Whats the Meaning of Art History?

Art|Art History

Art History is a branch of academic study that focuses on the creative works of humans, from prehistory to the present. It is an interdisciplinary field that studies art from a variety of perspectives, including aesthetics, visual culture, critical theory, and historical context. Art historians seek to understand art within its cultural and historical contexts, using a range of methods such as iconography, connoisseurship, and formal analysis.

The study of art history provides an understanding of the evolution of visual culture over time. It also allows scholars to explore how ideas about beauty, meaning, and expression have changed across cultures and periods. Through its focus on objects as symbols and conduits for meaning-making activity in different societies, art history enables us to appreciate how individual works relate to broader social forces.

Art history also plays an important role in providing insight into the lives of people from different times and places. By exploring works from different cultural contexts we can gain insight into past societies’ values and beliefs. Art history can also throw light on the ways in which present-day attitudes towards art are influenced by past eras.

In terms of practical application, art history equips us with the skills necessary for analyzing visual evidence. This means being able to identify artistic styles and movements as well as understanding how these fit into wider cultural contexts. Developing knowledge in this area can be beneficial for those looking to pursue a career in curation or gallery management as well as those interested in studying more broadly within the humanities.


The study of Art History is a valuable tool for gaining insights into our collective pasts and presents. By understanding how visual culture has evolved over time we can gain deeper appreciation for individual works as well as their connections to broader social forces. Practically speaking it equips us with the skills required for analyzing visual evidence which can be beneficial for those looking to pursue careers related to curation or gallery management as well as those interested in studying within the humanities more broadly.