The home institute of RCANE is one of the first Aesthetics departments in Europe. It was established by György Alajos (Georg Alois) Szerdahely in 1774, and it subsisted until 1932. In 1945, György (Georg) Lukács was appointed to the professorship of Aesthetics at the Philosophy department of ELTE. In 1973, the independent Department of Aesthetics was re-launched by Dénes Zoltai to gather and to shelter mostly Lukács's disciples.
RCANE is an initiative of Endre Szécsényi. Its main goal is to pursue profound research into the modern aesthetic theories written from the 17th century onwards in relation to environmental and everyday aesthetics, and to find or re-consider the theoretical potentials of these theories (including less- or hardly discussed ones) to contribute to and to advance the contemporary theoretical issues of the field.