Go on an interactive journey around the world
Explore nine very different art pieces with one thing in common - a fascinating history and heritage. You'll be transported to different parts of the globe in this visually rich interactive.
The Open University under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0 license
Journey around the world in our interactive to discover how 'objects' aren't just merely beautiful art works but can also reveal fascinating histories and global connections.Take part nowTravelling Objects
Level: 1 Introductory
Join in the 'Civilisations' debate
Shortly after every episode of 'Civilisations', one of our Art History experts will spark an interesting discussion around the art explored. Join in the debate in the link below.
Learn with The Open University
The Open University offers a range of qualifications in Art History with some modules written by the academic consultants on 'Civilisations'. Check them out...
This is one of several specialist routes available in our BA (Honours) Arts and Humanities (R14). The degree starts by developing your understanding of the world we live in through a variety of perspectives, periods and subjects – including art history, classical studies, creative writing, English language, English literature, history, modern languages, music, philosophy and religious studies. You’ll then take two specialist art history modules, discovering more about art and visual culture across many periods and places. Through exploring the lavishly illustrated module books, and extensive audio, video and interactive material, you will gain a good understanding of the art-historical debates that shape this exciting subject and develop a range of skills in visual analysis.Read more ❯BA (Honours) Arts and Humanities (Art History)
This degree in humanities offers a broad-based grounding in the study and enjoyment of the arts and humanities – covering a fascinating variety of cultures, periods and subjects – while developing your critical and analytical skills. As you explore diverse perspectives on human culture, you’ll encounter a range of absorbing issues encompassing understanding of the past, reading and studying the arts, and analysis of different and conflicting points of view. Through independent and self-directed work, you’ll develop and hone the skills of argument and analysis which are highly valued by employers.Learn more ❯BA (Honours) Humanities
Try a FREE course on Art History
Do you really want to get your teeth into art history and visual culture? Take a look at the free courses below to get more of a flavour for the subject.
Seventeenth-century Dutch painting stands out from other art of the same period and even more so from that of previous centuries on account of its apparently ‘everyday’ character. Works by artists such as Johannes Vermeer, Pieter de Hooch and Jacob van Ruisdael seem to offer a faithful picture of life in the Netherlands at the time. In studying this free course, Dutch painting of the Golden Age, you will discover that there is much more to Dutch painting than meets the eye. You will explore scholarly debates about the possible meanings that might be attributed to this type of picture and learn how the very idea of ‘realism’ in art has been challenged in recent times.Learn moreDutch painting of the Golden Age
Level: 2 Intermediate
You can prepare for this free course, Making sense of art history, by looking around you. It's likely that wherever you are you'll be able to see some images. It's also likely that many of these will be intended to have some sort of effect on you. In the course itself you will be exploring the power of images via a study of contemporary art from the 1980s onwards. Taking the time to look beyond the immediate appearance of an art work to consider what the artist might be trying to say can be immensely rewarding.Learn moreMaking sense of art history
Level: 1 Introductory
What is art? What is visual culture? How have they changed through history? This free course, Art and visual culture: Medieval to modern, explores the fundamental issues raised by the study of western art and visual culture over the last millennium. It moves from discussing the role of the artist and the functions of art during the medieval and Renaissance periods to considering the concept and practice of art in the era of the academies, before finally addressing the question of modern art and the impact of globalisation.Learn moreArt and visual culture: Medieval to modern
Level: 2 Intermediate
Our friends at FutureLearn have collected a number of courses from the OU & beyond exploring the themes of the seriesRead moreThere's more free courses on FutureLearn