Arts Research Paper Topics & Ideas for the Highest Grades

Topics and ideas
Posted on March 6, 2019

Even though it can appear that studying arts is much easier than exact sciences such as physics or mathematics, the practice demonstrates that students frequently face particular difficulties with this subject. The reason is that arts comprise multiple branches such as visual, literary, performing, and other arts, and fully understanding and researching them can be challenging even for scholars. Nevertheless, the importance of studying arts cannot be overestimated due to various reasons. Firstly, art allows people to look at the world from a different perspective, to experience someone else’s way of seeing things, to develop one’s creative thinking, and broaden their worldview. Secondly, taking into account that people were creating art throughout the history of humankind, its various pieces represent the experience and culture of humanity at different stages of development.

When a professor demands you to write a research paper on arts, you should decide on a topic first. You have to remember that being genuinely attracted by a specific area of arts is the key to choosing the right essay topic. After selecting a branch, it is essential to narrow it down and dedicate your research to a particular aspect. You can either analyze a specific timeframe, one’s biography, or artistic movement or engage in a thorough analysis of a specific work. Nevertheless, it can be complicated to come up with a topic for your essay, and the following topics may help you choose your direction.

Pro tip

Almost each research paper in Arts requires facts and visual support. They should be introduced in the appendix section or the text. It is necessary to learn academic requirements to find out the format that you need to follow. First, some tutors ask students to introduce both paper and digital formats of pictures, photos, PPT slides, and video snapshots. Second, each element has a format. For example, audio files can be given in MP3, M4A, MP4, or WAV formats. It is better to keep to the requirements not to lose points.

The Best Art History Research Paper Topics

When students look for arts research paper topics, their main task is to find something unique or urgent to intrigue the target audience. The list of topics below can help you get a good idea to discuss in academic writing. Besides, each topic has recommendations that you can consider when preparing homework.

1. Photography: is it art or just the result of good tools

People divide into two categories – those who think that a photographer must have a gift to take a picture and those who believe that a high-quality camera does everything instead of a person. Though, some people can take good pictures having low-quality gadgets. Give your opinion. Use the appendix to introduce samples of amateur photos to support it.

2. Hidden secrets in the top-best artworks

Many outstanding artists wanted to hide some secrets in their creations. Vincent van Gogh, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and other mystic artists have created masterpieces, which secrets experts try to find out even today. Research the topic to learn the most sacred information about the most mysterious pictures.

3. Arts and politics: can these two notions coexist?

Many artists try to rebel and reflect their viewpoints in street art. Some politicians hire artists to depict their motto, logo, or some essential ideas to influence the electorate. The best decision is to interview street artists to sound convincing and not be affected by someone’s judging and characteristics.

4. Responsibility for textbook illustrations

To let students imagine the history the way it was, a book illustrator must pay much attention to details. Therefore, a term paper must be precise and show how book illustrations are essential for the correct presentation of the event, personality, or place.

5. Can pictures of primitive society be interpreted as artworks?

People of primitive society used pictures and symbols instead of language. Some drawings were done on the stone or in caves that historians can find even today. Is it art? What characteristics should a picture follow to become a piece of art?

6. Weird art: who decides what things can belong to arts

Many people misunderstand paintings that do not look traditional. Everybody remembers the episode from the movie “Intouchables” when Philippe and Driss discussed the painting that looked like “a nosebleed on the whiteboard”. So, why do people love art? What do you regard as weird art? What is the most expensive painting in the world? What makes it expensive?

7. Manet vs. Monet: the history of the biggest confusion

First, these two artists were confused in 1865, though students still do not differentiate between them because of their surname similarity. Learn more about the artists and the styles of their paintings to spot the difference and explain it in your research paper.

8. Digital arts (music, painting, 3D objects)

Technology is an integral part of the contemporary world. No wonder art has involved programs that help to modernize music, paintings, architecture, and other artworks. Is that really art? Can it rival handmade pictures, music, and paintings?

9. Black life natters and art

History always influences art. Musicians write songs to speak about urgent problems. Artists draw and paint portraits of political leaders. Photographers take pictures to capture a significant event or personality. How has the Black Life Matters influenced modern arts?

10. Technology and photography

True photographers do not require high-quality equipment to take a memorable picture. Today, except for expensive cameras, a photographer usually uses a photo editor to improve the quality of a picture. Should society regard such creations as art? Or does photo processing make it artificial?

The Criteria for Choosing a Topic

Seeking justice. Since when has using photo editors become equal to mastering in photography? Art topics have a more dramatic point of view. You’ve probably met influencers who demand photo editors! As if avoiding it makes you less professional. We need a research topic – is it fair? Such topics on art inspire to question whether it can be normal at all. So many tricks and tools that replace artistic skills. Even models and objects don’t need to be perfect anymore. Whatever the concept is, technology can let you visualize it. Does this tendency have a negative effect on the industry? Will we ever see masters like Helmut Newton or Chris von Wangenheim again?

Building ethics. Black people don’t deserve to be a media product until it’s their decision. Photographers may seek hype thanks to capturing interesting art scenes with them. But is it normal to spread content like this? Does it have the potential to empower Blacks’ rights? Indeed, research topics like this can! The art community needs proper guidelines as a type of support. If you manage to clarify what’s ethical, your essay topics about art will matter. It’s beneficial to try writing for a broadened audience. Imagine that your art research paper has reached overseas. Will this art topic be useful for photographers there? It’s optional to describe the ethical concern of the discussion. Nonetheless, art topics for students have to be about morals.

Integrating AI. Do you think that previous art leaders would succeed with AI technologies? Imagine Van Gogh being reborn today. Does he have a chance to become successful again? Or is it possible for AI technologies to make his talent dull? The availability of AI artistic apps provokes a more serious question. So do AI topics about art. Does anyone who uses them become an artist? Why can’t we appreciate an AI art beginner as much? Some users start generating magnificent works right from the start. AI tools don’t require you to be a prophy. You can create awesome paintings without having any idea how to do it. Art research needs this discourse. Research paper topics have become more dependent on public opinion.

Material value. What is more, do you agree that masterpieces are always untraditional? The dilemma of a paper topic is that art changes continuously. One common style would transit into the other. Nowadays, no one paints like Rembrandt, but we still call today’s paintings worthy. Millionaires pay abnormal sums for what “a child could draw.” Contemporary paintings have nothing complex in comparison to masterpieces of the past. Try looking at art from another point of view. At this point, it’s not just geometric structures or realistic picturing. Art has always had a meaning. What if seemingly simple works mean liberty or clarity of mind?

Jacob Lee Top-10 Writer at

When writing an art research paper, try looking for the symbolism within artistic masterpieces. For instance, you could analyze Frida Kahlo’s self-portraits and identify recurring symbols like animals, plants, and body imagery. By carefully considering the symbolism, you can reveal hidden layers of interpretation that enrich the understanding of the artwork’s significance.

The tips on how to check the viability of the topic

Finding statistics. Do you think it’s trouble that people think Manet is Monet? Are there any statistics to prove it? To be honest, it’s not life-meaningful information. People don’t have an obligation to know all artists of the world. So what’s the value of knowing the difference today? No one will bully you if you can’t tell these two apart. Even paper topics like this can confuse readers. Your art research papers will have a higher level with these questions. It’s not a trivial case for a research paper topic.

Evaluating the origin of the sources. Remember, we don’t judge the beauty of ancient art. Even though topic ideas can persist. We rather search for the impulse of professionalism. The same symbols could serve either as writing or drawing. What we consider art now could be usual texts. It’s just that letters didn’t exist back then yet. So people from primitive communities had to draw. They were using art to tell their stories. They also wanted to save them for future generations. It’s almost historical science! So how can we prove that these symbols are real art? Topics for research like these are stronger.

Is it a scholarly article? Art topics for research papers are sophisticated. But finding a peer-reviewed journal article can be difficult. Too many personal blogs on arts now. You have to guarantee that your findings have a scientific background too. It belongs to acute art topics to write about. Which position is more professional for topics on art? All of these questions can help you to involve participants in the interview. Don’t lose a chance to write a consistent arts research paper.

Exclude propaganda. The list of topic dilemmas can go on. There’s also a widespread belief that people shouldn’t accuse artists. It’s about celebrities’ inability to follow every single social movement. Avoid taking scandalous news for a credible source. How would you react if your favorite author ignored an important issue? Hundreds of painters, sculptures, and photographers around the world can’t keep calm. Some of them have directed their resources to protest against the war. The others don’t show their social position in art at all.

Arts Research Paper Topics

You’ve Chosen the Topic; What’s Next?

  1. Be confident in your topic for a research paper. To provide a high-quality analysis, fulfill it with details. Art topic ideas are about what makes photography good. There are no rules for art and creativity, but, somehow, standards exist. 
  2. Beware of limits. People expect digital art to be of high resolution and have correct lighting. How does it interfere with individual genius? 
  3. Fuel battles of minds. Let’s imagine two contrary cases. In the first one, we’ve got a “talented” photographer with strong aesthetics and cheap instruments. In the second one – we’ve got exclusive technology and a person with no sense of the picture. Who’s likely to win a better photography job here? Readers will love this battle and similar topics for art.
  4. It’s advantageous to pick the artist who’s trendy at the moment. Topics for research have to be diverse. Even a fashion designer can fit the category. For example, Dolce&Gabanna appreciates Italian artwork and famous photographers. The idea is to be as creative as possible. Go beyond typical topics art matters. Then, your paper on art will impress the audience! It’s nice to pick someone you adore personally, too. 

However, if this artist isn’t much popular, introduce them to the readers. Not all people know the difference between Monet and Manet! So it’s your number-one duty to avoid senseless art essay topics. Make readers familiar with the hero of your research paper about art.

Useful sources
Even though some people think that arts are not as tricky as science or other college disciplines, one needs to use dependable sources to write academic homework. These are some websites that you can investigate to learn more about the arts.


Arts paper writing is challenging in case a person is not aware of college requirements and formatting. Experienced students feel like fish in water when they get academic homework. Topic selection is the first step to success. Reliable web sources, research paper services and college requirements always help students find the right way to perform the best paper ever.

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James Snyder A Top-10 writer at
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