Studies in our department deal with the Visual Arts throughout history, from the Prehistoric Era to the present day. They cultivate your abilities of observation and understanding by imparting knowledge and a variety of tools for evaluating, analyzing and interpreting works of art in their historical and broad cultural contexts.

The Department of Art History of the Hebrew University was founded in 1964, the first such department in Israel. The founders were the late Prof. Moshe Barasch (Israel Prize winner 1996), an expert on Renaissance and Baroque Art; the late Prof. Michael Avi-Yonah who, in addition to being an art historian, was also an archeologist and taught both Ancient Art and Art in the Land of Israel during the Roman Period; the late Prof. Bezalel Narkiss (Israel Prize winner 1999), an expert on Jewish and Christian Art in the Middle Ages; and Prof. Avram Kampf who researched and taught Modern Art. From that time forth the Department of Art History has raised generations of researchers and teachers who deal with all periods of the history of the visual arts from prehistory to today, impart knowledge and various tools for evaluating, analyzing and interpreting works of art in their historical and broad cultural contexts.

Department number: 197

Faculty: Humanities

Campus: Mount Scopus

Founders Wall

(Click Photo for Further Reading)

Moshe Barash

In memoriam Prof. Moshe Barasch: Prof. Luba FreedmanProf. Ziva Amishai-Maisels

Prof. Bezalel Narkis

In memory of Prof. Narkiss: His words on reaching his 80th birthday

Message from the Head of the Department

"There's more than just the surface of life. The real things are under the surface" (Bill Viola) 

From the urban landscape of Constantinople, through Rembrandt's Night Watch to Bensky's Girl With Balloon , in our department you will learn to recognize the beauty inherent in the complexity of the picture, the structure, the object - above and under the surface.

Warm wishes for interesting studies and fruitful research,

Galit Noga-Banai

גלית נגה-בנאי


The Aims of the Department

  • To provide students with an understanding of Art History as a tool for obtaining a broad view of human history and culture.
  • To develop the ability to understand and appreciate works of art from all periods and all places around the world.

  • To develop a theoretical and practical knowledge of the different processes and fields of the visual arts.

  • To prepare students to teach Art History and to use it in other fields of study in high schools, colleges and universities.

  • To train students to work in art museums and galleries.

  • To provide a broad basis for writing any type of art criticism or for consulting clients about aesthetic or artistic matters.