Ever since the beginning of artistic higher education in Bucharest, the need to offer future artists a solid theoretical background and a general plastic culture was adamant, and this tendency was reaffirmed all the more subsequent to the transformation of the School of Belle Arte in a higher education institution in 1931, when it became the Academy of Fine Arts. Starting with 1950, through the reform in artistic higher education, a special department of Art History emerged within the restructured Institute of Fine Arts “Nicolae Grigorescu”, which took over the functions of the Art History Department within the University of Bucharest. This department became the main center for the training of specialists in the fields of historiography, art criticism and theory, museography, museology (and later, after 1990, of cultural management), contributing at the same time to the formation of plastic artists’ artistic conscience and culture.
At present, we offer a multidisciplinary education, responsive to the methodological renewals in the international context, in order to provide a complex and balanced development to future specialists and in order to help them integrate adequately on the labor market, taking into account contemporary demands. In order to increase the academic prestige of our department, but also in order to raise extra-budgetary funds, we have started research projects coordinated by tenured personnel in the department and including within the research teams Master and doctoral students. The specializations and research interests of the members of the personnel cover a vast historical area, from ancient classicism to contemporary times, approached through varied and complementary study methods. The direct examination of the works of art are combined with the exploration of new theoretical trends in the subject. The courses are structured on a few major directions: art and culture history in Antiquity and the Middle Ages, the history of Romanian art from Late Antiquity to contemporary times, the history of European art within the same interval, the development of art theory from Pre-Renaissance to the 20th century, museology, curatorial studies, cultural management, aesthetics and the philosophy of image. We place a special emphasis on the assimilation of the terminology specific to the subject in international languages, a large part of the compulsory bibliography being studied in the original.
The study program owns six course rooms, two of which are equipped with projection equipment. The collection of negatives in the audiovisual section represents an essential source which is undergoing a process of digitalization. The study program also owns a library whose development constitutes a priority of the educational strategy. For the most part, the equipment for the digitalization of images and their projection was purchased with extra-budgetary funds, within research grants.
The tenured or adjunct personnel are either established personalities in the field, or young PhDs whose research activities confirmed a well consolidated academic training. The doctoral students whose projects are compatible with the structure of the curriculum are equally recruited for seminar activities with Bachelor students.
The study program organizes annually a conference of the faculty of Art History and Theory, in partnership with the colleagues from the program study Conservation and Restoration of the Work of Art.
The students in the study program were involved in various cultural and artistic events, as volunteers or members in the organizing committees. We should also name here the research excursions carried out by students under the supervision of members in the study programs, to visit objectives in the national and even international patrimony (Bachelor students may benefit from a research mobility of approximately one week in Rome, within a partnership with Accademia di Romania).