Brainstorming Art History Dissertation Ideas: 10 Great Topics To Explore


The best assignment ideas lie within your area of interest; if you are not enthusiastic about your assignment then it would be easy to abandon your studies. The choice of topic should be narrow enough to remove the feeling of being overwhelmed but broad enough to provide sufficient evidence. The first place to look for ideas within this specialty would be your course work – that is full of topics. Use your current knowledge to sharpen the focus of your ideas. Check out periodical and journal articles, they are often well-researched, and their references could form a stepping off point for your research.

If all else fails you, here are a few ideas that might help refine your search.
  • How the imagery and covers of Science Fiction and Detective Fiction has changed over the years
  • Wartime photography has a story to tell, as does the photography of the after effects and famines. What were they allowed to show then as opposed to now? Profile a war correspondent
  • Profile of an artist – do you have a new way to look at the artist that will add insight to his or her work? Then a dissertation monograph would be an excellent way to present your ideas to the world.
  • Drawings of Indigenous People – A fresh take on how the Aborigines of Australia weave their creativity and music into the Dreamtime would make an interesting read.
  • Symbolism of the little extra touches that an artist puts into his or her painting? The shadow of the dress in the portrait of Bill Clinton or the watermark of a Long-tailed tit in the portrait of naturalist Bill Odie. Why do artists include these?
  • Economic aspects of the free museums and galleries on the funding of esoteric works. How does the internet affect museum attendance?
  • Education in schools – too much? Too little? Are the changes in focus of education away from creative studies towards the sciences going to make art a rich person’s only field?
  • Effects of aviation on culture – cheap flights allow the public to view artwork anywhere in the world in its proper setting. Does the effect of cheap air flight mean that people are not interested in purchasing pictures of exotic landscapes if they can afford to travel there?
  • Documenting modern life through online photography
  • Expression of creativity through jewelry

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