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"AHA courses are much better than A level History of Art as a preparation for university work. Exposure to real paintings, sculpture and buildings develops visual alertness. Seeing art in the cities where it was made reveals how it was shaped by its cultural context. Students from AHA have been made aware of many of the problems and excitements of academic Art History before they begin their BA."
Professor John Onians
The School of World Art Studies, University of East Anglia
Director of Art History Abroad. He has taught in Italy for over 30 years, published books on Canaletto, Miro and an artistic guide to Florence. In addition Nick has written numerous book reviews and presented an arts programme for the Discovery Channel. He is an active director whose love of Italy is infectious and he is driven to continually add to the cultural experience of the courses. He is most pleased to have been voted the No.1 Guide in the Daily Telegraph Review.
Dan went on the AHA Spring Gap year course in 1998, he taught on his first AHA course in 2001, and has worked with AHA ever since. Formerly Head of History of Art at Wycombe Abbey, Dan is now Deputy Head of Sixth form at Cheltenham College where he teaches History and History of Art and coaches rowing. He has run trips for school groups, gap year students, parents and adults and is an accredited NADFAS lecturer. In 2008 he was awarded by the Daily Telegraph and Wanderlust Magazine World guide of the year. He lives in Cheltenham with his wife and two sons Hector and Tobias. Rome is his favourite city, Velazquez and Degas are his favourite non-Italian painters. His last meal on earth would be accompanied by a glass of Barolo and he was one of the Choreographers of the 'Sculpture dance', which if you're lucky he'll teach you. Follow him on @arthistorytutor.
Annabel Howard studied art history at Oxford and has an MA in biographical writing from the University of East Anglia. She has worked as a lecturer and guide across Italy and the UK. Annabel is also a writer of 'creative non-fiction,' and her work has been published inThe Spectator, The World of Interiors, The White Review, and various other magazines. She has written three books for Laurence King Publishing - the first of which, a graphic biography of Kandinsky, will be released at the beginning of October. She is currently artist in residence at the Centre for the Study of Religion and Society at the University of Victoria, Canada, where she is working on a collection of essays that meditate on tradition and its role in the modern world.
Studied at Cardiff and Birmingham where he received an MA in Fine Art. In 1999 he was appointed the Arts Council of England Helen Chadwick Fellow which enabled him to work on his sculpture in Rome and Oxford. He exhibits both in Britain and abroad while also teaching at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art, Oxford, Tate Britain, Hayward Gallery and Whitechapel Art Gallery. Stephen now lives and works between Basilicata and London. His most recent exhibitions have been a solo show at the Contemporary Art Society London and 'What Marcel Duchamp taught me' at the Fine Arts Society, London. Visit Steve's website at www.stephenelson.com
Olivia first encountered AHA on an A-Level revision trip to Florence and was immediately hooked. After a gap year trip to Italy with AHA which ended with watching sunrise over the forum in Rome, she went on to study History of Art at Cambridge University and began working with us in 2009, one week after graduation! She has been with us ever since and has led trips for gap year students, school groups and adults in Italy and France, as well as lecturing and giving private tuition. During this time she has also learnt Italian, worked at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, gained an MA from the Courtauld Institute of Art, specialising in French drawings of the eighteenth century, and organised art and antique fairs in England. At home in both Italy and France, loving the old and the new, Olivia’s favourite work of art tends to be the one she happens to find herself in front of.
Studied Art History at Warwick University specialising in the Early Florentine Renaissance and Venetian Art and Architecture. She lived in Venice before working in Bologna where she taught for three years. As well as all her teaching for AHA, Charlie runs AHA's Dilettante and Generation X programmes. She has recently discovered the delights of Italian garden history and design and leads tours to Italian gardens alongside Alys Fowler.
Lecturer at the National Gallery and Tate Modern. After studying Natural Sciences and History of Art at Cambridge, he completed a PhD on fifteenth-century sculpture in Ferrara. He wrote and narrated the video for the National Gallery's exhibition ‘Florence in the 1470's and presented ‘Art in the National Gallery' for Channel 4 Education as well as the follow up series entitled ‘Tate Modern'. His book "The Secret Language of the Renaissance", has been sold all over the world. Click here for Michael Baigent's review in the Mail on Sunday.
Rose completed her MA in History of Art at Edinburgh University in 2006. After studying languages at Salamanca University she joined the AHA team over 3 years ago. She is unceasingly excited about all things Italian, be it the glorious Pantheon, mysterious Pontormo or bubbly prosecco. She is a keen pianist and singer; one of the many delights of being taught by Rose is to hear her demonstrate the acoustics in churches once noted for their choirs. Alongside her work in Italy Rose is the founder of Art History UK, where she leads cultural days and courses throughout London.
A Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Andy studied Art History at St Andrews University in Scotland and completed a PhD at Leiden University in The Netherlands. A former archivist at The British Library in London, he is the author of The Angel of Charleston (2013) and for over a decade has taught Art History in London, Europe and America.
A former student of AHA, Alex has since pursued a real passion for all things Italian. She went on to study History at Oxford University before gaining her MA at the Courtauld in the architectural history of Rome. After graduating in 2007 she worked at a commercial gallery in London, specialising in Modern British art, where she curated a number of important exhibitions in this field and wrote a book on one of the gallery's leading artists. For the last seven years, Alex has travelled with students in Italy whilst also teaching in England and has written a book on one of England's oldests families. She is also the founder and director of The Bigger Picture, a consultancy working to bring art history to more schools and students around the country. Read more about The Bigger Picture and their work with schools here www.thinkbiggerpicture.co.uk
Benj read History of Art at Cambridge, specialising in Venetian architecture and the paintings of Titian. Having worked full-time as a curator and general factotum at a commercial London gallery and now teaches History of Art at Westminster. Benj thoroughly enjoys painting, singing and cooking, which is probably why he tries to spend all his time in Italy.
Graham is a writer, broadcaster, translator from Italian and French, and teacher. He lived in Tuscany for 4 years working at the British Institute in Florence, a year in Catalan France, and eighteen months at the Arvon Foundation in Devon. He has been an interpreter, a translator, and a radio interviewer for BBC Radios 3 and 4, in English and Italian. He has taught many poetry courses and workshops, 'on location' events in England, Italy, (the latest, Poetic Rome ,2015), Spain (The poetry, Art and Music of Andalusia) and the U.S. (Poets of New England, 2014) Graham is AHA's poetry and literature expert, has worked for BBC Radio 3 over many years as the writer and presenter of programmes on poetry,music and Italy and takes groups to Italy for weekends on the poets of past and present in Florence, Rome, Venice and Recanati. He is President of the TS Eliot Society (UK). For further information visit www.grahamfawcett.co.uk
As well as being an experienced tutor, Lucie works in the Travel department for Guardian News and Media. Lucie completed her MA focusing on Seventeenth Century Italian Realism and the Baroque at the Courtauld Institute in 2002 and her BA Hons in Economics and Business from Durham University in 2001.
Catherine joined AHA in 2005. She studied Art History and Italian at UCL, and in 2007 she also gained a Masters degree in Art History from UCL, specialising in Caravaggio's depictions of feet! She is about to embark on a PhD researching the body parts of female saints. Catherine has enjoyed her fair share of dolce vita, amatriciana and baroque ecstacies in Rome where she lived for two years, but now she teaches Art History and Cultural Studies at UCS. She has contributed to various guide books including Time Out Florence (2007) and is author of A Hedonist's Guide to Rome (2006). She has a special soft spot for Dante, and if she could, would eat at Banco Giro by the Rialto in Venice everyday.
Ex AHA student, Tom read art history at Cambridge before doing a PhD at the Courtauld Institute, London. He is now lecturer in medieval art and architecture at the University of York, specialising in medieval Spain. Tom especially likes saints, stews, and Siena; Borromini, basil and bling; San Giovanni Carbonara in Naples, the mosaics in the baptistery in Florence, and marinated anchovies.
Ben teaches Art History at Westminster School and is a lecturer and storyteller at the National Gallery for audiences aged 4 to 99. He writes bi-monthly columns on new and old art for Art21 and Saatchi Online, all of which are available at his website. He studied Art History and English Literature at Edinburgh University in the late twentieth century. In 2008 Ben was nominated for the Paul Morrison Travel Guide Award for his work with Art History Abroad. If he could play darts with any art historical figure it would be Poussin, probably.
Grant Simon Rogers
Grant is a practicing artist and curator currently specializing in photography & needle work. He is a passionate advocate of discursive learning & travels all over the world talking to other educators and museum professionals about his approaches to museums as learning environments. Grant is the Informal Learning Manager for the Imperial War Museum London & a Fellow in Holocaust Education for Yad Vashem Jerusalem. He is a visiting lecturer for the National Gallery & numerous other museums and art galleries in which he also runs practical art sessions.
Helen studied history of art at Manchester University and at the Courtauld Institute where she was awarded her Masters in the architectural history of Rome. She first fell in love with Italy in 2002 during her GAP year when she joined AHA's 6 week course. Since then, everything Helen has done has been to ensure that her life is spent teaching History of Art - and especially promoting the glories of Botticelli. Since 2008 she has been teaching History of Art at St Mary's School Ascot and has slowly accepted that there are some non-Italian artists worthy of study. She teaches on trips to Italy and France for students and adults. Bernini and Caravaggio give her goose bumps and she loves anything built from travertine.
Holly joined AHA as a student on a 6 week Gap Year Course in 2010 and has since taken any excuse to return to Italy. She went on to study Art History at St Andrews University and the University of Richmond, Virginia specialising in the Florentine Renaissance. She has spent many hours in the Florence Archives studying writings by the fiery monk, Savonarola and the accompanying woodcut prints for her dissertation. Her real love, however, is for the frescoes of Fra Angelico, the sculpture of Bernini and melanzane parmigiana! When she is not in Italy, Holly spends her time photographing, cooking and traveling.
Currently the Vicar of St Olaves in the City of London and Chaplain to the Cloth Worker's Guild and Trinity House. Oliver's first degree was in African History and Anthropology, before studying Divinity at Cambridge. He is an authority on the Early Church, particularly in Rome, Ravenna and Istanbul.
As an opera singer, Tristan has sung with Glyndebourne, Garsington and the Royal Opera House Covent Garden. He studied Art History at St John’s College Cambridge and at Heidelberg University in Germany before joining the Royal Academy of Music in London as a scholar. As both an Art Historian and Singer in equal measure, there’s little doubt that Italy is his spiritual home.
Maia graduated from University College London (UCL) in 2013 with a first in History. Fascinated by Italy’s rich and spectacular past, she studied Rome’s turbulent relationship with Constantinople and the power wielded by Venice during the Crusades. The daughter of a sculptor, Maia grew up surrounded by art and developed a strong interest in the Italian Renaissance during her own gap year, when she inter-railed across Italy, guidebook in hand. When she is not teaching, Maia pursues her interest in filmmaking. She has made several films for overseas charities and organisations and is currently doing an MA in Ethnographic & Documentary Film.
Jessica first went on an AHA trip at seventeen and fell in love with both Italy and the company instantly. Having completed her BA hons degree in History of Art at Birmingham University, the only thing she wanted to do was become an AHA tutor and inspire others as she had been inspired. Jessica's other passion is songwriting and she frequently combines her two loves, occasionally using song to explain art; indeed, some students wonder whether their tutor is in fact a grown Von Trapp child from 'The Sound of Music'... To check out her music visit www.jessicasharman.com
Alice studied Art History and Italian at Manchester University, for which she gained a 2:1 and a distinction in spoken Italian. She specialised in the Italian Renaissance, finding herself particularly drawn to the eccentric work of Piero di Cosimo. As part of her degree, Alice lived in Rome for a year working at the Hotel de Russie, where she spent most of her time trying to befriend the concierges so as to to be able to skip the queues at big exhibitions and try out all the best restaurants in the city. Alice's loves are Michelangelo and Bernini, as well as the Enoteca Corsi carbonara which she could quite easily survive on. Having the chance to impart her own passion for all things Italian is what drew Alice to AHA, as well as being able to pursue her favourite activity: watching the world go by from the Piazza del Popolo with a glass of prosecco in hand.
Lavinia studied History of Art at Christ Church, Oxford, where she specialised in the Italian Renaissance and the art of the Ballets Russes. She graduated with first class honours and was awarded the full Arts Humanities and Research Council (AHRC) scholarship to pursue her interest in 16th century Venice at the Courtauld Institute of Art (MA). Lavinia has worked closely with old master and modern drawings in London and at international art fairs with Stephen Ongpin Fine Art and has contributed research for the V&A's online display of 20th century Fashion Illustrations as well as for art and history documentaries - including a BBC2 series on Ancient Rome. Lavinia grew up in Italy and is currently teaching there and across Europe for Art History Abroad. Additionally, she teaches creative and interactive workshops in schools across the UK for The Bigger Picture.
Rosa, an ex AHA student herself, read History of Art & Italian at University College London (UCL). She finished her Masters in Art History at Oxford in 2013, and she wrote her dissertation on Miraculous Madonnas in Renaissance Tuscany. Rosa has lived in Pisa, Venice and Florence and spends as much time in Italy as possible where she loves stumbling upon artworks embedded in the city’s streets it’s all about getting up close and personal with the objects (NO TOUCHING)! She has worked at various museums, such as the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, the Ashmolean and the Wallace Collection. Since leaving university Rosa has interned at Palazzo Strozzi in Florence, and you can currently find her in the Italian Renaissance Sculpture department at the Victoria & Albert Museum. When Rosa isn’t focusing all her energy on how to steal a Desiderio da Settignano relief, she enjoys biking, baking and making the most of Aperitivo.
Liam is a former AHA student who studied History of Art at UCL, receiving a First and the top prize for his dissertation. During his studies, he worked at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection and the Venice Biennale, so an ideal day would be spent trawling Venice's best cicchetti bars and finishing at Tintoretto's Scuola Grande di San Rocco. Liam is also a keen writer, covering arts and culture for Wallpaper, i-D and AnOther and reviewing books for the TLS and Literary Review. Any free time he has on courses will be spent in contemporary art galleries (students always welcome), and he'll happily wax lyrical about Artemisia Gentileschi to anyone willing to listen.
Francesca graduated from Cambridge University in 2016 and is still busying there studying for a Masters. Her undergraduate dissertation was on Fra Angelico’s frescoes at San Marco, and she is currently working on Sacred Images of the fifteenth century, and depictions of fictive marble in Renaissance Tuscany. Her passion for all things Italy continues to grow, and she is happiest discussing Marian miracles in Campo Santa Margherita in Venice, spritz and cicchetti in hand.
Manuel graduated from the Courtauld Institute in 2016 with a first class honours in History of Art, where he specialised in 14th- and 15th-century Persian manuscripts and Western Medieval art. He is now studying for a Master's in Islamic Art and Archaeology at the University of Oxford. Born in Italy, Manuel has a great passion for the culture of his home country, especially the Baroque music of Venice, which he studied at the Conservatorio in Parma, Ancient Roman architecture, and pizza. His AHA favourites include the Arena Chapel, St Anthony's relics in Padua, and picnics with breath-taking scenarios. Talking about the Middle Ages gets him very excited.
A former AHA student, Joe, also known as Bepe in Italy, followed on to courses at Central St. Martins in Fine Art and at SOAS, University of London studying Japanese Language and History of Art and Archaeology (probably one of the longest degree titles in the UK). A devotee to Botticelli, Joe enjoys nothing more than wandering around Florence, gelato in hand, scouring the street for Medici balls and new buildings to fawn over. Never far away from a sketchbook, Joe is happy to get students drawing the sights as well as studying them.
Fania studied History of Art at Oxford, writing her 3rd year thesis on 20th century collage. During her time at university Fania also interned at the Ashmolean Print Room and the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg, where she enjoyed the kind of close engagement with art objects that you get on an AHA trip. She also makes art herself and enjoys being part of creative activities with students.
Marie was a student on a 6 week Gap Year Course in 2012 when she decided that Italy felt like a second home to her. She stayed in Florence after the course, working as an intern in the curatorial department of Palazzo Strozzi. With a love for the 17th century Baroque greats such as Bernini and Caravaggio, she went on to study Art History at The Courtauld Institute of Art before joining us. A lover of all things creative, Marie is also a musician who was awarded MTV’s Unsigned Artist of the Year in 2014. She is a firm believer in the idea of teaching Art History in an accessible, fun and interactive manner.