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History of Art

Recent News

In Memoriam - Ilene Forsyth

Professor Emerita Ilene H. Forsyth, a renowned scholar of western medieval art, gifted teacher, generous philanthropist, steadfast supporter of the arts and humanities, and U-M’s first Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of the History of Art, died June 16.

Ilene Forsyth (1928-2022)

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Professor emerita Ilene H. Forsyth, distinguished medievalist, longtime member of the Department of the History of Art (1962-1997).

One of the three largest departments of art history in North America with specialists covering every major continent, Michigan has ranked among the top art history doctoral programs nationally. The department traces its origins to 1910, and has been home to some of the most distinguished scholars in the field. In keeping with this long tradition, we encourage interdisciplinary work to take advantage of the University’s great strengths across fields, including anthropology, archaeology, philosophy, film studies, women’s studies, area studies, and law.  


One of the department's core goals is to partner with other programs at Michigan and beyond. These partnerships bring History of Art into conversation with other disciplines and enrich our commitment to interdisciplinary study, at the same time fortifying our connection to the University of Michigan community. 

For a full list of partnerships, click here

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