About us

The Department of Art History, Curating and Visual Studies was established in 1990 and it has grown steadily in staff and student numbers since then.

Group photo

The BA in History of Art is available in both Single and Joint Honours. In the latter, students can combine History of Art with other subjects, such as English Literature, History, Anthropology and Modern Languages. The Department also has a vibrant post-graduate community and offers a range of postgraduate courses which include a taught MA, the Research Masters degree, as well as PhD supervision. Between 2012 and 2015-16 the study of film will be progressively introduced into the department’s curriculum.

Teaching takes place in the Barber Institute of Fine Arts. This houses an excellent and representative collection of post-medieval European art. It includes paintings, engravings and drawings by such artists as Rembrandt, Van Dyck, Veronese, Picasso, Magritte, as well as an important collection of nineteenth-century painting by artists such as Monet, Manet, Degas, Gauguin, Turner and Whistler. This is an invaluable resource; much of the teaching is based on the first-hand study of works in the collection, and students also have the opportunity to participate in curating exhibitions at the Barber Institute. By early 2013 the Institute’s main auditorium will be equipped for film projection.

In addition to the extensive University library collections in history of art, students also have access to the Barber Fine Arts Library. This is a major research and reference library of national importance which contains both the most up to date publications in the field as well as significant holdings of historical materials. The Library also houses networked computers which provide access to its major digital resources, including online reference works, journals and its image database.