Course overview

In this course, we will explore the visual culture in Europe during World War One. From official war art, to soldiers’ sketchbooks, from world-famous artists to anonymous draughtsmen, we will study and discuss a broad range of attitudes to war. We will study many British artists, but also German, French, Italian, and American ones. We will study great works of art, learn a lot about the history of the war from a British and Western perspective, and discuss the role of art and artists during wartime, as well as in the aftermath of a war.

Course description

The aim of this course is to understand and study artists’ attitudes towards the war. Around Italian Futurism, a pre-war survey of European culture will first set things in context. We will then explore visual propaganda in France, Britain and the U.S., as well as the work of official war artists, such as Muirhead Bone, William Orpen, Anna Airy, Paul Nash, and C.R.W. Nevinson.

Many artists were also soldiers between 1914 and 1918, and some filled in their sketchbooks with what they saw and experienced. We will see what and how art was created in the trenches. We will also consider those who did not want to fight.

Finally, with Dada in Berlin (Otto Dix, George Grosz, Kathe Kollwitz), and with official commemorative art (Jagger’s Royal Artillery Memorial on Hyde Park Corner for instance), we will examine how World War One was remembered, and contrast different attitudes.

What financial support is available?

We don't want anything to stand in your way when it comes to bringing Adult learning within reach so if you need anything to support you to achieve your goals then speak to one of our education experts during your enrolment journey. Most of our courses are government funded but if you don't qualify or need alternative financial help to access them then let us know.

What other support is available?

All of our digital content, teaching and learning activities and assessments are designed to be accessible so if you need any additional support you can discuss this with the education experts during your enrolment journey and we will do all we can to make sure you have optimal access.

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