The Institute of Art History at the University of Bern is divided into five Chairs, each of which is responsible for a particular specialty: Pre-modern art history (ÄK), early modern art history (KN), modern and contemporary art (MG), history of architecture and historic preservation (AD), and the history of textile arts (TK). The Institute’s broad range of seminars, lectures, excursions, and practical experience – often in English – provides an exciting and wide-ranging forum for exchange, dialogue, and research. These opportunities are augmented by the multifaceted and wide-ranging interests of the faculty, as well as frequent visiting faculty members whose international professional networks add to the Institute’s diverse offerings and courses of study.
The Institute’s range of course offerings covers the full spectrum of western art, from the early Christian era to the present. Alongside the traditional art historical media of architecture, painting, printmaking, drawing, sculpture, and decorative arts, the Institute also offers the possibility of in-depth study of modern and contemporary art forms, including new media. The Institute’s program concentrates attention on the historical and social conditions of artistic production, as well as the religious, social, and aesthetic functions of artworks and architecture, their forms and genres, contents and meanings, and also the artistic and literary reception of art production. The analysis and history of art theory and the historiography of art history are also a key element of the Institute’s program, which aims to cover the history of art in all of its manifold aspects.