Art History: A Survey

This survey module, taught at first-year undergraduate level, will introduce you to key periods, themes and movements in Western art from antiquity through to the late twentieth century. The module begins by exploring the foundations of European art, before moving on to the art and architecture of the medieval, Renaissance and Baroque periods.

A session on the eighteenth century is followed by a series of classes which follow the European avant-gardes through late-nineteenth- and twentieth-century modernism, concluding with the period of intense artistic activity from Pop Art to Conceptualism.

All these periods and movements are considered in their full historical and theoretical contexts. The module is organised into 6 blocks, with each block of 3 lectures and a seminar relating to a particular period. Whilst the lectures will provide you with a broad overview of stylistic developments and art historical approaches, the smaller seminar groups allow for detailed discussion of individual artworks, buildings and texts.

Self-directed gallery and site visits are an integral part of the module.

Assessment is via 2 essays of 1500 words each and a 3-hour exam.

The module aims to:

  • Contribute to a sound training in the discipline of history of art.
  • Provide an introduction to the narratives of Western art from classical antiquity to the 1970s, charting the cultural contexts and stylistic principles of significant developments in art, architecture and design.
  • Enhance the ability to observe, identify and analyse works of visual culture.
  • Enhance your awareness of the ways in which art can be related to broader social, political, economic and cultural contexts.
  • Enhance your familiarity with current debates and approaches to the discipline.
  • Offer opportunities to develop subject-specific skills and a range of transferable skills.
  • Provide intellectual stimulus and challenges for those studying for personal development.

This Short Course can be taken as a stand-alone course or it may be available as part of a Certificate of Higher Education.

Learning objectives

On successful completion of this module, students will be expected to have:

  • Acquired a knowledge the narratives of Western art from Classical antiquity to the 1970s.
  • Developed the ability to observe, identify and analyse works of visual culture.
  • Developed a critical awareness of the functions of such works within the social and cultural contexts of their production and reception.
  • Become familiar with current debates and approaches to the subject.
  • Developed their ability to analyse and interpret critically historical evidence.
  • Developed their ability to read critically and analyse the secondary literature.
  • Developed their ability to construct and present coherent arguments orally and in writing.
  • Been encouraged to develop effective skills of presentation and communication.
  • Been encouraged to develop skills in managing computer and audio-visual technology and resources.
  • Been encouraged to develop skills of constructive debate.
  • Increased responsibility for their own learning by undertaking independent research.

    30 credits at level 4

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    First class: Mon 02-Oct-17 6pm-7.30pm

    Class location Central London
    Class code ARVC205S4AAA

    This class has already started. You can no longer enrol on this class.