Islamic art in 25 objects

Course Dates: 24/04/24 - 22/05/24
Time: 14:00 - 16:00
Location: Off Site
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.
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Full fee £139.00 Senior fee £111.00 Concession £90.00

Islamic art in 25 objects
  • Course Code: VB657
  • Dates: 24/04/24 - 22/05/24
  • Time: 14:00 - 16:00
  • Taught: Wed, Daytime
  • Duration: 5 sessions (over 5 weeks)
  • Location: Off Site
  • Tutor: Anita Chowdry

Course Code: VB657

Wed, day, 24 Apr - 22 May '24

Duration: 5 sessions (over 5 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?

Each week we will look at five key objects displayed in the main galleries of the museums we visit, each representing a different period of history. We will look at a range of uses for Islamic art, its materials and methods of production – for example architecture, stone, stucco, woodwork, ivory, glass, crystal, precious stones, enamel, metals, textiles, ceramics, painting, bookbinding, and calligraphy.

We will explore the stories behind the objects, the technical details of how they were made, and where their materials came from, their design, and who they were made for. We will also, if applicable, consider how the objects and their designs moved across their world and influenced design and techniques in different contexts. Drawing and note-taking will be encouraged, and comprehensive background material will be provided.
By the end of the course participants will have new understandings of a the network of connections and the stories linking the objects across space and time, and a deeper understanding of the key design systems of Islamic Art, as well as its connections with the arts of the Western world.
This is a gallery-based course which takes place at the British Museum, the V&A, and one other location to be confirmed.

What will we cover?

• Key collections of Islamic Art in London
• Materials and Techniques in Islamic Art
• Connections between Islamic Art and the West
• Systems of design that identify Islamic Art.

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

• Discuss the key museum objects in some etail
• Describe 3 examples of technical advances in the Islamic World
• Identify the decorative arts of at least 5 Islamic dynasties.
• Recognize key design systems in Islamic Art.

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?

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.

This course takes place offsite in galleries around London. Offsite courses take place during public access hours. Tutors are not able to control sound levels or behaviours of visitors outside of the course group, gallery closures or fire alarms. Unless you are a wheelchair user, and have confirmed access details with us (as levels of access can vary between buildings), you will need to be able to walk between sites 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 seating offsite.) 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 offsite.

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

You might wish to bring a notebook or sketchbook and pencils. You might wish to buy some of the books on any reading list given out in class. You might want to invest in a portable gallery stool.

Most of the museums are free. However, there may be an opportunity to visit a paid museum. The fee for this museum is not included in the course fee. You will be informed if this museum is included on the course closer to the course start date. This paid museum visit will not exceed £15.

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

Ways into Islamic art
Islamic art in the medieval world
Colour in medieval art.

Anita Chowdry

Anita Chowdry is a London based visual artist, educator and researcher. Her particular interest is in the arts of the Islamic World and South Asia, and the materials and processes that went into them. She has an M.A. in Art and Science from Central Saint Martin’s UAL, and is currently engaged in the codicological study of a group of 15th Century Turcoman manuscripts at the Bodleian Library, Oxford. Anita has over 30 years’ experience teaching art and process to adults and professional groups, covering major institutions in the UK and abroad.

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.