The academic subject of the history of art at the TU Wien focuses on the historical, social, stylistic and technical development of the visual arts in the genres of architecture, urban planning, painting, graphics, sculpture, film and photography from classical antiquity to the present. It investigates the social, scientific and aesthetic conditions of art production and addresses the question of the treatment, the presentation and the reception of artworks in different temporal and geographical contexts. Based on the history of the subject at the TU Wien, a special spatial and historical focus of research and studies is placed on the Central and South European regions, also on the area of the former Habsburg Empire from early modern times to the twenty-first century.
Besides the two-semester overview lectures on “Architecture and Art History from Classical Antiquity to the Baroque Era” and on “The History of Art and Architecture of the 19th, 20th and 21st Centuries” the curriculum is also organised into different formats, such as seminars, exercises, project and workshop activities. Furthermore, it includes the teaching of broad-based methodical knowledge, likewise intensive excursion activities, designed to acquaint the students with art-historical analyses in situ and face to face with the object. Students are given the opportunity to join in the Section’s exhibition and publication projects. Likewise, the students’ research results worked on during the module “History of Architecture and Art” are put on public display in poster presentations.
Besides the individual research projects of the staff, coordinated in the international context, the Section of Art History extends invitations to guest lectures by extra-mural experts on the history of art and architecture of the nineteenth to the twenty-first centuries, organises conferences and workshops, and joins in curatorial collaborations in projects with various museums and collections. The busy publication activities of the Section of Art History reflect the staff’s differentiated range of work and research. Since the winter term of 2016/2017, the Section of Art History of the TU Wien has focused on the research of its own specialist history and thus the history, present and future of art history at institutes of higher education since the nineteenth century.