Institute for Doctoral Studies
in the Visual Arts

The IDSVA PhD in Visual Arts: Philosophy, Aesthetics, and Art Theory
is a research-based, non-studio PhD for artists and creative thinkers.
Students at the Montresso Art Foundation, Morocco. Artwork by Mouna Saboni. Photo by Christopher Andrew


IDSVA’s pioneering curriculum—fusing interactive online education with intensive residencies—allows working art professionals to pursue rigorous advanced scholarship without having to interrupt or abandon their teaching careers, art practice, or other professional responsibilities.

IDSVA Student and Faculty at Museo Frida Kahlo, Mexico City


As a true nomadic institution, IDSVA does not have a campus. We exist everywhere our students and faculty are. The IDSVA experience fuses interactive online education with intensive residencies in Rome, Spannocchia Castle (Tuscany), Siena, Florence, Venice, Berlin, Paris, Athens, Madrid, Marrakech, Mexico City, and NYC.

IDSVA Students at the Boros Collection, Berlin


Artists, architects, curators, educators, philosophers, and creative scholars. Throughout this experience, IDSVA students are joined by world-leading artists and philosophers who make up the Core Faculty and Visiting Faculty.

Application Requirements
IDSVA Students at the Acropolis Museum, Athens


Our innovative curriculum explores the deeply intertwined relations between the history of ideas and the history of visual culture. IDSVA grants a PhD in Visual Arts: Philosophy, Aesthetics, and Art Theory.

Course of Study

Changing the Way Humans Think

IDSVA’s aim is to change the way human beings think, to change the way we see the lifeworld and the way we see one another. That change—the change we are working toward as a shared communal aspiration—stands as IDSVA’s vision of the possible.

Visting Faculty

Sylvere Lotringer in Istanbul with IDSVA

The IDSVA Visiting Faculty bring together the world's leading philosophers, artists, and scholars. These internationally renowned educators join students at residency sites and lead seminar discussions about the site's historical, aesthetic, and ideological significance.

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Group of students outside Judd Foundation, New York

With a wide-ranging and prolific array of exhibitions, conference presentations, and publications, IDSVA students & alumni are changing the way we see and think.

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Job Appointments

IDSVA PhD George Orwel Headshot

We are proud to share the latest job announcements from our students & alumni.

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Book Publications

IDSVA PhD Jason Hoelscher, Book

Recent book publications from IDSVA students, alumni, and faculty.

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David Driskell

"IDSVA is one of the single most important developments in the recent history of art education."

David C. Driskell, (1931-2020) American artist and preeminent historian of African American Art. The David C. Driskell Center for the Study of the Visual Arts and Culture of African Americans and the African Diaspora is located at the University of Maryland, College Park.

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Get in Touch

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I'm looking forward to working with you.

Molly Davis
Director of Administration & Director of Admissions

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