During the academic year CASVA organizes scholarly meetings that range in size and duration from multiday gatherings with audiences to individual lectures and closed roundtable discussions. Meetings are held primarily at the National Gallery of Art and occasionally at other institutions, both in this country and abroad. Subjects include themes related to the history of the visual arts of any period and geographic location and to all media.
The program of special meetings includes symposia, conferences, colloquies, seminars, study days, and incontri. Symposia and conferences are multiday presentations of formal papers with audience participation. Colloquies (usually focused on objects in the Gallery's collection), seminars (thematic), study days (special exhibitions), and incontri (informal talks by visiting scholars) are small gatherings in which scholars in related fields are invited to participate. Symposia are published as volumes in the series Studies in the History of Art; some seminars are published in CASVA’s Seminar Papers series.
The program of regular meetings includes shoptalks and colloquia presented by fellows and professors in residence.
The lecture program includes two named lecture series: the Gallery’s annual A. W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts and the biennial Wyeth Lecture in American Art. Other occasional lectures occur during the academic year. CASVA also cosponsors, with the University of Maryland, the annual Middle Atlantic Symposium in the History of Art, presenting graduate student research.