Art History


Art History is the study of visual images and objects. We explore not only painting, drawing and sculpture, but also architecture, photography, video, performance, design and the decorative arts.

Areas of study

Postgraduate courses in Art History explore a variety of approaches and methodologies in relation to European and American, New Zealand and Australian, Māori and Polynesian arts. The topics you can study range from individual artists such as Rembrandt to the social and cultural significance of public art and art galleries.

Postgraduate study in Art History is not limited to the traditional fine arts. You can also investigate the forms, meanings and values of different images and objects in the visual cultures (both contemporary and past) of various societies.

You can study Art History in the following programmes:

What you will learn

Art History at the University of Auckland has particular research strengths in the following areas:

  • Cross-cultural and inter-cultural representation and post-colonial theory.
  • The study of museums. This includes the histories, roles and practices of different kinds of museums and art galleries; taonga and identity in museums; and the roles of museums in cultural politics. These courses are also offered as part of Museums and Cultural Heritage.

Our research interests inform both taught courses and student research.

Career opportunities

Art History can prepare you for a career as a researcher, teacher, curator, librarian, art dealer, critic or journalist, as well as careers in related fields of culture, cultural tourism and human resources. Our graduates include many distinguished researchers, curators and gallery directors all over New Zealand and overseas.

More information

Find out more about studying Art History.