Artsome’s pick of colleges offering History of Art Courses

Artsome’s pick of colleges offering History of Art Courses


If you are interested in art and wish to join the art field, then you must consider enrolling in an art course in India. The study of the history of art courses will not only enrich your knowledge deeply but also help you greatly in your path to joining this ever expanding field. These art courses in India are designed in such a way so that the students can acquire the skills of seeing, analyzing, and criticizing art along with understanding the culture of different societies that gave birth to different forms. Learning the history of art entails learning about the times, the history of different cultures, their beliefs and needs, their practices, and their indigenous methods of painting or sculpting.

The study of the history of art courses gives the student a holistic understanding of an artwork, which is always more than the sum of its parts. A degree in History of Art course can be very useful in careers with museums, galleries, auction houses, as a critique, writer, or curator and is also a very good grounding in appreciation of art in general.

Here is Artsome’s pick of universities that offer history of art courses in India:

1. JNU- School of Arts and Aesthetics, New Delhi

JNU’s School of Art and Aesthetics offer a very integrated, research-oriented, course. This history of the art course is very popular and attracts students from various disciplines like art history, cinema study, architecture, social science, literature, and the like. It aims to teach art, not as a separate discipline, but in a broader context of sociology, gender, history, politics, semiotics, and cultural studies. They offer MA, MPhil, and Ph.D. courses. The three streams offered are - Theater and Performance Studies, Cinema Studies and Visual Studies. The Visual Studies faculty offers several courses like ancient and medieval Indian art, Mughal and Rajput paintings, modern and contemporary art, and aesthetic theories. It also aims at teaching the students about the different material and methods used and about the history of different art institutions across India.

2. Jamia Milia Islamia- Department of Art History & Art Appreciation, New Delhi

The Department of Art History & Art Appreciation was established in 2007 and is the only institute in Delhi to offer an MFA in Art History. It aims to produce a forum for understanding and exploring visual art by learning about its origins and forms in major epochs in Europe, New Eastern, and Asian civilizations. It encourages the students to take different analytical approaches to understanding art. This art history course in India has a well-designed structure to make the students aware of the latest developments in the field of contemporary art globally and bring them to par with global artists. This course in the art history of India is research-based and also delves into curatorial practices and art management. The syllabus includes courses on tribal and folk art, ancient art, medieval art, modern, postmodernism, and contemporary art. It teaches the students to cope with the professional needs of Art academicians, art critics, writers, curators, and historians.

3. Delhi University- College of Art-Faculty of Fine Arts and Music, New Delhi

The Art History specialization offered at the College of Art aims to look at the development in the history of art since the start of civilization to the current times. It looks at artworks in the context of the historical, political, religious, gender, functionality, and ethnicity and examines such issues. Developing critical skills, creativity, personal ethics, and imagination are an intrinsic part of course. They promote skills needed for professional development in the course.  They provide a BFA in Art History but not an MFA.

4. Visva Bharti- Kala Bhavan, Birbhum, Kolkata

Rabindranath Tagore, a painter himself, amongst many accomplishments, founded this institute. Its Art School- Kala Bhavan, is well known in India for its research and art practice. Kala Bhavan helped give shape to culture-specific modernism, which was started by Tagore himself. Ramkinkar Baij, Nandalal Bose, and Benode Behari Mukhopadhyay, to name a few, have been associated with the institute in the past. This institute offers BFA, MFA, and Bridge courses that are among the popular art history courses in India.

5. The Maharaja Sayajirao University Of Baroda- Department of Art History & Aesthetics, Vadodara

This department hosts many national and international seminars, research, and art history publications, which have led the University Grant Commission, New Delhi, to recognize them, twice for the Special Assistance program. Baroda University offers a Bachelor’s course (BVA) with a specialization in the history of art and a Master’s course (MVA) with a specialization in Art History. They also offer a doctoral research program.

Other institutes like Ambedkar University in Delhi though do not offer a course related to art history courses in India, as a separate program, but have a history of art as a part of their elective course in the curriculum of their History department. Sir JJ School of Art and Banaras Hindu University too does not offer Art History as a separate course but does have theoretical knowledge woven in as a part of their course structure. History of art is taught in these colleges as part of other courses like BFA or MFA. Practical and theoretical knowledge is woven in together to prove the students with a rich learning experience.