• Trenchard Cox Scholarship: Sarah Tavares

    Sarah was our last scholarship winner who chose to attend our 2-week Summer Course in Sicily.

    She won with her inspiring description of a work she loved: The Municipal Theatre of São Paulo (São Paulo, Brazil) and the one she loathed: The Penthouse Apartment Complex (São Paulo, Brazil).

    The final decision was taken by tutor, teacher and Art Historian by our wonderful tutor Florence Blackburn and Nicholas Ross, the Director of Art History Abroad.


    Meet Sarah!

    ‘ I found out about it last December when I started planning my gap year. I have always loved essay competitions and mostly writing about architecture, so the Sir Trenchard Cox Scholarship was the perfect opportunity. I was very happy and surprised when I received the results. I have always wanted to be an architect and study art history to broaden my perspective. I couldn’t be more excited for this summer! ‘

    Full List of Winners : Sarah Tavares (1st), Phoebe May Putnam – (2nd), Catherine Iani-Emo(3rd) , Lily Owens – (4th)  


    About the Scholarship: 

    The Scholarship, established in memory of Sir Trenchard Cox, awards the winner an Art History Abroad 2-week Summer Course (£4995 in 2024) in Italy.

    The Scholarship is open to all, and is particularly intended to encourage students who do not have a scholarly interest in art history. It will be awarded as a result of a competition, which invites an imaginative, though not necessarily art historical response.

     Entries are now closed for 2024

    In Short

    1. Email your entry to [email protected]
    2. Send in your entry before 17.00 (GMT) Friday 1st of March 2024.
    3. First Prize is a place on the 2 week Summer Course which can be put towards any longer programme.
      There are also runner up prizes

    Who can Apply?

    Applicants must be at least 16 and no older than 18 years of age on the published closing date. Occasionally exceptions to this do apply, contact Art History Abroad for further details.

    Entries for the Scholarship must be received by Art History Abroad no later than 17.00 (GMT) Friday March 1st 2024. Late entries will not be accepted.

    How do I Apply?

    The Competition 

    All you have to do is write two 400 word reasoned descriptions – one on a work of art (to include architecture, painting, drawing, decorative arts and design) you love, and one that you loathe. We aren’t looking for anything showy, just something that is filled with personality and authenticity. We urge you to have fun with it.

    The essays must be supported by no more than two photographs (one per essay) or drawings no larger than a sheet of A4 paper. The adjudicators will look for good and daring arguments to support the applicant’s assertions. The team of adjudicators, who are appointed by Art History Abroad, will assemble a short list of entrants to be decisively assessed by a distinguished figure in the world of art. The decision of the adjudicators and the final judge cannot be reviewed.

    SUBMIT your essays as attachments to an email to   [email protected]   to be received no later than 17.00 (GMT) Friday 1st March 2024.

    Fees & Spending Money

    The value of the Scholarship is Art History Abroad’s fee for any 2-week Summer Course (£4,995 in 2024). This covers accommodation in Italy, all museum entry fees, travel and tuition upon the course in Italy.  No cash alternative is available. It may also be used against a longer course, see Transferability below.


    The fee and therefore the scholarship does NOT cover lunch, supper or spending money. Students are asked to meet these daily expenses of about £40 daily. Travel insurance and flights are NOT included.

    Option to transfer value

    If a successful scholar wishes to transfer the value of the 2-week Summer Course to one of the Art History Abroad courses specified below, he/she will need to pay the balance of the fees. Otherwise the value of the Scholarship may NOT be transferred or cashed in. If the winner is unable to take up the place offered the benefit of the Scholarship will be offered to the runner up.

    The winner in 2024 will be allowed to put the Scholarship award towards the following courses: Early Summer 6-week Course, any 2 or 4-week Summer Courses,  Autumn 6-week Courses 2024 and Spring 6-week Course 2025.

    Who was Trenchard?

    Sir (George) Trenchard Cox. Lucinda Douglas-Menzies/National Portrait Gallery, London

    The Scholarship was established by Art History Abroad in 1998 in memory of past President of NADFAS (the former name of The Arts Society), Sir Trenchard Cox (1905 – 1995).

    Sir Trenchard Cox was an enchanting man. He died in 1995 leaving deep in the memory of those who knew him a quality of old world manners and warm wit. He was kind to everyone and encouraged all he met in their delight of beautiful things. It is perhaps this facet of his character that made him such a good Director of the Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A) where, it is said, he made time each week to walk around the great halls of the museum talking to the wardens whose solitary task it is to guard the collection.  He was an “everyman”.

    Furthermore, his devotion to the principal that museums serve all people made him a leader in museum education. To this end some galleries were laid out with different types of objects put into a historical setting and thus into context. This aspect of his work as an educator has perhaps been of the greatest influence on me, as Director of AHA .  Sir Trenchard Cox was also a constant support to Patricia Fay in the early days when she founded NADFAS (now known as The Arts Society) and he rejoiced in being its first President.

    My initial acquaintance with Sir Trenchard was forged through my mother, who was a cousin by marriage.  Indeed Maisy, Trenchard’s wife, who was herself a great expert on mosaics, is the namesake of our daughter Cosima Maisy Ross. Aged nineteen I was encouraged by my mother to meet Trenchard, as I cast about looking for an enthusiasm in life that would turn into a career. He was good fun to meet, partly because he seemed to know everything about art but also because he would forget what drink I had asked for as he made his way to the drinks trolley.  Rather than ask again, he would put a little of everything that was already open into one large glass. It was rocket fuel and any shyness I might have had gave way to rich conversation.

    So, for many reasons, this is an important prize for those of us concerned and we hope it will be for those who take part.  Intertwined are threads which start with a remarkable man who did so much to found The Arts Society and influence me at Art History Abroad.  The sense of self belief that winning this substantial prize has engendered in past winners would have touched Trenchard and his sense of culture being for all.

    Nicholas Ross

  • AHA offers Bursary Awards and Grants for students who want to join an AHA Course.


    1. Merit Based Awards – enter written or created work for the chance to be awarded 5-10% off the total course. Email [email protected]  to find out more. 
    2. Alumni Grants – return students are awarded 10% off courses
    3. School Trip Alumni – if you have attended a commissioned school trip with AHA you are entitled to 5% off course fees
    4. Early Bird discounts of 5% (Registration Form should be received 6 months in advance)
    5. Adult Client Grant – relations of our Adult Tailor Made or Artemisia programmes may have 7.5% off courses
    6. Word of Mouth – If you are coming with a friend, you will both receive 5% off your course
    7. Sibling Grants – If you have a sibling who has come on a course, you are offered 7.5% off yours
    8. Match funding for AHA sponsored awards such as Spoke and Articulation

    Unsure if you are eligible for one of the above grants? Email [email protected] 

    Apply for a Course

    Please note: The Awards, Grants and the Early-bird Subtractions described below can be added together to a maximum of 20% of the fees of an AHA Course. Awards and Grants are made at AHA’s discretion and are contingent on a student successfully completing the application and interview process.

    This is brief information and there are some terms and conditions so please do contact [email protected] for full details.