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  • Art History in Oxford

    Oxford is an ideal location for studying History of Art. We make full use of local museum collections and historic buildings, incorporating visits in most of our modules and placing emphasis on the importance of studying works in the original.

    Art in Oxford

    One of our first year modules, Art in Oxford, centres on objects in the world-famous Ashmolean Museum, including visits to the Eastern and Western Art Print Rooms.

    A second year module, Oxford Buildings, introduces you to the development of Oxford and Oxford University from the Middle Ages to the modern era. Teaching is split between lectures and site visits to colleges and university buildings. The extraordinarily rich heritage of architecture in Oxford provides both an exploration of major stylistic developments over the centuries and an insight into the changing functional requirements of a powerful institution.

    In the third year students take modules entitled Advanced Seminars, which are closely linked to the research interests of the lecturers. One popular option is the Pre-Raphaelites, a group of artists who had important links with Oxford. Christiana Payne made these videos with her PhD student, Nancy Langham, to explore Pre-Raphaelite works at a number of sites in Oxford.

    We also encourage our students to visit exhibitions at Modern Art Oxford, and the collections and exhibitions at Christ Church Picture Gallery.

    Oxford also offers many opportunities for gaining work experience in museums, galleries and auction houses. Annual internships are available at the Brookes Glass Tank exhibition space, and our undergraduates have held voluntary and paid positions at the Ashmolean, Modern Art Oxford, Sanders printsellers, and Mallams auctioneers.

    Connections to London are excellent, with the Oxford to London buses running all through the day and night and stopping right outside the University. As a result of this, we regularly incorporate visits to London galleries in our module teaching. Students might, for example, write essays on selected National Gallery paintings, or review current exhibitions at Tate Britain or the Royal Academy.