Art and Cultural Heritage

Art and Cultural Heritage

Mission Statement

Art has been an essential part of Liberal Arts since the ancient times. This is a field of study which asks a fundamental question as to how our aesthetic essence is expressed and recognized through sight, sense of touch, hearing, or in combination. The exploration of the question naturally connects with many other research fields which originate from traditional disciplines such as humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. Consequently, this major aims to emphasize the importance of interdisciplinary consideration of the meaning of human existence as recognized through the various human senses.

Since the 20th Century, the border between refined art expression and popular expression has become more and more ambiguous. It is a pressing need to give students, who are consumers and also creators of such cultural products, an anchor for judgment of the true aesthetic values of human existence and to achieve an education which nurtures sensible, responsible citizens. In this respect, this major is expected to play a more important role in the world to come.

Learning Goals

Although Art History and Archaeology are often considered as two different study fields, the Art and Cultural Heritage major binds them together as they are both relevant to the same material culture. Based on the idea that comparison is always necessary for analysis and evaluation of an artwork, this major studies art of the East and the West, not only from paintings and sculptures, but also from architecture and crafts in a broader sense, regardless of the regions or age they originate in.

The Art and Cultural Heritage major aims to grasp the beauty and the sense of value of an object and to intellectually explore the meaning and spiritual value that underlies each object. The major also offers the Curatorial Training Program to nurture curators within ICU Liberal Arts education so that they possess a thorough knowledge, high-level language skills, competence on an international stage, and professional business skills. The Yuasa Hachiro Memorial Museum, the archeology laboratory, and the use of the school facilities such as the Taizanso Teahouse are indispensable parts of this program.

The major provides knowledge of 1) the significance of the existence of art in society, 2) the attainment of how to understand and critically judge the content of various expressions, 3) an understanding of the importance of interdisciplinary study in collaboration with other study fields, 4) the value of art activities as seen from a global perspective.

All students majoring in this field will learn how to evaluate evidence, draw sound and imaginative conclusions, and express their findings in word and image. These skills have helped to place ICU's art and archaeology graduates in such diverse fields as teaching, museum work, archaeological fieldwork, design, architecture, publishing, advertising, journalism, and non-profit organizations. Many of our majors also go on to graduate programs in art history and cultural studies in Japan as well as overseas.

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