The Slade Professorship of Fine Art at Cambridge was founded in 1869 as the result of a bequest from the art collector Felix Slade (1788-1868). At the same time, similar chairs were founded in the Universities of Oxford and London. Originally Slade Professors were elected, and sometimes re-elected, for three-year terms. In 1961 the practice changed and since then visiting Slade Professors have been elected on an annual basis. Holders of the Chair usually deliver eight public lectures and four classes for students in the department during the Lent Term of their year in office. The Slade Professorship of Fine Art has been held by many of the most distinguished historians of art and architecture from around the world.
For the academic year 2013-14 the department welcomes Dame Jessica Rawson, Professor of Chinese Art and Archaeology in the University of Oxford and former Warden of Merton College, Oxford, as Slade Professor of Fine Art.
Dame Jessica's Slade lectures will be entitled 'Warfare, Beauty and Belief: Innovations from the West that Changed China’s Art and Culture, 1500 BC-1000 AD' and will be delivered during Lent term 2014. More details will appear here shortly.