Summer School Online – Courses Available - The Courtauld Institute of Art

Summer School Online – Courses Available

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Summer School 2020 – Online – Courses Available

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Summer School 2020 – Online

Summer School Online – Courses Available

Courses Available Online

In the first instance, we offer a selection of twelve courses on subjects from medieval to modern art, to be taught online and complemented by appropriate digital resources.  Reducing the overall number of classes running online in July allows us to give each of the courses our full support.  Further online programmes – including courses from our original Summer School offer – are planned for the autumn.


Week One – Monday 6 July - Friday 10 July

FULL Course 1 - Illuminating the Middle Ages: Interactions with Manuscripts, Maggie Crosland and Teresa Lane

This course is now fully booked.

Illuminated manuscripts are among the most beautiful works of art to survive from the Middle Ages, but they are also often some of the most mysterious. They are now generally locked away in libraries or archives, and even when exhibited we can only see two pages of a volume at one time. In this course we shall use a variety of methods, including digital facsimiles, to explore some of the most extraordinary examples of medieval manuscript illumination.

We shall specifically consider the history of manuscript illumination from the tenth to the fifteenth centuries, a period which saw extraordinary developments in artistic innovation across all media. We shall explore the transition of manuscripts from products of the monastic scriptorium to those of professional trade networks in cities across Europe. Another focus will be the different ways in which people engaged with their manuscripts. Finally, we shall consider the fact that illuminated manuscripts were not standalone items but were used alongside a wide array of devotional objects, from rosary beads to altarpieces.

This course is co-taught by specialists of late medieval French manuscripts and Anglo Saxon art respectively.

Maggie Crosland is a PhD candidate at The Courtauld Institute of Art, where she is studying with Dr Alixe Bovey and Professor Susie Nash. Her dissertation research examines fourteenth-century illuminated prayer books from France and the Burgundian Netherlands through the themes of function and adaptation. She is an Associate Lecturer at The Courtauld, where she has taught seminars on Gothic art, and is a former editor-in-chief of The Courtauld’s postgraduate journal immediations. Maggie has previously held research positions at the J. Paul Getty Museum and the Art Institute of Chicago.

Teresa Lane is undertaking CHASE-funded doctoral research at The Courtauld Institute of Art on representations of the Trinity in English art between 950–1150. She is supervised by Professor John Lowden and Dr Alixe Bovey. Her research explores the sources of artistic inspiration, including contemporary sermons, church councils and theology, coupled with the exchange of ideas and the movement of artists between England and continental Europe. She is an Associate Lecturer specialising in Medieval art and a former editor-in-chief of The Courtauld’s postgraduate journal immediations. Prior to joining The Courtauld Teresa worked in legal publishing and as a solicitor in a City law firm.

FULL Course 2 - Van Eyck at the Burgundian Court, Dr Richard Williams

This course is now fully booked.

The paintings of Jan van Eyck and his contemporaries in the fifteenth-century Netherlands are examined in this course in their wider context and from fresh perspectives. These works have been admired for defining a revolutionary new approach to painting but they should also be understood within the material culture of their time. They were commodities within the market for luxury goods which exported to the whole of Europe. They could act as agents of social and political meaning while also functioning as a focus for religious devotion and the liturgical celebration of the Church. Painting will be reconnected with tapestry, goldsmiths’ work, sculpture, illuminated manuscripts and other material objects from the period. Once characterised by scholars as the last gasp in a ‘waning of the Middle Ages’, the court of the dukes of Burgundy has been recast as an innovative and flourishing cultural environment. The paintings of Van Eyck, Rogier van der Weyden and others offer a brilliant glimpse into this extraordinary historical moment.

Dr Richard Williams completed his doctorate at The Courtauld Institute of Art and was awarded a post-doctoral fellowship by Yale University. Following this he was a specialist in Northern Renaissance art in the History of Art department at Birkbeck, University of London. More recently he has been appointed Learning Curator at the Royal Collection and is based at Windsor Castle. His published research focusses on art in England and other regions of Northern Europe in the fifteenth and sixteenth century.

FULL Course 6 - The Art of Weimar Germany: Modernity in the Balance, Dr Niccola Shearman

This course is now fully booked.

The Weimar Republic’s startling rate of social progress was matched by a dizzying variety of cultural expressions keeping pace with perpetual change. When, crushed by economic crisis and political conflict, the era came to its chilling end in 1933, the art of cinema had become one of Germany’s most successful exports, and a refined instrument of propaganda. Fighting the opposite corner, John Heartfield’s photo-montage continued the assault on tradition first launched with paper and scissors by Berlin Dada. In this context, Hannah Höch’s work exemplifies the central position of women in art as much as it highlights the paradox of the ‘Neue Frau’; situated somewhere between media-construct and reality. This course revisits the era that set the standard for creative progress, a century ago: from Expressionism’s last stand to the sober gaze of New Objectivity; landmarks of Bauhaus design; architecture, painting, photography, cinematic arts, cabaret, commercial design, typography and filmic writing. Everything was in the mix of this fertile ecosystem, rife with contradictions and where all that glittered was not gold.

Dr Niccola Shearman is a freelance lecturer in twentieth-century German and Austrian art. Currently completing a year of teaching full-time at the University of Manchester, she worked previously as Associate Lecturer at The Courtauld, where she gained her PhD on the modernist woodcut in Germany (2017).  In addition to a focus on print histories in Germany, her research interests include the psychology of vision, especially the work of Gestalt scientists in 1920s Berlin. Academic articles have concerned approaches to the woodcuts of Ernst Barlach and Lyonel Feininger, and religious themes in the work of Oskar Kokoschka. She writes regular book reviews and has translated a number of books.

Week Two – Monday 13 July - Friday 17 July

FULL Course 9 - A World in Pieces: Medieval Mosaics, George Bartlett, with contributions by Professor Liz James

This course is now fully booked.

Mosaics are the largest and most spectacular works of art from the medieval world, used to create some of the most sumptuous and spectacular celebrations of religious and secular power. They are also among the most beautiful. Next to a wall mosaic, a Renaissance altarpiece is like a postage stamp. This course is about why mosaics matter in understanding and thinking about medieval art, so we shall consider what messages they were intended to convey to the observer. But we shall concern ourselves with how they were made and the breath-taking range of skills that putting a mosaic together involved. Our focus will be with wall mosaics, from the Byzantine churches of Constantinople and Greece to the mosaics of Ravenna, Rome, Norman Sicily and Venice.

George Bartlett is an AHRC CHASE-funded PhD candidate in the department of Art History at the University of Sussex, where he also teaches modules on Late Antique and Middle Byzantine art. His thesis, supervised by Professor Liz James, is entitled ‘What’s in a name? Inscribing Christ with epithets in later Byzantine art, c. 1000-1453’. In 2014-15 he studied at The Courtauld for an MA in Byzantine and Islamic art, which was jointly funded by the Courtauld Friends and the Stravros Niarchos Foundation. Since 2017, he has also taught art history courses to students from widening participation backgrounds at the National Gallery, London, and he co-taught the Summer School course ‘A World in Pieces: Medieval Mosaics’ with Liz James in 2019.

Liz James is Professor of Byzantine Art at the University of Sussex where she teaches courses on Late Antique and Byzantine art. She has published on a variety of Byzantine topics, ranging from women to mosaics and between 2007 and 2011, she organised an International Network looking at the composition of Byzantine glass mosaic tesserae. This brought together art historians and glass scientists to explore together what the glass of tesserae – the cubes used for making mosaics – can actually tell us about the mosaics themselves.  Liz is an alumna of the Universities of Durham and Birmingham (BA, MA) and of The Courtauld where she obtained her PhD with a thesis on light and colour in Byzantine Art.

FULL Course 11 - Might and Munificence: Court Patronage in Renaissance Ferrara, Mantua, Rimini and Urbino, Dr Michael Douglas-Scott

This course is now fully booked.

During the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, some of the most sophisticated courts of Europe were concentrated in a few small towns in north-eastern Italy. The most significant were at Ferrara, Mantua, Rimini and Urbino, each dominated by a ruling dynasty, respectively the Este, Gonzaga, Malatesta and Montefeltro.

From these families emerged some of the most magnificent patrons of the Renaissance in the visual arts, music, literature and humanist learning: Isabella d’Este and her brother Alfonso, Lodovico Gonzaga and his pleasure- loving descendent Federico, Sigismondo Malatesta and his arch-rival Federico of Montefeltro. Their reputations have been immortalised by Piero della Francesca, Andrea Mantegna, Leonbattista Alberti, Leonardo da Vinci and Titian.

How did these rulers attract such major figures to work for them? What motivated them to spend so much on the arts? How could they compete with much larger, more powerful, and richer states in the patronage of sophisticated culture? How did their refined taste come to be adopted elsewhere in Italy and then influence much of European culture?

Dr Michael Douglas-Scott is an Associate Lecturer at Birkbeck (University of London), and specialises in Italian painting and patronage.  He has lectured extensively on the Italian Renaissance.  He lived in Italy for many years and has published articles in Arte Veneta, The Burlington Magazine, and the Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes.

FULL Course 14 - Fathers of Modern Art: Manet and Cézanne, Dr Charlotte de Mille

This course is now fully booked.

For the French art historian and critic Louis Gonse, “Manet [was] a point of departure, the symptomatic precursor of a revolution”. For Picasso, “Cézanne was like the father of us all”. But Manet himself stated that he had “no intention of overthrowing old methods of painting, or creating new ones”, and Cézanne’s later period as a recluse in Provence removed him from direct engagement with the younger generation. This course explores the almost mythic quality with which artists and critics viewed Manet and Cézanne. It teases out points of continuity and innovation, addressing central topics of landscape, still life, materiality, and representation, as well as less obvious connections, for example the musical soirées of the society Le Petit Bayreuth. The course ends with an examination of the legacies of both Manet and Cézanne, paying critical attention to Clement Greenberg’s famous description of Cézanne as “the gateway to contemporary painting”.

Dr Charlotte de Mille is a specialist in modern French and British art, with a particular interest in the intersections between art and music.  Following her PhD at The Courtauld (2009), she has taught at The Courtauld, and at the Universities of Sussex, Bristol and St Andrews. Charlotte is currently a mid-career Fellow at the Paul Mellon Centre for British Art. She has published widely in her field and was the editor of Music and Modernism, c. 1849–1950 (2011), and the co-editor of Bergson and the Art of Immanence (2013).  Charlotte curates The Courtauld Gallery’s music programme, and has been collaborating closely with the Public Programmes department for many years.

Week Three – Monday 20 July - Friday 24 July

FULL Course 20 - ‘Modern Painters’: British Art and Modernity, 1848-1900, Dr Katherine Faulkner

This course is now fully booked.

1848 was a year of violent reaction across the globe, of revolutions from France to Brazil, the publication of the Communist Manifesto and Chartist riots in Britain. Amid these waves of protest, the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood was formed in London. Dante Gabriel Rossetti, William Holman Hunt and John Everett Millais started their own rebellion against the traditions of the Royal Academy and for new means of artistic expression that were relevant to modern life.

Traditionally, Paris has been seen as the centre of the avant-garde in the nineteenth century, but this course will explore how the Pre-Raphaelites were pushing artistic boundaries in Britain and internationally. Later on in the century, artists and designers such as Edward Burne-Jones and William Morris were producing beautiful objects that embodied radical politics, while the poet Algernon Swinburne and painters such as James McNeill Whistler made daring claims for the autonomy of art.

The scope of the course will reflect current research into British nineteenth-century art, focusing on themes such as modernity, gender, and class and incorporating the global context of the British Empire.

Dr Katherine Faulkner has an MA and PhD from The Courtauld, where she works as Associate Lecturer and as a tutor for the Young People’s Programme. An expert in nineteenth-century sculpture and dress, Katie has taught courses on Victorian art at The Courtauld, Birkbeck and the University of Warwick and has lectured widely. Her recent publications include articles on nineteenth-century art and masculinity, a chapter on St George’s Hall in Liverpool for a forthcoming book for Bloomsbury Press and she is working on a book project on nineteenth-century sculpture and photography. Katie is art history editor for the Open Library of Humanities and for MAI, an online journal of feminist art and visual culture.

FULL Course 22 - Idealists, Realists and the Avant-Garde: The Battle for Nineteenth-Century French Painting, Dr Lois Oliver

This course is now fully booked.

In a cartoon published in 1855, Honoré Daumier imagined a battle between two rival aesthetic schools in France: ‘Idealism’ appears as an ageing neoclassical nude, wearing an antique helmet, with his palette as a shield, heroically raising his mahlstick as a spear, to defend himself against ‘Realism’, a scruffy figure in rustic clogs, brandishing a small square palette and clumsy paintbrush. The image perfectly encapsulates the artistic and political differences between these two entrenched aesthetic positions, but the real joke is that neither of these veteran combatants is as vigorous as he used to be: both would be vulnerable to a new avant-garde challenger. The French art world witnessed a series of battles as traditionalists grappled with the successive challenges presented by Romanticism, Realism, Impressionism, Post-Impressionism and Symbolism. This course explores the reasons behind the profound innovations in subject matter and technique that characterised the age, and the obstacles faced by avant-garde artists in getting their work exhibited and accepted. We shall explore the work of Ingres, Delacroix, Delaroche, Courbet, Millet, Rousseau, Manet, Renoir, Degas, Cassatt, Morisot, Seurat, Cézanne, Gauguin and Van Gogh.

Dr Lois Oliver studied at Cambridge University and The Courtauld, writing her doctoral thesis on ‘The Image of the Artist, Paris 1815-1855.  She has worked as a curator at the V&A and the National Gallery, organising a series of exhibitions, including Rebels and Martyrs: the Image of the Artist in the Nineteenth Century (2006). Currently Associate Professor in Art History at the University of Notre Dame (USA) in London, and Associate Lecturer at The Courtauld, she writes audio and multimedia tours for clients including the National Gallery, Royal Academy, Royal Collection and Tate, and has appeared on TV for the BBC and Channel 5.

FULL Course 23 - Russian Art 1863-1932: Innovations, Influences and the Roots of Modernity, Dr Natalia Murray

This course is now fully booked.

This course examines the history of Russian art in all its diversity from the first artists’ rebellion against St. Petersburg’s almighty Art Academy in 1863, the blossoming of arts in Russia’s ‘Silver Age’, to the upsurge of avant-garde art and its subsequent disappearance after 1932, when Socialist Realism became the only artistic style permitted in the Soviet Union.

We shall look at the cultural as well as geographical boundaries of Russian art, and its contact with developments in European art as well as the shifts of cultural context, which often occurred through emigration, cultural export, exhibitions, publications, and collaborations. The complex nature of the Russian avant-garde, its origins and roots, will be examined throughout the course. We shall also look at traditional Russian art and icons and their influence on the Russian avant-garde, and will discuss the works of Repin, Serov, Benois, Bakst, Somov, Vrubel, Malevich, Tatlin, Kandinsky, Filonov, Rodchenko, Chagall, Popova, and others. Lastly, we shall examine the influence of political changes in Russia under Stalin on the development of Russian art.

Dr Natalia Murray gained a BA and MA in art history at the Academy of Fine Arts in St Petersburg, and a PhD at The Courtauld.  She is a writer, teacher and curator specialising in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Russian and Western European art and is the curator of the Royal Academy’s major exhibition Revolution. Russian Art 1917-1932 (2017).  Natalia is currently working on several new exhibition projects in Moscow and Paris, while also teaching as an Associate lecturer at The Courtauld.  She has published widely in her field; her most recent book, Art for the Workers: Proletarian Art and Festive Decorations of Petrograd 1917-1920 was published by Brill in May 2018.

Week Four – Monday 27 July - Friday 31 July

FULL Course 27 - Venetian Painting in an Age of Crisis: Late Titian, Tintoretto, Veronese and their Contemporaries, Dr Michael Douglas-Scott

This course is now fully booked.

By the 1540s Venice was undergoing revolutions occasioned by the spread of  printing, and by religious dissent.  In the company of the Florentine sculptor and architect Jacopo Sansovino and the critic, Pietro Aretino, Titian, who had been court painter to the Hapsburgs since the 1530s, dominated the local scene.  Into this established order erupted the stupendously gifted Jacopo Tintoretto, followed by the golden boy of the Venetian elite, Paolo Veronese. As the Roman Inquisition clamped down on religious dissent, information nonetheless flourished through the press and visual ideas from the North spread beyond the Alps; Central Italy and Emilia inflected the native visual tradition towards what we now call ‘Mannerism’. Artists of the mannered grace of Andrea Schiavone competed in a city full of rival currents, some imported from the Venetian mainland, others from Islam. When the plague struck Venice catastrophically in 1576, profound responses were created by Tintoretto in the Scuola Grande of San Rocco, by Titian in his final Pietà, and by Andrea Palladio in his church of the Redentore.  Emerging into a new world, Venice lost its political significance but created a final burst of visual energy that still burns brightly today.

Dr Michael Douglas-Scott is an Associate Lecturer at Birkbeck (University of London), and specialises in Italian painting and patronage.  He has lectured extensively on the Italian Renaissance.  He lived in Italy for many years and has published articles in Arte Veneta, The Burlington Magazine, and the Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes.

FULL Course 28 - Words and Images: The Power of Faith in the Age of Reformation and Counter-Reformation, Dr Matthias Vollmer

This course is now fully booked.

The Protestant Reformation caused unprecedented religious upheaval in the history of Western Christianity. The visual arts in particular had to take on a new role. Protestants condemned the cult of veneration through relics and images, rejecting the appeal to emotion and the senses, and promoting the faculty of reason in receiving the Word of God instead. Early on, however, Martin Luther understood that visual displays had great didactic potential for many illiterate contemporaries and he set out to develop a Reformatory iconographic programme which eventually extended to altars, pulpits, galleries, epitaphs and liturgical devices. The Council of Trent (1545–1563) formulated the Catholic Church’s response to the challenge of Protestant Reformation. Every aspect of religious and devotional practice was reviewed, including the agency of art and architecture, and the role of the senses in inciting devotion and compassion became a central issue. In its attempt to win back the faithful, the Catholic Church embraced the sensuous, emphasising that art should be compelling in its narrative.

Dr Matthias Vollmer is Adjunct Professor at the Freie Universität Berlin European Studies Programme. He studied History of Art, Philosophy and Orientalism at the Freie Universität Berlin and wrote his PhD thesis on medieval book illustration. Matthias teaches interdisciplinary seminars on medieval and Renaissance art, as well as courses on modern art at the Freie Universität Berlin, the Universität der Künste Berlin, the Universität Münster and the Universität Frankfurt. He currently researches the principles of visualisation in art and science.

FULL Course 30 - Looted Art: An Introduction to Nazi Spoliation, Provenance Research and Restitution, MaryKate Cleary

This course is now fully booked.

In the context of WWII and the Holocaust, Nazi officials perpetrated a coordinated programme of art and cultural property dispossession; one of the greatest thefts in history. Hundreds of thousands of objects remain missing or unrecovered by their rightful owners.

We shall begin with an exploration of Nazi cultural ideology, the purge of modern art as ‘degenerate’, and the sponsorship of a ‘pure’ and ‘Aryan’ art that was widely used for propaganda purposes.  We shall then focus on the systematic looting by the National Socialist regime across Europe, between 1933-1945, and the plunder of Jewish collections as a particular mechanism of persecution.  We shall discuss military spoliation, the post-war Allied investigation and recovery efforts, including the work of ‘The Monuments Men’ and the wider ethical and legal dimensions of restitution claims faced by the art world today.

The course introduces fundamental principles and methods of researching the history of ownership, transfer and exhibition, or provenance, of an artwork, a practice as essential to Nazi-era art- historical research as it is to wider curatorial practice. Through a discussion of case studies, and object examinations in a museum setting, participants will also approach questions of contemporary display and interpretation related to these complex historic narratives.

MaryKate Cleary is an art historian and lecturer specializing in modern art, the history of the art market and collecting, provenance research and cultural property issues in the Nazi Era. She is pursuing a PhD in the History of Art at the University of Edinburgh, where her research focuses on the Galerie Paul Rosenberg and the transnational market for Modern Art in the inter-war era. MaryKate has lectured extensively, including as an adjunct professor at New York University, and held roles at MoMA, the Art Loss Register, Sotheby’s, artnet.com and the Jewish Museum. She has a BA in German Literature, and an MA from The Courtauld.

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