IHA is a R&D Unit hosted by NOVA FCSH and a full member of the RIHA network (The International Association of Research Institutes in the History of Art). IHA publishes Revista de História da Arte and Revista de História da Arte—série W (both indexed in ERIH PLUS). In the 2018-2019 FCT’s evaluation process, IHA was distinguished with the highest assessment mark (5) in all evaluation parameters, and was rated as “Excellent” by the international panel of experts.
IHA’s work is committed to Portuguese art history, but is by no means confined to it. Not only interrogations prompted by Portuguese art history entwine with general art historical questions, but also Portuguese historical relations with other geographies are conspicuous (European, Asian, African and American).
IHA has a flexible and democratic structure enhanced by its management framework and by the diverse backgrounds and affiliations of its researchers — several affiliated with other universities, museums, heritage administration, and the Lisbon City Council. In the past few years, IHA has grown into a cohesive community of researchers committed to the excellence of individual and group research, and knowledge transfer within a motivating scientific and educational environment.
IHA’s democratic footprint is boosted by the autonomy of its five research groups (RG): Pre-Modern visual and material cultures; Lisbon studies; Museum studies; Contemporary art studies; and Art theory, historiography and criticism. All groups approach art history in its broadest sense, considering visual and material cultures, museums, heritage, urban studies and art theory. Two thematic lines (TL) intersect and connect groups’ activities: Cultural transfers in a global perspective and The exhibition: theory and practices. Multidisciplinary perspectives and encounters are encouraged in IHA’s overall activities, especially via Clusters’ activities (flexible platforms of researchers that foster external collaborations).
IHA’s strategic program for the next four years privileges three areas of research. Two are consistent with the aforementioned TLs, the third area is devoted to Lisbon studies. TL Cultural transfers focus on a historical and theoretical perspective upon processes of migration, the traveling of objects and ideas, colonial/ post-colonial circuits and cultural networks. It will privilege several geographical constellations of study: Japanese art, Latin American art, art of the Lusophone spaces in Africa, South Asian art and the Mediterranean. TL The exhibition: theory and practices focuses on the conventions of display by which works are presented, critically validated, re-visited, and mediated. It treats exhibitions as multidisciplinar undertakings that involve production of theory, construction of history, art markets, and levels and modes of reception. It also studies the emergence of curators as auteurs, the proliferation of contemporary art centres, museums and international variations of the biennial model associated with concepts such as globalisation or multiculturalism. This line privileges four main areas of research: exhibition histories, theories and practices of display, the exhibition as critical discourse and exhibitions in the digital era.