Art history is the study of objects of art in their historical
development and stylistic contexts; that is genre, design, format, and
style. The study includes painting, sculpture, architecture,
ceramics, furniture, and other decorative objects.
As a term, art history (its product being history of art) encompasses
several methods of studying the visual arts; in common usage referring
to works of art and architecture. Aspects of the discipline overlap.
As the art historian
Ernst Gombrich once observed, "the field of art
history [is] much like Caesar's Gaul, divided in three parts inhabited
by three different, though not necessarily hostile tribes: (i) the
connoisseurs, (ii) the critics, and (iii) the academic art
As a discipline, art history is distinguished from art criticism,
which is concerned with establishing a relative artistic value upon
individual works with respect to others of comparable style, or
sanctioning an entire style or movement; and art theory or "philosophy
of art", which is concerned with the fundamental nature of art. One
branch of this area of study is aesthetics, which includes
investigating the enigma of the sublime and determining the essence of
beauty. Technically, art history is not these things, because the art
historian uses historical method to answer the questions: How did the
artist come to create the work?, Who were the patrons?, Who were his
or her teachers?, Who was the audience?, Who were his or her
disciples?, What historical forces shaped the artist's oeuvre, and How
did he or she and the creation, in turn, affect the course of
artistic, political, and social events? It is, however, questionable
whether many questions of this kind can be answered satisfactorily
without also considering basic questions about the nature of art.
Unfortunately the current disciplinary gap between art history and the
philosophy of art (aesthetics) often hinders this inquiry.
Art history is not only a biographical endeavor. Art historians often
root their studies in the scrutiny of individual objects. They thus
attempt to answer in historically specific ways, questions such as:
What are key features of this style?, What meaning did this object
convey?, How does it function visually?, Did the artist meet their
goals well?, What symbols are involved?, and Does it function
The historical backbone of the discipline is a celebratory chronology
of beautiful creations commissioned by public or religious bodies or
wealthy individuals in western Europe. Such a "canon" remains
prominent, as indicated by the selection of objects present in art
history textbooks. Nonetheless, since the 20th century there has been
an effort to re-define the discipline to be more inclusive of
non-Western art, art made by women, and vernacular creativity.
History of art
European art history
3 Timeline of prominent methods
Pliny the Elder
Pliny the Elder and ancient precedents
3.2 Vasari and artists' biographies
3.3 Winckelmann and art criticism
3.4 Wölfflin and stylistic analysis
3.5 Riegl, Wickhoff, and the Vienna School
3.6 Panofsky and iconography
3.7 Freud and psychoanalysis
3.8 Jung and archetypes
3.9 Marx and ideology
3.10 Feminist art history
3.11 Barthes and semiotics
Museum studies and collecting
3.13 New materialism
4 Divisions by period
5 Professional organizations
6 See also
7 Notes and references
8 Further reading
9 External links
Art history as we know it in the 21st century began in the 19th
century but has precedents that date to the ancient world. Like the
analysis of historical trends in politics, literature, and the
sciences, the discipline benefits from the clarity and portability of
the written word, but art historians also rely on formal analysis,
semiotics, psychoanalysis and iconography. Advances in photographic
reproduction and printing techniques after World War II increased the
ability of reproductions of artworks. Such technologies have helped to
advance the discipline in profound ways, as they have enabled easy
comparisons of objects. The study of visual art thus described, can be
a practice that involves understanding context, form, and social
Art historians employ a number of methods in their research into the
ontology and history of objects.
Art historians often examine work in the context of its time. At best,
this is done in a manner which respects its creator's motivations and
imperatives; with consideration of the desires and prejudices of its
patrons and sponsors; with a comparative analysis of themes and
approaches of the creator's colleagues and teachers; and with
consideration of iconography and symbolism. In short, this approach
examines the work of art in the context of the world within which it
Art historians also often examine work through an analysis of form;
that is, the creator's use of line, shape, color, texture, and
composition. This approach examines how the artist uses a
two-dimensional picture plane or the three dimensions of sculptural or
architectural space to create his or her art. The way these individual
elements are employed results in representational or
non-representational art. Is the artist imitating an object or image
found in nature? If so, it is representational. The closer the art
hews to perfect imitation, the more the art is realistic. Is the
artist not imitating, but instead relying on symbolism, or in an
important way striving to capture nature's essence, rather than copy
it directly? If so the art is non-representational—also called
abstract. Realism and abstraction exist on a continuum. Impressionism
is an example of a representational style that was not directly
imitative, but strove to create an "impression" of nature. If the work
is not representational and is an expression of the artist's feelings,
longings and aspirations, or is a search for ideals of beauty and
form, the work is non-representational or a work of expressionism.
An iconographical analysis is one which focuses on particular design
elements of an object. Through a close reading of such elements, it is
possible to trace their lineage, and with it draw conclusions
regarding the origins and trajectory of these motifs. In turn, it is
possible to make any number of observations regarding the social,
cultural, economic, and aesthetic values of those responsible for
producing the object.
Many art historians use critical theory to frame their inquiries into
objects. Theory is most often used when dealing with more recent
objects, those from the late 19th century onward.
Critical theory in
art history is often borrowed from literary scholars, and it involves
the application of a non-artistic analytical framework to the study of
art objects. Feminist, Marxist, critical race, queer, and postcolonial
theories are all well established in the discipline. As in literary
studies, there is an interest among scholars in nature and the
environment, but the direction that this will take in the discipline
has yet to be determined.
More recently, media and digital technology introduced possibilities
of visual, spatial and experiential analyses. The relevant forms vary
from movies, to interactive forms, including virtual environments,
augmented environments, situated media, networked media, etc. The
methods enabled by such techniques are in active development and
promise to include qualitative approaches that can emphasize
narrative, dramatic, emotional and ludic characteristics of history
Timeline of prominent methods
Pliny the Elder
Pliny the Elder and ancient precedents
The earliest surviving writing on art that can be classified as art
history are the passages in Pliny the Elder's Natural History (c. AD
77-79), concerning the development of Greek sculpture and painting.
From them it is possible to trace the ideas of Xenokrates of Sicyon
(c. 280 BC), a Greek sculptor who was perhaps the first art
historian. Pliny's work, while mainly an encyclopaedia of the
sciences, has thus been influential from the
(Passages about techniques used by the painter
Apelles c. (332-329
BC), have been especially well-known.) Similar, though independent,
developments occurred in the 6th century China, where a canon of
worthy artists was established by writers in the scholar-official
class. These writers, being necessarily proficient in calligraphy,
were artists themselves. The artists are described in the Six
Principles of Painting formulated by Xie He.
Vasari and artists' biographies
Anton von Maron, Portrait of Johann Joachim Winckelmann, 1768
While personal reminiscences of art and artists have long been written
and read (see
Lorenzo Ghiberti Commentarii, for the best early
example), it was Giorgio Vasari, the Tuscan painter, sculptor and
author of the Lives of the Painters, who wrote the first true history
of art. He emphasized art's progression and development, which was
a milestone in this field. His was a personal and a historical
account, featuring biographies of individual Italian artists, many of
whom were his contemporaries and personal acquaintances. The most
renowned of these was Michelangelo, and Vasari's account is
enlightening, though biased in places.
Vasari's ideas about art were enormously influential, and served as a
model for many, including in the north of Europe Karel van Mander's
Schilder-boeck and Joachim von Sandrart's Teutsche Akademie.[citation
needed] Vasari's approach held sway until the 18th century, when
criticism was leveled at his biographical account of history.[citation
Winckelmann and art criticism
Scholars such as
Johann Joachim Winckelmann
Johann Joachim Winckelmann (1717–1768), criticised
Vasari's "cult" of artistic personality, and they argued that the real
emphasis in the study of art should be the views of the learned
beholder and not the unique viewpoint of the charismatic artist.
Winckelmann's writings thus were the beginnings of art criticism. His
two most notable works that introduced the concept of art criticism
were Gedanken über die Nachahmung der griechischen Werke in der
Malerei und Bildhauerkunst, published in 1755, shortly before he left
for Rome (Fuseli published an English translation in 1765 under the
title Reflections on the Painting and
Sculpture of the Greeks), and
Geschichte der Kunst des Altertums (
History of Art
History of Art in Antiquity),
published in 1764 (this is the first occurrence of the phrase
‘history of art’ in the title of a book)". Winckelmann
critiqued the artistic excesses of
Rococo forms, and was
instrumental in reforming taste in favor of the more sober
Jacob Burckhardt (1818–1897), one of the founders of
art history, noted that Winckelmann was 'the first to distinguish
between the periods of ancient art and to link the history of style
with world history'. From Winckelmann until the mid-20th century, the
field of art history was dominated by German-speaking academics.
Winckelmann's work thus marked the entry of art history into the
high-philosophical discourse of German culture.
Winckelmann was read avidly by
Johann Wolfgang Goethe
Johann Wolfgang Goethe and Friedrich
Schiller, both of whom began to write on the history of art, and his
account of the
Laocoon occasioned a response by Lessing. The emergence
of art as a major subject of philosophical speculation was solidified
by the appearance of Immanuel Kant's
Critique of Judgment
Critique of Judgment in 1790, and
was furthered by Hegel's Lectures on Aesthetics. Hegel's philosophy
served as the direct inspiration for Karl Schnaase's work. Schnaase's
Niederländische Briefe established the theoretical foundations for
art history as an autonomous discipline, and his Geschichte der
bildenden Künste, one of the first historical surveys of the history
of art from antiquity to the Renaissance, facilitated the teaching of
art history in German-speaking universities. Schnaase's survey was
published contemporaneously with a similar work by Franz Theodor
Wölfflin and stylistic analysis
See: Formal analysis.
Heinrich Wölfflin (1864–1945), who studied under Burckhardt in
Basel, is the "father" of modern art history. Wölfflin taught at the
universities of Berlin, Basel, Munich, and Zurich. A number of
students went on to distinguished careers in art history, including
Jakob Rosenberg and Frida Schottmuller. He introduced a scientific
approach to the history of art, focusing on three concepts. Firstly,
he attempted to study art using psychology, particularly by applying
the work of Wilhelm Wundt. He argued, among other things, that art and
architecture are good if they resemble the human body. For example,
houses were good if their façades looked like faces. Secondly, he
introduced the idea of studying art through comparison. By comparing
individual paintings to each other, he was able to make distinctions
of style. His book
Baroque developed this idea, and
was the first to show how these stylistic periods differed from one
another. In contrast to Giorgio Vasari, Wölfflin was uninterested in
the biographies of artists. In fact he proposed the creation of an
"art history without names." Finally, he studied art based on ideas of
nationhood. He was particularly interested in whether there was an
inherently "Italian" and an inherently "German" style. This last
interest was most fully articulated in his monograph on the German
artist Albrecht Dürer.
Riegl, Wickhoff, and the Vienna School
Main article: Vienna School of Art History
Contemporaneous with Wölfflin's career, a major school of
art-historical thought developed at the University of Vienna. The
first generation of the Vienna School was dominated by
Alois Riegl and
Franz Wickhoff, both students of Moritz Thausing, and was
characterized by a tendency to reassess neglected or disparaged
periods in the history of art. Riegl and Wickhoff both wrote
extensively on the art of late antiquity, which before them had been
considered as a period of decline from the classical ideal. Riegl also
contributed to the revaluation of the Baroque.
The next generation of professors at Vienna included Max Dvořák,
Julius von Schlosser, Hans Tietze, Karl Maria Swoboda, and Josef
Strzygowski. A number of the most important twentieth-century art
historians, including Ernst Gombrich, received their degrees at Vienna
at this time. The term "Second Vienna School" (or "New Vienna School")
usually refers to the following generation of Viennese scholars,
including Hans Sedlmayr, Otto Pächt, and Guido Kaschnitz von
Weinberg. These scholars began in the 1930s to return to the work of
the first generation, particularly to Riegl and his concept of
Kunstwollen, and attempted to develop it into a full-blown
art-historical methodology. Sedlmayr, in particular, rejected the
minute study of iconography, patronage, and other approaches grounded
in historical context, preferring instead to concentrate on the
aesthetic qualities of a work of art. As a result, the Second Vienna
School gained a reputation for unrestrained and irresponsible
formalism, and was furthermore colored by Sedlmayr's overt racism and
membership in the Nazi party. This latter tendency was, however, by no
means shared by all members of the school; Pächt, for example, was
himself Jewish, and was forced to leave Vienna in the 1930s.
Panofsky and iconography
Aby Warburg c. 1900
Our 21st-century understanding of the symbolic content of art comes
from a group of scholars who gathered in
Hamburg in the 1920s. The
most prominent among them were Erwin Panofsky, Aby Warburg, and Fritz
Saxl. Together they developed much of the vocabulary that continues to
be used in the 21st century by art historians. "Iconography"—with
roots meaning "symbols from writing" refers to subject matter of art
derived from written sources—especially scripture and mythology.
"Iconology" is a broader term that referred to all symbolism, whether
derived from a specific text or not. Today art historians sometimes
use these terms interchangeably.
Panofsky, in his early work, also developed the theories of Riegl, but
became eventually more preoccupied with iconography, and in particular
with the transmission of themes related to classical antiquity in the
Middle Ages and Renaissance. In this respect his interests coincided
with those of Warburg, the son of a wealthy family who had assembled
an impressive library in
Hamburg devoted to the study of the classical
tradition in later art and culture. Under Saxl's auspices, this
library was developed into a research institute, affiliated with the
University of Hamburg, where Panofsky taught.
Warburg died in 1929, and in the 1930s Saxl and Panofsky, both Jewish,
were forced to leave Hamburg. Saxl settled in London, bringing
Warburg's library with him and establishing the Warburg Institute.
Panofsky settled in Princeton at the Institute for Advanced Study. In
this respect they were part of an extraordinary influx of German art
historians into the English-speaking academy in the 1930s. These
scholars were largely responsible for establishing art history as a
legitimate field of study in the English-speaking world, and the
influence of Panofsky's methodology, in particular, determined the
course of American art history for a generation.
Freud and psychoanalysis
Heinrich Wölfflin was not the only scholar to invoke psychological
theories in the study of art. Psychoanalyst
Sigmund Freud wrote a book
on the artist Leonardo da Vinci, in which he used Leonardo's paintings
to interrogate the artist's psyche and sexual orientation. Freud
inferred from his analysis that Leonardo was probably homosexual.
Group photo 1909 in front of Clark University. Front row: Sigmund
Freud, Granville Stanley Hall, Carl Jung; back row: Abraham A. Brill,
Ernest Jones, Sándor Ferenczi
Though the use of posthumous material to perform psychoanalysis is
controversial among art historians, especially since the sexual mores
of Leonardo's time and Freud's are different, it is often attempted.
One of the best-known psychoanalytic scholars is Laurie Schneider
Adams, who wrote a popular textbook, Art Across Time, and a book Art
An unsuspecting turn for the history of art criticism came in 1914
Sigmund Freud published a psychoanalytical interpretation of
Michelangelo’s Moses titled Der Moses des
Michelangelo as one of the
first psychology based analyses on a work of art. Freud first
published this work shortly after reading Vasari’s Lives. For
unknown purposes, Freud originally published the article anonymously.
Jung and archetypes
Carl Jung also applied psychoanalytic theory to art. C.G. Jung was a
Swiss psychiatrist, an influential thinker, and founder of analytical
psychology. Jung's approach to psychology emphasized understanding the
psyche through exploring the worlds of dreams, art, mythology, world
religion and philosophy. Much of his life's work was spent exploring
Eastern and Western philosophy, alchemy, astrology, sociology, as well
as literature and the arts. His most notable contributions include his
concept of the psychological archetype, the collective unconscious,
and his theory of synchronicity. Jung believed that many experiences
perceived as coincidence were not merely due to chance but, instead,
suggested the manifestation of parallel events or circumstances
reflecting this governing dynamic. He argued that a collective
unconscious and archetypal imagery were detectable in art. His ideas
were particularly popular among American Abstract expressionists in
the 1940s and 1950s. His work inspired the surrealist concept of
drawing imagery from dreams and the unconscious.
Jung emphasized the importance of balance and harmony. He cautioned
that modern humans rely too heavily on science and logic and would
benefit from integrating spirituality and appreciation of the
unconscious realm. His work not only triggered analytical work by art
historians, but it became an integral part of art-making. Jackson
Pollock, for example, famously created a series of drawings to
accompany his psychoanalytic sessions with his Jungian psychoanalyst,
Dr. Joseph Henderson. Henderson who later published the drawings in a
text devoted to Pollock's sessions realized how powerful the drawings
were as a therapeutic tool.
The legacy of psychoanalysis in art history has been profound, and
extends beyond Freud and Jung. The prominent feminist art historian
Griselda Pollock, for example, draws upon psychoanalysis both in her
reading into contemporary art and in her rereading of modernist art.
With Griselda Pollock's reading of French feminist psychoanalysis and
in particular the writings of
Julia Kristeva and Bracha L. Ettinger,
Rosalind Krauss readings of
Jacques Lacan and Jean-François
Lyotard and Catherine de Zegher's curatorial rereading of art,
Feminist theory written in the fields of
French feminism and
Psychoanalysis has strongly informed the reframing of both men and
women artists in art history.
Marx and ideology
During the mid-20th century, art historians embraced social history by
using critical approaches. The goal was to show how art interacts with
power structures in society. One critical approach that art
historians[who?] used was Marxism. Marxist art history attempted to
show how art was tied to specific classes, how images contain
information about the economy, and how images can make the status quo
seem natural (ideology).
Perhaps the best-known Marxist was Clement Greenberg, who came to
prominence during the late 1930s with his essay "Avant-Garde and
Kitsch". In the essay Greenberg claimed that the avant-garde arose
in order to defend aesthetic standards from the decline of taste
involved in consumer society, and seeing kitsch and art as opposites.
Greenberg further claimed that avant-garde and Modernist art was a
means to resist the leveling of culture produced by capitalist
propaganda. Greenberg appropriated the German word 'kitsch' to
describe this consumerism, although its connotations have since
changed to a more affirmative notion of leftover materials of
capitalist culture. Greenberg later[when?] became well known for
examining the formal properties of modern art.
Meyer Schapiro is one of the best-remembered Marxist art historians of
the mid-20th century. Although he wrote about numerous time periods
and themes in art, he is best remembered for his commentary on
sculpture from the late
Middle Ages and early Renaissance, at which
time he saw evidence of capitalism emerging and feudalism
Arnold Hauser wrote the first Marxist survey of Western Art, entitled
The Social History of Art. He attempted to show how class
consciousness was reflected in major art periods. The book was
controversial when published during the 1950s since it makes
generalizations about entire eras, a strategy now called "vulgar
Marxist Art History was refined in the department of Art History at
UCLA with scholars such as T.J. Clark, O.K. Werckmeister, David
Kunzle, Theodor W. Adorno, and Max Horkheimer. T.J. Clark was the
first art historian writing from a Marxist perspective to abandon
vulgar Marxism. He wrote Marxist art histories of several
impressionist and realist artists, including
Gustave Courbet and
Édouard Manet. These books focused closely on the political and
economic climates in which the art was created.
Feminist art history
Linda Nochlin's essay "Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?"
helped to ignite feminist art history during the 1970s and remains one
of the most widely read essays about female artists. This was then
followed by a 1972
College Art Association Panel, chaired by Nochlin,
entitled "Eroticism and the Image of Woman in Nineteenth-Century Art".
Within a decade, scores of papers, articles, and essays sustained a
growing momentum, fueled by the Second-wave feminist movement, of
critical discourse surrounding women's interactions with the arts as
both artists and subjects. In her pioneering essay, Nochlin applies a
feminist critical framework to show systematic exclusion of women from
art training, arguing that exclusion from practicing art as well as
the canonical history of art was the consequence of cultural
conditions which curtailed and restricted women from art producing
fields. The few who did succeed were treated as anomalies and did
not provide a model for subsequent success.
Griselda Pollock is
another prominent feminist art historian, whose use of psychoanalytic
theory is described above.
While feminist art history can focus on any time period and location,
much attention has been given to the Modern era. Some of this
scholarship centers on the feminist art movement, which referred
specifically to the experience of women. Often, feminist art history
offers a critical "re-reading" of the Western art canon, such as Carol
Duncan's re-interpretation of Les Demoiselles d'Avignon. Two pioneers
of the field are
Mary Garrard and Norma Broude. Their anthologies
Feminism and Art History: Questioning the Litany, The Expanding
Feminism and Art History, and Reclaiming Feminist Agency:
Feminist Art History After Postmodernism are substantial efforts to
bring feminist perspectives into the discourse of art history. The
pair also co-founded the Feminist Art History Conference.
Barthes and semiotics
As opposed to iconography which seeks to identify meaning, semiotics
is concerned with how meaning is created. Roland Barthes’s connoted
and denoted meanings are paramount to this examination. In any
particular work of art, an interpretation depends on the
identification of denoted meaning—the recognition of a visual sign,
and the connoted meaning—the instant cultural associations that come
with recognition. The main concern of the semiotic art historian is to
come up with ways to navigate and interpret connoted meaning.
Semiotic art history seeks to uncover the codified meaning or meanings
in an aesthetic object by examining its connectedness to a collective
consciousness. Art historians do not commonly commit to any one
particular brand of semiotics but rather construct an amalgamated
version which they incorporate into their collection of analytical
tools. For example,
Meyer Schapiro borrowed Saussure’s differential
meaning in effort to read signs as they exist within a system.
According to Schapiro, to understand the meaning of frontality in a
specific pictorial context, it must be differentiated from, or viewed
in relation to, alternate possibilities such as a profile, or a
three-quarter view. Schapiro combined this method with the work of
Charles Sanders Peirce
Charles Sanders Peirce whose object, sign, and interpretant provided a
structure for his approach. Alex Potts demonstrates the application of
Peirce’s concepts to visual representation by examining them in
relation to the Mona Lisa. By seeing the Mona Lisa, for example, as
something beyond its materiality is to identify it as a sign. It is
then recognized as referring to an object outside of itself, a woman,
or Mona Lisa. The image does not seem to denote religious meaning and
can therefore be assumed to be a portrait. This interpretation leads
to a chain of possible interpretations: who was the sitter in relation
to Leonardo da Vinci? What significance did she have to him? Or, maybe
she is an icon for all of womankind. This chain of interpretation, or
“unlimited semiosis” is endless; the art historian’s job is to
place boundaries on possible interpretations as much as it is to
reveal new possibilities.
Semiotics operates under the theory that an image can only be
understood from the viewer’s perspective. The artist is supplanted
by the viewer as the purveyor of meaning, even to the extent that an
interpretation is still valid regardless of whether the creator had
Rosalind Krauss espoused this concept in her essay
“In the Name of Picasso.” She denounced the artist’s monopoly on
meaning and insisted that meaning can only be derived after the work
has been removed from its historical and social context. Mieke Bal
argued similarly that meaning does not even exist until the image is
observed by the viewer. It is only after acknowledging this that
meaning can become opened up to other possibilities such as feminism
Museum studies and collecting
Aspects of the subject which have come to the fore in recent decades
include interest in the patronage and consumption of art, including
the economics of the art market, the role of collectors, the
intentions and aspirations of those commissioning works, and the
reactions of contemporary and later viewers and owners. Museum
studies, including the history of museum collecting and display, is
now a specialized field of study, as is the history of collecting.
Scientific advances have made possible much more accurate
investigation of the materials and techniques used to create works,
especially infra-red and x-ray photographic techniques which have
allowed many underdrawings of paintings to be seen again. Proper
analysis of pigments used in paint is now possible, which has upset
Dendrochronology for panel paintings and
radio-carbon dating for old objects in organic materials have allowed
scientific methods of dating objects to confirm or upset dates derived
from stylistic analysis or documentary evidence. The development of
good colour photography, now held digitally and available on the
internet or by other means, has transformed the study of many types of
art, especially those covering objects existing in large numbers which
are widely dispersed among collections, such as illuminated
manuscripts and Persian miniatures, and many types of archaeological
Concurrent to those technological advances, art historians have shown
increasing interest in new theoretical approaches to the nature of
artworks as objects. Thing theory, actor–network theory, and
object-oriented ontology have played an increasing role in art
Divisions by period
The field of Art History is traditionally divided into specializations
or concentrations based on eras and regions, with further sub-division
based on media. Thus, someone might specialize in "19th-century German
architecture" or in "16th-century Tuscan sculpture." Sub-fields are
often included under a specialization. For example, the Ancient Near
East, Greece, Rome, and Egypt are all typically considered special
concentrations of Ancient art. In some cases, these specializations
may be closely allied (as Greece and Rome, for example), while in
others such alliances are far less natural (Indian art versus Korean
art, for example).
Non-Western art is a relative newcomer to the Art
Recent revisions of the semantic division between art and artifact
have recast objects created in non-Western cultures in more aesthetic
terms. Relative to those studying
Ancient Rome or the Italian
Renaissance, scholars specializing in Africa, the
Ancient Americas and
Asia are a growing minority.
Contemporary art history" refers to research into the period from the
1960s until today reflecting the break from the assumptions of
modernism brought by artists of the neo-avant-garde and a continuity
in contemporary art in terms of practice based on conceptualist and
In the United States, the most important art history organization is
the College Art Association. It organizes an annual conference and
Art Bulletin and Art Journal. Similar organizations
exist in other parts of the world, as well as for specializations,
such as architectural history and
Renaissance art history. In the UK,
for example, the
Association of Art Historians is the premiere
organization, and it publishes a journal titled Art History.
Women in the art history field
Notes and references
^ "Art History". WordNet Search - 3.0, princeton.edu
^ "What is the History of Art? History Today". www.historytoday.com.
Ernst Gombrich (1996). The Essential Gombrich, p. 7. London: Phaidon
^ Cf: 'Art History versus Aesthetics', ed. James Elkins (New York:
^ Esche-Ramshorn, Christiane and Stanislav Roudavski (2012). Evocative
Research in Art History and Beyond: Imagining Possible Pasts in the
Ways to Heaven Project, Digital Creativity, 23, 1, pp. 1-21
^ First English Translation retrieved January 25, 2010
Dictionary of Art Historians Retrieved January 25, 2010
^ The shorter Columbia anthology of traditional Chinese literature, By
Victor H. Mair, p.51 retrieved January 25, 2010
^ Artnet artist biographies retrieved January 25, 2010
^ website created by Adrienne DeAngelis, currently incomplete,
intended to be unabridged, in English. retrieved January 25, 2010
^ Chilvers, Ian (2005). The Oxford dictionary of art (3rd ed.).
[Oxford]: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0198604769.
^ Sigmund Freud. The Moses of MIchelangelo The Standard Edition of the
Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud. Translated from the
German under the general editorship of James Strachey in collaboration
with Anna Freud, assisted by Alix Strachey and Alan Tyson. Volume XIII
(1913-1914): Totem And Taboo and other Works. London. The Hogarth
Press and The Institute Of Psycho-Analysis. 1st Edition, 1955.
Synchronicity in the final two pages of the Conclusion, Jung
stated that not all coincidences are meaningful and further explained
the creative causes of this phenomenon.
^ Jung defined the collective unconscious as akin to instincts in
Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious.
Jackson Pollock An American Saga, Steven Naismith and Gregory White
Smith, Clarkson N. Potter publ. copyright 1989,Archetypes and Alchemy
pp. 327-338. ISBN 0-517-56084-4
^ Clement Greenberg, Art and Culture, Beacon Press, 1961
^ Nochlin, Linda (January 1971). "Why Have There Been No Great Women
^ All ideas in this paragraph reference A. Potts, 'Sign', in R.S.
Nelson and R. Shiff, Critical Terms for Art History 2nd edn (Chicago
2003) pp. 31."
^ "S. Bann, 'Meaning/Interpretation', in R.S. Nelson and R. Shiff,
Critical Terms for Art History 2nd edn (Chicago 2003) pp. 128."
^ "M. Hatt and C. Klonk, Art History: A Critical Introduction to its
Methods (Manchester 2006) pp. 213."
^ a b "A. Potts, 'Sign', in R.S. Nelson and R. Shiff, Critical Terms
for Art History 2nd edn (Chicago 2003) pp. 24."
^ "M. Hatt and C. Klonk, Art History: A Critical Introduction to its
Methods (Manchester 2006) pp. 205-208."
^ College Art Association
Association of Art Historians Webpage
Listed by date
Pollock, Griselda (ed.) (2006).
Psychoanalysis and the Image. Oxford:
Blackwell. ISBN 1-4051-3461-5
Charlene Spretnak, The Spiritual Dynamic in Modern Art : Art
History Reconsidered, 1800 to the Present.
Shiner, Larry. (2003). "The Invention of Art: A Cultural History".
Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0-226-75342-3
Mansfield, Elizabeth (2002). Art History and Its Institutions:
Foundations of a Discipline. Routledge. ISBN 0-415-22868-9
Harrison, Charles, and Paul Wood. (2003). Art in Theory, 1900–2000:
An Anthology of Changing Ideas. 2nd ed. Malden, MA: Blackwell.
Murray, Chris. (2003). Key Writers on Art. 2 vols, Routledge Key
Guides. London: Routledge.
Harrison, Charles, Paul Wood, and Jason Gaiger. (2000). Art in Theory
1648-1815: An Anthology of Changing Ideas. Malden, MA: Blackwell.
Harrison, Charles, Paul Wood, and Jason Gaiger. (2001). Art in theory,
1815–1900: an anthology of changing ideas. Malden, MA: Blackwell.
Buchloh, Benjamin. (2001). Neo-Avantgarde and Culture Industry.
Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Clark, T.J. (2001). Farewell to an Idea: Episodes from a History of
Modernism. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Robinson, Hilary. (2001). Feminism-Art-Theory: An Anthology,
1968-2000. Malden, MA: Blackwell.
Minor, Vernon Hyde. (2001). Art history's history. 2nd ed. Upper
Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Pollock, G., (1999). Differencing the Canon. Routledge.
Frazier, N. (1999). The Penguin concise dictionary of art history. New
York: Penguin Reference.
Adams, L. (1996). The methodologies of art: an introduction. New York,
Nelson, R. S., & Shiff, R. (1996). Critical terms for art history.
Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Minor, Vernon Hyde. (1994). Critical Theory of Art History. Englewood
Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Fitzpatrick, V. L. N. V. D. (1992). Art history: a contextual inquiry
course. Point of view series. Reston, VA: National Art Education
Kemal, Salim, and Ivan Gaskell (1991). The Language of Art History.
Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-44598-1
Carrier, D. (1991). Principles of art history writing. University
Park, Pa: Pennsylvania State University Press.
Johnson, W. M. (1988). Art history: its use and abuse. Toronto:
University of Toronto Press.
Holly, M. A. (1984). Panofsky and the foundations of art history.
Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press.
Arntzen, E., & Rainwater, R. (1980). Guide to the literature of
art history. Chicago: American Library Association.
Hauser, A. (1959). The philosophy of art history. New York: Knopf.
Wölfflin, H. (1915, trans. 1932). Principles of art history; the
problem of the development of style in later art. [New York]: Dover
Library resources about
Resources in your library
Resources in other libraries
Wikibooks has more on the topic of: Art history
Look up art history in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
Art History Resources on the Web in-depth directory of web links,
divided by period
Dictionary of Art Historians, a database of notable art historians
maintained by Duke University
Rhode Island College LibGuide - Art and Art History Resources
Gothic (International Gothic)
Dutch Golden Age
Realism / Realism
Hudson River School
Arts and Crafts
Neue Künstlervereinigung München
Der Blaue Reiter
International Typographic Style
Vienna School of Fantastic Realism
New media art
Art & Language
Young British Artists
Amazonian pop art
List of art movements
Feminist art movement (in the US)
Art of Europe
Bosnia and Herzegovina
States with limited
Isle of Man
Art of Asia
East Timor (Timor-Leste)
United Arab Emirates
British Indian Ocean Territory
Cocos (Keeling) Islands
^ The Spiritual Dynamic in Modern Art : Art History Reconsidered,