We are a large, vibrant department, located in the beautiful city of York.

We produce world-class teaching and research on the history of art, from ancient Mesopotamia to the modern and contemporary. As art historians, we think about objects in ways that are rigorous and creative. Many of our staff have professional experience and connections in the wider art historical sector, including backgrounds in curating exhibitions at an international level.

Our core values

  • a commitment to excellence
  • a belief that art enriches lives
  • a conviction that every member of the department should be empowered to realise their potential, irrespective of background.

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Department of History of Art


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At York, we believe in the transformative power of visual art to change the world for the better. We aim to make this happen through our famously friendly community.

Professor Liz Prettejohn, Head of Department

in UK for impact and environment,

the support we give to researchers (Times Higher Education’s ranking of the latest REF results, 2021).

in the world for arts and humanities

(QS World University Rankings by Subject, 2024).

Our teaching

Our undergraduate and Masters degrees introduce students to material objects from across the globe, with a wide range of modules for students to select and tailor their degree to their individual interests.

We offer a unique range of opportunities to study the history of art in its professional settings, including the art market, museums and curatorship, and art law and restitution ethics.

Study with us




Our facilities




Our campus boasts an impressive 900-piece art collection, which can be found both within our department and across campus. We also have a wide variety of dedicated study and research spaces.

The city of York is rich in architecture, with influences from medieval through to modern. We’re surrounded by several impressive galleries in the region, and within easy travelling distance to major art locations across the country.

Explore our facilities

Ethics for art historians

Certain topics, such as sensitive subjects, the use of sponsors, participants and associates can cause ethical issues to arise. We follow a set of principles in order to establish a good code of practice for art history research carried out within the Department.

Find out about our ethics guidance

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Contact us

Department of History of Art


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