VMU Faculty of Arts is one of the leading schools in interdisciplinary study and research in history and theory of arts in the region, where creative collaborations between various disciplines, research on different art forms, creative practices and cultural sector result in high quality research outputs.

All researchers of the Unit belong to interdisciplinary VMU research clusters. The formation of clusters was launched at VMU as a response to the Lithuanian and European research development initiative designed to enhance interdisciplinary scientific research, promoting inter-field, inter–unit, inter-institutional research and engaging young research fellows.

The researchers of the Unit are engaged in the activities of two VMU research clusters:

1) Research on Intercultural Art Exchange in Eastern and Central Europe: Global Contexts and Local Practices is focused on intercultural and transnational dimensions of artistic practices in Central and Eastern Europe.

2) Research on Lithuanian Art and Cultural Heritage: Identities, Memories, Policies performs interdisciplinary research of Lithuanian visual art, architecture and cultural heritage in the context of European and global cultural processes.

Individual researchers of the Unit also belong to such research clusters as Lithuanian Migration and Diaspora Studies and The Church’s Relations with the State and Society in Lithuania.

The majority of the Unit’s research projects implemented through inter-field cooperation among the researchers of different art fields and interdisciplinary collaboration with scholars from other scientific fields relate the research of history and theory of arts with relevant issues of cultural communication, cultural studies, critical cultural heritage, cultural and creative industries, digital media, cultural diplomacy and cultural politics within both national and international contexts.

Since 2005 the Unit is publishing a peer-reviewed scientific journal ”Art History and Criticism” with international editorial board, in both printed and online form. Since 2017 the journal is published entirely in English by academic publishing house De Gruyter. It has been included into the international database SCOPUS in 2020, with citation index added in 2021.

During the Research Assessment Exercise that took place in 2015 international experts panel evaluated The Unit’s scientific output and potential in overall score of 4 (highest in VMU and in the field), concluding that “the Unit can be considered a strong international player”.

In 2018 during second Comparative Expert Evaluation of R & D activities the evaluation that the Unit received was respectively 4, 5 and 5 (where 5 was the highest possible score). The consensus of experts claims: “Research is excellent and very well recognized at the international level” (p.47). This comparative assessment by international panel of experts indicated that R&D activities of the Unit are of high scale and stands out against other institutions of higher education and research centres in Lithuania. The results of R&D activities in the field of History and Theory of Art also had highest evaluations among other research fields in VMU.