An introduction to European decorative arts at the V&A

Course Dates: 18/04/24 - 02/05/24
Time: 11:00 - 13:00
Location: Off Site
The Victoria and Albert Museum has one of the finest and most comprehensive collections of European decorative arts in the world. This course aims to provide an introduction to these rich collections. It will focus on the period 1500 to 1900, but references later developments. The main media will be explored including textiles, ceramics, glass, metalwork, and silver.
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Full fee £89.00 Senior fee £71.00 Concession £58.00

An introduction to European decorative arts at the V&A
  • Course Code: VB909
  • Dates: 18/04/24 - 02/05/24
  • Time: 11:00 - 13:00
  • Taught: Thu, Daytime
  • Duration: 3 sessions (over 3 weeks)
  • Location: Off Site
  • Tutor: Andreas Petzold

Course Code: VB909

Thu, day, 18 Apr - 02 May '24

Duration: 3 sessions (over 3 weeks)

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Center for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.

What is the course about?

The course will follow a roughly chronological approach placing developments in the decorative arts in their broader, historical, social, global, and demographic context. The first class will focus on the British Galleries and discuss European decorative arts including textiles, ceramics, and metalwork.

The second class will focus on the European, non-British galleries from 1600 to 1800. And the third on the materials based galleries with specific reference to ceramics, glass and silver, as well as briefly examining relevant material in the twentieth century gallery. It will look at key designers such as Wedgwood, Pugin or William Morris. It will cover key practioners and manufacturers such as Chelsea or toiles de jouy.

What will we cover?

• British and European decorative arts from c.1500 to the present
• Development of styles (e.g.Chinoiserie, Gothic revival, Japonisme, arts and crafts ect.)
• The main media in relation to the decorative arts.

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

• Be provided with an introduction to the decorative arts collections
• Be able to Identify key stylistic developments relating to the decorative arts
• Place the decorative arts within their broader historical and social context.

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

The course is suitable both for beginners and those with a specialist the decorative arts. You should be able to follow simple written and verbal instructions, hand-outs and health and safety information, and will be invited to take part in group discussion and activities.

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

The course will be taught with a mixture of guided gallery visits, group discussion and short group activities. Handouts will be provided by your tutor to support your learning on the course.

Museum/gallery-based courses take place during public access hours. Tutors are not able to control sound levels or behaviours of visitors outside of the course group. Unless you are a wheelchair user, and have confirmed access details with us (as levels of access can vary between galleries), you will need to be able to walk between exhibits and stand for some time while looking at them (you may bring your own portable stool if you have one, but we cannot guarantee access to any gallery stools.) If you feel you may be impacted by these environmental variations, please inform the department on before the course begins, to discuss reasonable accommodations we can make to assist your learning in the museum space.

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

You might wish to buy a notebook. You might wish to buy some of the books on any reading list given out in class.

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

Medieval and Renaissance art at the V&A
20th century design: modern and post-modern
Renaissance art: making, locating and viewing.

Andreas Petzold

Andreas Petzold was educated at Manchester University and the Courtauld Institute of Art, where he obtained a Ph.d. on the use of colour in illuminated manuscripts. He was a Curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum for eleven years where he specialised in medieval and Renaissance art. He has taught for the Open University, City University, the Institute of Continuing Education at Cambridge University, and Richmond Adult Community College (where he was a Curriculum Leader). He is the author of Romanesque Art in the Everyman Art Series (translated into four languages and specified on the BBC and Metropolitan Museum of Art websites), and has published twelve articles/book chapters on colour, stained glass, and textiles as well as contributing entries in Smarthistory. Interests include: colour (on which he is currently writing a book), ceramics, stained glass, and the application of computing to history of art.

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.