A history of art–now a part of history itself
THE largest exam board in England, AQA, has announced that, from 2018, it will no longer offer an A-level in art history. Amid the resulting uproar, some interesting facts have emerged. Athena didn’t know, for example, that David Cameron had shown any interest in the visual arts, yet we’ve learned that he got an A in A-level art history. Thus we shouldn’t condemn the subject on the grounds that it doesn’t lead to a career: study art history and you might become Prime Minister. His achievement also counters the misogynistic jibe, much heard in recent weeks, that it’s a subject for girls.
In other ways, of course, Mr Cameron’s qualification reinforces another prejudice: that art history is a minority pursuit for the posh. This is harder to counter. In 2014, just