Art History


Art History is the exploration of art and visual culture situated in social, political and historical contexts. Students can choose to study and research painting, sculpture and architecture as well as the more recent developments of photography, film and video art, performance and installation art, social activist interventions, digital media, social media and the post-digital. Increasingly we live in a world that is saturated by images and visual information. Being able to read and understand images across a range of media and platforms is crucial in articulating ideas and communicating effectively.

Areas of Study

Our staff have strengths in Māori and Pacific art, contemporary art, theory and psychology, cross-cultural representation and the Renaissance and Baroque periods. We study all the famous artists such as Leonardo, van Eyck, Monet, Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock and more. You may also be able to take an Art History course for General Education, depending on your degree.

You can study Art History in the following programmes:

What you will learn

Art History examines the many roles the visual arts have played in different cultures and in different periods  aesthetic, social, religious, political and commercial. We explore not only painting, drawing and sculpture, but also architecture, photography, video, performance art, design and the graphic and decorative arts, digital media and social media. Stage I courses introduce you to the subject and provide you with the skills you need to study Art History.

Career opportunities

Art History can be valuable in a wide range of careers in government, communication and media, marketing, journalism, conservation, exhibition management, galleries and auction houses, tourism, diplomacy, intellectual property and copyright law, and business management.

More information

Find out more about studying Art History.