Promo image featuring Cezanne's drawing of apples, bottle and chair back with 'THE ART OF FEASTING: 18 JUNE 2020' written across.

News Archive 2020

Open Courtauld Hour Series 2

11 Jun 2020

Following a successful first series created in the first months of lockdown, The Courtauld is pleased to announce the second series of Open Courtauld Hour, our weekly digital instalment on all things art history.

Open Courtauld Hour is an online miniseries providing one-hour packages of pop-up talks, performances and in detail object study sessions that explore and celebrate the Courtauld’s collection, research in art history, curation and conservation. The new series will explore how the public, artists and galleries are adapting to a digital world, showcasing art historical research in light of this global pandemic and providing a platform for creative practice in the age of social distancing.

The second series includes some of the most inspiring and fascinating speakers in art history on subjects from the history of feasting to interpreting The Courtauld’s collection through poetry by some of the most exciting performers working today.

Highlights in the series will include discussions, demonstrations and object study sessions from Courtauld curators and faculty members, alongside invited guests including Tasha Marks (Founder of AVM Curiosities, Food Historian, Artist, Confectioner, Perfumer and Lecturer at The Arts Society), Fozia Ismail (Founder & Researcher at Arawelo Eats), Matt Lodder (Senior Lecturer in Art History & Director of US Studies at University of Essex specialising in art history in the pub and the history of tattoos as art).

There will also be one-off performances from Lisette Auton (Disabled writer, activist, spoken word artist, theatre maker & creative practitioner), Asifa Lahore (Presenter and Britain’s first out Muslim drag queen), Dean Atta (Author of The Black Flamingo and winner of the Stonewall Book Award) and Cat Hepburn (Performance poet, Scriptwriter, Educator and Co-host of Sonnet Youth).

Most importantly, as art is relevant to all, these informal sessions will give attendees the chance to access, engage and read art and art history through a different lens— revamping and rethinking art historical discussions through food, pubs and poetry. These episodes will platform new perspectives, new ways into art practice, looking at art and reading its history through themes that impact us all.

This weekly online event (hosted on Zoom) will launch on Thursday 18 June – 2 July,  8.05 – 9.00pm. Details on how to join will be sent to all those who have registered 48 hours before each episode. Registration is free but must be pre-booked via the weblinks below, as there will be a limited number of places for each session.

Watch all recordings below:

Series 1:

Series 2:

Open Courtauld Hour is the latest initiative as part of The Courtauld’s work to increase access to its expertise and collections via digital channels and is delivered by The Courtauld’s Research Forum. Other highlights include virtual tours of The Courtauld Gallery before it closed, and the recent temporary exhibition of prints– Impressions of Modern Life. Those interested in art history at all levels can access free recordings of art history research events, online books and blogs. For more information, visit:

Open Courtauld Hour – Programme Information

Episode 1, The Art of Feasting:

Thursday 18 June, 8.05 – 9.00pm

From subject matter to statement, it is no secret that food and feasting have played a fundamental role in art for millennia. Eating and food preparation have taken on a new significance during this global pandemic — in the UK we have seen an overwhelming and renewed appreciation of our key food production and supermarket workers, food trends such as banana bread and dalgona coffee have taken over our social media feeds and spaces of feasting, communal eating and experiencing food and art together have been closed or disallowed in lockdown. In this session join, cook and eat with Tasha Marks (Founder of AVM Curiosities, Food Historian, Artist, Confectioner, Perfumer and Lecturer at The Arts Society), Sussan Babaie (Lecturer at The Courtauld Institute of Art), Lisette Auton (Disabled writer, activist, spoken word artist, theatre maker & creative practitioner) and Fozia Ismail (Founder & Researcher at Arawelo Eats) to dissect food and art through the ages!


Episode 2, Part Orders – Art and Social Scenes:

Thursday 25 June 08.05 – 09.00pm

With pubs being the first places to be closed, and most likely last to be opened, in the UK’s approach to tackling Covid-19, this episode delves into the life of London’s favourite artwork and the Courtauld’s most iconic masterpiece, Édouard Manet’s ‘A Bar at the Folies-Bergère’. Often considered a pivotal work in the depiction of modern life, this work has taken on new signification in this age of social distancing and isolation. In this session we will consider the relationship between art and social scenes – the role of the pub in arts subject matter, it’s genesis and as a site of art historical dissemination and learning. With the help of our curators, specialists in the field and drag artists we will consider the ways in which the pub has been a both a site of social interaction and creative practice, historically and within contemporary arts.


Episode 3, New Takes on The Courtauld Collection (Poetry Special):

Thursday 2 July, 8.05 – 09.00pm

In this final session of the series we hand the microphone over to four familiar faces — poets, writers and performers who have previously contributed to live Open Courtauld events. Dean Atta (Author of The Black Flamingo and winner of the Stonewall Book Award), Cat Hepburn (Performance Poet, Scriptwriter, Educator and Co-host of Sonnet Youth), Nadine Jassat (Author of Let Me Tell You This) and Andres Ordorica (Scotland-based Queer Latinx Writer) will each react to an artwork of their choice from The Courtauld Collection. Poetry about art has been a core element of our Open Courtauld programme — allowing new perspectives, histories and windows into artworks and art history. Join our poets in rethinking, reframing and reengaging with iconic pieces of art in our collection in this poetry special of Open Courtauld Hour!

Please note that programme is correct at the time of going to print, but may be subject to change.