What is Art History and Where is it Headed? – Understanding Art and History

When you look back on things, recorded as they were, by multiple sources, you may call it history, especially if you delve deeper to understand the chronological order of events. But what is history without culture? Nothing but a set of events without context. 

So, how would one even approach art history, then? If you try to make a simple definition, it would be a study of the history of art, its development, beauty and change. One would strive to define art, which is in itself an impossible and very subjective task, but also to define the artists and works of art which were important at the time, making things a lot more difficult, once more. Who is important and which works of art are actually meaningful to art and its development? Or were they meaningful to some individuals at the time, or even those who are, centuries after, writing a study.

The history of art is a complex topic, so let us examine it, and perhaps, where it might be headed.

History and Art or the History of Art?

It goes without saying that when you have some people during a period of time, they will have traditions and rituals, some of which extend to their art, some of which are captured as art. Art has always gone hand in hand with history, as well as culture. Talking about the history of art, specifically, is difficult, because art has its own meaning for a lot of people. Then, characterizing some artists as influential and better will stir many arguments and heated opinions.

It is why we should start thinking about the history of art more in the context of art and history, and culture, every those things that go hand in hand.

What is Worth More, Art, Artists, Context?

The history of art tends to put some artists forwards, like Da Vinci, Van Gogh, depending on the period of art and history. With that in mind, some artists of the time made beautiful art of their own, but were not put in the chronicles, or were simply mentioned.

Given that most historians and artists, scientists and others making these chronological studies and history books, have different criteria as to what and who is important. 

A chronological look back without highlights such as most important and the best, would be beneficial to people who want to learn about art without the biases of the historians writing the books.

Studying Art History – Worth It?

Art history can formally be studied and it is defined as the study of human expression through history, visual, aural, spatial and tactile. This encompasses almost everything, old and new.

Art historians can during their studies attune their senses, through the knowledge of history and art, which can help them recognize upcoming art changes and movements.

Studying art history is a beautiful way of getting in touch with some of the world’s greatest art, and finding out about artists which are often not mentioned in popular art history and culture. 

Jobs in this field can range from working in museums, galleries and cultural heritage sites, not to mention historic locations. A lover of art can find their perfect match here.

Where To, Art History?

Art history is headed into unexplored waters. Its principles and outlines will be challenged with the emerging of new technology and with how people often find new ways of expressing themselves, creating things which can be characterized as art. The world is becoming more and more connected, making the job of art history tougher, which is probably for the best.