Art theorist

Art theorists conduct research in art theory such as art history, aesthetics and art philosophy. Art theorists also produce work specializing in art, such as journalism, art criticism and drama.

Main tasks

• teaching art history at the primary or secondary school level
• visual art research
• writing about art theory
• art coverage in the media

Competence requirements

An art theorist must be very well versed in imagery and familiar with the main concepts and analytical methods of art history. It is important to be well acquainted with various art forms and to be interested in the world of art, for example museums, exhibition halls and cultural institutions.


Art theory is taught in collaboration between the Faculty of Icelandic and Cultural Studies at the University of Iceland and the Faculty of Fine Arts at the University of the Arts. Most people who call themselves art critics have completed at least a master’s degree in art theory.

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