The department conducts blanket research of architecture and other art forms in the Czech lands based on geographically defined areas (that is, not based on artists, themes and genres) from the Paleolithic to the 21st century. Wherever it is possible or useful, the research is contextualized within Europe. The department thus fulfills the task created by the European (continental) art history in the 19th century using methods corresponding with those employed in the other Central-European states such as Germany, Poland, Austria, Slovenia and Slovakia. Since its establishment in 1993, the department has been focusing on one of the institute's research priorities, the series Umělecké památky Prahy, concluded in 2017 by the publication of the sixth and seventh volumes. The department is currently preparing the last volume of the series Umělecké památky Moravy a Slezska (R–Ž), while simultaneously working on the more detailed Soupis uměleckých památek organized according to smaller territorial units—political districts. Using contemporary methodology, this publication will follow the series that was published in Bohemia from 1897 onward and discontinued during World War II. The department will also prepare a similar project for Moravia and Czech Silesia, never covered by the series. Department members are principal investigators of the institute's large interdisciplinary projects (NAKI II project Proměny venkovské architektury s důrazem na vývoj v 19. a 20. století; 2016–2020, Ludmila Hůrková) and grants (currently for example GAČR, František Kalivoda (1913–1971) v evropském kontextu: multimedialita, experiment, avantgarda a neoavantgarda; 2019–2021, Markéta Svobodová), or they take significant part in both current (e. g. NAKI Gotické a raně renesanční umění ve východních Čechách; 2016–2020, Klára Mezihoráková, Dalibor Prix) and past projects (GAČR, Imago, Imagines; 2013–2017).
Important recent publications authored or co-authored by department employees include the series Proměny venkovské architektury s důrazem na vývoj v 19. a 20. století (eds: Ludmila Hůrková – Klára Mezihoráková, 2018, 2019, 2020); Obrazy. Mistrovská díla ze sbírek Národního památkového ústavu (Tomáš Valeš, Michal Konečný, Lenka Kalábová, Petr Tomášek, 2018); Bauhaus a Československo 1919–1938. Studenti, koncepty, kontakty / The Bauhaus and Czechoslovakia 1919–1938. Students, Concepts, Contacts (Markéta Svobodová, 2016); Architektura středověkých klášterů dominikánek v Čechách a na Moravě (Klára Mezihoráková, 2016); Krematorium v procesu sekularizace českých zemí 20. století. Ideové, stavební a typologické proměny (Markéta Svobodová, 2013).
In cooperation with Artefacum press, the department oversees the publication of art-historical guides (the series Monumenta Bohemiae et Moraviae) which are written in an accessible form and meant for the general public. The department's employees collaborate with a number of prominent institutions (particularly Faculty of Arts at the Masaryk University in Brno, Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague, National Heritage Institute) and sit on several scholarly committees and journals’ editorial boards.