Numerous research projects of staff members and third-party-funded projects carried out make the Department of History of Art at the University of Vienna an important centre for art history research in Europe.
The Department focuses on modernism and contemporary art in Europe and America including new media, on Baroque art and culture, especially in Central Europe, on Renaissance art in Italy and Austria, on medieval art since late antiquity, on drawing research, on the field of pre-modern media culture, on the art of South and Central Asia and on Byzantine art history.
Large research units are, for example, the Otto Pächt-Archiv, the Laboratory for Cognitive Research in Art History (CReA) and the Western Himalaya Archive Vienna (WHAV).
At the Otto Pächt-Archiv, the history and function of European book painting is examined in cooperation with the Austrian Academy of Sciences and the Austrian National Library. The Laboratory for Cognitive Research in Art History (CReA) studies art-historical issues on the basis of cognitive methods (especially eye-tracking). Current projects are funded by the FWF, the WWTF and the ÖAW.
Just like the University, the Department of History of Art commits itself to the unity of research and teaching. The research results obtained by the department staff are not only made available through lectures and publications as fast as possible, but are often presented beforehand in courses.
The quality of teaching is reflected in the students' theses. For graduates, a diploma thesis is generally the first piece of independent research work!