Fine Art/Art/Visual Arts
The designation of many departments in Anglophone Canada as Fine Art or Fine Arts was a product of the emergence of art history hand in hand with studio art. These names were retained in many places through the 20th century, lingering to today in departments of “Art” or “Visual Arts” where the institutional marriage with studio art is ongoing. In Quebec, only Université du Québec à Montréal’s department was briefly (1972–74) called “Beaux-Arts et arts appliques.”
Art History/Histoire de l’art
Since the 1930s many Fine Art departments have evolved into a department of Art History, whereas in francophone Canada histoire de l’art was present almost from the start. McGill University (1971–2000); University of Toronto St. George UG (2015–); Queen’s University (1963–75; 2016– “Art History and Art Conservation”); Université de Montréal (histoire de l’art from inception in 1965–2004).
University of Alberta is unique in its emphasis on design history in its Department of Art and Design, with a BA, MA, and PhD in History of Art, Design and Visual Culture. OCAD University offers an MA in Contemporary Art, Design, and New Media Art Histories.
University of Toronto was unique in naming its department “Art and Archaeology” (1946–62) with the merging of Fine Art and Archaeology departments. The name changed back to its original “Fine Art” in 1962 although the department has maintained two faculty positions in ancient art and archaeology to today.
A handful of departments and programs have theory in their title. University of British Columbia debated a name change in 2001 (Department of Art History, Visual Art & Theory) and University of Ottawa offers a BA in History and Theory of Art; Bishop’s University, similarly offers Honours in Art History and Theory.
Visual Culture/Visual Studies
Visual Culture or Visual Studies is important in Canadian programs, although only a handful, including University of Toronto Mississauga (Centre for Visual and Media Culture 2004–11; Visual Studies, 2011–), University of Victoria (Art History and Visual Studies), have changed their department names to reflect the presence of this distinct development in the discipline. Visual Culture is better reflected in program names, however: University of Toronto Mississauga’s Visual Culture program, University of Windsor’s Media Art Histories and Visual Culture program, OCAD University’s BA in Visual and Critical Studies, University of Alberta’s History of Art, Design and Visual Culture program; University of Toronto Scarborough’s Art History and Visual Culture program; Carleton University’s School for Studies in Art and Culture (1992–), University of Waterloo’s honours degree in Visual Culture (art history was dropped from the program title in 2015).
Montréal was unusual in having been merged with cinema studies from its founding, though only in 2004 was the department name changed to show the presence of both parts of the unit (Département d’histoire de l’art et d’études cinématographiques). Today, several art history units have expanded with media/performance studies which is reflected in their names: Simon Fraser’s Art, Performance and Cinema Studies group; University of Toronto Mississauga’s Department of Visual Studies which includes 2 moving image faculty and is expanding; OCAD University’s MA in Contemporary Art, Design and New Media Art Histories; McGill University’s Department of Art History and Communication Studies (2000–).