CIHA 2016 in Beijing

34th World Congress of Art History

About History Press Release Sessions Schedule Activities Participants Venue Discussion Registration Closed


The Chinese CIHA Committee will host the 34th World Congress of Art History in Beijing, and invites art historians from all over the world to attend and discuss "terms".

Art and cultural historians from a vast cross-section of disciplines and fields of professional interest are called upon to discuss together ways of seeing, describing, analyzing and classifying art works.

The topics are divided into 21 sessions, which will enable comparisons to be made between different viewpoints and methods.

Each panel will compose a program reflecting the CIHA's commitment to the idea of diversity, so as to allow talks on different genres, epochs and countries to be brought together.

The chosen theme for the Beijing 2016 CIHA Congress is the logical counterpart of that of the Nuremberg 2012 CIHA Congress (The Challenge of the Object). In CIHA Beijing 2016, it is a matter of questioning words, definitions, and the very concepts used to study art by different scientific traditions with this essential question: how can the methodology of our discipline be enriched by being conscious of the diversity of terms and approaches to art?

The Congress uses the word “terms” to draw upon a wide range of case studies. The 2016 CIHA Congress will analyze different concepts of art in diverse cultures, and  strives to achieve three goals: the first is to respond to the latest development of art history as a global discipline; the second is to explore art through different definitions that underline its relationship to respective cultural frameworks, and the disparities between different cultures in various periods throughout history; the third is to gain a more comprehensive understanding of art as an essential part of human culture.


Comité International d'Histoire de l'Art(CIHA)

The founding of CIHA (the Comité International d’Histoire de l’Art) precedes both that of UNESCO and UNESCO’s academic arm, CIPSH (the Conseil International de la Philosophie et des Sciences Humaines). CIHA was founded in 1930 at the Brussels Congress. Its purposes were “to organize a congress every three years, to maintain continuing relationships among the national committees, and to oversee the preservation of works of art.” The 1930s favoured the development of CIHA both because of improvements in communication systems and the increased number of chairs of art history in many universities. The CIHA commission appointed at the 1961 New York Congress and directed by Professor George Kubler developed new statutes. They took effect when they were approved by the General Assembly at Madrid on June 3, 1963, and were published in the first Bulletin of CIHA (Jan-Mar-Jun 1965). The first version was composed of thirteen articles which defined the objectives of CIHA; its composition; the national committees; the central office; its legal status (an international academic association as defined under Article 60 of the Swiss Civil Code); its resources; its structure; the composition and role of the General Assembly, Board, and permanent secretariat; its relationships with other organizations belonging to CIPSH; the conditions for its dissolution; and provisions for its internal regulation and the amendment of its statutes. In conformity with the new formula established by UNESCO, the statutes of CIHA provided for the holding of two scientific colloquia between each Congress.



Comité International d'Histoire de l'ArtCIHA

Central Academy of Fine Arts

Peking University



The Palace Museum

Wu Zuoren International Foundation of Fine Arts



China Academy of Art, Beijing Forestry University, Qingzhou Municipal Museum ...



Getty Foundation, Zhongzhi Enterprise Group, Beijing Song Ya Feng Culture Media Limited Liability Company, Beijing OLP Public Art Design Co. LTD., Beijing UNIQUE Exhibition Co. Ltd....