BA History of Art taster lectures

Gain an insight into studying BA History of Art at The Courtauld through a range of taster lectures. Most of the lectures last between 20 – 30 minutes, and you not need any prior knowledge of any of the topics.

We will be adding additional lectures over the course of the academic year, so please continue to check this page regularly.

Art and its destruction

The destruction of art is as much a part of art history as its creation. This taster lecture by Professor Antony Eastmond looks at some of the reasons why people have felt the need to destroy art from the Roman empire to the present day. The toppling of statues, the erasure of portraits and the destruction of images reveal what it is that people value in art and why it is important enough to be worth attacking.

Mass culture and the rise of pop art

This taster lecture by Dr Tom Day looks at expanded vision of Pop Art and seek to understand Pop as a global phenomenon. In doing so, attends to some of the key political aspects of Pop Art as a playful and subversive mode of art practice. It concludes by exploring some of the ways in which artists responded to a new world of cheap goods, instant communication and readily available gratification.

Art and the Haitian Revolution

This lecture by Dr Esther Chadwick considers visual representations of the Haitian Revolution (1790-1804) and its key protagonists. We reflect on how eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century European artists constructed an image of this radical historical event—a successful slave revolution unfolding thousands of miles away in the Caribbean—as well as how Haitian revolutionaries themselves mobilised the visual arts to their own ends after the Haitian Declaration of Independence in 1804.

Russian Avant-Garde: Art, Politics and Advertising

This lecture by Dr Maria Mileeva will discuss the radical experiments of Suprematism and Constructivism in Revolutionary Russia. We will consider the role of art and the artist in the construction of a socialist society using a new visual language and new materials for mass communication, advertising, and propaganda.

Exploring monuments

Monuments are entrusted with recording history, of preserving events and individuals from oblivion. Yet sometimes the stories they tell strike viewers as one-sided, even false. Professor Christine Stevenson’s lecture is about two ‘counter’ monuments. One was made to replace a contentious monument, and to show its untruthfulness; the other sits beside a contentious monument, in an attempt to do the same.

Design and architecture at the turn of the century

This lecture by Dr Robin Schuldenfrei looks at design and architecture at the turn of the century, including the Arts and Crafts in England, the work of Frank Lloyd Wright in the USA, and Art Nouveau in Brussels, Paris and Barcelona.