St Catherine’s has a strong tradition of interest in art and design, natural concerns in the context of world famous and award-winning buildings designed in 1960 by Arne Jacobsen and more recently by Stephen Hodder. The classical rigour of Jacobsen’s façade is offset by a sculpture by Barbara Hepworth; and Jacobsen’s imposing College hall is lent colour and warmth by tapestries designed by Tom Phillips, a Royal Academician who is a former St Catherine’s student. In 2005-6 Tom Phillips was Slade Professor of Art in the University of Oxford.
The College has built up a close relationship with the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art, and usually takes two of the Ruskin School’s annual total of about twenty undergraduates each year. This is complimented by the fact that we are also one of the few colleges to take undergraduates studying for the BA in History of Art.
The College is keen to promote the creative work of its Fine Art students. Previous students of the Ruskin course at St Catherine’s have found the College to be a congenial and stimulating environment, in which it has been possible to take full advantage of an art school which, through its association with the colleges, is an integral part of the University of Oxford.