Oxford University Art History Podcasts

Oxford University’s Open Spires project aims to make recordings of lectures and other events at the university available to a global audience. A wide range of subjects are covered, but most interesting for Courtauld Students are the range of history of art lectures that are available.

The podcast index includes 13 art history lectures covering a diverse range of subjects from Michaelangelo to Modernism and Chinese visual culture. Those with a particular interest in Surrealism are particularly well served by the eight lectures by Dawn Ades.

Contemporary practice is also covered by the inclusion of video and sound recordings of graduates from the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art discussing their final year work. Architecture is covered in a lecture by Norman Foster which is followed by a symposium on the subject of the Future of Cities.

The collection is growing and it is worthwhile investigating other subject areas to find material relevant to art history. The philosophy lectures include one on aesthetics and philosophy of art, and if you need a crash course in general philosophy, the 41 lectures included here are a good place to start. The podcast index also includes recordings of papers relating to the study of Soviet states, which include discussions of visual art, film, theatre and music.

The podcasts are released using Creative Commons licenses. Many of them have Creative Commons BY-NC-SA licenses meaning they can be ‘reused and redistributed globally provided that it is used in a non-commercial way and the reuse is attributed to the person/people who made the recording. If a person derives a new work from the recording, the new work may be distributed provided it is released under the same license.’ (http://podcasts.ox.ac.uk/openspires.html).

Image: Edd Morgan, 2008. http://www.flickr.com/photos/wzpr/2418778449/

Lloyd Roderick
Graduate Trainee Library Assistant.

About Art History


Take a look at the art history section of About.com. It contains some useful reference information and some advice on writing good art history essays. It also features artist biographies, artistic movements and time periods, as well as job opportunities.

Please let us know if you would like to recommend other free online resources for art history. booklib@courtauld.ac.uk

[Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, 2009]

Karen Smith
Exchanges Librarian