art history

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Acronyms, Wikipedia.
Related to art history: Art movements

art history,

the study of works of art and architecture. In the mid-19th cent., art history was raised to the status of an academic discipline by the Swiss Jacob BurckhardtBurckhardt, Jacob or Jakob Christoph
, 1818–97, Swiss historian, one of the founders of the cultural interpretation of history. He studied under Ranke at the Univ.
..... Click the link for more information.
, who related art to its cultural environment, and the German idealists Alois Riegl, Heinrich WölfflinWölfflin, Heinrich
, 1864–1945, Swiss art historian. Wölfflin's formal stylistic analysis of motifs and composition in art combined cultural history and psychological insight into the creative process to form a complete aesthetic system.
..... Click the link for more information.
, and Wilhelm Worringer. The latter three saw art history as the analysis of forms and viewed art apart from any function it serves in expressing the spirit of its age. Major 20th-century art historians include Henri Focillon, Bernard BerensonBerenson, Bernard
, 1865–1959, American art critic and connoisseur of Italian art, b. Lithuania, grad. Harvard, 1887. An expert and an arbiter of taste, he selected for art collectors innumerable paintings, many of which are now in museums.
..... Click the link for more information.
, Aby Warburg, Émile MâleMâle, Émile
, 1862–1954, French art historian. Mâle pioneered the study of French art of the Middle Ages, its forms, and especially the Eastern sources of sculptural iconography of the cathedrals of France.
..... Click the link for more information.
, Erwin PanofskyPanofsky, Erwin
, 1892–1968, American art historian, b. Germany, Ph.D. Univ. of Freiburg, 1914. After teaching (1921–33) at the Univ. of Hamburg and serving as professor of fine arts at New York Univ.
..... Click the link for more information.
, and Ernst Gombrich; the succeeding generation has included Michael Fried, Rosalind Krauss, Donald Kuspit, and Giselda Pollack. Modern art history is a broad field of inquiry embracing formal questions of stylistic development as well as considerations of social and cultural context. Since the 1970s, a heightened awareness of gender, ethnicity, and environmental issues has marked the work of many art historians.


See A. Hauser, The Social History of Art (4 vol., 1958–60); M. Podro, The Critical Historians of Art (1982); E. H. Gombrich, The Story of Art (16th ed. 1995); P. J. E. Davies et al. Janson's History of Art (8th ed. 2010); H. Honour and J. Fleming, The Visual Arts: A History (rev. 7th ed. 2013).

References in periodicals archive ?
In a teacher-directed art program, the artists selected for inclusion often reflect what has been taught in the teacher's college art history class.
Therefore, with this in mind, the further question is how can art history and practices be taught in conflict areas, given the increasingly corporate university educational system that is being run.
Personally, I am thrilled that, firstly, the president of the United States was taught art history at school, and secondly that his written comments underline how the subject can have a lasting, positive impact on an individual--whether they decide to pursue it into adulthood as a course of study, for work, or (as in Obama's case) for leisure.
At the moment we have a BA in Art History and offer courses in curation and art history.
A complete course of art history instruction under one cover, "Painting Now" is a critically important and strongly recommended addition to personal, community, art school, and academic library Art History reference collections and supplemental studies reading lists.
Nesbit's answer to these questions in her latest book, The Pragmatism in the History of Art, is rather surprising: Yes, art history, speaking between the 1930s and the '70s in certai.
The President had said in January 2014 that "people can make a lot more potentially with skilled manufacturing or the trades than they might with an art history," the Huffington Post reported.
Referring to the multimedia research project, EoACAyDubai Art World Cartography', presented by Brusselssprout, the design outfit that produces work on contemporary art, Basar expounded on how it is the missing link in the art history of the UAE.
In spite of their purported interest in the (re-) circulation and (re-) contextualisation of art objects, a problem with the editorial perspective of this book is that these phenomena seem to be of primary interest when they occur beyond the reach of art history and museums, which are seen more as modern corruptions and interruptions of some supposed untainted cultural context rather than as potentially fruitful ways for opening up new contexts and different modes of inquiry.
Caterpillage: Reflections on Seventeenth-Century Dutch Still Life Painting provides a fine study of 17th century Dutch still life painting history and is a recommendation for any college-level arts collection interested in European art history in general or still life in particular.
Enunciating the program for her new periodical, Fine pointed out: "While primarily concerned with recording a hidden heritage, we are also interested in a reinterpretation of art history from our new awareness as women.
The collaborative work of Joan Sureda, a Professor of Art History a the University of Barcelona, former Director of the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya, Barcelona, member of the Experts Committee at many museums including the Museo del Prado, "The Golden Age of Spain, Painting, Sculpture, Architecture" is a profusely illustrated, exceptionally informative, and impressively presented art history.