Located within the Department of History of Art, the Centre provides a working base for visiting post-doctoral researchers and an inter-disciplinary forum for the study of visual and material culture for members of the University. The Director of the Centre is the current Head of the History of Art Department.
The University of Oxford possesses an unrivalled range of expertise and resources relating to all aspects of visual and material culture, including important collections of art and artefacts from many periods and places, world-class research libraries, and scientific investigations into vision and perception. The purpose of the Centre is to encourage researchers to draw upon a wider range of such resources than is customary within the discipline of Art History and to encourage scholars outside the discipline to engage with visual and material culture, broadly defined. Past and present visitors have, for example, conducted research into Renaissance theories of perception, the history of waxworks, nineteenth-century archaeological illustration, and linguistic theory and graphic design.
The Centre for Visual Studies hosts and co-hosts a number of research events throughout the year. These include the weekly History of Art Research Seminar, The Photography Seminar, the Architectural History Seminar, The Oxford Medieval Visual Culture Seminar and the annual 'Image and Object' study day, which attracts speakers and participants from across the University. Details of forthcoming events can be found on our Events page.