The Slade Professorship of Fine Art is the oldest professorship of art and art history at the universities of Cambridge, Oxford and University College, London.


The chairs were founded concurrently in 1869 by a bequest from the art collector and philanthropist Felix Slade, with studentships also created at University College London. The studentships allowed for the creation of the Slade School of Art, now part of University College London, whose Director holds the Slade Professorship. They are normally therefore a practising artist.

The chair at Oxford is a visiting professorship, with duties restricted to a series of eight public lectures per year, on the "History, Theory, and Practice of the Fine Arts",[1] to which four seminars have been added from 2011. The professorship is associated with All Souls College, Oxford.[2] The bequest was also indirectly responsible for the foundation of the Ruskin School of Drawing in Oxford, which was financed by the first Oxford professor, John Ruskin, who announced his intention in his inaugural lecture "to the general dismay of his listeners".[3]

The Cambridge Lectures are also a series of eight public lectures by a visiting professor. The Oxford and Cambridge professors are most often art historians or critics, but some artists have held the posts, especially at Oxford. The lectures are often subsequently published in book version.

Slade Professors, University College, London

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Slade Professors, Cambridge University

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Slade Professors, Oxford University

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