Art historians study the history of art. The subject embraces a wide range of objects: paintings, drawings and prints of all kinds, including photographs and film; sculpture; buildings and their grouping into towns and cities; graves and tombs; gardens; books and manuscripts; objects made of precious stones and metals; performance; in short, all visual and a great deal of material culture. Art historians across the world form a community of scholars who describe their new discoveries and theories at conferences and symposia, in exhibitions, in articles for the scholarly journals, and in the form of books.
Art history students therefore learn how to treat non-verbal objects as evidence, how to use scholarly publications, rare books and manuscripts, and how to explain their insights and findings in words. The end product is critical thinking about this extraordinary and engaging subject, and preparation for entry into a range of academic and professional occupations. The past starts yesterday.