In 1965, the Senate received a motion from Convocation “that, in view of the increasing number of young students in Hong Kong going abroad for the study of music and other art subjects, and to meet the needs of the community, the University of Hong Kong, should consider the establishment of a Department of Music and Fine Arts within the Faculty of Arts.” The commissioned report by Prof. Charles Reginald Dodwell (1922-1994), filed in the 1977 Senate Minutes as the official recommendation, outlines a general strategy for establishing a department dedicated to art history.
Over our 40+ years of history, we have seen many structural changes within the university. In 2006, with the restructuring of the Faculty of Arts, the Department of Fine Arts became one of the six programmes under the new School of Humanities. In 2012, we moved from our beloved home in the Main Building to the 10th floor of the new Run Run Shaw Tower, on the Centennial Campus.
In 2020, we changed our name to the Department of Art History to reflect our core discipline. We are art historians. It also gave us an opportunity to think of our future, of where we want to be in our next 40 years. Since our early beginnings, our numbers of majors and minors have grown eightfold. We now have a team of nine full-time professors and lecturers supported by dedicated part-time teachers. We have a new MA programme, wide range of internship opportunities, and we are exploring art and tech in the classroom. And this is just the beginning of our new chapter as the Department of Art History!