Art and Art History



The Art and Art History faculty work to nurture students’ understanding of the various arts and to develop their artistic and creative abilities, whether for their own intellectual growth or for success in an art career. Critical and technical skills are taught as well as an appreciation of art as an essential element in a fulfilling life as a vehicle for interpreting the present and the past.

Our facilities include naturally lit studios for painting and drawing classes, a state-of-the-art computer lab, as well as graphic design, jewelry, printmaking, ceramics, and sculpture studios. The Department offers a range of experiences including the opportunity to view monthly shows in our own Esther Prangley Rice Gallery, where students can meet local, regional and national artists.

Peterson Hall and the Art Studio

Gretchen McKay
Professor and Department Chair
(410) 871-3388

Art & Art History Online Catalog

Majors & Courses

The undergraduate Art & Art History program prepares students for a multitude of careers. Our graduates are now working in graphic design firms, attending graduate programs in Studio Art, Digital Media, Art History, and teaching in elementary and secondary schools. Many students enroll in art courses for personal enrichment and a desire for creative expression.

In addition to the Studio Art Major and the Art History Major, the department offers two specializations:

Graphic Design
Art Teacher Education (certification in Secondary Education, grades 7-12)





Associate Professor Gretchen McKayProfessor and department chair Gretchen McKay

(Ph.D., University of ​Virginia), is an expert in Byzantine and Early Christian art, Medieval art and 19th-century art, who brought the “Reacting to the Past” series, which immerses students in historical events through role-playing, to McDaniel and is the author of one of the series’ games, “Modernism vs. Traditionalism: Art in Paris, 1888-89,” now in use in many colleges and universities nationwide.

Gretchen is the 2015 recipient of The Ira G. Zepp Distinguished Teaching Award, the College's top teaching award.  Read more »

Professor Susan BloomProfessor Susan Bloom

(M.F.A., The Maryland Institute College of Art), whose work appears in several private collections and is shown regionally, teaches photography, digital photography and computer graphics and is known for her innovative photography techniques and her 608-page book, “Digital Collage and Painting,” directed at the fine art applications of the computer.

Senior Lecturer Katya DovganSenior Lecturer Katya Dovgan

(M.F.A., Academy of Fine Arts and Architecture, Kyiv, Ukraine), specializes in painting and art conservation. Prior to coming to the U.S., she had worked as an artist, art teacher and art conservator all over Ukraine, in Russia and Germany. Ms. Mychajlyshyn teaches Drawing I, Figure Drawing, Oil Painting, Watercolor and Sculpture classes to both undergraduate and graduate students. Examples of her creative work and art conservation projects can be seen on the McDaniel campus.

Assistant Professor Izabel Galliera

(Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh) focuses on Modern and Contemporary Art and Theory with a particular emphasis on art in Central and Eastern Europe during and after the fall of socialism. Her research interests include socially engaged art and theories of civil society and public spheres. Dr. Galliera has peer reviewed publications in the Journal of Curatorial Studies and Athanor; and presented at several professional conferences, such as 2014 CAA, 2012 CASVA and 2011 AAH. She has also curated exhibitions including Art Into Life, Life Into Art: Matei Bejenaru; A Social Geography of Hair: Performing Gender and identity in Contemporary Art; and Torolab: One Degree Celsius.

Associate Professor, Interim Department Chair, and Director of the Esther Prangley Rice Gallery Steven PearsonProfessor and Director of the Esther Prangley Rice Gallery Steven Pearson

(M.F.A. Hoffberger School of Painting, The Maryland Institute College of Art), who teaches drawing and painting, color theory, printmaking, and the Advanced Studio Series of courses, explores in his artwork the notion of memory's function and sustainability in a media saturated world. Professor Pearson exhibits his work both regionally and nationally, and his work is in a number of public and private art collections.

Listen to Steve being interviewed on WYPR's show "The Signal."

Professor Susan Scott

(Ph.D., The Pennsylvania State University), a founding member of the Chinese Architectural History Society, specializes in Asian and Islamic art, Renaissance and Baroque architecture and Spanish and Italian Baroque painting and spearheaded the establishment of the college’s Asian Studies major and minor, which she now coordinates while continuing her research in Asian art history and frequent travels, often with students, to Japan and China.

Senior Lecturer Linda Van HartSenior Lecturer Linda Van Hart

(M.ArtEd.,Towson University), In addition to teaching basic design and jewelry and lapidary, Ms. Van Hart is an accomplished jeweler and businesswoman whose designs are well-known throughout the mid-Atlantic region.


Art & Art History majors may participate in internships in Graphic Design, Studio, and Art History. Field trips to galleries in Washington, D.C., Baltimore, and New York City broaden the horizons of students. Opportunities for further travel exist in January Term art tours of Europe and programs for study abroad.

McDaniel has two buildings dedicated to the Art & Art History program, Peterson Hall and The Studio. Peterson Hall is where courses are taught in art history, graphic design, computer graphics, photography and design classes as well as faculty offices. The Rice Gallery is located on the upper floor. The Studio is the home for students taking courses in painting, printmaking, ceramics, sculpture, jewelry and drawing. Its skylit spaces and good ventilation provides an excellent space for these media.

Study Abroad

The Art & Art History Department has affiliations with two Art focused study abroad programs: SACI Florence and Burren College of Art.

Ars Nova - Arts Club

The student arts club, Ars Nova, provides a forum to view and critique work, discuss and share ideas, organize student exhibitions, and provide community service. Completion or enrollment in at least one studio or art history course qualifies students for membership.

Art Honor Society

Eikon TexNH E’Ekphrasis is a McDaniel College-only honor society that promotes excellence in the field of art history, and seeks to foster an environment suitable for further research, study, and critique of works of art. Minimum requirements for membership include completion of 12 semester hours of art history, rank in the top 35% of the class, average GPA in Art History courses of 3.5, and overall GPA of 3.0.

Visiting Lecture Series

Click on the speakers name to visit their website.


Recent student–faculty research collaboration

Student Professor Topic
Caitlin Bennett Dr. Susan Scott Vincent van Gogh and the East: Japanese Woodblock Prints and Buddhism
Nicolas Reed Jarboe Dr. Susan Scott The Wonders of Seasons, The Glory of Weather, and the Whimsicality of the Sun and Moon in the Woodblock Prints of Utagawa Hiroshige

After McDaniel

Recent Art & At History graduates have pursued advanced degrees at the following colleges and universities:

American University
Art Institute of Boston (MA)
Corcoran College of Art and Design
George Washington University (Washington, D.C.)
Maryland Institute College of Art
Montclair State University (NJ)
Otis College of Art & Design (Los Angeles, CA)
Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art
Pratt Institute (NY)
Savannah College of Art and Design
School of the Art Institute of Chicago (IL)
School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston (MA)
School of Visual Arts in New York City
University of Edinburgh, Scotland
University of Delaware