This research unit focuses on the history of spatial organization, urbanism, architecture and visual arts in Croatia during the medieval period and as such represents the continuity of fundamental research that has been carried out by the Institute of Art History since its foundation, stemming from the project Old Urban Formations on the Eastern Adriatic Coast (since the 1960s) and two divisions dedicated respectively to researching the history of settlements (active until the 1990s) and the Middle Ages (active until 2012).
The activities of the present-day research unit for medieval art are based on detailed architectural, photographic and textual research documentation generated at the Institute as well as on the methodological approaches developed as part of research conducted by Milan Prelog, Marija Planić-Lončarić, Nada Grujić, Josip Stošić and Diana Vukičević-Samaržija.
Research is focused on late-medieval period (13th to 15th century) and its monuments of city-building as well as sacral, secular and public architecture in the Adriatic urban centers. To address these topics, an interdisciplinary approach is applied, based on the exchange of experiences and scientific data among art historians from Croatia and abroad as well as on the collaboration with medievalists from other related professions (history, archaeology, architecture, historical geography and demography).
In addition to field work, research includes analysis and interpretation of unpublished older documentary material stored by the State Archives in Zadar (for centers of the former Venetian Dalmatian areas) and Dubrovnik (for Dubrovnik and the Republic of Ragusa).
Since 2014, members of the research unit for medieval art have been working on a research project funded by the Croatian Science Foundation (No 9492), entitled "Dubrovnik: Civitas et Acta Consiliorum, Visualizing Development of Late Medieval Urban Fabric” (principal investigator Ana Plosnić Škarić, PhD).