The Art History and Art Curatorship program researches and develops knowledge in the history art.
Art History and Art Curatorship at Melbourne
In an increasingly image-based and fast changing world, the evidence-based critical thinking and visual and aesthetic literacy that the program teaches prepares students for a richer engagement with the world and for a wide variety of professional careers and daily life.
Our academic staff have expertise in a variety of subjects across the discipline including:
- Indigenous art
- Australian art
- Asian art
- European art
- Modern and Contemporary art
- Globalisation and cross-cultural exchange
- Art theory
- Museum and exhibition studies
- History and theory of art conservation
As the first university art history program established in Australia, we have a long record of leading research in multiple fields. The program hosts the Australian Institute of Art History and, in partnership with the Victorian College of Arts, founded the University of Melbourne’s Centre of Visual Art (CoVA).
Emerging from CoVA, academics from our program and CoVA edit the refereed art history journal Australian and New Zealand Journal of Art and lead the Postnational art histories group, which examines the restlessness of contemporary thinking in extra-national and global contingencies of art.
As well as Australian art and European art, the program has recently developed a major focus on Asian art, which includes the Asian Art Research group and the Network for Islamic and Southeast Asian Art, and a unique cross-disciplinary research group of artists, archaeologists and art historians, Rock Art in the Expanded Field, which promotes awareness of rock art in Australia.
Decentring Australian Art: Looking Past the Mainstream
Writing the history of non-mainstream art in Australia to paint a richer, more complex picture of Australia’s artistic culture.
Eurasian Exchange and Artistic Change in Italy, c. 1250-1450
This project places the early Italian Renaissance into the larger geopolitical context of Mongol Eurasia, focusing on artistic change in two Italy and in China, where Italian and other foreign merchants and missionaries were resident.
The Invention of Melbourne: A Baroque Archbishop and Gothic Architect
Understanding the cultural vision of the first Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne, James Goold (1812-1886), whose architectural patronage has left a permanent imprint on the built environment of Melbourne
World-Pictures: Art Finding Pathways Across the Century of Turbulence, 1914-2024
The project maps how and where artists across the world, both as subjects of these forces and as embedded or detached observers, reflected on and documented borders and bodies subjected to migration and exile.
Study with us
Learn about applying for our programs, including courses taught on-site in New York, Florence and Central Australia, that provide intensive learning experiences and rare access to important collections.
- Graduate Certificate in Arts
- Graduate Diploma in Arts
- Graduate Certificate in Arts (Advanced)
- Graduate Diploma in Arts (Advanced)
- Masters of Art Curatorship
- Master of Arts (Thesis Only)
- Master of Arts (Advanced Seminar and Shorter Thesis)
- Doctor of Philosophy – Arts
We support students with access to vital resources in the arts, including object-based learning through Arts West, Museums and Collections and the Visual Cultures Resource Centre (VCRC), which has an image collection of more than 250,000 slides, photographs and digital records.
Meet our Art History and Art Curatorship staff
Our academic staff includes scholars and museum professionals who are leaders in their field, from medieval art to modernism, the history and theory of art conservation, curatorship and beyond.
Banner image: Buxton Contemporary
Installation view, ‘The shape of things to come’,
works by Helen Johnson, Marco Fusinato, Hany Armanious, Mikala Dwyer, Shaun Gladwell
Installation view courtesy of Christian Capurro
Image courtesy of Buxton Contemporary