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.

For the latest news, courses, events and competitions, stay in touch with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Courses available both in-person and online

We offer a range of long and short courses allowing you to choose between in-person and online learning.

Learn in the centre of London with our in-person courses. Our purpose-built facilities in Covent Garden mean we are ideally located and easy to get to. 

See our guide to online learning for more information about accessing our live online courses.

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.

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Items 1-15 of 19

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  1. Art and critical theory: feminism and post-colonialism
    Course start date:  Tue 4 Jun 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Irina Chkhaidze
    Explore the role of critical theory within the field of art history, and learn new ways of thinking about art by focusing on feminism, post-colonial theory and the notion of the death of the author.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £149.00 Senior fee £149.00 Concession £97.00
    Rating:
    80% of 100
  2. 'The future is now': an introduction to video art
    Evening
    Course start date:  Thu 13 Jun 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Irina Chkhaidze
    Explore the early history of video art, its rise as a medium and its significance as a contemporary art practice. We focus on the influential video works from the 1960s-1980s.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £49.00 Senior fee £49.00 Concession £32.00
  3. Friday lates: Agnes Martin - pioneer, painter, icon
    Evening
    Course start date:  Fri 14 Jun 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Henry Martin
    This course examines the unconventional life and artworks of Agnes Martin (1912–2004), regarded as one of the great artists of the Twentieth Century. Topics covered include Abstract Expressionism, Minimalism, LGBTQ artists, and the role of the biography in Art History.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £19.00 Senior fee £19.00 Concession £12.00
  4. Aubrey Beardsley and the art of queer decadence
    Evening
    Course start date:  Wed 19 Jun 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Sarah Jaffray
    Discover the subversive and wildly successful art of illustrator Aubrey Beardsley. Explore his illustrations and how his depictions of gender challenged the status quo of late Victorian Britain.



    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 £7.00
  5. Friday lates: Pacific portraits - British artists, Pacific sitters and their impact on 18th century portraiture
    Evening
    Course start date:  Fri 21 Jun 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    From Joshua Reynold's portrait of Omai to portraits made during the voyages of Captain James Cook, discover how encounters with Pacific Islanders changed the course of British eighteenth-century.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £19.00 Senior fee £19.00 Concession £12.00
  6. Snapshot Queers: Nan Goldin and Wolfgang Tillmans
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 25 Jun 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Henry Martin
    This course explores how photographers Nan Goldin (b. 1953) and Wolfgang Tillmans (b. 1968) employ the aesthetic of the snapshot to document queer communities, with a focus on their early careers and unique installation and photographic practices.



    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 £7.00
  7. Art and critical theory: rethinking 'nature'
    Course start date:  Wed 26 Jun 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Irina Chkhaidze
    Explore the role of critical theory within the field of art history, and learn new ways of thinking about art by focusing on how recent authors have been rethinking our understanding of nature.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £99.00 Concession £64.00
  8. Full fee £10.00 Senior fee £10.00 Concession £10.00
    Rating:
    98% of 100
  9. What makes a masterpiece
    Evening
    Course start date:  Mon 23 Sep 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Leslie Primo
    Look at works of art in the Western canon and ask why we consider them to be masterpieces. What formal qualities do they all share, if any, or is our interpretation of a masterpiece largely subjective?



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £249.00 Senior fee £249.00 Concession £162.00
    Rating:
    98% of 100
  10. Friday lates: Surrealism and its international influence
    Evening
    Course start date:  Fri 27 Sep 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Sarah Jaffray
    For the 100th anniversary of the movement, explore the impact of surrealism on international artists, social movements and cultural revolutions. Come to understand the historical importance of this massively influential movement.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £19.00 Senior fee £19.00 Concession £12.00
  11. Introduction to art history
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 1 Oct 2024 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Sarah Jaffray
    Are you interested in art and want to get more out of looking at art and exhibitions? Want to know what an art historian does? Develop your interpretative skills by exploring at how art is made and what social and cultural factors construct our understanding of it.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £249.00 Senior fee £249.00 Concession £162.00
    Rating:
    99% of 100
  12. Women of the art world: dealers, collectors and patrons
    Evening
    Course start date:  Thu 10 Oct 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Henry Martin
    Across six weeks, students will learn about the careers and lives of six important taste-makers and the artists and movements they encouraged, and the society they functioned within. These women and their stories are largely overlooked in most accounts of art history, buried in archives or seen as second to the artists and movements they supported. This blind-spot by art historians will also be explored, examining who decides what art history is and why.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £129.00 Concession £84.00
  13. Understanding contemporary art: ideas and origins
    Evening
    Course start date:  Mon 14 Oct 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Christopher Collier
    Ever wondered what's going on in the mind of contemporary artists? This course explores the ideas and historical background behind some of today’s most intriguing works, from Conceptualism and Video to Body Art and Installation.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £169.00 Senior fee £169.00 Concession £110.00
    Rating:
    90% of 100
  14. Friday lates: the Bauhaus in London
    Evening
    Course start date:  Fri 18 Oct 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Julie Barlow
    The Staatliches Bauhaus opened its doors in Weimar, Germany in 1919. Fourteen years later it was shut down by the Nazis. Celebrate 100 years of Modernism in architecture and design and discover how Bauhaus style spread to London.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £19.00 Senior fee £19.00 Concession £12.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  15. Friday lates: magical modernism: modern art and the occult
    Evening
    Course start date:  Fri 25 Oct 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Christopher Collier
    Discover Modern Art’s secret history: a mysterious melting-pot of mystic auras, magical colour theories, trances, alchemy and the spirit-physics of the 4th-dimension, hiding beneath the familiar stories of science, reason and industry.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £19.00 Senior fee £19.00 Concession £12.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
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