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Preliminary reading

If you have studied art history but would like to familiarise yourself with some of the core concepts and current concerns of the discipline of art history, the following books are recommended:

  • Hatt, Michael and Klonk, Charlotte, Art History: A Critical Introduction to its Methods, Manchester University Press, 2006. This set book is an introduction to some of the main theories and methodologies employed by Art Historians and encountered throughout the MA. It is recommended you start reading this as soon as possible.
  • D'Alleva, A, and Cothren, M. (2021), Methods and Theories of Art History, third edition. London: Laurence King Publishing. Available from: ProQuest Ebook Central. This is a short introduction to theory, but highly recommended as an ebook through the OU Library for registered students, or as an additional text to purchase.
  • Edwards, Steve, ed. Art and its Histories: A Reader, Yale University Press, 1999
  • Nelson, Robert and Shiff, Richard, eds, Critical Terms for Art History, Second Edition, University of Chicago Press, 2003.

If you do not hold a BA in art history or if you studied art history some time ago you might find the list below useful:

  • Harrison, Charles, An Introduction to Art, Yale University Press, 2010
  • Newall, Diana and Pooke, Grant, Art History: The Basics, Routledge, 2007
  • Pointon, Marcia, Art History: A Student's Handbook, Routledge, 1997 (new edition, 2014).

The following series are also recommended:

  • Oxford History of Art
  • Oxford ‘Very Short Introductions’ (several on art-related topics)
  • Phaidon ‘Art and Ideas’.

For a preliminary reading list for A844, see A844’s entry requirements.