Art History

The discipline of art history is object-based cultural history. It is founded on the premise that artifacts embody and reflect the beliefs and values of the persons who made, commissioned, and used them. Unlike text-based historical disciplines, the history of art documents and interprets changes in human society by taking works of art and other objects of material culture as its primary sources. The history of art further requires the critical analysis and interpretation of written texts to help document and illuminate the contexts—social, economic, political, religious—in which artifacts are produced and used. Art history, therefore, is inherently interdisciplinary.