The slogan for the ‘Contemporary Art history’ degree at MMU is ‘All art history is contemporary’. In simple terms this slogan refers to the condition of all historical study, not just art history, that it is always undertaken in the present. Art history may be about the art of the past and its relationship to society at some time in the past, but it is always also about the moment in which it is written. There is no escaping this and no way to reconstruct the past as it actually was. This is kind of obvious, but for us it is crucial for understanding the importance of art history in the present. ‘All art history is contemporary’ is about emphasising the dialogue between the past and the present that is central to art historical study and central to understanding how art history functions within contemporary contexts such as the art gallery and museum, the art world in general, and the culture industries. ‘All art history is contemporary’ is about placing an emphasis upon the relevance of art history as a living aspect of contemporary critical culture.