The Department of History of Art, Faculty of Arts, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi is one of the premier centre in India devoted to Art Historical Studies. The Department (initially known as the Department of Art and Architecture) is also the oldest Institution in the country established in 1950.
The Department has been navigated through in the last half a century by reputed authorities on pre-modern art traditions of India namely Professor V.S. Agrawal, S.K. Saraswati, Anand Krishna and so on and bulk of the research output of the Department has been on the pre-modern phase of Indian Art. The Department has the pride of producing great scholars in the field of Indian Art like Dr. Kapila Vatsyayan and Prof. P.L. Gupta. Dr. N.P. Joshi, Prof. R. Das Gupta, Prof. L.K. Tripathi, Prof. Prem Lata Sharma etc. are among other few outstanding scholars who have also been associated with this department. The Department has produced standard works on Ancient Indian Art and Aesthetics, Iconography, Painting, Indian Architecture, Costumes, Textiles and Decorative Art. The Department offers courses on History of Art, with a focus on Indian Art, Painting, Sculpture, Iconography, Architecture, Textile and Decorative Art, Folk and Tribal Art, Aesthetics, Art of South East Asia, Art and Environment, Myths and Symbols under one roof.
The Department introduced Tourism Management (M.T.T.M.) as a Special Course at Post Graduate level in the Golden Jubilee celebration year (1999-2000). At present, the Department coordinates courses from Diploma to Ph.D. level, which are offered at Main Campus, B.H.U. and M.T.T.M. programme offered at Rajiv Gandhi South Campus, Barkachha.
With an intention to make people aware of their rich legacy, the Department organizes time to time events focussing on the rich art heritage of India. In this context recently organised events like 'International Seminar on Sir Alexander Cunningham and the Art Heritage of India', 'National Workshop on Varanasi: The Eternal City', 'National Seminar on Art Heritage of India: Legacy and Relevance' are of much significance.