A history of American art

Course Dates: 21/01/17 - 25/03/17
Time: 14:30 - 16:40
Location: KS - Keeley Street

Study American art, including paintings, illustrations and cartoons from late-nineteenth century Realists and Impressionists to sixties Pop Art and Minimalism, analysing movements and styles, social and political context, materials and art theory. Tutor: Dr Rachel Sanders #americanart #weekend #weekendcourse #weekendclass #arthistory #courses #arthistorycourse.


What is the course about?

America’s rich and complex history, from the Gilded Age, through two World Wars and the Great Depression, forms a fascinating backdrop for innovative art that gradually distances itself from European influence to develop into some of the most progressive avant-garde art of the century. Cultural and political context play a significant role in this story. This course will look at a range of activities and movements, including fine art and sculpture, murals and magazines by such artists as George Bellows (Ashcan School), Edward Hopper (American Scene) and Robert Rauschenberg (Proto-Pop).

What previous students liked most about this course:
“Being introduced to diverse and wide – ranging practices and developing my knowledge of art history generally.”

“The range of skills was excellent. The lecturer was very well informed and group discussions were good.”

“It showed me art from different aspects for example social and political influences.”


What will we cover?

- A chronology of movements from late nineteenth century American Impressionism to Pop Art and Minimalism of the mid 60s and early 70s.
- American social and political history and its impact on visual culture.
- Theoretical ideas pursued by artists concerning media, form, communication and protest.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

- Indentify formal qualities and stylistic features specific to different American art movements from American Impressionism to Pop Art and Minimalism
- Analyse a range of artistic activities and media explored by American artists, including canvas and mural painting, photography, sculpture and print.
- Participate in discussions about American art in its social, cultural and political context.

What previous students have achieved on this course:
“ An appreciation of the art historical chronology of American art movements and practices.”

“Increased my knowledge and understanding and encouraged me to learn more and increased my appetite for the subject.”

“Learning about US art and artists from a political and technical level.”


What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

The course is open to all. No prior knowledge is required other than a general interest in art and design

You should be able to follow written and verbal instructions, hand-outs and health and safety information and will be invited to take part in group discussion. Please look at the rest of the course outline carefully to decide if you may benefit from support in your English and Maths skills to help you to take part fully in this class.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

You will be taught with a short lecture, slides, and discussions.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?


When I've finished, what course can I do next?

General information and advice on courses at City Lit is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details


Customer Reviews 1 item(s)

Write a review
The course description sums up the content accurately. I found the positioning of the art into the social & political context fascinating. I was aware of some of the artists before the course but my eyes were significantly opened. A tutor who was particularly passionate about the subject was a real advantage.
Course Rating
Review by John / (Posted on 22/06/2016)

This course has now started

Course Code: VB483

Started Sat, day, 21 Jan - 25 Mar '17

Duration: 10 sessions (over 10 weeks)

Full fee: £249.00
Senior fee: £199.00
Concession: £152.00
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Please note: Different fees may apply for international students. Read full guidance.