Abstract： In recent years， more and more western art historians reconstruct， study and interpret the Chinese art history in different ways， making a supplement of the local study .
Key words： Chinese art history overseas research methods
Since the late 1970s， the introduction of overseas academic research methods and the concept of art history has greatly expanded the scope of Chinese local art research. The study of traditional Chinese fine arts with western academic methods has aroused unprecedented attention and repercussions in the field of mainland academia. Comparing and learning from the excellent art history works produced in different cultural backgrounds， we can reflect on our cognitive achievements.
1.Research on the Materials and Images of Artistic Works
The Wu Liang Shrine： The Ideology of Early Chinese Pictorial Art， written by Wu Hung， taking iconography as the main body， explains the ideology of ancient Chinese portrait art， and combines the methodology of western art history with traditional Chinese academic methods. In the 1990s， Wu Hung organized the double screen in Chinese painting art and wrote the book The Double Screen： Medium and Representation in Chinese Painting， which was the first attempt to treat Chinese painting as both a material product and a pictural reproduction. This new research method combining the study of art history with material history.
2.Research on Archaeological Cognition and Political Expression
In the book Art and Political Expression in Early China，by applying the sponsorship theory， and his ideas on art and the public， art and politics， Martin Powers discusses the relation between the art and sociological methodology. Besides， his research on the image and political rights of Han Dynasty has widened and broadened the field of art history research. Although this research method lacks direct attention to images， from the perspective of interpretation， this method can be said to re-examine our way of thinking and writing about early Chinese art.
3.Research on Production Mode and Expression Rule of Art
Wen Fong divides the style of Chinese painting into three aspects： form factor or motif， form relationships and quality. Using the form of sequence and chain method for structure analysis， he also pays attention to narrative style as well as form relationships; thus reaches the purpose of rebuilding style change， and overcomes the circular reasoning predicament facing Chinese painting to date.
4.Research on the Changes of Artistic Styles and Social and Cultural Backgrounds
From Parting at the Shore： Chinese Painting of the Early and Middle Ming Dynasty to The Distant Mountains ：Chinese Painting of the Late Ming Dynasty， James Cahill is no longer satisfied with style analysis， but focuses on some other issues， such as the complexity of the separation between professional and amateur painters， the relationship between the painter's social status and the painting subject. The artistic research approach of James Cahill， including the exploration of image styles and the research on the practical function of paintings can be reflected in his monographs. He investigates the understandings and knowledge of people at all levels of paintings， aiming to explore the interests of all kinds of consumers except literati in collecting and appreciating paintings.
5.Study of Social， Singularity and Modernity of Calligraphy and Painting Arts
Since 1991， Craig Clunas has successively published Superfluous Things ：Material Culture and Social Status in Early Modern China ， in which he placed Chinese art in social history and narrated the relationship between material culture， social hierarchy and social culture. Pictures and Visuality in Early Modern China （1997） discusses the status and visual practice of images in the Ming Dynasty， focusing on the artworks and fears of images in the era of woodcut prints reproduction. By analyzing the social interaction of Wen Zhengming in the name of art ， the social art book of Elegant Debts：The Social Art of Wen Zhengming（2004） reveales the complexity of the social network in the Ming Dynasty， when artists and their works were evaluated from the perspective of a favor and a gift.
Overseas the study of Chinese art history， after the initial confusion and the mechanical use of it， is more and more of a spiritual traits as an independent liberal art， and it has opened a window of western knowledge of Chinese culture and has provided some kind of references and ideological resources to the future trend of western history.
 Wu Hung.Experimental Art in China [M].Chicago：David and Alfred Smart Museum of Art，the University of Chicago c2000.p17
 Wen Fong，“The Problem of Chien Hsuan.”Art Bulletin XL II（September 1960），pp.173-198