Active since 1991, the History of Art Majors’ Society (HAMS) has provided a way for Cornell history of art majors to enhance their knowledge about the discipline of art history beyond the classroom. Students work under the guidance of the Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of the History of Art and Visual Studies.

Beginning in 1993, the Johnson Museum of Art has collaborated with the Department of the History of Art to provide opportunities for interested HAMS undergraduates to gain direct museum experience. These students meet at the Museum one evening each week throughout the academic year to develop an annual exhibition drawn from the permanent collection and to research, write, and publish an accompanying exhibition brochure. Students also plan educational programs and public lectures to coincide with their exhibition while it is on view at the Johnson. The Museum’s Mellon Coordinator of Student Engagement oversees this student-generated project.

The HAMS annual exhibition is funded in part by a generous gift from Betsey and Alan Harris. As part of their learning process, students also pursue other funding opportunities each year, including grants from the Cornell Council for the Arts and the Student Assembly Finance Commission.


2015-16 History of Art Majors’ Society exhibition team 

Lara Abouhamad
Cecilia Cascella
Wylie Rechler, vice president
Oscar Rieveling, treasurer
Katya Savelieva, president
Cleo Siderides
Samantha Siegler
Yuanyuan Tang, secretary
Anamaria Toledo
Eunice Yu


History of Art Majors' Society Exhibitions

15 Minutes: Exposing Dimensions of Fame (2016)
Revolt: Aesthetics of Dissent and Disgust (2015)
enticing and eye/exploring the frame (2014)
Hair: Untangling Roots of Identity (2013)
[space]: Constructing the Intangible (2012)
iCON: Consuming the American Image (2011)
Bodies Unbound: The Classical and Grotesque (2010)
Unfolding Process: Conceptual and Material Practice on Paper (2009)
Exquisite Corpus: Interacting with the Fragmented Body (2008)
Performing Desire: Constructs of Feminine Beauty and Sexuality in Japanese Art (2007)
The Novel Picture: Interactions Between Text and Image (2006)
Cars and Ketchup: Photorealist Images of the American Landscape (2005)
Double Takes: Transformations Through the Lens (2004)

A Concert of the Senses: Eighteenth-Century European Prints (March 22–June 15, 2003)
Reality Reimagined: Photography Since 1950 (March 30–July 14, 2002)
War and Peace (March 10–June 10, 2001)
Revealing Disguises: Building Identity (March 4–June 18, 2000)
Children: Seen and Not Heard (March 20–June 13, 1999)
PRIVATE: Exploring Personal Space (March 14–June 7, 1998)
Raising the Curtain: Images of Performance (March 15–May 25, 1997)
Tempo of the City: New York Photography in the Twentieth Century (February 10–March 24, 1996)