First things first

What exactly do we mean by art, and what kind of history (or histories) should we explore?

videos + essays

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Why are there so few female artists?
Why are there so few female artists?

The ten most expensive paintings in history were painted by men. And of the $196 billion spent on art at auction in the last decade, women accounted for only 2% of sales. So why are so few female artists represented in the world of art?

Bodhisattvas, an introduction
Bodhisattvas, an introduction

A brief primer on bodhisattvas

What does it mean to be an “old master” and to make a “masterpiece”?
What does it mean to be an “old master” and to make a “masterpiece”?

What does it mean to be an "old master" and to make a "masterpiece"? Kerry James Marshall talks about his practice and the ideas driving it.

Cultural heritage “in crisis”
Cultural heritage “in crisis”

The word “crisis” suggests a temporary problem—but destruction and loss of cultural heritage is an ongoing issue.

Africa historical overview: from the 1600s to the present
Africa historical overview: from the 1600s to the present

By the sixteenth century, Western trade involved Africans being forcibly brought to the Americas as slaves.

Africa historical overview: to 1600
Africa historical overview: to 1600

Recent discoveries in southern Africa provide remarkable evidence of the earliest stirrings of human creativity.

About chronological periods in the Islamic world
About chronological periods in the Islamic world

Studying the art of the Islamic world is challenging, partially because of the large geographic and chronological scope of Islam. Islam has been a major religion and cultural force for over fourteen centuries and continues to be so today. At present the Arts of the Islamic World Section is organized into three chronological periods: Early, […]

An introduction to iconographic analysis
An introduction to iconographic analysis

Ever wanted to know how art historians determine the meanings of symbols and identify subject matter? Learn more with this brief introduction to the iconographic approach.

Art history and world art history
Art history and world art history

“Art history is relevant” is not how the discipline of art history is typically framed in popular discourse.

Ever wondered…why study art of the past?
Ever wondered…why study art of the past?

The reason people study the art of the past are varied - but all agree, it can tell us a lot about our own world.

Ever wondered… why people become art historians?
Ever wondered… why people become art historians?

Studying art history isn't a conventional path to success — so why do people do it?

Must art be beautiful? Picasso’s <em>Old Guitarist</em>
Must art be beautiful? Picasso’s Old Guitarist

Must art be Beautiful? And just what is beauty anyway?

Selected Contributors