Tuesday Evening Lectures from 7 to 8 pm followed by lively discussion and drinks.
Please note the Short Courses office will be closed from 12 August until 28 August inclusive. Booking opens on 29 August.
Showcasing Art History is a series of 25 lectures on Tuesday evenings over three, free-standing terms (autumn, spring and summer). You are welcome to attend all three terms, a combination of any two terms or just one term.
The series aims to deliver current art-historical thinking in an accessible manner and is open to anyone over the age of 18. Our speakers are specialists in their field and are drawn from members of Courtauld staff and from other leading institutions.
All teaching takes place in our campus at Vernon Square, Penton Rise, London WC1X 9EW – a short walk from King’s Cross & St Pancras underground station. The map below details Vernon Square’s proximity to Kings’ Cross and Angel stations, and recommended amenities local to the campus.
Autumn term 2019
10 lectures from 8 October 2019 to 17 December 2019 (there is no lecture in the reading week of 29 November).
Making the Modern: Collectors, exhibitions and dealers and their role in the formation of Modern European art 1863-1920
This course investigates the influential role of the art market – of collectors, dealers, curators, exhibitions and critics – in the formation of the modern European art canon. The avant-garde artists and movements we still revere in our museums and galleries today, and write about as art historians, all depended to a greater or lesser degree on being brought to public attention via ground-breaking, – and largely commercial, – exhibitions.
Focusing on Paris, Vienna, London, Moscow and Munich, we shall examine the influence of a number of such avant-garde shows on artists and the public alike: they included the Salon des Refusés in 1863; the ‘Impressionist’ group shows of the 1870s and 80s; ‘The Last Futurist Exhibition of Painting ‘0.10’ which displayed Malevich’s Black Square as a modernist icon; Roger Fry’s introduction of ‘Post-Impressionism’ to London in 1910 and 1912; exhibitions by Der Blaue Reiter in Munich, and the First Russian exhibition in Berlin in 1922. Whether championing or denigrating the avant-garde, the critical voices that arose in response to these exhibitions tell us much about then current ideas about artistic creativity and the fluctuating ‘value’ – both material and aesthetic – that was attached to works of art.
Prominent critical assessments, and above all the instincts and activities of a growing band of dealers in contemporary art, which included such influential personalities as Ambroise Vollard, Paul Durand-Ruel, and Daniel Henry-Kahnweiler, in turn affected the period’s most notable collectors. The tastes and wallets of leading art dealers’ clients, private individuals like Sergei Shchukin, Samuel Courtauld and Paul Rosenberg, further determined what was deemed to be worthy of inclusion in the public museums and galleries of modern art in which their collections so often resulted.
Examining this nexus of relations and interests in weekly case-studies, our series draws on recent scholarship, which has challenged the longstanding separation of art history and the histories of exhibitions, curating and collecting. Our lectures aim to contribute to a multi-faceted understanding of how artistic production was thought about, received and shaped in the period 1863-1920, before museums of contemporary art became the main spaces in which the work of living artists was represented, displayed and promoted.
This term will be delivered by Dr Natalia Murray (5 lectures), with additional individual contributions by Anne Robbins, Dr Karen Serres, Dr Caroline Levitt, Dr Charlotte de Mille and Dr Niccola Shearman.
Spring term 2020
10 lectures, 14 January 2020 – 17 March 2020
Art and Society in Renaissance Florence
The art of Renaissance Florence is often held up as one of the high-water marks of western culture. In this course, we will judge the veracity of this statement, by examining the art produced in the city, its salient stylistic features and its innovations, together with the men (and occasionally women) who commissioned it. We shall begin by considering the cultural heroes that Florentines look up to and the patron saints that (they believed) looked after them. Thereafter, we will consider the narrative that Giorgio Vasari constructed to tell the story of Florentine art, before embarking on classes dedicated to the Medici family and the guilds and confraternities to which artists belonged in the fifteenth century. The remainder of the course is grouped into pairs of lectures: on patronage, both corporate and individual; on style, whether the ‘invention’ of linear perspective or the impact of classical antiquity; and on innovation, from the development of print-making to the appearance of writing on art.
This term will be delivered by Dr Scott Nethersole (5 lectures), with additional contributions by Emily Markham, Alexander Röstel, Dr Joost Joustra and Dr Geoffrey Nuttall.
Summer term 2020
5 lectures, from 28 April 2020 – 26 May 2020
West Coast Stories – Southern Californian art in the 1960s and 1970s:
Assemblage, Abstraction, Pop and Moving Image
The summer term lectures will take us to the West Coast of the USA, and in particular to Southern California – an artistic centre quite apart, in its self-image, its institutions and its cultural roots from the generally better-known art-scene of the East Coast.
We shall focus largely on the 1960s and 1970s, a socially and culturally creative period that saw the explosive development of a hedonistic music and counterculture based on new forms of expression and liberation. It was, however, also a time ravaged by the divisive war in Vietnam, the suppression of free speech throughout the country and the continued struggle for civil, queer and feminist rights – the latter represented for instance in the progressive California Institute of the Arts’ [CalArts] pioneering Feminist Art Program, and embodied in the collaborative installation Womanhouse by Judy Chicago, Miriam Schapiro and others.
The art emerging from this place and time is among the most exciting produced in America during the 20th century. Ground-breaking movements and artists emerged, building on and going beyond the characteristic patterns of art-making that were then dominant: the paintings of Sam Francis, for instance, that brought the visual language of abstract expressionism in conversation with that of the rapidly growing culture of psychedelia. There were also the radical assemblage works of Ed and Nancy Kienholz, whose diorama-like installations presented a dark vision of life on the margins. Ed Ruscha, Peter Saul and other West Coast artists created an idiosyncratic take on Pop art, while the Light and Space movement represented a specifically Southern Californian version of Minimalism. The Hollywood film industry, of course, loomed large over the Californian scene, and a range of experimental ‘underground’ filmmakers from Kenneth Anger to Chick Strand responded in satirical and deeply personal ways to this cultural dominance.
Confirmed speakers: Francesca Wilmott, Dr Elizabeth Buhe, and Tom Day.
Each term is free-standing and you can book any of these combinations:
Autumn term £195
Spring term £195
Summer term £95
Options 1 & 2
Autumn and Spring £365
Options 1 & 3
Autumn and Summer £285
Options 2 & 3
Spring and Summer £285
Options 1, 2 & 3
Full Year £455
10% discount is available for bookings by the end of September 2019 for returning Showcasing Art History students (2018-2019 season), and for Spring, Summer and Autumn School 2019 students.
Termly Timetables – Showcasing Art History Lectures 2019-20
Making the Modern: Collectors, Exhibitions and Dealers and their role in the formation of Modern European art 1863-1920Autumn Term 2019 Timetable
Art and Society in Renaissance FlorenceSpring Term 2020 Timetable
West Coast Stories – Southern Californian art in the 1960s and 1970s: Assemblage, Abstraction, Pop and Moving ImageSummer Term 2020 Timetable
Payment of Fees
Details of how to pay will follow once booking opens on 29 August.
If you need to cancel your place more than 4 weeks before the start of the course, we will refund 50% of the course/tour fee. For cancellations less than 4 weeks prior to the start of the course, no refund will be payable. We do whatever we can to ensure that courses take place as advertised but we reserve the right to make changes or cancellations.
A Booking Form will be available to download when booking opens on 29 August.
Please email email@example.com to be added to the Short Courses Mailing List and you will receive an email when our various programmes are launched.