Art history studies art as both a historical and contemporary phenomenon. Art and related methods of examination comprise a broad and continuously changing field. The discipline examines visual and material culture, ranging from imagery and objects to the built environment, landscapes and art institutions. Art historians may examine churches, landscape paintings, cult objects and installations, or suburban spaces, fashion and street art.
Art, its processes and the terms of making art are analysed in their temporal and local contexts. They are examined as cultural, historical, aesthetic and social phenomena from the perspective of, among other things, meaning, production and use. Art historians combine visual, material and spatial analysis with theories and methods in a versatile and multidisciplinary manner. Various theories on culture, meaning and society, such as gender studies, have been central to the continuous redefinition of art history.
The study of art history is polyphonic by nature. It is linked with international research in the field and is in active dialogue with several disciplines. Central research areas include landscape, developed environments, the history of art history, urban space, the Middle Ages and modern art, as well as visual arts and architecture in all their variety.