What makes an AHA tutor? In every case, tutors are chosen for being unstuffy, energetic people who any one of us would gladly follow to find a wonderful, unlikely, remote work of art just because it is fascinating.

As a body of tutors, we look for people from differing academic backgrounds, diverse universities, disparate areas of expertise and contrasting methodologies. The variety of approach is similar to teaching at University. It makes the course dynamic and vital.

We also look for tutors with different personality types to suit the needs of pastoral care and an energetic course; some are noisy and outgoing, others more quiet by nature.

AHA tutors are something of a family. Generations of tutors, numbering about eighty, gather for our Christmas FEASTS. No tutor has ever left AHA and though they might not teach for a few years, they are always likely to come back.

Ed Hands

Ed, a former AHA student, graduated from Critical Practice at the Royal College of Art in 2021 and has since then worked as a tutor and as Director of Studies at AHA. He also works as a part-time lecturer on the Foundation in Art & Design programme at the University of Westminster, and as a volunteer for Art History Link-Up. For Ed nothing quite beats the energy and excitement of being in Naples.

 

Angelica Fenzi

Angelica is a SOAS Social Anthropology graduate with a Master in Philosophy of Food and Wine. She comes from San Gimignano, a beautiful medieval town in Tuscany (Italy) and lives in a vineyard. Considering her closeness to Florence, she has always loved Renaissance artists and will try to convince you of how great a painter Raphael is!
You’ll be sure to go to the best restaurant and learn all about Italian wine, food, culture and language. 

Disclaimer: she might gesture a lot! 

 

Flo Blackburn

Flo’s Art History studies began in the sixth form under the brilliant guidance of AHA tutors and St Mary’s School Ascot teachers, Tom Parsons and Helen Oakden. Their captivating style and fascinating introduction to all periods of art led Flo to continue her education at the University of East Anglia. Flo specialised in the Renaissance and Baroque, writing her final year dissertation on the emotional effect of Bernini’s sculptures.

Flo worked at Chris Beetles Gallery in St. James’s, before joining AHA as a tutor. As well as travelling Europe to visit well-acquainted artworks, Flo most enjoys filling her sketchbook and socialising over aperitivo!

 

Francesca Ramsay

Francesca is a writer and art historian based in Bristol and graduated with Distinction from the Warburg Institute in 2015.
She is the author of two books: PINCH ME: Trying to Feel Real in the 21st Century and Wilfred Avery and the Unpredictable Image (both October 2023).

Working at the interface between art and the public has left her adept at transforming complex ideas and academic jargon into something both accessible and (fingers crossed) entertaining.

 

Celia Higson

Celia, a former AHA student, completed an MA in History of Art from the University of Edinburgh in 2019. She started her career at the V&A before working as an artist liaison in a commercial contemporary art gallery in Mayfair.

Celia’s love of all things modern art encourages students to create art historical parallels through time from Bernini to Basquiat! Alongside being a tutor for AHA, Celia is also a freelance art advisor and exhibition manager.

 

Dom Weatherby

Dom studied History and English at Oxford University, where he relished the interdisciplinary approach and the opportunity to use texts and material culture as ways into understanding the history of ideas.
After Oxford, he trained as a theatre director on the MA in Advanced Theatre Practice at the Royal Central School of Speech and
Drama in London and at Ecole Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq in Paris.
On AHA, he encourages a play-based and embodied approach to art history, seeking out
the unique potential for intellectual discovery and creative response that can be afforded
by studying art in-situ.

 

Emma Wagstaff

Emma studied History of Art at University College London where she specialised in Modernism and Avant-garde performance.

Her intellectual engagement with performance led her to train as a scenographer on the MFA in Advanced Theatre Practice at the Royal Central school of Speech and Drama and, later, at the LEM, the experimental scenography department of École Jacques Lecoq in Paris. She is fascinated by the drama of space, colour and rhythm, and employs these as critical approaches to the study of art history.

 

Cat Manson

Former student and tutor, Cat Manson returned to AHA in 2021. While she has a Masters in Renaissance Studies from the Courtauld Institute, she brings a commercial glint to her teaching having worked at Christie’s auction house for 25 years, most recently as Senior Director, Global Head of Communications and Corporate Affairs. Cat has long campaigned for better equality and talent retention in the art world. She co-founded of Art Market Mentors in 2020, a global mentoring program promoting support and access. Expect close looking, a dash of poetry, lots of food discussions and a lot of laughs when you travel with Cat.

 

Jessica Raja-Brown

Jessica Raja-Brown is a curator, writer and researcher currently studying for an MA in Curating at The Courtauld Institute of Art.

She has worked for Cecilia Brunson Projects and as a researcher for The Courtauld Institute of Art. She also teaches History of Art for charity Art History Link Up.

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Joe Nickols

Joe, a former AHA student, completed a Fine Art foundation course at Central Saint Martins before studying Japanese Language and History of Art and Archaeology (specialising in East Asia) at SOAS, University of London. Joe returned to SOAS in 2020 to complete a Masters in History of Art/Archaeology of East Asia. Joe encourages being critical of conventionality and is excited by anything new. The food, sights, and atmosphere across Italy are all well known to Joe, who bolsters students to engage with all the opportunities with verve. Joe also works as a researcher for private art collections, as well as being published in academic journals, curating exhibitions, and runs trips to Japan with the AHA Artemisia courses.

 

Ed Shawe-Taylor

A former AHA student, Ed studied Arabic at SOAS, spending a year abroad in Amman, Jordan. He is fascinated by the influence of Islamic

Civilization on the Italian Renaissance, and so whilst studying abroad, he researched the appearance of Islamic textiles in the works of some of the most famous early Renaissance painters. As a lover of Italian old master painting and classical civilization, Ed will never forget his first time seeing the statue of Laocoön, Titian’s Assumption, or the left knee of Raphael’s Isaiah, while on the AHA Spring course during his gap year.

 

Helen Oakden

Helen studied history of art at Manchester University and at the Courtauld Institute of Art 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.

 

Tina Corri

Tina is an Arts and Learning Consultant for museums, galleries and arts organisations with clients including the National Portrait Gallery, Royal Opera House and Art Explora. She loves the diversity that consultancy brings and the amazing people she gets to meet along the way, whether she is commissioning artists, co-curating seminars, editing research reports or creating online content for exhibitions.

Previously, Tina was CEO of arts charity People United, and has held roles as Head of Young People’s Programmes at Tate Britain, Head of Education at English Heritage and Deputy Head of Learning at the Museum of London. She studied History of Art at Warwick University and has a PGCE in Art & Design from the IoE, UCL. Since studying in Venice, and being a tutor for AHA, she has nurtured a lifelong love affair with Italy, drawing and Aperol Spritz.

 

Tom Parsons

Tom studied English and Art History at York in the 1980s where he also completed an MA on Matisse.  He’s lectured for AHA on and off for many years now, whilst also working freelance for the Education Departments at the National Gallery and Tate.  He has published books on Post-Impressionism, Rodin, Renoir and a guide to the Royal Collection at Buckingham Palace.  Since 2000 he has taught art history at St Mary’s School Ascot but one day will return to live in Rome, reading Byron and sipping the odd grappa.

 

Nick Ross Nick Ross, Director of Art History Abroad

Director of Art History Abroad, Nick has taught in Italy for decades, published books on Canaletto, Miró and an artistic guide to Florence. In addition he has written numerous book reviews and presented an arts programme for the Discovery Channel. Nick is an active director whose love of Italy is infectious and he is driven to continually add to the cultural experience of the courses.  Once he was voted the No.1 Guide in the Daily Telegraph Review. In the past 10 years he has taught in cities from Lisbon to St. Petersburg

 

Richard Stemp

Richard studied Natural Sciences and the History of Art at Clare College, Cambridge, and stayed there to research a PhD on Sculpture in Ferrara in the 15th century. After year at the Academy of Live and Recorded Arts he now shares his time between art and acting, working as a freelance lecturer at the National Gallery, Tate, Wallace Collection and Buckingham Palace among others. He has written and presented two series for Channel 4 Television, Art in the National Gallery and Tate Modern, and his books include The Secret Language of the Renaissance and Churches and Cathedrals. Researching for his PhD he spent two years or so living in various parts of Italy – mainly Florence, Bologna, Ferrara and Venice. After a decade and a half with AHA he has now visited almost every corner of the country, not to mention leading trips to cities in Russia, Spain, Germany, France, Austria, the Netherlands, Hungary and Czech Republic.

 

Francesca Dytor

Francesca graduated from Cambridge University in 2016 where she specialised in the Quattrocento and the birth of Western modernism.  She continued at Cambridge for her MPhil, where she worked on depictions of fictive marble in Renaissance Tuscany. She is now based in Berlin, and, when not touring with AHA is busy pursuing new research ideas and working as a research assistant.  Her happiest moments are discussing Marian miracles in a piazza in Venice, spritz and cicchetti in hand.

 

Henry Tudor Pole

After a foundation course at the Royal Drawing School, Henry studied History of Art at St John’s College, Oxford, and graduated with a first in 2018. He spent his third year on an academic exchange at the Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa, where he spent a lot of time looking at Trecento Tuscan sculpture. He is curious about modernist painting, and enthusiastic about Thelonious Monk.

 

Fania Weatherby

Fania studied History of Art at Oxford, writing her third-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.

 

 

Charlie Winton

Charlie 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 Artemisia and Tailor-Made programmes.  She has also discovered the delights of Italian garden history and designs and leads tours to Italian gardens alongside Alys Fowler.

 

Grant Simon Rogers 

Grant is a practicing visual  artist and curator specialising in photography and drawing. He exhibits his work throughout Europe and his portfolio is available with Tea & Water Pictures. https://www.teaandwaterpictures.co He is a passionate advocate of discursive learning. Grant was the Informal Learning Manager for the Imperial War Museum London specialising in national and individual identity linked to a shared histories. He is a visiting lecturer for The National Gallery, Christie’s Education and The University of the Arts, Central Saint Martins as well as numerous other museums and art galleries in London and Berlin. He runs practical art sessions for all, specialising in non artists or those of us who have untaught themselves how to draw

 

 

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