Field trips with BA (Hons) Art History

You gain skills in visual literacy and analysis by engaging directly with paintings and objects in museums in our area, in London and abroad. 

We are lucky to have excellent galleries, museums and country estates nearby, from Tate St Ives to National Trust properties such as Saltram House. Every term we run a field trip to London, and in your second year, you'll take the week-long international field trip module where we conduct specialist teaching and research in front of the objects themselves. Past destinations have included Florence, Rome, Paris and Vienna, and students always identify the field trip as a highlight of their course.

2020 – Florence, Italy

While looking at the relatively empty corridors of the Uffizi during the 2020 field trip, Dr Péter Bokody could not help thinking about how lucky they were to look at Simone Martini’s Annunciation or Sandro Botticelli’s Primavera free from the usual large crowds. However his thoughts also wandered to art surrounding the Italian testimonies of the 1348 plague.

"Art can be a powerful tool to commemorate such shared experiences, whether by depicting the plague or offering broader parallels to our current predicament."

Read Dr Péter Bokody's discussion of art history during a pandemic

Watch our student-made film about the Florence field trip.

2018 and 2019 – Florence, Italy 

Fieldwork is an essential part of your degree. In 2018, our second year students learnt about the Italian Renaissance in their curriculum module, Power, Patronage and Ideology, in readiness for the International Field Trip to Florence and Pisa in spring semester. There, they conducted their studies in the Uffizi Museum, the Medici Palace, the churches of Santa Croce and Santa Maria Novella, and the wonderful convent of San Marco. From the leaning tower at Pisa to Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus and Michelangelo’s gargantuan statue of David, students had the chance to experience the art and architecture of the Renaissance at first hand.

And, continuing our Italian theme this year, fine art and art history second years visited the Venice Biennale, the leading exhibition of contemporary art in the world. Molto bene!

2017 - New York City 

Once again, our second year field trip was to New York City. Students carried out intensive study visits to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Frick Collection, the Guggenheim Museum, Rockefeller Center and the Empire State Building.

2016 - Washington, DC

The BA (Hons) Art History field trip in 2016 was to Washington, DC. Study visits included the National Gallery of Art (to see works by Van Eyck, Botticelli, Raphael, Vermeer, Goya, Delacroix, Degas, Rodin, Munch, Jasper Johns and more); the Smithsonian Institution, the National Museum of the American Indian, the United States Holocaust Museum, the White House and the Washington Monument. 

Students engaged intensively during five days with the rich cultural and political history of the American capital, creating video diaries for use within local schools in Plymouth on their return. Students consistently cite the benefits of the international field trip module for their future employability.

2015 - New York City field trip

Our first overseas visit to America was to New York City. Our entire second year group spent five days on intensive study visits to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Cloisters Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, the Frick Collection, the Guggenheim Museum, Rockefeller Center and the Empire State Building. Students pioneered the making of short film diaries to be used in local schools in Plymouth and benefitted from art history master classes from Dr Jody Patterson, Dr Elizabeth Tingle and Dr Jenny Graham, as well as two New York-based scholars: the international museum studies expert Carol Duncan (author of 'Civilising Rituals: Inside Public Art Museums') and Professor Andrew Hemingway, Emeritus Professor, University College, London, who specialises in the art and politics of the United States. For more information about field trips, please contact our admissions tutor, Dr Jenny Graham.