Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

You Belong to the Universe

The life and work of Buckminster Fuller: a timeline

A self-professed “comprehensive anticipatory design scientist,” the inventor Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983) was undoubtedly a visionary. Fuller’s creations often bordered on the realm of science fiction, ranging from the freestanding geodesic dome to the three-wheel Dymaxion car.

Read More

Francisco Goya’s deafness

By the time Francisco Goya died on this day in 1828, he had established himself as one of the greatest portraitists of modern times. During his 74 years, he featured both nobles and kings and humble workers and farmers in over 1,800 works. It is said that he painted at a pace so furious, he completed his wife’s portrait, now hanging in the Prado, in an hour.

Read More

10 surprising facts about Ancient Egyptian art and architecture

Ancient Egyptian art dates all the way back to 3000BC and provides us with an understanding of ancient Egyptian socioeconomic structures and belief systems. The Ancient Egyptians also developed an array of diverse architectural structures and monuments, from temples to the pyramids that are still a major tourist attraction today. But how much do you know about Ancient Egyptian art and architecture?

Read More

Art of the Ice Age [slideshow]

In 2003 Paul Bahn led the team that discovered the first Ice Age cave art at Creswell Crags in Britain. In recent years, many more discoveries have been made including the expanding phenomenon of ‘open-air Ice Age art’. In the slideshow below, you can see some of the earliest examples of art on the planet, and take a tour of prehistoric art throughout the world.

Read More

Local opera houses through the ages

Nineteenth and twentieth Century opera houses are finding new lives today. Opera houses were once the center of art, culture, and entertainment for rural American towns–when there was much less competition for our collective attention.

Read More
American Arcadia

A guide to Southern California for classical art enthusiasts [interactive map]

Every year, millions of people visit California in search of beaches, hiking, celebrity sightings, and more. In the map below, Peter J. Holliday shows us his version of California, focusing on the rich history of classically inspired art and architecture in Southern California. Enjoy the stories of grand landmarks such as Hearst Castle, Pasadena City Hall, and the Getty Villa.

Read More

Sculptural transformations: destruction and reuse in Roman London

Despite much build-up to the new Star Wars film, one of the lesser-known news stories of 2015 described the transformation of a statue of Lenin, standing in a square in Odessa, into one of Darth Vadar. This metamorphosis was necessary to comply with a law passed by the Ukrainian Parliament in April 2015 that banned communist propaganda. Streets were renamed and monuments removed, though even before the law was passed some statues of Lenin had been torn down or mutilated, possibly in protest against Russian influence at a time of heightened political tension.

Read More
British Journal of Aesthetics

Art in the streets

Street artists are placing their bets on a new artistic practice, a new medium for art-making – one that ignores the institutional structures of the artworld, and rejects their role as arbiters of artistic excellence. Taking art to the streets allows artists to redefine the criteria by which to be assessed.

Read More
Illuminating Shakespeare

Sex, love, and Shakespeare [slideshow]

Whether he fills his scenes with raunchy innuendos, or boldly writes erotic poetry, or frequently reverses the gender norms of the time period, Shakespeare addresses the multifaceted ways in which sex, love, marriage, relationships, gender, and sexuality play an integral part of human life.

Read More

Miley Cyrus and the culture of excess in American history

Miley Cyrus has shocked the world anew with a recent CANDY Magazine photo shoot by over-the-top fashion photographer Terry Richardson. Cyrus sticks her tongue out with enthusiasm—and does much more. In one image, she is “dressed” in a police officer’s uniform, except that she is not wearing a shirt and a pair of handcuffs is displayed prominently.

Read More
9780190218614 Grand Illusions Lubin

A sneak peek at College Arts Association 2016

The Oxford Art Team is excited that the 2016 College Art Association Meeting will be in Washington D.C.! This year, we’re happy to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of The Dictionary of Art. We’re also offering discounted individual subscriptions for Grove Art Online. We have some suggestions on sights to see during your time in Washington as well as our favorite sessions for the conference.

Read More

Interpreting “screen time”

The screen is so unremarkable in its ubiquity that it might seem to take going out to the very limits to make us aware of the extent to which image projection has become our very condition. Take the migration of the phrase “screen time” from its place in film analysis as the descriptor for the edited duration of an action on screen.

Read More
Journal of Design History

Aesthetics and the Victorian Christmas card

When we think of Christmas cards, we usually picture images of holly, robins, angels and candles, or snow-covered cottages with sledging children, Nativity scenes with visiting Wise Men, or benevolent Santas with sacks full of presents. Very rarely, I imagine, do we picture a summer woodland scene features lounging female figures in classical dress and a lyre-playing cherub.

Read More
Illuminating Shakespeare

Portraits of religion in Shakespeare’s time

Europe during the 16th and 17th centuries was marked by years of political and religious turmoil and change. From papal authority to royal supremacy, Reformation to Counter Reformation, and an endless series of persecutions followed by executions, England and its citizens endured division, freedom, and everything in between.

Read More

Something of myself: the early life of Rudyard Kipling

‘My first impression is of daybreak, light and colour and golden and purple fruits at the level of my shoulder.’ With this beautiful sentence, so characteristic in its fusion of poetry and physical, bodily detail, Rudyard Kipling evokes the fruit-market in Bombay, the city (now Mumbai) where he was born in 1865.

Read More
9780199899913 benezit

Meet Dr. Kathy Battista, Benezit’s new Editor in Chief

We’re thrilled to welcome Dr. Kathy Battista as the new Editor in Chief of the Benezit Dictionary of Artists. Director of the MA program in Contemporary Art at Sotheby’s Institute, she has dedicated her life to furthering knowledge of art history through a teaching career, one that has taken her from London to New York City. From issues in contemporary art to dramatic changes in the art market over the past decade, Battista addresses all our burning questions regarding the state of her field.

Read More