Front Quad of Lincoln College, the walls covered in bright green ivy

History of Art

History of Art aims to arrive at a historical understanding of the origins, meaning and purpose of art and artefacts from a wide range of world cultures.

Artistic depiction of a stork and flowers

The course

History of Art concentrates on objects generally described as 'art', though in Oxford this definition is framed broadly to embrace items beyond 'fine art' or 'Western art'. History of Art aims to cultivate an historical understanding of the origins of artefacts within specific world cultures, asking about the circumstances of their making, their makers, the media used, the functions of the images and objects, their critical reception, and subsequent history. As well as educating students in the historical interpretation of artefacts in their cultural contexts, a degree in History of Art provides skills in the critical analysis of objects through training in 'visual literacy'. These acquired skills have broad applicability in a wide range of professional settings, as well as serving the needs of enduring personal enlightenment.

For more information, please see here.

Why study History of Art at Lincoln

The History of Art seeks, among other things, to promote in all its students verbal and visual skills that are transferable to a wide range of employment situations and life experiences. We provide challenging undergraduate courses that engage the critical intelligence, imagination and creativity of the students; that stimulate students’ independent thinking while developing technical skills in art historical investigation and exposition; that increase their sensitivity to the human issues at the heart of the analysis of past and present cultures. Lincoln's central location in Oxford means that it is close to the History of Art Department, the Ashmolean Museum, and the Sackler Library (which holds a large portion of the classical and art history works in Oxford).

I started studying History of Art for my A-Levels, and really fell in love with it, especially because it incorporates so many of my interests, such as going to exhibitions and learning languages. This was one of the reasons I was interested in the Oxford History of Art course – it felt really diverse and broad, whilst also offering language courses.

Arya Raval
  • Second-year undergraduate, History of Art
View Arya Raval's profile

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