Cabinets to White Cubes: a history of collecting art in the UK

Course Dates: 20/02/24 - 26/03/24
Time: 10:00 - 12:00
Location: Online
Have you ever wondered how works of art and cultural objects have been collected for public museums and galleries in Britain? Who collected these objects? What functions have public collections played in society? Why ‘collect for the nation’?
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
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Full fee £149.00 Senior fee £119.00 Concession £97.00

This course has now started

Cabinets to White Cubes: a history of collecting art in the UK
This course has started
  • Course Code: VB519
  • Dates: 20/02/24 - 26/03/24
  • Time: 10:00 - 12:00
  • Taught: Tue, Daytime
  • Duration: 6 sessions (over 6 weeks)
  • Location: Online
  • Tutor: Chantal Condron

Course Code: VB519

Started Tue, day, 20 Feb - 26 Mar '24

Duration: 6 sessions (over 6 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?

This course starts by exploring the fascinating roots of museum collecting from the early European ‘Cabinets of Curiosities’ to notable historical collectors in Britain including Sir Hans Sloane and Bess of Hardwick. Discover why in the 18th and 19th centuries, new collections in Britain developed as a result of the shift from private to philanthropic models of collecting, including some of the major civic collections of Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester. In the 20th century we look at how modern art in Britain was championed by organisations such as the Contemporary Arts Society and the National Art Collections Fund; and focus on important postwar public collections in London, Bradford and Edinburgh.

The course ends by considering how and why major public collections developed as urban regeneration projects for the new century, including Tate Modern, Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art and Turner Contemporary. We explore how public collections including MIMA in Middlesbrough and Kettle’s Yard in Cambridge are creating exciting socially-engaged practice for the future.

This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
- Earphones/headphones/speakers.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.

What will we cover?

-Examine the shift from private to public models of collecting in Britain.
-Reflect on how collecting policies and trends have influenced museums acquisitions.
-Consider the relationship between public collections and their audiences.

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

-Name two public museum collections in Britain.
-Identify two to three major artworks from museum collections studied on the course.
-Describe one example of how a museum uses contemporary art to engage with audiences.

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

This course is suitable for all levels.

You should be able to follow simple written and verbal instructions, demonstrations, hand-outs and health and safety information as well as basic functions of Zoom, specifically microphone and camera.

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

You will be taught by lecture with slide images and you will be invited to participate in group discussion. There will be handouts provided by your tutor. However, they will also be available digitally via a Google Classroom. You will be invited to join the Google Classroom within a week of your course start date.

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

You might wish to purchase a notebook for taking notes. 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?

Art in Britain 1950-2000 - 'This is Tomorrow' (Part 1)
Art in Britain since 2000: where are we now?
Study day: collage in modern and contemporary art.

Chantal Condron

Chantal Condron is a curator, teacher and writer with a dedicated focus on audienceengagement and enjoyment of art. As the UK Government Art Collection’s first curator of publicengagement, she led education and public programmes at the University of Hull, WhitechapelGallery and Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, and delivered art talks at the Britishembassies in Paris, Vienna and Washington DC. She teaches Art History at City Lit, in additionto teaching the subject as part of City Lit’s Ceramics Diploma course. She is also an Art Historytutor for WEA London, and teaches 'A level' Art History to London secondary school students. Chantal has worked widely in the public and private arts sector for nearly 30 years including at Tate, Sotheby's, Visiting Arts, Arts and Business and University of London Library. She holds a BA in 20th century and non-western art from the University of East Anglia; and an MA in Asian art from SOAS, University of London. Author of 'Peter Hedegaard', the first monograph on the London-based Danish abstract artist who exhibited in the 1960s and ‘70s (Rocket Gallery, London, 2019), Chantal continues to contribute commissioned exhibition texts and reviews.

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.