Research | Art and Design

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Visual Arts Research is one of the largest areas of academic research growth in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, with a range of outstanding international strengths and partnerships. It encompasses internationally-recognized historians and theorists of art and design, fine art and visual art practitioners; architectural designers; historians of culture and heritage; curatorial experts and interdisciplinary research in contemporary media, fashion, graphic art, film practices; word-image studies and a strong PhD cohort. 

Particular research strengths include: modern and contemporary visual art practices and theories of design; histories of art and cultural identity; transnationalism in modern and contemporary visual cultures; contemporary fine art education; image-text studies; drawing; art and art languages; critical curation, histories and practices; cultural heritage and experimental film and digital cultures. 

Visual Arts Research is a pivotal area for new interdisciplinary research and research-led teaching in the Faculty. It is a major focus of University REF excellence in Art and Design: History, Theory and Practice, organised in three, interlinked fields of specific research and international engagement:


Visual Arts Research has outstanding international research and exhibitions networks developed with world-leading university, museum and arts-sector partners. We have established collaborations, including with: 

  • The National Gallery, London
  • The Royal College of Art
  • Universities of York, Warwick, Loughborough and Amsterdam
  • The National Finnish Gallery of Art, Helsinki
  • Ghent University
  • The Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts, Brussels
Visions of Art

Visual Arts showcases cutting-edge research through its vibrant progamme of international conferences, symposia, exhibitions and research seminar series, ‘Visions of Art’.

Featuring visiting academics and Professors, the seminar provides a vehicle for research at the forefront of the three areas of research expertise. It complements our partner research programme of symposia, exhibitions, curatorial interventions and PhD internships with the internationally renowned art collections at Compton Verney Museum.