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Art History

Major

Art is a profound and persistent human impulse. Art History explores the history of making, viewing and experiencing works of art and architecture. It asks key questions such as 'what is art for?', 'what does art mean?' and 'how does art function in broader culture?' These questions will be part of a dynamic encounter with complex and compelling works of art.

You will gain the historical knowledge and analytical skills to make sense of such works across time and space, to relate them to each other and to the specific historical and cultural contexts for which they were created. You will be trained in the skills of visual and spatial analysis that are fundamental to our discipline including the ability to critically interpret the visual appearance of a given object. As well as the canonical forms of painting, sculpture and architecture, you will encounter a wide spectrum of media and art practice, from body art to video installation, from fresco to pop, from processional ritual to performance art, from early prints to land art.

Studying the history of art fosters insight and skills in understanding and interpreting visual communication, expression and innovation that are highly relevant in today's image-saturated world. As a graduate you may go on to a career in the visual arts industry, as a curator, critic, art adviser, collection manager, registrar or educator. Work in art museums, commercial galleries, auction houses, state and local government or community arts programs, as well as across art journalism and criticism.

For more information on the program structure and content including unit of study information, please refer to the Arts and Social Sciences Handbook.

Graduate opportunities

Our graduates enter a wide range of careers. Examples include:

  • Art criticism and journalism
  • Collections manager or registrar
  • Museum or gallery curator or manager
  • State, local government or community arts worker/advisor
  • Auction house consultant or manager
  • Philanthopic organisation coordinator
  • Art educator ot teacher
  • Travel and tourism consultant
  • Communications and media officer
  • Librarian
  • Foreign affairs officer

The course information on this website applies only to future students. Current students should refer to faculty handbooks for current or past course information.

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.