Art History provides the keys to understanding and interpreting diverse manifestations of visual culture across time and geographies. The department establishes a foundation for art theory that is a primary requisite for all students of the visual arts. Those who choose to specialize in art history will do an intensive study of both Indian and Western art history from prehistoric to contemporary times and will be exposed to art of other parts of Asia as well. An exposure to Indian and Western aesthetics, art historiography and critical theory contributes to a sharpened critical approach to writing about art. Unlike in many institutions in Europe and in the Americas, where art history is clubbed with the more theoretical humanities, in India art history is attached to visual arts departments. The major advantage of this is to provide future art historians unique insights into the materials and processes of art–making which are as important as a conceptual and political understanding of art contexts. Art history students at the Bengaluru School of Visual Arts will participate in studio practice even as they hone their conceptual understanding and articulation in workshops teaching creative and critical writing, curatorial practice and research methodology.
A wide range of careers are open to students of art history in ranging from teaching in colleges and universities, art criticism, art historical research, art journalism, curatorial practice and conservation in museums and galleries-both modern and contemporary, museology, Indology, archaeology, cultural tourism and heritage policy.