We are delighted to announce that the winner of our 2019 Art History Abroad Scholarship is Ella Blomfield of D’Overbroeks College, Oxford, who wins a place on a Summer Course worth £4,100.

This summer the winner, Ella, will arrive in Venice speeding over the deep, blue lagoon towards dreamy, distant spires, the sun shining off the roof of the water taxi, secure in the knowledge that she has 2 weeks exploring Italy, art and culture with like-minded souls and fascinating, friendly tutors. In her winning essays she wrote of loving Grayson Perry’s tapestry, Comfort Blanket, summing up with “Perry wanted to create a portrait of Britain that would act like a ‘security blanket’ which people could wrap themselves up in and I think he has been very successful. The work she loathed was Damien Hirst’s Spot paintings.

Over the last 23 years we have awarded prizes worth a total of almost £75,000.  In the early years we had as few as 8 entrants but this year saw a bumper crop with 61 entries!  It is wonderful that we now receive entries not only from the UK but from around the world, including the US (where last year’s winner came from), India, Spain, Turkey, Hungary and Uzbekistan.

With such a large entry, competition was high and so runner up voucher prizes have also been awarded. This year there were three in 2nd place, awarded £800 each, one in 3rd place awarded £500 and three in 4th place, awarded £400 each – if everyone takes up their place, we will have awarded £8,200.

Previous winners have included two mathematicians and, of those we have traced, Semma Freites (2005) is at the British government’s Department of Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS), Katherine Crofts-Gibbons (2009) is studying for a PhD in King’s College, London and Helena Roy (2012) is at Oxford in the second year of her MPhil, having worked for the UN and at the Evidence for Policy Design (EPoD) at Harvard.  Gail Gosschalk was an early winner (1999) and has been a freelance artist-illustrator for 14 years living in London, Paris, Rome and now Jerusalem with clients such as Hermés, Unicef, Gieves and Hawkes and the French Natural History Museum.

We are indebted to The Arts Society, who administer the scholarship, collate marks and ensure anonymity and to our judges, Caroline Symington from The Art Society, Dan Evans from the Department of Art History at Cheltenham College and Ken Wise, a retired surgeon and expert on Leonardo’s anatomical drawings.  They were all impressed by the range of entries, commenting variously:

Simply stunning levels of effort and articulation.”

… their power of description is sensational ...”

I love the phrase “am I too stupid to appreciate a Pollock

Our newly-launched Music Scholarship is still available to enter, the deadline is 15 April 2019.