The Department of Art History was established at the Faculty of Arts in 1946 by Václav Richter, who followed the tradition of the "Vienna school of history of art" whose founder was Rudolf Eitelberger von Edelberg (1817-1885), who was the first Professor of the History of Art at the Vienna University and born in Olomouc, where he studied at the Faculty of Law. The richness of medieval and baroque heritage in Olomouc, including the romanesque Bishop's Palace, the gothic St Maurice church, baroque Holy Trinity column, six baroque fountains and the vast art collections of the bishops and archbishops of Olomouc (including e.g. Titian, Cranach, Del Piombo, Veronese, Bassano, Allori, Carracci, Van Dyck) gives an appropriate background to the department, which, since 2002, has had its study and lecture rooms in the medieval and Baroque spaces of the former Jesuit College in the historical centre of Olomouc.
The Department of Theatre and Film Studies was established in 1990, as a section of the Department of Art Studies. Since 1992 it has been an independent department. Three study programmes are offered: a single major: Theory and History of Theatre and Film and two double majors: Film Studies and Theatre Studies which combine with various second majors offered by the Faculty of Arts (Languages, Philosophy, History, Sociology etc.). In 2003, the Department of Theatre and Film Studies together with art departments of other faculties moved into unique spaces of the reconstructed building, former seat of the Jesuit Order – the Art Centre of Palacký University. The Department is also one of the most important cultural institutions in the city of Olomouc; the students might and often do participate in organization of film and theatre festivals and various other cultural events in the city.
The musicology programme of the Department of Musicology comprises, in addition to the standard historical, the following courses: theoretical and aesthetic disciplines in musical studies; acoustics; organology; ethnomusicology; music sociology; music psychology; theory of popular and jazz music; music criticism and popularization of music; instruction in playing the piano and participation in the Collegium Musicum; the basics of composing; computer music; instructions in foreign languages, including Latin and practical training. During the course of the two-year master’s degree programme, students can also study in teacher-training courses which enable them to become music teachers at secondary schools. It is possible to either study musicology as a single major degree programme or to combine it with other disciplines taught at the Faculty of Arts as a double-degree programme.
The Department prepares prospective teachers of Music Education to teach at primary and secondary schools, choirmasters and music teachers teaching musical instruments and singing who will teach at specialized art schools. The study programme is carried out primarily in a combination with another major available at Faculties of Education, Philosophy or Natural Science of Palacký University. The Department provides three-year long undergraduate programmes Education-oriented music culture, Musical instrument or Singing and Education-oriented choir mastering. The aims of the programmes are to develop and enhance music skills in students, and skills at playing the piano, organ or recorder, singing, choir and band mastering. At the same time, students acquire knowledge in the fields of music theory, music history, music forms, musical instruments, etc. The following graduate programmes, Teaching music education at elementary schools and Teaching music education at secondary schools are carried out for two years.
Art theory and art education as a field of study has gone through a complex development as well as several institutional changes at the Palacký University. The Department of Art Education has a long tradition dating back to 1946, when the Institution of Art Education was founded at the Faculty of Education of the then re-established university in Olomouc. In the spirit of the generous conception of the first head of the Institute, Josef Vydra, which reflected on the educational and artistic legacy of the Bauhaus, since its inception this art school in Olomouc has been always focused on training art teachers. A number of prominent artists and theoreticians have worked at the department, among others, J. Zrzavý, F. V. Mokrý, J. Vinecký, L. Šlapeta, V. Richter, and B. Markalous-John.