Art and Cultural Heritage

Faculty members talk about what you can learn and what makes this major special.

Mission Statement

Art has been an essential part of Liberal Arts since ancient times. This is a field of study which asks fundamental questions as to how our aesthetic essence is expressed and recognized through sight, touch, hearing, or through a combination of these senses. The exploration of these questions 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 convey 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. There is a pressing need to give students of today, who are both consumers and creators of such cultural products, an anchor for judgment of the true aesthetic values of human existence and to achieve an education which cultivates behavior as a sensible, responsible citizen. 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 generally considered to be two different fields of study, 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 in the fields of painting and sculpture, but also 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 uses this approach as the foundation for its Curatorial Training Program, which nurtures curators with broad-ranging knowledge and academic insight, international-standard language proficiency, and professional business skills. The use of ICU facilities such as the Yuasa Hachiro Memorial Museum, the archeology laboratory, and the Taizanso Teahouse are indispensable parts of this program.

For students not seeking a professional qualification, the major provides 1) insight into the significance of art in society, 2) capacity to critically understand and judge the content of various artistic expressions, 3) understanding of the importance of interdisciplinary study in collaboration with other academic fields, 4) appreciation of the value of artistic endeavor as seen from a global perspective.

The major also aims to equip students pursuing this field of study as their specialization with the academic foundations for conducting research in top-level graduate programs both within and beyond Japan. All Art and Cultural Heritage graduates, regardless of their specialization and professional orientation, are expected to exercise good conscience and responsibility based on sound judgment from a global perspective, and to make a contribution to the society to which they belong.

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