Through 4 years of HS art and 3 years of art school I never was offered an Art History class. It wasn't until college that I was first exposed to actually placing art in the context of the time it was created, and learning how it both reflected and shaped the contemporary world. Every artist came alive for me then, as I grew to know them more deeply a thumbnail sketch. What a shame it took so long in the educational process!
I don't understand the intellectual split in art schools (and large universities) between art history and studio art. To me, they enlighten and inspire each other.
But quite often the art profs don't talk to the art historians and vice versa. I guess it's a territorial thing. I just don't understand. Thank goodness, in our department, our profs teach both art history and studio art and integrate them often in their classes. And we are always learning in the process.