Research in History of Art is of consistently internationally recognised quality and covers a wide variety of periods in numerous outputs.
All staff in History of Art are active researchers, working in a wide range of fields, and their research interests strongly inform their teaching, both Undergraduate and Postgraduate.
The History of Art department at Edinburgh is clearly attracting students of the highest calibre and enabling these talented and enthusiastic students to achieve to the best of their ability ... The quality of the teaching and range of subjects is absolutely outstanding - and especially in terms of the range of subjects offered (from art of the ancient Islamic world to contemporary Western and Chinese practices), Edinburgh stands out in relation to any other comparable department with which I am familiar ... The degrees at Edinburgh overall showed a consistent level of intellectual ambition and achievement, which reflects an extraordinary well-run department.
Edinburgh has world-class museums and galleries, within easy walking distance of the University. We take advantage of their collections and exhibitions whenever possible in our teaching. These institutions also put on regular talks, conferences etc, to which we contribute, supplementing the teaching and research of the University. The popularity of the Edinburgh Festival allows galleries and museums to put on especially ambitious exhibitions in the summer, which are often still on show when Semester 1 begins.
Edinburgh also has a remarkable architectural inheritance, which informs the teaching of our architectural historians.
Edinburgh naturally has rich resources for the study of all forms and periods of Scottish art, a thread in the research of several staff.
History of Art has an unusually wide range of specialist expertise, covering early and late Medieval art, the Renaissance, the Early Modern/Baroque period, and art from Neoclassicism to the present-day, with a particular focus on late nineteenth-century art and contemporary art and theory.
World cultures are another distinctive feature of our research and teaching, with full-time staff specialising in Islamic and Chinese art, architecture and visual culture.
Our students are also able to take courses taught by specialists in visual culture in Classics, Architecture and Film Studies.
History of Art at Edinburgh also encompasses a wide range of approaches and methods to the study of art and visual culture.
Students at Edinburgh are able to take up internships in galleries etc as integral parts of both Undergraduate and Postgraduate programmes, and ‘The Culture of Display’ is a core element in our Masters teaching.
Several staff have direct experience of curating major exhibitions for museums in Scotland, the UK and in Europe and North America. They can offer valuable perspectives on the exhibition as a vehicle for developing art-historical research and communicating with a wider public.
Numerous students from Edinburgh have progressed on to important professional positions in the art world, locally and internationally.
The study of contemporary art at Edinburgh is strongly informed by current theories of globalisation.
The historical precedents for a global art world are reflected for example in our ‘The Global Middle Ages’ Masters programme.
The teaching and research of History of Art staff cover such fields as Chinese art, Islamic art, modern architecture in Brazil, and the world-wide historical and imperial connections of Scottish culture.
‘Art in Translation’ is an on-line journal edited out of Edinburgh which specialises in making available important art-historical texts from all cultures in English translation.
This is a strong element in our teaching and research, encompassing several staff and a growing cluster of PhD students.
Modern and Contemporary art are the most popular areas in our Masters programmes (see Modern Art: History, Criticism, Curating)
This field of interest is enhanced by the availability of world-class exhibitions in Edinburgh (at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art and the Fruitmarket Gallery, for instance) and nearby cities such as Glasgow, Dundee and Newcastle; and by our links with other elements of the University, such as Film Studies, Art and Architecture.
This theme has emerged as a key focus for art historians in recent years and is reflected in the teaching and research of staff working on the art of the Middle Ages and Renaissance as well as Modern and Contemporary art.
This article was published on Jan 17, 2012