What is the course about?
The treasures held in our national collections are not just objects of intrinsic value. Together they tell the story of how humans have defined themselves through the ages. From costume to treasure, from funerary ware to everyday objects, and from plates to paintings every precious object was commissioned by a person trying to stake their place either in this world, or their vision of the next. Join us on this Friday evening course to discover what art objects say about the societies they were made in, and the people who commissioned them - from the very famous to the now unknown.
In these Friday evening sessions we will be visiting the British Museum, the National Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery. Please note: there will be a half term break.
What will we cover?
- Courtly dress and the hidden meanings in costume
- Power and propaganda - the use of objects and dress by the powerful
- Saints and sinners - what objects tell us about the beliefs and fears of their owners
- Diplomatic gifts and displays of status
- Placing objects and artworks in their social and cultural context
- An analysis of different styles and techniques of selected works.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- give three examples of how social and religious context impact the design of decorative arts
- feel more confident describing the styles and techniques used to create artworks.
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.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
You may wish to buy a notebook and books to support your learning, but this is not a requirement.
Please note we are unable to guarantee seats on gallery visits so you may have to stand and to walk between exhibits. You might prefer to invest in a lightweight portable seat.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Our Friday Lates series runs in the autumn and spring terms - search 'Friday lates' to find more…
You might also be interested in:
VB497 - Friday lates: Treasure at the British Museum
VB503 - Friday Lates: Islamic art at the V&A
VB602 - Friday Lates: Designs of India at the V&A
VB621 /VB623 - Summer Lates: Wellcome Collection.