The History of the Slade Professors

john ruskin image

In 1869, the Slade Lectures were founded in pursuance of the will of art collector and philanthropist Felix Slade.  Slade left his collections to the nation, and founded chairs of fine art at Oxford, Cambridge and University College London.  John Ruskin (pictured right) was the first Slade Professor of Fine Art in Oxford, and gave the first series of eight public lectures in 1870.  In his inaugural lecture, he announced that he was setting up the Ruskin School of Drawing, which is now the Ruskin School of Art. 

Each year, the Department of History of Art plays host to the Slade Professor of Fine Art, who is always a figure of international standing in the study of the visual arts.  The annual lecture series continues to focus on art historical topics, and takes place in weeks 1-8 in Hilary Term.   The list of previous lectures can be found here.

Where available, previous podcasts of Slade Lectures are available to listen here.

William Kentridge is the 23-24 Slade Professor, and will be presenting his lecture series - A Natural History of the Studio - in Hilary Term 2024.  Details of the lecture series is available here.