The Department of History of Art has an unrivalled reputation for expertise across a broad spectrum of research strengths, from the medieval to the contemporary, with few departments in the country, and none of the size of Bristol, able to boast such comprehensive coverage.

Research clusters

Our research is organised into a series of clusters:

  • British Art brings fresh thinking to the relations between the visual and other arts, questioning traditional interpretations.
  • Transnational Modernisms builds on our expertise in British, German and Soviet arts across national and international boundaries.
  • Early Italian Studies capitalises on our strengths in Italian art and culture from the 11th to 17th centuries.
  • New Materialities considers relationships in visual and material culture, considering notions of matter, environment and human and non-human agency.
  • Art Writing Writing Art has a very active postgraduate community who run a successful blog, Twitter feed and web site. We organise a wide range of cross-faculty events involving scholars from home and abroad.

Research centres

Members of the Department are closely involved in the following Faculty of Arts research centres:

Activities and collaborations

We actively disseminate our research through regular presentations at national and international conferences and symposia. We also work with schools, writers’ groups, government departments, national and international museums and galleries, and film and television companies. 

Close links exist with scholarly institutions such as the British Academy, the Association of Art Historians, the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, the National Portrait Gallery, the Holburne Museum of Art, Bath and more.

The University of Bristol is a member of the World Universities Network and members of our department engage frequently in activities related to the Network.

Research in the faculty

Our research forms part of the overall research activities and strategies of the Faculty of Arts and the Bristol Institute for Research in the Humanities and Arts (BIRTHA).

Research events

We run a regular research seminar series, lunchtime lectures with the Department of History, and are frequently involved with one-off research events.

Interested in being a visiting researcher?

If you would like to be a visiting researcher at the University of Bristol, please see the School of Humanities' guidelines for visiting researchers, where you will also find an application form.