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Art History, In Person


Drawn in by the open curriculum, Jacob Colangelo ’20 enrolled at Hamilton and then happily followed his parents’ advice, which was to discover new interests. His first semester courses were diverse — economics, history of jazz, architecture, and Italian. Those last two reflect new interests that stuck, and Colangelo is now an art history major taking lots of Italian. He spent last summer studying art and language in Italy and shared this perspective.

I think the really interesting part of art history is how behaviors and methodologies of the time periods can be seen in the art, and you can also see how art changes those behaviors, so it’s a two-way street. The best place to see it is in architecture. A lot of historical architecture uses certain types of buildings to push a certain behavior, so it’s interesting how it affects the psychology of the time. And also there’s so much to cover; you never run out of art to look at, of buildings to analyze.

Going to Italy definitely made me more fired up about doing art history. Before, when I finished sophomore year, I was still a little skeptical about what exactly I wanted to do with it and what direction I wanted to take it, but I think going and seeing all the art in person helped me focus in on that I like Renaissance art. I like combining my Italian language with it, so that really helped.

I think I’m going to look into some museum internships this summer and try to get a foot in the door with that. I’m also pretty interested in architecture, the history of architecture, so maybe I’ll do something on that career path.

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