Appreciate art through learning

Our Art History courses will give you a deeper understanding of what you're looking at. When it comes to art, everyone's has their own opinion on which artist is better than the other, and what their most famous work signifies.

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Through exploring the world of art history, you'll be learning about why pieces are made in the first place and what the pieces mean. You will also examine how that鈥檚 changed over a period of time, as well as the impact it鈥檚 had on society. 

You鈥檒l be taught about many of the aspects from the art creation process, such as the materials used in artworks, and how different kinds of artists contribute differently in expressing their ideas through freehand drawing or digital media. 

Whether you're a seasoned art appreciator or a newbie, there's something here for everyone. From exploring art painted by Salvador Dali or learning all about the history of Nordic Art from the Viking era, we have a selection of online and in-person art history courses from different decades to choose from.  

Attend an Art History course near you  

Whether you choose to learn from the comfort of your own home, or opt for a space in your local community, you鈥檒l be taught by a talented tutor who is an expert in their field. 

The support you鈥檒l receive on our Art History courses

Your tutor will encourage you to develop an understanding of Art History that goes beyond what's on the surface, motivating you to truly immerse yourself in the subject. It鈥檚 our learning experience that sets us apart too, with an encouraging environment that ensures you attend each session with the excitement to learn.   

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Architecture: The History of Italian Architecture

Italy has been the cradle of so much of European architecture - Roman building throughout the Empire, Early Christian church designs flowing from Emperor Constantine鈥檚 adoption of the Christian faith, the development of the Romanesque style, building in the Italian Renaissance, progression into the Baroque and on to the modern era with international architects such as Renzo Piano. We will pick out examples in each of these periods to enable students to recognise the work of some of the most famous individuals in this remarkable development. This course will combine short lectures with discussion sessions, backed by colour - illustrated notes.

Course Information

Dates:
Thu 25/04/2024 -
Thu 09/05/2024
Times:
10:00am - 12:00pm
Duration:
3 sessions
Location:
St Mary's Church Annex (Wargrave)
Mill Green
Station Road
Wargrave
RG10 8EU
Tutor:
Keith Hasted
Course code:
Q00013787
How you'll learn:
In venue
Availability:
9 places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to 拢30.00

Art Appreciation: Laura Knight: A Life in Art

As Tate Britain puts on an exhibition about British women artists this summer, it seemed important to come back on a key British painter from the 20th century, Laura Knight. Knight showed exceptional talent from an early age, and all her life, executed brilliant paintings and drawings. She was committed to a realist style, which often put her at odds with the avant-garde. She was however, popular, and in 1936 she became a Royal Academician, the first women to gain this honour since the foundation of the RA in 1768

Course Information

Dates:
Thu 25/04/2024 -
Thu 25/04/2024
Times:
10:00am - 12:00pm
Duration:
1 sessions
Location:
Ripley Arts Centre (Bromley)
24 Sundridge Avenue
Bromley
BR1 2PX
Tutor:
Caroline Levisse
Course code:
Q00014690
How you'll learn:
In venue
Availability:
5 places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to 拢10.00

Art Appreciation: Whistler: An Experimental Approach

Join us to explore the work of James McNeil Whistler, from his more conventional portraiture to his experimental 'nocturnes' which have a totally contrasting approach & result causing consternation amongst a contemporary late 19th century audience. This course will consider the artist's work within the wider artistic chronological and stylistic context. This course is for learners who have an interest in this period of Art and have engaged in some previous study of Art. The course material will cover different aspects of Whistler's work analysing examples in detail and consider them within the context of the development of the genre of portraiture as well as the way other aspects of his work opened up possibilities for innovation by influencing other artists.

Course Information

Dates:
Fri 26/04/2024 -
Fri 24/05/2024
Times:
9:30am - 11:30am
Duration:
5 sessions
Location:
Online
Tutor:
Rachel Holland-Hargreaves
Course code:
Q00013910
How you'll learn:
Online
Availability:
6 places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to 拢37.00

Art Appreciation: How to see and interpret sculptures

Have you ever wondered how to look at a sculpture? What is it made of, and how? Should you move around it and maybe even touch it? In this course, we will develop our appreciation and understanding of sculpted works of art. Works as diverse as the prehistoric 鈥渓ion-man鈥 carved in mammoth ivory, Michelangelo鈥檚 famed marble sculptures, and the earthworks of Robert Smithson will be studied. We will look at techniques and visual characteristics, at iconography and purpose, and learn about different styles.

Course Information

Dates:
Fri 26/04/2024 -
Fri 05/07/2024
Times:
10:00am - 12:00pm
Duration:
10 sessions
Location:
Online
Tutor:
Caroline Levisse
Course code:
Q00015070
How you'll learn:
Online
Availability:
10+ places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to 拢74.00

WEA Membership

For just 拢15 a year, you can:

  • Join our popular, award-winning weekly lecture series,
  • Access an聽archive of over 100 past lectures,
  • Get priority online and phone booking for autumn courses (England only),
  • Receive our Highway magazine and access back issues,
  • Attend our members鈥 annual conference.

Just add us to your basket to sign up today!

Membership Information

Duration:
12 months
Fee:
WEA Membership

Art Appreciation: Explore the pioneering art of the British artist Dame Laura Knight

Join us to explore the vast spectrum of work by Laura Knight, pioneer woman artist who pushed all the boundaries she encountered. Throughout her life and career she pursued her creative path with determination and independence which resulted in a prolific output of paintings demonstrating the rapport she developed with her subjects. Laura Knight depicted coastal communities in North Yorkshire & Cornwall, the ballet & circus, gypsy community with informal observations full of insight and compassion for her subjects. additionally her War paintings and landscapes provide further exploration of her vast repertoire. the course material will comprehensively cover aspects of all these themes. This course is for learners who have a strong interest in Art with experience of previous study and a particular interest in this artist and discovering her work.

Course Information

Dates:
Tue 30/04/2024 -
Tue 11/06/2024
Times:
9:30am - 11:30am
Duration:
6 sessions
Location:
Online
Tutor:
Rachel Holland-Hargreaves
Course code:
Q00014165
How you'll learn:
Online
Availability:
10+ places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to 拢50.40

Art Appreciation: American Art c1800-1914

In this course, we will discuss a range of works produced by American artists during the period from around 1800, when the United States was still a relatively new nation, to about 1914, by when it was established as a global economic superpower. We will explore how art engaged with social developments and historical events over this period of rapid expansion. This will be an opportunity to consider the work of some artists (such as J A M Whistler, Mary Cassatt, and John Singer Sargent) familiar to European audiences, and others (such as Thomas Cole, Frederick Church, Thomas Eakins, and George Bellows) who are much lauded in America but less well-known in Britain.

Course Information

Dates:
Wed 01/05/2024 -
Wed 05/06/2024
Times:
9:30am - 11:30am
Duration:
5 sessions
Location:
Online
Tutor:
Prasannajit De Silva
Course code:
Q00014842
How you'll learn:
Online
Status:
Waiting list
Fee range
Free to 拢37.00

Art Appreciation: The National Gallery - History and Highlights

In 2024, the National Gallery celebrates the 200th anniversary of its foundation. This is a great occasion to come back on the gallery鈥檚 fascinating history, from 1824 to 2024, and discover some of the collection鈥檚 highlights. Why was the National Gallery created, and how? What does it mean to be 鈥渢he nation鈥檚 painting collection鈥? How do acquisitions happen? What are the visitors鈥 favourite paintings? How are the paintings preserve? We will answer these questions and more over this four-week course.

Course Information

Dates:
Thu 02/05/2024 -
Thu 23/05/2024
Times:
10:00am - 12:00pm
Duration:
4 sessions
Location:
Ripley Arts Centre (Bromley)
24 Sundridge Avenue
Bromley
BR1 2PX
Tutor:
Caroline Levisse
Course code:
Q00014670
How you'll learn:
In venue
Availability:
6 places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to 拢40.00

Art Appreciation: Beginners': The Origins of Art

Have you ever wondered why art is so important to humans? Join this fascinating this course to explore this captivating subject. This course covers the history of art from its very beginnings in the Palaeolithic period to the art of the Anglo Saxons and the Celts. Our journey will cover cave art from different continents, including the Americas, Asia, the Middle East and Europe. We will finish by looking at links to modern art. Each week includes a lecture, opportunity for discussion and Question and Answers to check your own understanding and learning This thought provoking course is open to all learners.

Course Information

Dates:
Thu 02/05/2024 -
Thu 11/07/2024
Times:
7:00pm - 9:00pm
Duration:
10 sessions
Location:
Online
Tutor:
Kerry Van Der Schraft
Course code:
Q00015331
How you'll learn:
Online
Availability:
10+ places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to 拢74.00

Art Appreciation: The Architecture of Christopher Wren and Nicholas Hawksmoor

We will investigate the extraordinary range of architecture produced by Christopher Wren, and see how his principal assistant Nicholas Hawksmoor went on to develop his own remarkable designs for churches in London, country houses and the universities. We will set out how, following the Restoration, Wren, as a mathematician, became the pre-eminent English architect of his time. Hawksmoor and John Vanburgh developed Wren鈥檚 architectural style into what became known as the 鈥淓nglish Baroque 鈥- we will consider the key features of this style and show how it related to Baroque in mainland Europe. This day school will combine short lectures with discussion sessions, backed up by colour-illustrated notes.

Course Information

Dates:
Sat 11/05/2024 -
Sat 11/05/2024
Times:
10:00am - 4:00pm
Duration:
1 sessions
Location:
Reading International Solidarity Centre
35-39 London Street
Reading
RG1 4PS
Tutor:
Keith Hasted
Course code:
Q00013788
How you'll learn:
In venue
Availability:
10+ places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to 拢36.00

Art Appreciation: The Art of the Romanovs

The Art of the Romanovs focuses on the artistic achievements of the Romanov dynasty from its founding in 1613 until its demise during the Russian Revolution in 1917. A study of the portraits of Romanovs which adorned their Summer and Winter palaces in St. Petersburg founded by Peter the Great to the impressive art collection of Catherine the Great housed in Hermitage, and the exquisite Faberge Easter eggs exchanged between Romanov family members now scattered around the world. Imperial palaces, paintings, jewellery, for 300 years the Romanovs had it all, and then the last Tsar Nicholas II lost it all.

Course Information

Dates:
Sat 11/05/2024 -
Tue 11/06/2024
Times:
10:00am - 12:00pm
Duration:
6 sessions
Location:
Online
Tutor:
Jolanta Jagiello
Course code:
Q00014488
How you'll learn:
Online
Availability:
10+ places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to 拢44.40