University of Hawaii at Manoa Library




The Department of Art offers a studio art program and the study of the history of art, which are concerned with the creative, the experiential and the developmental aspects of art. The department offers the BA and the BFA; the MA in Art History (Plan A, thesis and Plan B, non-thesis options); and the MFA in Studio Art (Plan A, thesis only).

Undergraduate students are offered a broad-based BA art degree with either a studio focus, where a wide range of visual arts media can be explored, or an art history focus, where the visual arts are studied in a historical context. The undergraduate BFA degree program offers specialized preparation in ceramics, fiber, glass, graphic design, painting, photography, printmaking, and sculpture. The program is designed for students who wish to pursue a professional career or an advanced degree in studio art.

The graduate program in the field of art history requires an emphasis in Asian and/or Pacific art history. Areas of specialization for the studio art graduate program include ceramics, design, fiber, painting, photography, printmaking, and sculpture. The Department of Art emphasizes photography as a fine art and students may earn the BFA in photography. Areas of specialization include contemporary photography techniques, audiovisual production, studio photography, large format photography, and lighting. Areas of active faculty and student research include color and manipulated photographic images, serigraphy photo intaglio, photo lithography, and film arts.

Areas of active faculty and graduate student research include surveys of Asian, Western, and tribal art; Renaissance, 19th, and 20th century Western art; art of Islam; Buddhist art; and calligraphy. One faculty member is the director of the Art Gallery. The artists on the faculty have works in public and private collections in the United States, Europe, South America, and Asia.


The field of art overlaps with related disciplines in the humanities, social sciences and sciences, primarily American studies, anthropology, architecture, Asian studies, classics, dance, education, English language and literature, European languages and literature, Hawaiian studies, history, music, philosophy, religion, theater and dance, and the textile and clothing program within the Department of Human Resources.

Art relies on the materials in the Asia, Hawaiian, and Pacific collections; on the Jean Charlot Collection of modern art in Special Collections; and on the Science and Technology collection for materials relating to costume, textiles, fashion, and photography.

Responsibility for acquiring other than "art" photography is shared among the disciplines that make use of such material. Excluded are sports photography and amateur show photography.

Off-campus sources of use to the department include the Bishop Museum and its library for primary source materials in Pacific basin art; and the Hawaiian Mission Children's Society Library, Hawaiian Historical Society Library, and Hawaii State Archives for documents and photographs relating to the history of Hawaii. The Honolulu Academy of Arts and the Contemporary Art Museum house collections of Western and Asian art.


Language: Material in English and occasionally French and German is selected. Asia, Pacific, and Hawaiian language materials are collected by the respective area collections. Some duplication of material in Asian languages may be found in the Hamilton Library general collection.

Chronological: No limitations.

Geographic: No limitations, but the emphasis is on Asian and Pacific art history. Western art history and Islamic and African general resources are also collected. American Indian, Latin American and pre-Columbian art are collected at a very general level.

Date of Publication: No limitation, but emphasis is given to current titles. Art historians also need retrospective materials, especially originals or reproductions of images and information about them.

Types and Formats of Materials Collected: Primarily books and serials in hard copy. Reprints are preferred to microforms; dissertations are purchased on specific request. Museum bulletins, art auction catalogs, exhibition catalogs, and art newsletters are collected. Unbound study photographs of works of art are not collected by Hamilton Library. All formats may be collected, including electronic, print, and microform. Microforms are acquired as needed, depending on availability of other formats and preservation concerns.

Electronic Format: Electronic resources include indexes, databases, reference tools, e-books, and so forth. Networked electronic access is preferred for full text journal literature and for indexing and abstracting. Electronic resources may be available in a number of formats, including online, CD-ROM, or other digital storage formats.

Treatment: Primary and secondary sources are acquired to provide broad coverage of art from paleolithic to the present day. Materials collected include chronological and stylistic surveys, monographs on individual artists, exhibition catalogs, and artists works. Technique (how-to) books for the layman, cartoons, antique collectibles, arts and crafts, and commercial art materials are acquired selectively.

Major Microform Holdings: The Human Relations Area Files (HRAF), a collection of primary source materials on microfiche is held by the library. Selected portions of the HRAF are available on CD-ROM and online.


Art books with high quality reproductions are acquired by the collection at the request of the department, then loaned to the department which makes slides for instructional purposes. This provides better slide quality and associated text than do the commercial fine arts slide packages. The fine arts and visual studies slide collections are maintained at the Art department.

Compiled by: Theodore Kwok

Date: July 2008

Terms of Use  |  UH Mānoa  |  UH System  |  Ask Us
University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Library  |  2550 McCarthy Mall  |  Honolulu, Hawaii 96822 USA
808-956-7214 (Reference)  |  808-956-7203 (Circulation)  |  808-956-7205 (Administration)
808-956-5968 (fax)  |  Email Us