Birkbeck Department of History of Art
The Society is affiliated to the Department of History of Art at Birkbeck, University of London. Our association with Birkbeck reaches back to 1981 when the Society was launched by a small group of alumni as ULEMHAS (the University of London Extra-Mural History of Art Society).
Affiliation gives us unique access to art history experts and contacts in the art world. Lecturers from Birkbeck are generous with their support for our activities and provide at least one of the six or so free evening lectures each year. All members of the Society are eligible to join the main Birkbeck Library in Malet Street at no cost (see the panel at the side of this page). A number of the Society’s events are held in Birkbeck’s landmark Keynes Library in Gordon Square.
The Society supports Birkbeck History of Art students through The London Art History Society Research Fund which is administered by the college and currently provides money to help with student costs associated with academic research, travel, and college conference organisation. The Society also funds an annual prize for the best MA dissertation each year.
We encourage all Society members to feel involved in Birkbeck life, to attend college events and to explore undertaking courses at Birkbeck. We regularly post details of all Birkbeck courses, events and opportunities we think are likely to be of interest to members here, on these Birkbeck pages. Please read more by clicking the panels below.
Birkbeck is a warm and inviting community, and you will be made very welcome at any of these events. The liaison representative between the Society and Birkbeck is committee member John Peacock, and you can obtain any further information you would like by emailing John on email@example.com.
Birkbeck Arts Week is an annual event held every May. On offer is a wide range of free talks, performances, screenings and discussions — something for everyone with an interest in the arts. All Society members are very welcome to attend any event. Please click on the blue heading above for full details of the programme and enjoy being part of this special week in the Birkbeck calendar.
Dr Peter Murray was the founder of Birkbeck’s Department of History of Art and an inspirational lecturer. The “Murray seminars” are supported by his Bequest. They are a series of talks held every term in which scholars of the medieval and renaissance period share their current research. Each talk starts at 5pm and finishes by 5.50pm, and is followed by discussion and refreshments. The talks are open to all and no booking is required. Please click on the blue heading above to see the current programme.
Click on the blue heading above to discover everything you need to know about Birkbeck’s Department of History of Art. Here you’ll find the wide range of courses offered at all levels, ranging from excellent short Certificate courses of a single term’s duration through to part or full-time undergraduate courses of 3-4 years, one-year conversion courses to MA entry, and a wide range of postgraduate studies.
The Head of Department, Dr Leslie Topp, writes a fortnightly blog covering events, talks, student discussions, diaries, and news. Click here for a taste of the busy everyday life of the Department.
Would you be interested in doing a Certificate course at Birkbeck? Please click on the blue heading above to find out more.
All Certificate modules earn either 15 or 30 credits which can go toward an eventual Certificate of Higher Education History of Art awarded by Birkbeck University of London. That Certificate in turn will allow you to progress directly into the second year of a number of BA courses including BA History of Art. But there is no requirement for anyone doing a Certificate course to go any further than you wish to, and each module — which lasts one or two terms (£650/£1300) — is complete in itself, and offers an undergraduate-level introduction to the subject in question.
Click on the heading above to discover Birkbeck’s wide range of courses in areas which complement art history — literature and creative writing, languages, philosophy, social history, film, media and cultural studies.
Birkbeck’s Institute for the Humanities offers lectures and talks for all-comers. You can access their website by clicking on the heading above. The website is updated frequently and the programme is lively. Please keep checking!
The Architecture Space and Society Centre (ASSC) was launched in March 2015. Based in Birkbeck’s School of Arts, it provides a focus for the research activities taking place within Birkbeck and beyond in the area of architectural history, landscape history, contemporary architectural humanities and archaeology of architecture. By bringing together scholars from early and modern periods with academics from other disciplines, curators and heritage experts, it acts as a forum for those with an interest in the built environment and space more generally. ASSC hosts regular talks and symposia throughout the year.
By clicking the blue heading above you can access information about all upcoming Birkbeck events in one convenient location.
Are you a Birkbeck alumnus? Did you know that alumni have their own website, which you can access by clicking the blue heading above.
Our annual scholarly journal, the Review, contains many contributions from Birkbeck lecturers and students. Back copies of the Review, together with an index, are available online from this website by clicking the blue heading above.
Each year the Society donates a sum of money to Birkbeck’s Department of History of Art.
The amount varies between £3000-£3500 per year and the money comes out of the Society’s proceeds from subscriptions and its activities. The donation is known within the Department as the London Art History Society Research Fund.
The object of the fund is to help MA and PhD students with the costs of necessary research or field work associated with their projects. Students apply for a grant from the fund — which is administered by the college — and if successful they receive the money they require.
The range of projects is astonishingly and impressively wide, and students’ research and travel needs are equally diverse. By clicking the heading to this item you can read a selection of successful applications — and a few of the many expressions of thanks from those students whose work our Fund has assisted.