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.

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.

Gap Year and Summer Course tutor, Ed HandsEd Hands

Ed has joined AHA as a trainee tutor whilst currently undertaking a postgraduate degree at the Royal College of Art in Critical Practice (Contemporary Art Practice), a fine arts programme. A former student of AHA, Ed is looking forward to learning the ropes whilst also developing his artistic practice.

Joe Nickols

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 of 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.

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.

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.

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

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.

 

 

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