Department of Art, Art History & Visual Studies
The Department of Art, Art History & Visual Studies has three distinct parts: Visual Arts, Art History and Visual & Media Studies. But all of our faculty and students – undergraduate and graduate alike – are engaged in international research, interdisciplinary learning, and the study of visual culture across geographic and historical categories, through the perspectives of theory and practice, methodology and criticism, and digital technologies.
Center for Documentary Studies
The Center for Documentary Studies (CDS) is dedicated to documentary expression and its role in creating a more just society. A nonprofit affiliate of Duke University, CDS teaches, produces, and presents the documentary arts across a full range of media—photography, audio, film, writing, experimental and new media—for students and audiences of all ages. CDS is renowned for innovative undergraduate, graduate, and continuing education classes; the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival; curated exhibitions; international prizes; award-winning books; radio programs and a podcast; and groundbreaking projects.
Cinematic Arts provides centralized coordination among the various Duke University departments and programs that provide classes, activities and opportunities for students interested in film studies and moving image practice.
Duke Arts connects and amplifies the arts across the university, with support from the Office of the Vice Provost of the Arts.
The arts thrive at Duke. Leading academic programs, critically-acclaimed presenting organizations, and embedded visiting artists create connections between campus, the cultural momentum of Durham, NC, and international thinkers, makers, and performers. With thirty-one degrees, minors, and certificates offered in the arts and nearly 100 arts-oriented student organizations, Duke students from all backgrounds engage with artistic practice. At Duke, the arts are an engine of collaboration and innovation.
Power Plant Gallery
A laboratory for documentary and experimental art practices at Duke University, the Power Plant Gallery provides ongoing opportunities for Duke students, faculty, and staff and Durham communities to explore and consider the essential role and transformative capacity of the arts in society. Through exhibitions, performances, screenings and other public events, the gallery creates and nurtures a thriving connection between the documentary arts, scholarship and our local community.
Rubenstein Library Archive of Documentary Arts
The Archive of Documentary Arts is part of Duke University’s David M. Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library. Its mission is to collect, promote, preserve, and provide access to audio, moving images, photography, and text from around the world related to the documentary endeavor for the purpose of inspiring reflection, research, creative expression, and dialogue in this moment, and for generations to come.
The Cassilhaus Travel Fellowship is a funding opportunity for MFA|EDA alumni, generously provided by Cassilhaus.
Created in 2016 with the idea that travel can be transformative in the life of an emerging artist, Cassilhaus has partnered with MFA|EDA and CDS to offer graduates the opportunity to apply for the Cassilhaus Travel Fellowship, a biennial $10,000 travel grant that supports artistic research and practice and offers a singular opportunity to broaden artistic and cultural experience beyond the traditional educational environment.
“Working so closely with the students in the Duke MFA|EDA program has been an exceptionally rich experience for us. We have each found that extended travel can become a clarifying and illuminating pivot point in the direction of one’s life. We hope that this travel fellowship can help an MFA graduate in their artistic explorations” said Ellen Cassilly and Frank Konhaus of Cassilhaus, funder of the fellowship. MFA|EDA director Tom Rankin adds, “This support for travel for our MFA graduates provides the kind of transformative support so essential to the making of new work and the evolution of deep artistic vision. Our continued thanks go to Ellen and Frank for their nurturing support and abiding interest in the MFA|EDA.”
Past and current MFA|EDA Cassilhaus Travel Fellows:
2017 Alina Taalman ('15)
2019 Jason Sudak ('17)
2022 Felicity Palma ('19)
Guidelines for the next Cassilhaus Travel Fellowship competition will be shared at the time of Palma’s 2024 presentation.