Art History in Schools (AHiS) is a charity that aims to increase access to education in art and design history and broader cultural studies for young people in the UK. We believe that access to an art history education helps young people develop skills of visual analysis, research and communication at a time when they need them most for future employment. Most importantly, art history builds empathy, tolerance and mutual respect for world cultures and encourages young people to explore their own multiples heritages.
AHiS was delighted to work with Leighton House last October on our first Islamic Art Study Day. We welcomed over 50 sixth form students to a programme of talks and workshops linked to specific works on the A level Art History syllabus. Melanie Gibson (LH trustee) asked the key question ‘What is Islamic Art?’ before respected academics focused on a range of works: from Susan Stronge (Victoria & Albert Museum) on Mughal Miniatures, Scott Redford (SOAS) on the Ottoman architecture of Sinan, and Susann Babaie (Courtauld Institute) on the work of contemporary Iranian-American artist Shirin Neshat. The key concept of Orientalism was explored in relation to Lord Leighton, his collection and his house by curator Daniel Robbins, and students even had a chance to practise some calligraphy with Azza Alameddine. Feedback was so positive from that we will run a similar day on Tuesday 8th October 2019 with a broader remit to appeal to Art History and Art students and hope more schools in the borough will be able to attend. Some resources from the day are available online: www.arthistoryinschools.org.uk/alevelresources.
We offer a range of six-week enrichment classes for sixth form students, from introductions to global culture, to specialist sessions for the Art & Design A-level personal study, as well as one-off workshops in primary and secondary schools.