History of Art

History of Art – Oxford Interview Questions

“How can I prepare when the interviewer could ask me absolutely anything about Art History?”

By understanding how the interview works and, crucially, what it is that the interviewer is looking for. The interviewer is not looking to catch you out, but rather for you to demonstrate your curiosity, knowledge and passion for Art History.

“How am I able to do that?”

Demonstrate your enthusiasm and personality

You might be asked general interview questions so that the interviewer can learn more about you – review our list of General Interview questions to prepare.

Show that you enjoy studying Art History independently
The easiest way to demonstrate your enthusiasm for Art History is to show that you are self-motivated and have studied the subject in your free-time for enjoyment – for example through online lectures and independent reading. If you don’t know where to start, review our suggested reading list below.

Demonstrate your subject knowledge about and passion for Art History
The key to answering these questions is to always demonstrate your thought process aloud. The interviewer does not expect you to be able to answer every question immediately, but rather wants to determine that you are able to think about and work on unknown topics with confidence, intelligence and clarity – and they won’t be able to do that if you sit in silence! Use the list of questions below to prepare. Perhaps you can have a friend or relative ask you these questions so that you can develop your skills of thinking under time pressure and speaking out loud.

Subject Interview Guide – Art History

Our Subject Interview Guides help you to prepare and go into your interview with confidence.

OIQ Interview Guides

Each guide discusses ten Oxford Interview Questions in depth with answers and approaches – along with possible points of discussion to further demonstrate your knowledge. They have been specially edited for applicants for each subject by a team of Oxford and Cambridge graduates.

Download a sample page from our Physics Guide here.

Please Note: Currently “The Oxford Interview Guide” is available for Chemistry and Physics (available to download below). Other subjects will be available for download in November – please enter your email below to receive a notification when your subject guide is available for download.

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History of Art Suggested Reading

History of Art Interview Questions

How does art reflect its society?
What is the value of art?
Discuss restoration and conservation. Are they good or bad?
To what degree is it necessary to be an artist to study History of Art?
What would you do if you were put in charge of tourism in the Santa Maria del Carmine in Florence?
Do you think the written word is more valuable than visual images?
Discuss restoration and conservation. Are they good or bad?
What is your opinion on the Turner Prize and Brit Art?
How does art reflect its society?
What work of art would you most like to own?
How can art be musical?
How is the study of art history useful to society?

History of Art at Oxford

Oxford’s History of Art courses are uniquely positioned to reflect this cross-disciplinary potential. Situated among a compact array of world-class museums, galleries and collections, we are able to encompass a much greater range of subject-matter than is normally available to undergraduate and postgraduate students. Working within the History Faculty and the Humanities Division, our teaching and research is supported by the Ashmolean Museum, the Bodleian Library, Christ Church Picture Gallery, the Pitt-Rivers Museum, the Museum of the History of Science, and Modern Art Oxford, as well as by the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art.