Developing works and actions relating to Art history from the Middle Ages to present days, the Centre André-Chastel is structured around six cross-cutting themes. It is engaged in new research dynamics whose conceptual and interpretative issues are reassessed in the light of recent developments in the human sciences, without however renouncing achievements and experience of the laboratory, in fields where it has affirmed for a long time (collection inventories, catalogs raisonnés, corpus and databases).
The six cross-disciplinary themes, divided into research axes, concentrate most of the work carried out within the laboratory; each is placed under the responsibility of at least two permanent members of the Centre:
- 1. Decors, monuments, landscapes: global approaches to heritage
- 2. Paris, artistic geography of a city and its territory
- 3. Transfers, exchanges, movements in European and extra-European areas
- 4. Actors, institutions, networks: socio-cultural conditions of artistic activity
- 5. Materials, techniques, professions: theoretical and practical approaches to artistic making
- 6. Images, apparatus, places: epistemological, hermeneutical and anthropological issues
This thematic redeployment is based on a global approach to art work, nourished by other disciplines, such as social history, anthropology, history of techniques and material culture, sciences of the environment, visual studies, epistemology, cognitive sciences. It thus promotes the emergence of collective research dynamics in innovative fields.
The Centre André-Chastel was rated A+ by the AERES during the 2013 campaign
In 2018, the HCERES evaluation report concluded with following opinion:
Only UMR exclusively devoted to research in Art history at national level, Centre André-Chastel occupies a unique place in the field of human sciences. It claims a prestigious scientific heritage, displaying nowadays a plurality of research fields while asserting diversified scientific positions.
Applying recommendations of the previous AERES evaluation report (January 2013), which also was extremely positive, the unit has moved from structured teams to an organization of six research themes federating a single team for a global approach of art and heritage.
The assessment of publications is remarkable, although English versions would enrich it.