street art, in senior year of high school I published a book on Oakland street art stickers called SLAP! And check out my Instagram!

Study opportunities abroad

The Brandeis in Siena program is a two-course, intensive, faculty-led summer program combining Studio Art and Art History in Siena, Italy. The program is a culturally immersive, experiential learning experience that puts students in direct contact with masterpieces that are seminal to the canon of art history and Western culture. Focused on the art of the Renaissance, this program gives students the life-changing experience of learning and working surrounded by the experts they study. Find out more about the program on the Study Abroad Office website!