All human societies have used images to a greater or lesser degree in their communications. Art historians have set themselves the task of understanding this process. Although art history has traditionally concentrated on the ‘fine’ arts of painting, sculpture and architecture, it has shared many of its fundamental questions and methods with related disciplines such as archaeology, anthropology, literary studies, and political, social and cultural history.
Oxford’s History of Art courses are uniquely positioned to reflect this cross-disciplinary potential. Situated among a compact array of world-class museums, galleries and collections, we are able to encompass a much greater range of subject-matter than is normally available to undergraduate and postgraduate students. Working within the History Faculty and the Humanities Division, our teaching and research is supported by the Ashmolean Museum, the Bodleian Library, Christ Church Picture Gallery, the Pitt-Rivers Museum, the Museum of the History of Science, and Modern Art Oxford, as well as by the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art.