MA in Art History


Download the SACI MA in Art History Program Brochure


SACI's Master of Arts in Art History students live in the city that, during the Renaissance, revolutionized art and has since served as an inspiration and catalyst for generations of artists and art historians. They work in an environment of rigorous critical inquiry at an institution known for its formation of creative contemporary artists and scholars. They encounter great artworks not only in museums, but in the venues for which they were intended: churches and other public buildings, squares, gardens, and private houses throughout Italy and elsewhere in Europe. They have the rare opportunity to conduct research at the Uffizi Gallery's Gabinetto Disegni e Stampe, and are able to learn art conservation and diagnostic techniques that they can apply to art-historical study in their selected areas.


At no additional cost, students travel to art-historically important sites and major museums throughout Italy and elsewhere in Europe to deepen their understanding of Italian art and its relationship to art in Europe and throughout the world.

By exploiting fully the advantages available to scholars only through advanced study in Florence, graduates of the MA in Art History program will be highly competitive when seeking admission to doctoral programs in Art History and, upon completion of these programs, will be uniquely qualified to teach at colleges and universities.

Students complete all of their course work in Italy during one year of intensive study at SACI in Florence from September to July and earn 36 credits. They enroll for 12 credits in both the Fall and Spring semesters and 6 credits in both the Late Spring and Summer terms.

The Major Discipline is the area in which the student chooses to concentrate and is at the heart of the program of study. It can be selected from the following:

• Italian Late Medieval and Early Renaissance Art
• Italian High Renaissance, Mannerist, and Early Baroque Art
• Baroque and Rococo European and Italian Art
• 19th-Century European and Italian Art
• Modern European and Italian Art
• Contemporary European and Italian Art
• Women and the Arts in Italy
• Contemporary Art Theory and Criticism
• History of Italian Cinema
• History of Photography
• Conservation Law, Business, and Management
• Museology


Florence's Museo Novecento

Students are allotted study space in SACI’s main building, the Palazzo dei Cartelloni, a landmark Renaissance palazzo located in Florence’s historic center at Via Sant’Antonino 11. The palazzo is just steps away from Piazza Santa Maria Novella and the Medici Chapel and a short distance from such famous sites as Brunelleschi’s Duomo and Ospedale degli Innocenti, and in close proximity to Florence’s four other great piazze—Piazza Santa Croce, Piazza della Signoria, Piazza della Repubblica, and Piazza della Santissima Annunziata. SACI is a short walk from Florence’s renowned Uffizi, Bargello, Accademia, and Palazzo Pitti museums and a number of the world’s greatest libraries. Students also have access to Florence’s new Museo Novecento, which has a notable collection of modern Italian art, and the Luigi Pecci Center for Contemporary Art in nearby Prato.


SACI Worthington Library

Students begin planning, researching, and writing the thesis during the Fall semester and present it at the end of the Summer term (see SACI Guidelines for Preparation of a Master’s Thesis in Art History). In addition to the resources in the SACI Worthington Library, which contains over 13,000 books and one of the largest collections in Florence of English-language art periodicals, students also have access to JSTOR, ARTSTOR, and a remarkable range of unique libraries in Florence.

See the ADMISSIONS section of this website to find out more about How to Apply, Application Deadlines, Scholarship Information, Dates & Fees, Federal Aid, and more.


Maria Antonia RinaldiThe Director of the MA Program in Art History is Maria Antonia Rinaldi, who has taught Art History and Museology at SACI since 1998. After earning her degree in History of Architecture and a post-graduate specialization in Art History at the University of Florence, Maria Antonia received a scholarship to the University of Tor Vergata, Rome, to pursue post-graduate studies in the Economics and Management of Cultural Patrimonies. In 2008, she organized and taught a graduate seminar in Museology in collaboration with UNESCO and SACI for curators of the Museum of Books and Manuscripts at the Library of Alexandria (Egypt). She has collaborated with the Italian Ministry of Historic Patrimony on exhibitions and catalogues and has organized and curated numerous exhibitions of contemporary art in Florence and abroad. 

Masters in Art History Italy | SACI Studio Art Centers International Florence