Museums and Libraries

Oxford’s History of Art courses are uniquely positioned to reflect this cross-disciplinary potential. Situated among a compact array of world-class museums, galleries and collections, we are able to encompass a much greater range of subject-matter than is normally available to undergraduate and postgraduate students. Working within the History Faculty and the Humanities Division, our teaching and research is supported by the Ashmolean Museum, the Bodleian Library, Christ Church Picture Gallery, the Pitt Rivers Museum, the Museum of the History of Science, and Modern Art Oxford, as well as by the Ruskin School of Art.


Within the University and more generally in Oxford, there are a number of organisations with connections to the study of the Visual Arts: 

  • The Institute of Visual Research (IVR) provides a forum for visual research within the Humanities Division and beyond.
  • Modern Art Oxford, located very close to the Department, is an independent, Arts Council funded museum with an international reputation for innovation in a wide range of visual arts.
  • The Ruskin School of Art is one of the leading schools of art and encourages an alliance between practice and visual analysis.
  • The Ashmolean Museum has internationally renowned collections of western fine and applied arts and arts of other ancient and modern civilisations.
  • Other University Museums include The Museum of the History of Science and the Pitt Rivers Museum (Anthropology), holding rich stocks of eloquent visual material relating to scientific culture and non-European cultures.
  • Christ Church Picture Gallery holds an important collection of Old Master paintings and drawings, and is strongest in Italian art from the 14th to the 18th century.
  • The Sackler Library is one of the principal research libraries of the University and specialises in Archaeology, Art History, and Classics (Ancient History and Literature). For detailed information see the Art and Architecture subject page.

Online resources and collections of the University: