History of Art and Visual Culture

Art and Society

In recent years art history has developed from a concentration on style and connoisseurship to incorporate interdisciplinary approaches to the relationship between art and society, investigating a wide range of images and artefacts beyond the traditional category of fine art.

The diversity of activity here reflects this opening up of the discipline. We work on a range of topics from the 15th to the 20th centuries, including the connections between sculpture, paintings and prints in the Italian Renaissance, the relationship between urban space and the environment, the impact of the Reformation on church architecture and furnishings, and modernity in architecture and design in 1930s Britain.

Our researchers have pursued monographic studies of individual artists and architects (Michelangelo, Joshua Reynolds, Joseph Wright of Derby, John Brett, Wells Coates) and wider thematic studies of Renaissance plaquettes, 18th-century funerary monuments, and 19th-century landscape painting.

Curating work includes loan exhibitions in Bristol, Birmingham and London and the travelling exhibitions of the Methodist Collection of Modern Christian Art, which is in the care of the University.

Academic staff with related research interests