Birkbeck Department of History of Art
Our 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 first formed. The Society was launched by a small group of Birkbeck alumni as ULEMHAS (the University of London Extra-Mural History of Art Society). We have retained our strong link with the university ever since. We encourage all Society members to feel involved in Birkbeck life, to attend college events and to explore undertaking courses at Birkbeck — you will find links to Birkbeck’s offerings by clicking the blue headings further down this web page.
Our 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:
- at least one of the six or so free evening lectures each year is delivered by a Birkbeck lecturer
- lecturers provide regular articles for our annual journal, the Review
- all members of our Society are able to join the main Birkbeck Library in Malet Street at no cost (see the panel at the side of this page)
The Society supports Birkbeck History of Art students. We do this through an annual donation called the “London Art History Society Research Fund”. The Fund provides money to help with student costs associated with academic research, travel, and college conference organisation. Over the last seven years we have donated nearly £25,000 in grants to Birkbeck students. The value of our donation for academic year 2022-2023 is £5000. The Society also funds an annual prize for the best MA dissertation each year. Both funds are administered by the college on our behalf.
The liaison representative between the Society and Birkbeck is committee associate John Peacock. If you have questions on any aspect of Birkbeck’s courses or activities please email John on firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 credit-bearing short courses of a single term’s duration through to part or full-time undergraduate courses lasting 3-4 years. Birkbeck also offers one-year conversion courses to MA entry, and a wide range of postgraduate studies.
Would you be interested in doing a short course at Birkbeck?
Credit-bearing courses count towards a Certificate qualification, which in turn can be used as a route into the second year of a BA.
Click on the blue heading above to find out more.
In response to continuing strong demand from former students for further personal and professional development, Birkbeck have opened up places on their current MA options to PG Certificate or PG Diploma holders and former MA graduates (from History of Art, History of Art with Photography and Museum Cultures).
What to expect
- You will be taking these modules in seminar-size groups of current MA students.
- You will be included on any class visits to sites and collections when possible
- You will have full access to the Birkbeck library and its online resources, as well as to the module’s Moodle page, for the duration of the module.
- You won’t be asked to do the assessment (final essay) for the module unless you want to.
Click on the blue heading above to find out more.
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 free, open to all, and no booking is required. The talks are held in the Keynes Library, Birkbeck College, 43 Gordon Square.
To have details of the Murray Seminars programme sent to you regularly simply contact the seminar organiser, Laura Jacobus, on email@example.com asking to be included on her mailing list.
The Architecture Space and Society Centre (ASSC) is 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.
Click on the blue heading above to be kept updated.
The Centre for the History and Theory of Photography hosts regular talks and seminars open to Society members as to all students at Birkbeck.
Click on the blue heading above for further details of their events.
Understanding the nature and function of museums is a fundamental part of understanding art history and its associated fields. The Centre for Museum Cultures offers wide-ranging talks, seminars and discussion addressed to current students, alumni and Society members alike. Museum Studies have become an important part of Birkbeck’s offerings in recent years and are a considerable growth area for the College.
Click on the blue heading above for details of the Centre’s events.
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 we give averages £4000-5000 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 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.
Are you a Birkbeck alumnus? Did you know that alumni have their own website, which you can access by clicking the blue heading above.
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 across the entire field of the humanities. You can access their website by clicking on the heading above. The website is updated frequently. Please keep checking back!
By clicking the blue heading above you can access information about all upcoming Birkbeck events spanning the entire college.