History of Art

Tutors and Lecturers: Prof. Geraldine Johnson

Places at Christ Church: 3

We are surrounded by images, objects, and buildings that have been designed to have a particular effect on us, whether the work is a painting by a famous artist or the prospectus you are looking at right now. Studying History of Art allows us to gain a better appreciation of why particular art works look the way they do and how their meanings and functions change over time. In the History of Art course at Oxford, we explore artefacts produced in many different times and places, from ancient Rome to contemporary London, and from Ming Dynasty China to Renaissance Italy. Indeed, the degree is designed to provide an introduction to a wider range of art (including from cultures beyond Europe and North America) than is available in any other single course in Britain. Students will not only become experts in the historical interpretation of images, but they will also learn to analyse critically visual and material culture in general. The ‘visual literacy’ skills learned in the degree have broad applicability in a variety of professional settings, as well as being lifelong sources of personal enlightenment.

Oxford has unsurpassed resources for studying art from cultures throughout the world. In addition to the Ashmolean Museum, Christ Church’s own Picture Gallery and other university collections, the city and its environs offer excellent examples of British architecture – including several in Christ Church itself! There is a dedicated History of Art tutor at Christ Church, and students will be able to interact with undergraduates in the College studying related subjects such as Fine Art or History. Students also have access to the College’s Art Room. Christ Church thus offers a very welcoming and stimulating environment in which to study the History of Art.

Faculty Website:

www.hoa.ox.ac.uk