At the Summer School party in July, we said goodbye to Cecily Hennessy, who has run Short Courses for the past three years and is leaving to take up a lectureship at Christie’s Education. Cecily will be much missed, as she worked hard to foster and develop the distinctive academic profile of the Short Courses programme whilst genuinely caring for its community. Over the last year, the Spring and Summer Schools broadened their offer to include more courses on contemporary British and American art, and began to explore nonwestern art with courses on The Arts of the Mughal Court and on The Development and World Influence of Chinese Porcelain. The Schools welcomed eighty new students and a similar number of returners of all ages and levels of art historical experience. For the first time this year, we also gave a certificate to eighteen of our long-standing alumni who had attended six or more Summer Schools. The Summer School will run for four weeks this coming year, and we plan to offer eight more Study Trips in the New Year. Details should be available by the end of November.

The evening course: Showcasing Art History is a new initiative for 2006/07, but it has its roots in Courtauld tradition. In its early years the Institute offered certificate courses based on its ‘Survey Lecture’ series, and, as Professor Peter Kidson reminds us in his Short History of the Courtauld, during World War II “Margaret Whinney kept lectures going at 20 Portman Square, doing for the visual arts what Myra Hess’s recitals at the National Gallery did for music”. The Courtauld ‘survey’ has never been a straightforward ‘introduction to’ or ‘story of ’ the history of art, but has always reflected the specialist nature of the teaching and research at the Institute. It has always drawn on the pioneering research of teachers who constantly renew their lectures to incorporate new findings and approaches. Today one assessed version of the ‘survey’ course provides undergraduates and diploma students with the grounding and framework for the rest of their studies. Given the dynamic and rich nature of this tradition, however, it seemed a good idea to reinvent it again as an evening course for a wider audience. Members of faculty have entered into the idea enthusiastically and more than half of them are giving lectures in this first series which also draws on the expertise of curators from the Courtauld Gallery and the Hermitage Rooms. Cecily Hennessy will be giving the second of the lectures on ‘Rome turns East’.

We very much hope that this evening course will also have a lively social dimension and that some of those who attend may be tempted not only to come to future Summer Schools, but even to apply for the Graduate Diploma.

Contact us at Tel: 020 7848 2678.


The Master of Flémalle Two Thieves with the Empty Cross, Entombment and Resurrection (c.1375-1444) The Seilern Collection.
The Seilern Triptych was one of the subjects of detailed study in the ‘Early Netherlandish Painting: Making and Meaning’ course, taught by Dr. Susie Nash, in the first week of the Summer School, 2006.