Staff in the Art History discipline at The Open University specialise in high-quality research and teaching relating to several areas of art and architectural history, including Byzantine art; the Renaissance (both in Italy and in Northern Europe); art and art theory from the 17th through to the 20th century; recent and contemporary art practice; a cross-period interest in gender studies; architecture and material culture; and heritage studies. Our fully illustrated teaching books have attracted international recognition and many are best sellers. We run a popular MA in Art History and supervise PhD students.
Research groups include:
- Art Histories in Focus (includes Early Modern Art, Eighteenth-Century Art and Modern Art Theory and Practice)
- Cross-Cultural and Artistic networks
- History of Architecture and Design.
The discipline also plays a key role in two inter-school research groups. The interfaculty Heritage Studies Research Group promotes a critical approach to understanding the role of heritage in society, looking at the historic environment, interpretation and sustainability issues as well as collections history. The Material Cultures Research Group uses a critical consideration of the role of tangible expressions of culture in society. Topics range from the uses of Byzantine icons to the impact of social housing on gender relations.