Bedroom Window by American painter John Singer Sargent

Held in a private collection

The rise of American art at Oxford University

Matt Pickles

Jackson Pollock, Jasper Johns, Andy Warhol, John Singer Sargent. American artists have produced some of the most popular works of art in galleries across the world.

But to date the subject has been 'largely absent' from Oxford’s research and teaching programmes, according to the Head of the History of Art Department.

'Oxford is arguably the most important centre for the study of American history, politics, and culture outside North America,’ says Professor Geraldine A. Johnson. ‘Until now, however, American art has largely been absent from the University’s research and teaching programmes.'

This is due to change with the establishment of two one-year Visiting Professorships for scholars of American art.

In 2016/17 and 2017/18 the visiting professors will help to establish American art from the colonial period onwards as a new field of study for Oxford Master's students in Art History, introduce the visual arts of the United States to undergraduate students in History and Art History, and provide new global perspectives on American art to scholars and curators in Oxford and beyond.

'The Terra Foundation for American Art Visiting Professorships at the University of Oxford will allow the study of the visual culture of the United States to become a key component of Oxford’s world-class American studies agenda,' says Professor Johnson.

'We also hope that these posts will allow new initiatives to be developed in collaboration with the University’s museums and collections.'

The visiting professorships have been established by the Terra Foundation for American Art, which describes its mission as 'fostering exploration, understanding, and enjoyment of the visual arts of the United States for national and international audiences'.