Art History Matters

June 5, 2019 by Department of Art History

On Friday, May 31st, the Department of Art History held an event during the University of Toronto’s 2019 Alumni Reunion Week. The event, “Art History: Why Does It Matter?” drew together nine faculty members as well as twenty art professionals from across six sectors for a day of discussion and deliberation.

The six sectors represented included:

  1. Research and Educational Institutions
  2. Private and Corporate Collecting
  3. Information, Engagement, and Outreach
  4. Art Publication and Media
  5. Public and Museum Curating and Management
  6. Art Historians as Practicing Artists

Over one-hundred-and-fifty participants signed up for the event and had the option to learn about two of the six sectors during the breakout sessions. The lunch roundtable was an engaging and thoughtful discussion focused on answering two key questions: 1. Why does art history matter? 2. What is the future of art history?

As one of our participants noted, “In the meany years that I have been at the University of Toronto, I have never witnessed such a generous mingling and mixing of UofT Art History faculty–from across all three campuses at that. It was the first time that I’ve had the opportunity to hear [faculty members and colleagues] speak about what mattered to them, about Art History. It was a wonderful occasion.”

The event was accompanied by a virtual exhibition featuring eight artists, highlighting the relationship between image culture and art history. Artworks from the exhibition were digitally displayed throughout the day and an exhibition catalogue was created to commemorate the event.

The Department of Art History would like to thank everyone who attended and participated in “Art History: Why Does It Matter?” and hope to see you all at future Art History events. We were pleased to create an inviting atmosphere for the exchange of information, ideas, and opinions. The Department would also like to extend its utmost appreciation to our graduate students and members of GUStA, in particular Samantha Chang and Brittany Myburgh, for organizing a wonderful and successful event.