The Department of the History of Art at Masaryk University in Brno was founded in 1927. The second art history school in Czech lands, it followed the model of the then most important art history centre in Vienna. The beginning of the Department of the History of Art at Masaryk University is connected with many eminent professors: Eugen Dostál, Albert Kutal, Václav Richter and Antonín Friedl, whose pedagogical and academic activities influenced and inspired the subsequent generations of prominant art historians to have graduated from the department (Ivo Krsek, Zdeněk Kudělka, Miloš Stehlík, Vlasta Kratinová, Jarmila Vacková, Jaromír Zemina, Petr Spielmann, Ján Bakoš, among others).
After 1950, the Department of Art History was renamed the Division of Art History, and from 1960 to the 1980s, reclassified within the Faculty of Arts as part of the Division of Sciences on Art. In 1990, under the leadership of Zdeněk Kudělka (Departmental Head 1990–1992) and Jiří Kroupa (1992–2001), the department was reestablished in the pre-war tradition of the “Brno School of Art History”.
The Department maintains professional contacts with the Moravian Gallery in Brno and other galleries and museums of fine art in the region; developing cooperation with the Institute of Art History, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic; institutes of art history at universities in Vienna, Insbruck, Greiswald and Mainz and other art history departments both in the Czech Republic and abroad.
Since its foundation, the Department has built up a specialist library comprising 17,000 books; among others with the library of František Táborský, which was replenished in the 1990s due to a generous support of The Getty grant programme. The library includes a collection of slides and photographs for teaching purposes.
Since 1957, the Department of the History of Art has published Sborník prací filozofické fakulty brněnské univerzity – řada F uměnovědná (since 1997 published as Opuscula Historiae Artium) an annual journal with articles by faculty staff, other local and foreign art historians, student‘s papers and articles by upcoming art historians – graduates from the department.