Exhibitions of visual art by students and professional artists are mounted in the Kendrew Barn and the Dolphin Gallery throughout the year. Life-drawing classes are also regularly available for members of College. New artworks by contemporary artists have recently been commissioned for the new Library & Study Centre.
In Trinity Term, the College invites a professional artist to be our Artist-in-Residence. They are always keen to interact with the students, and at the end of term they display the work they have developed here.
In Trinity Term 2017 our Artist-in-Residence is Edward Thomasson. He is an early-career artist, based in London, whose work crosses boundaries between visual and performance arts and is based around storytelling via video and performance. He plans to develop a new performance involving the College community during his residency.
From 25 April to 18 June, Edward's work is showing at Tate Britain in London as part of Art Now, a series of exhibitions focusing on new and recent work by emerging artists. Find out more about the exhibition here.
Previous years' Artists-in-Residence were:
- 2016 Ross Sinclair visual art, writing, video art
- 2015 Gareth Jones visual art, video art (see video below)
- 2014 Ciara Phillips visual art (see video below)
- 2013 Chloe Dewe Mathews photography
- 2012 Corin Sworn visual art, film, performance art
- 2011 Jordan Baseman visual art, film
- 2010 Zeena Parkins music
- 2009 Robert Beavors and Mary Lum film, interdisciplinary (drawing, installation, still & moving images)
- 2008 Matmos (Andrew Daniel & Martin Schmidt) music and performance
- 2007 Olivia Plender, DD Dorvillier and Victor Morales visual art/writing, dance/choreography, video art
- 2006 Grace Weir film, installation
- 2005 Wendy Ramshawe jewellery
- 2004 Joe Winkelman printmaking
- 2003 Alex Cox and Tod Davies film
- 2002 Sophy Rickett photography
- 2001 No appointment
- 2000 Hughie O’Donoghue painting
The College's art collection
The College’s collection of pictures includes many portraits of former Presidents, Fellows and distinguished alumni and benefactors, including several portraits of the Founder, of Archbishop Laud (President 1611–21), and of a notable 17th-century benefactor, Sir William Paddy. It also contains some pieces by old masters, including Jan Brueghel the elder, Bartolomeo Neroni, Abel Grimmer, Jan van Scorel, Bartholomaeus Bruyn the elder and Cornelis de Zeeuw, as well as some later acquisitions, which include John Piper and Hector Saunier. The paintings are dispersed around the College, including parts of it that are not open to public access, but can be accessed for academic study. Those interested should apply to the Keeper of College Pictures.
Anne of Cleves, by Bartolomaeus Bruyn the elder (1493-1555), St John's College, University of Oxford
Images of a considerable part of our picture collection are available at Art UK, the online home of every public art collection in the UK. They have also been published in Georgina Dennis, Camilla Stewart and Andy Johnson, Oil Paintings in Public Ownership in Oxford University, vol. 2 (London 2015). The older portraits in the collection were extensively catalogued by Rachael Lane Poole (wife of the then President of St John’s and an artist in her own right, some of whose paintings the College owns), Catalogue of Portraits in the Possession of the University, Colleges, City and County of Oxford, vol. 3 (Oxford 1926).