Areas of Study Furman University

Whether you're majoring in art history or studio art, Furman offers a wide variety of art courses to consider as you plan your curriculum. 

Art studio

The Art department encompasses six studio areas: photography, design, ceramics, sculpture, painting and drawing. Studio art majors take a series of foundation courses that establish strong visual language and drawing skills so that they are prepared for upper-level course study. These foundation courses are also open to non-majors as are many of the upper-level studio courses. In addition to the areas listed below, we offer courses in bookmaking, printmaking, digital illustration and art education for school teachers.

  • Photography courses encompass both analog and digital photography. These classes introduce students to the visual language of photography through technical assignments, all within a historical and theoretical framework.
  • Design courses focus on branding, human-centered design, and visual communication.  From ad design to typography, design courses emphasis social and theoretical issues related to design.
  • Ceramic courses encompass both wheel throwing and hand-building exercises with exploration of surface treatment including glazing, decorating and firing.
  • Sculpture courses investigate a variety of sculptural processes, including modeling, carving and casting.
  • Painting and drawing courses focus on compositional principles and color ideas with an emphasis on thematic painting problems. Extensive exercises from direct observation.

art history

The Art department offers courses in the history of Western art and architecture from antiquity to the present, as well as a variety of other non-Western traditions. The curriculum is designed to provide students with a broad overview of art history and with a deeper understanding of particular areas and periods within it. We foster the study of art chronologically, globally, and thematically—promoting flexibility in approach and method.

In addition to our private collection, the numerous museums and galleries in our tri-state area make Furman an ideal location in which to study the visual arts. Many of our courses utilize regional institutions for course work and lectures; other courses draw on our vast digital database. Art history students are encouraged to obtain internships at museums, galleries, auction houses, and arts festivals in order to gain experience that complements their classroom experiences.  Students are also encouraged to spend a semester abroad in order to immerse themselves in the art and architecture of another culture. Furman’s study away programs are located throughout Europe, the Americas, the Middle East, and Asia.

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