This course explores the definitions of art developed by societies from the ancient Greeks to our globalized world. ‘What is art?’ is the question posed as we consider objects and activities in settings both remote in time and place and present around us. It attempts to build a critical language for classifying and evaluating a broad range of visual forms of expression. The disciplines of aesthetics, hermeneutics, iconography and iconology are explored in order to find an approach that works across the cultures East and West. The course looks into connoisseurship, taste and the role of the institutions of the art world.