Art History & Visual Studies

Gateway to art

Gateway to art

Discover new ways of seeing the world by hearing AHVS professors talk about art and its meaning through this collection of short, engaging discussions across time, place, material and practices.

Gateway to art
Two students using a virtual reality set

Fascinating courses

Discover exciting courses like the History of Video Games and get access to equipment like gaming consoles, virtual reality headsets and more that literally let you delve into another world. 

Courses
A group of people in the First Peoples' House holding a button blanket

Research that matters

From the rise of social justice movements and the destruction of sacred sites to shifts in Indigeneity, gender, power and spirituality, we're committed to innovative research on topics that matter to the world today.

Research
Alumnus Michael Warren looking at a wood art sculpture in the Madrona Gallery

Careers in art history and visual studies

Understanding the power and role of visual communication is an important skill in many careers. Brin O’Hare works for the Victoria Arts Council and coordinated this show of artist Mike Lathrop’s work at the Greater Victoria Public Library.

Careers
Two women handling artifacts on a table

Graduate studies

Immerse yourself in your research. PhD student Atri Hatef examines Nuu-chah-nulth basketry covered bottles from the late 19th/early 20th century (unknown artists) with Caroline Reidel (curator of collections, UVic Legacy Art Galleries).

Graduate studies
Student kneeling by an art display in the UVic Library

Hands-on learning

Josie Greenhill says her co-op experience gave her a taste of what a career in museum archives could be like, and confirmed her passion for the study of art history.

Co-op
Student on a computer exploring DIDO

Understanding our visual world

A degree in art history and visual studies offers a unique perspective on our increasingly visual world. Our students have access to the latest technology and DIDO, a collection of over 68,000 digital images to explore.

Undergraduate studies

Service update in response to COVID-19

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation, the Art History and Visual Studies Department has shifted from in-person to remote support.

All AHVS faculty, sessional instructors and staff can be reached via email.

We continue to take advice and guidance from governments and health authorities concerning the health and safety of our community and will re-open in-person services as appropriate.

Travel through time, discover your perspective

Immerse yourself in the visual traditions of hundreds of cultures worldwide. Develop skills in communication and perception to better understand the world of art and the images you encounter every day.

Art transcends time and culture. The more you understand the visual, the more you'll unravel history, expand your perspective and inform your future.

Whether you're interested in world cultures, politics, video games, gender, movies or architecture, our captivating courses offer something for everyone.

Try your luck and test your knowledge in the AHVS The Stay-at-Home Art History Quiz!

Find your edge in UVic's Department of Art History & Visual Studies

Territory and acknowledgements

We acknowledge and respect the Songhees, Esquimalt and WSÁNEĆ peoples on whose unceded traditional territory the university stands, and whose historical relationships with the land continue to this day. We are grateful to be on this land and are committed to UVic’s ongoing work of decolonizing and Indigenizing the campus community—both inside and outside the classroom. We invite you to read more about Indigeneity and Fine Arts.