The art and culture of the Victorians

Course Dates: 30/04/25 - 09/07/25
Time: 11:00 - 13:00
Location: Off Site
Discover the fascinating world of the Victorians and their legacy, exploring fine art, design, architecture, and literature through gallery visits.
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Full fee £279.00 Senior fee £223.00 Concession £181.00

The art and culture of the Victorians
  • Course Code: VB220
  • Dates: 30/04/25 - 09/07/25
  • Time: 11:00 - 13:00
  • Taught: Wed, Daytime
  • Duration: 10 sessions (over 11 weeks)
  • Location: Off Site
  • Tutor: Julie Barlow

Course Code: VB220

Wed, day, 30 Apr - 09 Jul '25

Duration: 10 sessions (over 11 weeks)

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Centre for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.

What is the course about?

The Victorian period was a time of huge change. Industrialisation brought much upheaval in the demographic of the Britain population with migration from countryside to city and enabled the British population to travel with the arrival of the railway. Scientific exploration brought into question the existence of god, and the Empire grew. In the arts, the 19th century was also a time of radical change. During this course we will explore the impact of this newly emerging modern world upon the arts and culture.

What will we cover?

We will explore movements such as the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, Aestheticism, Arts and Crafts and themes such as the role of exhibitions and the art critic John Ruskin, Victorian philanthropy, artists’ processes and techniques and the impact of politics. Galleries visited will include: the Victoria and Albert Museum; the National Gallery; Guildhall gallery; Tate Britain, the William Morris Gallery and others. Weather permitting, there will be one walk.

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

- Demonstrate an understanding of key Victorian artists and works
- Participate in discussions on the relationship between Victorian art and society
- Talk with increased confidence about individual works.

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, handouts and health and safety information.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

The course is entirely gallery-visit based. There will be introductions to artists and works by the tutor and/or gallery staff with the opportunity for group discussion throughout. There will also be some pairs/small group activities. There will be suggestions for background reading to complement the course but this is not essential.

Please note: sessions take place during public access hours. Tutors are not able to control sound levels or behaviours of visitors outside of the course group. Unless you are a wheelchair user, and have confirmed access details with us (as levels of access can vary between galleries), you will need to be able to walk between exhibits 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 any gallery stools). 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 the museum space.

Please note we are unable to guarantee stools in the rooms that we visit so you might have to stand and to walk between objects.

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

There will be travel costs to the gallery and some galleries charge admission. These costs are not covered by the course fee. You will be informed of any additional gallery entrance fees within a week of the start of the course.

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?

You might also be interested in:
VB435 - The art and culture of 17th century London
VB181 - The art and culture of 18th century London.

Julie Barlow

Julie Barlow has a degree in Art History/History from the University of Hull and an MPhil (Fine Arts) from the University of Birmingham. She has worked in a variety of roles at Leighton House, V&A and Tate Gallery before studying for a PGCE and moving into Museum Education. Julie has over twenty years of experience as a freelance lecturer at the National Portrait Gallery working on all areas of the Education Programme and also for the first ten years at the National Gallery and in the last decade at the Wallace Collection.

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.