The department of fine arts was established at the University of
Minnesota in 1928, with a focus on training professional artists. Courses in
studio arts offered within the Institute of Technology and a separate
department of art education were combined with the department of fine arts to
establish the art department in 1947. Courses on the history and theory of art,
as well as practical applications, were offered by the department. The art
department's first chair was H. Harvard Arnason. In 1966, the department of art
was divided into the department of art history and department of studio arts.
The department of studio arts was later renamed the department of art. In 1993,
the department accepted administrative control of the Katherine Nash Gallery,
which gave the department its first professional exhibit space.