Art history

Art History courses online and in London

Looking to build your confidence in discussing and interpreting art? Or are you interested in taking your established knowledge of art in new directions? Then come and join City Lit’s Art History learning community!

Our exceptional range of courses, both introductory and in-depth, are designed for all learning levels. Our programme approaches art history from a variety of perspectives including social and cultural context, art theory and philosophy, curation and collecting, general art appreciation and so much more.

Choosing the right class for you

Our courses are open to all. Our students come from all backgrounds and learning experiences, from the absolute beginner to those refining their knowledge and understanding. We aim to give you the confidence to engage meaningfully with art, whatever level you are working from. Our students use our courses for personal fulfilment as well as professional and educational development. Many of our students go on to advanced degree and certificate programmes and many are able to use their knowledge in art making and gallery work.

Learn from expert tutors

At City Lit we are proud of the expertise of our tutors who are all professional art historians working actively in museums, galleries, research and writing, universities and auction houses. As experts in the field, they are able to provide you with the support and guidance you need to develop your art historical knowledge. As teachers they provide student-focused education, helping students achieve their art historical goals, both the personal and the professional.

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Courses available both in-person and online

We offer a range of courses allowing you to choose between online and in-person learning. All our courses are live, interactive, and taught by expert tutors. No matter how you prefer to learn, we've got the class for you. See our guide to online learning for more information about accessing our live online courses.

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  1. Image and identity: 20th century Chinese art and cinema
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 1 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Meitao Qu
    Explore the art of Chinese artists and filmmakers from the turn of the 20th century to the turn of the 21st, as they try to make sense of a world on the cusp between the old and the new, marked by encounters with imperialism and iconoclasm. Learn what place art had in socio-political movements, and how it reflected the hopes and anxieties of its time.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £109.00 Senior fee £109.00 Concession £71.00
  2. Lunchtime lecture: Winter Sun: Nancy Holt's land art
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 8 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Sarah Jaffray
    Join us for an introduction to the work of Nancy Holt, one of the foundational figures of the land art movement.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £10.00 Senior fee £8.00 Concession £7.00
  3. Art history taster
    Evening
    Course start date:  Wed 18 Jan 2023 (and 4 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online (other locations are available)

    Tutors:  Sarah Jaffray
    Curious about art history? Join us for this taster session where we explore different ways into visual art and its histories, from the ancient to the contemporary.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £10.00 Senior fee £10.00 Concession £10.00
    Rating:
    98% of 100
  4. Arts of the golden age of the Ottoman Empire
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 22 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Anita Chowdry
    Looking at how the vision of the Ottoman Sultans was crafted from diverse sources during a period of maximum growth, this course will focus on the architecture, arts and crafts of the early Ottoman Empire.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £109.00 Senior fee £87.00 Concession £71.00
  5. Curating and collecting contemporary art in the UK
    Course start date:  Wed 22 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Chantal Condron
    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’?
    Full fee £139.00 Senior fee £139.00 Concession £90.00
  6. Renaissance art: making, locating and viewing
    Course start date:  Wed 22 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Off Site

    Tutors:  Emma Rose Barber
    This course explores the Making, the Locating and the Viewing of Renaissance paintings in the collection of the National Gallery. This course takes place at the National Gallery.
    Full fee £169.00 Senior fee £135.00 Concession £110.00
  7. Art and revolution: in the long 18th century
    Course start date:  Wed 1 Mar 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Sarah Jaffray
    From the absolute monarch to the beheaded king, discover how artists contributed to the cultural revolutions of the ‘long 18th century’ (1630s-1800). We explore how shifts in artistic style and subject matter reflected dramatic social change. Through reading the philosophy of the age we uncover how this era’s complex notions of beauty and justice still impact art and society today.
    Full fee £189.00 Senior fee £151.00 Concession £123.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  8. A stroll through British art: 1500-1850
    Course start date:  Wed 8 Mar 2023

    Location on this date:  Off Site

    Tutors:  Elizabeth Eyres
    On this informal gallery-based course you will explore and discuss the history and characteristics of British art from the 16th century to the mid-19th century. The course will take place offsite at both the National Gallery and Tate Britain.
    Full fee £169.00 Senior fee £135.00 Concession £110.00
  9. Focus on: Vermeer
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 22 Mar 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Leslie Primo
    Master of stillness and light, author of only 35, maybe 36, known works, Vermeer’s art continues to fascinate. Discover his life and works in the context of the Dutch Golden Age.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £55.00 Concession £45.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  10. London's hidden art and architecture, part II
    Course start date:  Wed 19 Apr 2023

    Location on this date:  Off Site

    Tutors:  Julie Barlow
    Uncover a whole new side of London, from Roman times to the present day through a series of walks and visits to art galleries and historic sites.
    Full fee £169.00 Senior fee £135.00 Concession £110.00
    Rating:
    90% of 100
  11. German art after the 1960s: from happenings to artificial sunshine
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 26 Apr 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Irina Chkhaidze
    Explore German art from the 1960s to present, from movements such as Conceptualism, Fluxus, Capitalist Realism and Neo-Expressionism to the most recent multi-media art.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £139.00 Senior fee £139.00 Concession £90.00
  12. Makers not muses: Claude Cahun, Eileen Agar and Isabel Rawsthorne
    Evening
    Course start date:  Wed 26 Apr 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Chantal Condron
    Explore the work of three radical artists whose work and practice defied convention in modern art from the 1920s to 1960s. Discover how each artist challenged and transcended society’s expectations of being a ‘muse’ by living freely and making art in a variety of media, from painting and sculpture to collage, photography and performance.
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £69.00 Concession £45.00
    Rating:
    90% of 100
  13. Art and melancholy: from the Enlightenment to the Victorian age
    Course start date:  Wed 26 Apr 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Emma Rose Barber
    Study the art of the period from c.1750-1880 considering Romanticism and the Pre-Raphaelites. We look at ‘romantic’ landscape, the modern moral subject and the depiction of women. Explore the art of women artists who struggled to survive as artists in the tightly controlled world of the art academy where the woman was encouraged to be muse and model rather than creator and thinker.
    Full fee £189.00 Senior fee £151.00 Concession £123.00
    Rating:
    70% of 100
  14. Islamic art in 25 objects
    Course start date:  Wed 26 Apr 2023

    Location on this date:  Off Site

    Tutors:  Anita Chowdry
    Discover important objects of Islamic Art dating across a more than a millennium in London galleries. We will study world-famous objects, discover lesser known gems, study their context and understand how they relate to one another and the wider world.
    Full fee £109.00 Senior fee £87.00 Concession £71.00
  15. Extended history of modern art in 50 works
    Course start date:  Wed 3 May 2023

    Location on this date:  Off Site

    Tutors:  Sarah Jaffray
    Explore the history of modern art through objects and artworks in London galleries. Build a greater understanding of modern art, its experiments and the cultural rebellions that mark the period.
    Full fee £269.00 Senior fee £215.00 Concession £175.00
    Rating:
    96% of 100

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