Open Arts Objects
Open Arts Objects (OAO) is an open access platform which provides over 50 free films to support the teaching of Art History.
Watch this short film outlining the Open Arts Objects project
Open Arts Objects:
- inspires wider and diverse audiences to enjoy and understand art works and visual culture, leading to a change in museums’ educational programmes and professional practice, and has increased public awareness about a global approach to Art History.
- supports teachers by providing free open access materials including films, activities for students, and teaching support documents. OAO films are a recommended resources for the new A-level Curriculum by Pearson, covering the themes of Identities, Nature, and War, but they can also be easily adapted to the Cambridge Pre-U. They are an ideal resource for any teacher who incorporates art and design into their teaching.
- underpinned by the research of members of the Art History department at the Open University, OAO promotes the understanding of art informed by the innovative methodologies of mobility and global approaches.
- emboldens communities, regional groups, school children, teachers, and OU students with art historical skills, with a mandate to widen participation in Art History.
- ensures the sustainability of Art History at all teaching levels, advocating for the democratisation of the subject and the decolonisation of the curriculum, and promotes educational opportunity.
We need your help! Our funding and support depends on feedback from you. Please take a few minutes to fill out this very short survey (6 questions, approx. 4 minutes). If you’d like us to visit your school or community group, get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org.
In 2017-18 members of the Open Arts Objects team served as academic consultants for the 9-part BBC series Civilisations produced in partnership with the OU, reaching over 13.7 million viewers. In 2019 OAO was short-listed for the Times Higher Education Awards in the category of Knowledge Exchange/Transfer Initiative of the Year.
Leah Clark and Kathleen Christian discussing the term mobility, and how it has changed the way we approach Renaissance works of art. Includes Holbein’s Ambassadors; Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel and its circulation in print; a devotional diptych with a portrait of Joos van der Burch.
Dr Leah Clark discusses the global dimensions of a painting by the Renaissance court artist Andrea Mantegna. Learn more about the work with our teaching resources.
Renate Dohmen and Kathleen Christian discussing the complexities of the term essentialism, exploring the ideas of art and culture it produced in the nineteenth century and what its legacies are today. Includes James Stephanoff, An Assemblage of Works of Art in Sculpture and in Painting, 1845; Johann Zoffany, Major William Palmer with his second wife, the Mughal princess Bibi Faiz Bakhsh; Rembrandt, Man in Oriental Costume.
In this film, Dr Clare Taylor looks at a work made by a living artist who works in London, Yinka Shonibare. The subject, materials and sites she talks about all encourage viewers to think of their own individual, national and global identity in new ways. Learn more about the work with our teaching resources.
Dr Renate Dohmen explores a nineteenth-century scrap album, the equivalent of today’s Facebook, created by a young British woman who travelled to British India.
Dr Renate Dohmen explores the historical contexts and technical marvel of an extraordinary and infamous musical automaton commissioned by Tipu Sultan, the ruler of Mysore in India. Learn more about the work with our teaching resources.
Dr Warren Carter discusses a self-portrait by the Mexican artist Frida Kahlo in which she depicts herself straddling the border between Mexico and the United States. Learn more about the work with our teaching resources.
Leah Clark and Kathleen Christian discuss the term hybridity.
Leon Wainwright and Leah Clark discussing the complexities of the term globalisation for Art History in relation to Renaissance and contemporary art. Includes Chinese porcelain, De Bry prints, and works on canvas by Frank Bowling.
Dr Kim Woods discusses a fascinating brass sculpture from the historic African kingdom of Benin. Learn more about the work with our teaching resources.