Founded in 1947, the Institute of Art Studies was headed by Academician Ivan Lazarov. In 1988, it merged with the Institute of Music under the title Institute of Art Studies. Its research activities include research in the field of theory and history of fine arts, musical folklore, musicology, theater, cinema and television. Nowadays, the Institute is the only specialized research institution in Bulgaria for studies in the field of ancient, medieval and contemporary art and culture.
The mission of the Institute is to explore the issues of arts, architecture and culture in a regional, European and global context; to study and rationalize cultural heritage and national identity.
Outstanding scientific achievements for 2015 and 2016:
Kuyumdzhiev, A. The murals in the main church of the Rila Monastery. Institute of Art Studies – BAS, 2015, ISBN: 978-954-8594-39, 720 pp.; Biks, R., A. Yaneva, R. Krakostova, M. Tzenova. Bulgarian musical theatre. 1890-2001. Opera, ballet, operetta, musical. Theatres, troupes, performances. 1890 – 2010. Reviews, responses, comments. IV. Gea-Libris – Institute of Art Studies – BAS, 2015, ISBN: 978-954-300-149-1, 768 pp.; Yordanov, N. Bulgarian Theater 1989 – 2015. IAS / Homo Ludens Foundation, S., 2016. ISBN: 978-954-8594-61-5 / 978-619-90678-0-2.
Best Scientific Achievements for 2015 and 2016:
A Platform for Arts, electronic edition for authors’ operational critique by scholars and specialists in the field of art and cultural studies; artistic events organized by the Institute of Art Studies in 2016 under the Art Hour initiative.
The Institute has established contacts with George Oprescu Institute of Art History at the Romanian Academy, the Center for the Study of Arts at the Institute of Cultural Heritage of the Academy of Sciences of Moldova and the Institute of Art Studies, Folklore and Ethnology at the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, the Institute of Theater and Film Research at the Slovak Academy of Sciences and others. The Institute and the University of Belgrade, Department of History of Art, have concluded a three-year bilateral agreement on academic exchanges and educational cooperation. This agreement creates very good opportunities for mutual visits of students and PhD students, conducting research by Bulgarian and Serbian scientists, participation in conferences and joint scientific publications, library exchange, research projects.
The Institute owns the unique on the Balkans Japanese laser gramophone ELP Laser Turntable LT-2XRC with the help of which information from old, damaged or broken gramophone records can be downloaded without contact that can be digitized and mastered; an archive of 100 000 photos, a text archive of over 250 000 pages, an audio archive of over 3400 tapes and 1800 records and a video archive of 800 films and over 200 video tapes containing unique data; a library fund of 50 000 volumes, including rare editions of the late 19th century.
The Scientific Council of the Institute of Art Studies, at its meeting held on 28.10.2016 (Protocol 9, item 19), established an Annual Animated Heritage Award – for contributions to the creative interpretation of the traditions and values of the Bulgarian and world cultural heritage in a contemporary work or works of art.