The Department of Art History at the Open University invites applications for entry to our PhD programme. The Open University is part of the CHASE AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership (alongside the Courtauld Institute of Art and Goldsmith’s College at the University of London and the Universities of East Anglia, Essex, Kent and Sussex). Successful applicants for PhD study will be able to apply for studentship funding as part of this partnership. For UK students, these awards cover both fees and maintenance. For EU residents awards are on a fees only basis. The funding is also designed to enable professional development opportunities, including public engagement skills and placements with CHASE partner organisations in the UK and overseas.
The Art History Department has a strong international reputation for research and research publications, and our specialist areas embrace a diverse range of periods, topics and approaches. Our research clusters range across periods from the early modern to the present and embrace aspects of visual culture and art theory. We have encouraged the development of trans-historical and cross-disciplinary research synergies, especially in the area of global art history. Our broad groupings include ‘Cross Cultural and Artistic Networks’, ‘Early Modern Research’, ‘History of Architecture and Design’, ‘Modern and Contemporary Art and Theory’, ‘Eighteenth Century, Art, Culture and Design’ and ‘Material Cultures’. Several members of the Department also share an interest in issues of gender difference, especially in the modern period, and the history of photography and lens based media is a developing area. In addition we have specialist expertise in early modern collecting, Byzantine Studies and consumption and design in Britain from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries. We welcome applications in all of these areas. If you wish to submit a proposal please refer to our advice to applicants.
We currently have three full-time and eleven part-time PhD students, working on a range of subjects such as Netherlandish Illuminated Manuscripts; Art, Design and Propaganda in Fascist Italy, Irish Artists and British Imperialism 18th/19th centuries; American Women Artists in the 1920s and 30s; Contemporary Film and Video Art in Britain; the British Art Market in the 1980s; Contemporary Public Art in the North of England. We are also developing collaborative PhD programmes with museums (including a studentship with the National Railway Museum on the design of train interiors in the 1920s-50s). We have continued to widen our collaborative engagements with the museum and gallery sector, and with the work of practising artists, in the UK and Europe. The Open Arts Archive, hosted by the Department of Art History, has collaborated with over twenty art institutions, including Tate, Baltic, National Gallery and Milton Keynes Gallery.
The Open University offers excellent provision for new PhD students. Each student is supported by at least two supervisors as well as a strong programme of university-wide training in research skills. In addition students have the opportunity to participate in a lively research culture and to contribute to regular seminar programmes, conferences and workshops held in Milton Keynes, London and other Open University national/regional centres.
The Art History Department has a successful track record in winning external research funding for high profile international projects, including a recent series of six Leverhulme awards. For example, Angeliki Lymberopoulou’s recent Byzantine project ‘Damned in Hell in the Frescoes of Venetian-dominated Crete 13th – 17th Centuries’ has received one of the largest Leverhulme Trust International Network grants awarded; Leon Wainwright has won substantial funding from HERA for his collaborative projects with European partners including his ‘Creativity and Innovation in a World of Movement’.
Further information about research in the department, our projects and potential supervisors for your work can be found on our research page.
Informal enquiries re studentships should be made to Leon.Wainwright in the first instance.
Applications will be considered by the Faculty of Arts on a competitive basis and forwarded to four CHASE panels for further assessment and ranking.
For full details of all subject areas and how to apply, please see the CHASE website.