University of Toronto-France Art History Partnership

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Cross-cultural dialogue is fundamental to the study of art history. In 2022, the Department of Art History launched a major partnership with French universities to support academic exchange at all levels, supported by a generous philanthropic gift. With a rich tradition of art history scholarship, France continues to be at the forefront of current research in the discipline. The University of Toronto has been a centre for teaching and scholarship on French culture for over 150 years. The France Art History partnership reflects the University of Toronto’s continuing mission to provide students with a globally relevant education, enhance existing collaborations, and create new scholarly opportunities.

Undergraduate Scholarships

These scholarships support academic experiences that immerse students in French language, history, culture, art, and architecture.

The department’s summer abroad courses, led by U of T faculty members, enable students to study French art and architecture in person with their travel expenses covered. Students interact with local experts, gain exposure to French (one of Canada’s official languages), and build a strong foundation for future engagement with French art history.

Cohen Abroad Image Collage
Studies Abroad in Medieval Art and Architecture (FAH392Y0-F) in western France, taught by Prof. Adam Cohen, summer 2023
International Doctoral Cluster

The Department’s international doctoral cluster, entitled “A Plural Art History for the 21st Century,” is a formal academic training agreement with the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes and the Sorbonne University, both in Paris. This IDC opens new lines of graduate inquiry in art history, connects emerging  researchers with an international network of mentors, and supports Ph.D. students’ research travel in France. Each year, five doctoral students, split between France and U of T, are be selected to participate in this prestigious scholarly exchange.

Current U of T Students participating in this IDC:

  • Nicole Liao, "Mimetic Colour Technologies before the Lumiere Autochrome" (2023)
  • Benjamin Pulver, "To Err is Human: Morality and Desire in French Art of the 'Long Digital Age'" (2023)


Postdoctoral Fellowships

The University of Toronto is excited to welcome postdoctoral fellow Pierre Marty. A specialist in the social art history of provincial France, Dr. Marty is currently researching the circulation of technical knowledge in French drawing academies in the early modern period. He also has experience managing research grants and projects. As part of his postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Toronto, Marty assists in developing cross-cultural opportunities and managing the exchanges with France.


Visiting Professorships

The Department of Art History regularly hosts art historians from France and arranges for University of Toronto faculty to visit French universities. Exchange faculty participate in seminars, workshops, and research activities at their host institutions and immerse themselves in the Department’s activities. In the process, they help build lasting academic relationships with international colleagues and universities. 

French scholars who come to the University of Toronto as visiting professors have access to a wealth of academic resources. The Graduate Department of Art History is home to twenty-five full-time faculty members with an extraordinary range of expertise. Our research facilities include one of North America’s most extensive library collections. Alongside the department’s vibrant intellectual life, scholars may participate in the university’s other academic centres, including the Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies, the Centre for Medieval Studies, the Archaeology Centre, the Jackman Humanities Institute, and the Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design. Toronto is one of the fastest-growing cities in the world and the home of institutions such as the Royal Ontario Museum, the Art Gallery of Ontario, and the Image Centre. It also offers convenient access to Ottawa, Montreal, Buffalo, and Niagara Falls.


Visiting Lectures

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June 23, 2023: Adam Cohen (University of Toronto), "Hebrew and French: The Getty Museum's Rothschild Pentateuch," Centre d'Études supérieures de civilisation médiévale, University of Poitiers

May 23, 2023: Nathalie Ginoux (Sorbonne Université), "Protohistoric Art in Debate: The Case of Ancient Celtic Art," University of Toronto Department of Art History

May 23, 2023: Laurent Olivier (Musée d'Archéologie nationale, Saint-Germain-en-Laye), "The Visuality of Early Celtic Art: For and Archaeology of Images," University of Toronto Department of Art History

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February 13, 2023: Michel Hochmann (École Pratique des Hautes Études), “The Venetian Painter’s Studio in the 16th Century,” University of Toronto Department of Art History.

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October 26, 2022: Jean-Marie Guillouët (University of Burgundy), “Hyper-Technical Gothic? A Micro-History of Late Medieval Craftsmanship (ca. 1400-1530),” University of Toronto

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October 17, 2022: John Ricco (University of Toronto), “Bersani’s Incongruous Sociality,” Laboratoire de Recherche sur les Cultures Anglophones (LARCA), University of Paris-Cité.