World Art Studies means the study of the visual arts of all periods and of people everywhere. The School of World Art Studies and Museology at UEA is one of the few institutions in Britain where art history is taught from this broad perspective. As well as covering the arts of Europe in detail, students may also explore the arts of Asia, Africa, the Americas and the Pacific. They can study art history either on its own or combined with literature or philosophy or history or modern languages or as part of a unique degree in art history, archaeology and anthropology. More specialised postgraduate courses are offered, including Museology.
The School of World Art Studies and Museology and the Sainsbury Research Unit are housed in the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts and the Crescent Wing, designed by Norman Foster. The School was founded in 1964 and rapidly established itself as a leader in the study of the history of European art and architecture. After 1978, following the gift to the University of the Robert and Lisa Sainsbury Collection of art from all over the world, the School's programme was enlarged ambitiously.
Teaching is done by a combination of lectures and small group seminars. Students have access to a comprehensive slide, photograph and microfiche collection, media archive, and a large specialist library. They also benefit from the University's proximity to a number of museums, art galleries, churches and country houses.
Members of the School are engaged in art-historical research in many countries in Europe and Asia, in archaeological excavations in England, Italy, Albania and Peru, and in anthropological fieldwork in the Caribbean, Fiji, Ghana, North West Coast America and Zaire.
The School's faculty regularly organises symposia and major international conferences, often linked to exhibitions in the Gallery. Conference topics have included:
* Drawing Conclusions on Value and Meaning - America, Europe, China
* Collecting India
* Fetishism, the Modern and the Surreal
* Picasso and Personal Mythology
* The Nature of Chinese Painting
* Obscure Objects of Desire: Reviewing the Crafts this Century (1997)
* The Nature of the Masterpiece in Japan and Europe (1997)
* VISUAL CULTURE: Interpretation, History and the Human Sciences (1998)
Imaginary Journeys: a speculative tour of World Art
Imaginary Journeys was a series of papers given by staff of the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts and the World Art and Museology Department, taking as their starting point specific objects from the Sainsbury Collection. Click here to read the papers.
Culture Futures was a series of three seminars reconsidering the nature of cultural heritage for the new millennium. Click here to read the papers.