Getting to know… the OU Art History club

Chloe Thomas introduces us to the OU Art History club.


As my first online article, I wanted to introduce the OU club I have (as of May 2021) founded, in hopes to encourage some new members and as well as share our mutual passion, and hopefully bring some artistic inspiration to you all along the way!

As a student of Art History, it only made sense that this fascinating and diverse subject needed its own OU club to bring likeminded students and people together.

As a relatively new club, we have a friendly group of 128 members, mainly based throughout England and Scotland (but not limited to!), which is growing week by week. We have a rich body of members, all of which vary in their studies, ages, careers, and reasons for joining. Many are enrolled on OU courses, but not all study Art History. Amongst us we have some studying for pleasure, a career change, or just a general love of the subject.

“Our club is open for anyone and everyone who loves art history, we are about connecting with others who share the same passion, sharing knowledge, opportunities and resources and helping each other learn.”

Some of our lovely members have shared their passions:

  • Ann, a lover of the psychedelic wonder of the 60s and 70s, is currently studying Discovering the Arts & Humanities. Drawn to bold, striking uses of colour, she finds inspiration in the decorative, vibrant, 19th century botanical oil paintings of Marianne North.
  • Roma, also a student of Discovering the Arts & Humanities, is studying not only the aesthetic effect of a painting, but the theory: the “how” it was produced, and why it was created; what it reveals about its creator and the historical and societal context in which it was made.
  • Sarah is currently a student of Criminology, however she has previously studied Art History at degree level outside of the Open University. She enjoys history and investigative techniques, and decided this time on the OU as she works full time- at a university!
  • Gaynor began her BA in Discovering the Arts & Humanities in October. She is neurodiverse with Autism, and mental health issues, and is absolutely loving her studies so far! In her spare time she enjoys reading, music, art and is a self-confessed play-doh addict!
  • Hamed is also studying Discovering the Arts & Humanities, alongside a module in Revolutions, and is in his first year. He is enjoying his course and is studying for both career and pleasure.

Among our other members are students of History, International Development and Film Studies. We have both past and present students, however our club is also welcome to students not enrolled with the OU.

Our varied members mean we are able to have fun, open and friendly conversations and discussions with hobbyists and academic students, about a variety of subjects on a wide range of levels. We strive to create an open, diverse, and safe space where we can share our ideas and opinions with a group of likeminded individuals.

We love to discuss anything, and everything related to Art History, ranging from the Renaissance to Modern and Contemporary. It is a great environment to learn, no matter your level or prior knowledge- we welcome everyone!

You can find us online on Facebook or The Association’s clubs pages; we hope to see you there!

Find out more about societies, clubs and groups for OU students on The Association website. 


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Chloe Thomas

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