The department of Fine Arts was founded in 1948 when a group of academicians initiated the beginning of the institute for Fine Arts: Acad. Ivan Lazarov, Acad. Stephan Ivanov, Acad. Nikolay Rainov and Acad. Alexander Bozhinov. In the 50s the academic research centered mainly on the history and theory of Bulgarian fine art. Collaborators were some of the most important figures in Bulgarian art studies. Later the research scopes was widened and at the Institute of Art Studies now work art historians and critics specializing in different periods of art: Antiquity, Meddle Ages, Renaissance, modern art.
The department Fine Arts unites three research groups: Ancient Art, Mediaeval and Renaissance Art, Modern Bulgarian Art.