History of Art


First Year Summer Reading List

While many of our incoming students have previously studied History of Art at A-level or have other Art School training, we recommend the following books in preparation for our BA programme, which stresses the importance of both historical research and critical thought.

The key component of the First Year curriculum is the Foundation Course and Core Course. The following is a suggested reading list:

1) Foundation Course

A familiarity with the overall history of art is essential. Students should consult any number of 'survey' textbooks to gain this knowledge. There is no specific handbook for such a task and students should read broadly and voraciously in all areas.

Above all, students should familiarise themselves with the rich collections available to them in London libraries and collections.

2) Core Course

Students will also be introduced to the different critical approaches or 'methodologies' used in the discipline. For this we recommend the following as primers:

R. Nelson and R. Shiff (eds.), Critical Terms for Art History, 1996

D. Preziosi (ed.), The Art of Art History, 2009 [students should look for the revised 2nd edition]

Other books of general interest that have been suggested include:

E. Fernie (ed.), Art History and Its Methodologies, 1995

P. Smith and C. Wilde (eds.), A Companion to Art Theory, 2002

S. Edwards (ed.), Art and its Histories, New Haven and London 1999

F. Borzello and A. Rees (eds.), The New Art History, 1986

J. Harris, The New Art History: A Critical Introduction, 2001

N. Mirzoeff (ed.), The Visual Culture Reader, 1998

C. Harrison, P.J. Wood, and J. Geiger (eds.), Art in Theory: 1648-1815, 1815-1900, 1900-2000

S. Hall, Representation, 1997

M. Baxandall, Patterns of Intention, 1987

G. Pollock, Vision and Difference, 1987

J. Woolf, The Social Production of Art, 1981

N. Hadjinicolau, Art History and Class Struggle, 1973

A. Hauser, The Social History of Art, 4 vols., 1951 and re-editions

J. Berger, Ways of Seeing, 1972