Department of Art History

Art History addresses a broad spectrum of visual, material and spatial phenomena concerning historical and contemporary art and architecture, and visual culture ranging from canonised art to popular and vernacular imageries. The fields of scholarship not only comprise visual art, design and the built environment, but embrace analyses of institutions and the changing concepts of art as well.

Research foci of the Department of Art History at the University of Turku include visual art and visual cultures from the late 19th century up to today, in particular (but not exclusively) in the context of modernist studies and contemporary art research. Further foci comprise theories and philosophies of art, and for example, issues concerning authorship studies and gender studies. Methodological approaches vary from semiotic and social problematics to issues of materiality and affect; research can be based on extensive empiria, or singular works of art and the theoretical issues framing them.

At the University of Turku, the discipline of Art History is part of a wide array of disciplines within arts and culture studies where its closest partners have been media studies, musicology, literature, history, archeology, museology and gender studies, forming a research environment characterized by an attitude of critical analysis of phenomena in their historical and cultural contexts.