The art history department has an international reputation for its innovative research projects and scholarly publications within a range of art historical fields, especially Byzantine, Renaissance, eighteenth century, and modern and contemporary art and visual culture. In the REF 2014 results for Art and Design History, Practice and Theory, OU research in Art and Design ranked 6th in the UK for its proportion of 4* and 3* research, with a high proportion assessed as world-leading or internationally excellent.
Much of what we do as researchers involves producing high quality published academic outputs, especially single-authored research monographs, journal articles, edited books, exhibition catalogues and curatorial projects.
We encourage collective and collaborative projects with academic colleagues and with museums (including the Tate, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Walker and Milton Keynes Galleries), many of which are accessible as video or podcasts through the Open Arts Archive.
We place a high value on both individual and collaborative research activities. We aim to foster a distinctive environment for research and scholarship, and undertake collaborative activities and study days associated with major national exhibitions. All members of the department collaborate in one more of the department’s three major research clusters, Cross-Cultural and Artistic Networks, the History of Architecture and Design and Art Histories in Focus (comprising Early Modern Art, Eighteenth-Century Art and Architecture, and Modern and Contemporary Art & Theory). They also play leading roles in the following university wide, interdisciplinary research groups: the Byzantine Research Group, the Medieval and Early Modern Research Group and the Material and Visual Cultures Research Group.
Individual or collaborative research projects currently underway include: