Introduction to art history
Time: 10:30 - 12:30
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
This course has now started
What is the course about?
Art is the expression of the artist, but more importantly, it is the reflection of a time and place, a specific culture and the people it was made for. Studying art history gives us the tools to understand what an artist/artwork is saying and why. This course will empower your looking by bringing you closer to art and the visual culture that surrounds us.
During the course we will look at a wide range of images, time periods and cultures to explore broad questions like how an artwork is made, what is depicted and why and who gets to say what it means.
We will examine how historical context affects our reading of a work, the importance or not of the artist’s intention, the relationship of art to ideas and the role of the artist in society.
Please note: The course is not an historical survey of periods and styles. The course covers a wide range of art historical ideas, concepts and critical frameworks. There will be time for you to bring up points of interest that you wish to address.
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.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
• What is art history? A brief history of its origins and terminology
• The different roles of the artist
• Art criticism, language and reading an artwork
• The context of display and how it affects our understanding of an artwork.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
• Evaluate art more critically.
• Demonstrate an understanding of the range of contexts that affect the viewing experience.
• Participate in group discussions about art with more confidence.
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, and will be invited to take part in group discussion.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
You will be taught online with slide presentations and group discussions. Handouts will be provided by your tutor to support your learning on the course; these handouts will be available online/digitally for download, not printed out for you.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
You might wish to bring 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?
As an alternative to this course, you might also be interested in:
VB101 - VB101 - Introduction to the art of art history - part 1.
Sarah Jaffray received her BA and MA in Art History with an emphasis in French Modernism and a minor in the Italian Renaissance. She holds a second MA in Cultural Studies from Goldsmiths, University of London. Sarah was a lecturer for several colleges and universities in the Los Angeles area before relocating to London to be with her family. For the past three years she has worked as an educator in the Department of Prints and Drawings at the British Museum and at Wellcome Collection. Her interests include Modernism, drawing, artistic process, collaboration, cultural theory, and the intersection of art and technology. She is currently researching the relationship of language and drawing.
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.