When The Faculty of Fine Art was established in 1948, it was called `Government Institute of Art’. The Institute was established under the leadership of Shilpacharya Zainul Abedin.
In 1963, a theoretical subject was added to the practical based curriculum. Professor A.K.M Abdul Matin Sarker joined the institute in 1965 to teach the history of art. Though students of the institute have had to study history of art since 1963 as one of the theoretical papers, there was no separate department for the subject till 1988. In 1989 authority of Dhaka University gave permission for opening the department of History of Art. In 1990-91 academic session the first batch of student was admitted to this department for MFA course. At first only MFA course was introduced. Professor A.K.M. Abdul Matin Sarker was the founding Head of the department. The other teachers were Professor Bulbon Osman, Nazma Begum, Rafiqul Alam and Naheed Akhter. BFA course was introduced from 2001-2002 academic session. The Department of History of Art offers Bachelor of Fine Art (BFA, Honors), Master of Fine Art(MFA), Master of Philosophy (M.Phil) and Doctor of Philosophy degree (PhD).