Bringing together current research and critical debate about art, art history and visual cultures

Online Event
Wednesday 14 - Saturday 17 April 2021



After much discussion and deliberation the Association for Art History has decided to convert the 2021 Annual Conference from a hybrid event to a fully virtual event. Our decision comes on the back of ongoing uncertainty regarding COVID-19, and follows the UK government’s recent announcement to remain working from home for the next 6 months, where possible. Our primary focus is the safety and well-being of our Annual Conference participants, prospective delegates and staff. Whilst it’s disappointing not to be able to bring people together in person to share research and exchange ideas we are very excited about doing this virtually instead. We are looking forward to hosting an expanded event and engaging with even more people, and even more international research.

The 2021 Annual Conference was expanded to a four day event to accommodate sessions from this year’s conference which was cancelled. The 2021 conference will still take place over four days, from 14 – 17 April, and we will continue to work with the Department of Art History, Curating and Visual Studies at the University of Birmingham, and with museums and galleries in Birmingham. Session Convenors and speakers will be invited to participate and present their papers digitally, and participate in digital session discussions and debates on-screen, using a secure virtual event platform that will allow delegates maximum access to papers and discussions. Session and paper formats will remain the same, and the four-day programme will continue to offer a range of additional workshops, virtual tours, keynote lectures and networking opportunities for delegates to engage with. We will be conscious of international time differences and screen-fatigue, but aim to offer delegates the same quality of content and experience that people have come to expect, respect and enjoy at an Association for Art History Annual Conference. In light of this decision, we have extended our Call for Papers by 2 weeks to Monday 2 November 2020.

We hope that you will join us in April for our first, four day, virtual international Annual Conference for art history.


International collaborations and exchanges
We believe that art history inspires you to think differently, and see differently. Every year we work with different institutions around the UK to create an event that encourages a broad and inclusive art history for all. For 2021 we are delighted to be working with the Department of Art History, Curating and Visual Studies at the University of Birmingham, and museums and galleries in Birmingham.


Making connections
Taking place online over four days the 2021 Annual Conference will hosts speakers from around the world, and across multiple disciplines. Attending this key annual event is an opportunity to stay up to date with new research, hear inspiring keynotes, and to broaden networks and exchange ideas. The Annual Conference connects over 500 delegates with and for art history.


Celebrating breadth, excellence and inclusivity
Since 1974 the Association for Art History has championed a broad and inclusive art history, for which the Annual Conference is known and respected. No other annual event for art history in the UK offers the breadth and quality of research, in one place, at one time. 2021 will be our biggest Annual Conference to date, with 60 selected sessions and over 350 selected papers.

A chance to share ideas and interests, in one place
Presenting research at the Annual Conference has helped hundreds of speakers and convenors develop their research, expand their professional networks and build their personal and professional visibility. Being virtual, we anticipate that 2021 will enable an even broader global reach, and connect even more people and ideas from around the world.

Making it relevant and valuable for you  
In addition to sessions, the 2021 virtual conference programme will iclude a range of other activities. An online Bookfair with opportunities to meet with editors, authors and attend book launches, a range of professional development workshops, inspiring keynotes, a choice of different networking opportunities, as well as opportunities to engage with virtual tours of collections and galleries.


You choose
Pick and choose the sessions and papers that matter to you, and tailor the programme to your interests and needs. Exchange and develop your research with like-minded people, and expand your networks and contacts. You can discuss and debate ideas within a collegiate online space. Build upon your professional skills, grow your professional and personal visibility, and gain new perspectives. 

Who should attend the 2021 Annual Conference?
The Annual Conference is open to all.  If you are doing research about art, art history or visual culture this online event is a perfect opportunity to share your research ideas. Or you can come along to listen and engage with new research. The Annual Conference is popular with academics, curators, artists, phd students, early career researchers, publishers, writers and anyone engaged with art history research. The conference is open to art historians and non art historians, and to members and non members. Everyone is welcome.



What People Value about the Annual Conference


  • “such a collegiate environment”
  • “high quality research, dialogue and debate”
  • “outstanding keynotes”
  • “excellent and stimulating range of research”


  • “I learned new things and was thoroughly engaged”
  • “meeting people with shared interests”
  • “exposure to a vast range of topics”
  • “new ideas and perspectives”

Become a Member


As a member of the Association for Art History you get discounted tickets for all our UK-wide events, including the Annual Conference



As a member of the Association for Art History you join a community of like-minded people with access to networks and support



As a member of the Association for Art History you have exclusive access to our grants, prizes and doctoral and early career mentoring scheme



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London EC1M 6EJ

+44 (0)20 7490 3211