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About us Faculty of Arts Our faculty Organisatie Disciplines Art History

Department of History of Art, Architecture & Landscape


Mission Statement

More than anything else, art works and buildings are material objects. Both teaching and research at Groningen depart from the objecthood of works of art and architecture and their situatedness in time and space.

Accordingly, we study and teach the meaning of the materials and processes that are employed in artistic creation in the workshop, design studio, or building site all the way to the presentation, conservation, public perception of works of art and architecture in the gallery, the museum, urban space or landscape.

From their making and materiality, a dense network of aesthetic, social, political and economic factors unfolds, in which art, architecture and landscape are commissioned, experienced, appreciated and used to various means and ends. We approach this intricate web from a Global perspective, including settings in medieval and early modern Europe, modern and post-modern city spaces in South America and Central- and Eastern Europe, urban and rural landscapes, as well as the mediatized spaces of photography, video, and digital media.

The resulting, complex entanglement of the objects of art and architecture in their diverse contexts is reflected upon in a long textual tradition of writing about art, ranging from travelogues, artists manuals, and (auto-)biographies to art criticism and art and architectural theory. The study of this rich textual culture forms yet another strand of teaching and research at Groningen.

Architecture, urban planning and landscape

We teach the history of architecture and urban planning from the Middle Ages down to the present day. You learn how cities evolved and explore the relations between architecture and the visual arts. You study architecture as a social phenomenon and visit urban planning projects in the Netherlands and abroad. Excursions are even more essential to the study of landscapes, which are explored as part of the Northern European landscape, from the prehistoric period up to now. History of landscape includes the study of country houses, gardens, and the design of agricultural and natural environments.

Visual Arts

Our lecturers are international specialists in their fields. We have a focus on Italy and the Netherlands and the global impact of Renaissance and Baroque art. In modern art, the emphasis lies on Europe and the U.S. in the nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first centuries. We have a special focus on material and visual culture, on artistic production and the history and social significance of museums. The Groningen Bachelor’s degree programme offers a combination of historical, theoretical and practice-based courses, and the lecturers work closely with experts in the field. Students thus meet professionals and see how art history is applied from the very outset.

Postal address

Facultu of Arts
Programma / Secretariat Art History
Postbus 716
9700 AS Groningen

Visiting address

Art History
Oude Boteringestraat 34, room 214 (secretariat)
9712 GK Groningen

Telephone: +31 (0)50 363 6078

Last modified:25 March 2024 4.05 p.m.
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