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’s changed over a period of time, as well as the impact it’s had on society. 

You’ll 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’ll be taught by a talented tutor who is an expert in their field. 

The support you’ll 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’s 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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Art Appreciation: How to See and Interpret Paintings

Have you ever wondered how to look at a painting and how to figure out what it means? This course will give you keys to develop your understanding and appreciation of paintings and their history. Based on the study of many concrete examples, taken from a variety of historical periods and styles, we will study all the aspects of a painting, from its format and technique, to its subject matter. As we do so, you will have many occasions to apply this knowledge and techniques for yourself.

Course Information

Dates:
Thu 19/09/2024 -
Thu 28/11/2024
Times:
10:00am - 12:00pm
Duration:
10 sessions
Location:
Ripley Arts Centre (Bromley)
24 Sundridge Avenue
Bromley
BR1 2PX
Tutor:
Caroline Levisse
Course code:
Q00017435
How you'll learn:
In venue
Availability:
5 places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £100.00

Art Appreciation: The Century that changed the World-Renaissance and Reformation

A new way of seeing human beings and their environment; the end of the middle ages and the birth of modern Europe, the discovery of the ‘New World’; fresh insights into faith and the upheaval that created; and a new way of doing art. This study day investigates Renaissance art in Southern and Northern Europe and traces the birth and development of the Reformation. The art of Michelangelo, Leonardo, Raphael and van Eyck and the thought of Luther and Calvin together with the reforms of Henry VIII all feature in this extensively illustrated study day.

Course Information

Dates:
Fri 20/09/2024 -
Fri 20/09/2024
Times:
10:00am - 3:30pm
Duration:
1 sessions
Location:
St Lawrence Parish Rooms (Winchester)
Colebrook Street
Winchester
SO23 9LH
Tutor:
David Brindley
Course code:
Q00016855
How you'll learn:
In venue
Availability:
10+ places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £23.10

Art Appreciation: How to See and Interpret Paintings

Have you ever wondered how to look at a painting and how to figure out what it means? This course will give you keys to develop your understanding and appreciation of paintings and their history. Based on the study of many concrete examples, taken from a variety of historical periods and styles, we will study all the aspects of a painting, from its format and technique, to its subject matter. As we do so, you will have many occasions to apply this knowledge and techniques for yourself.

Course Information

Dates:
Fri 20/09/2024 -
Fri 06/12/2024
Times:
1:00pm - 3:00pm
Duration:
12 sessions
Location:
Online
Tutor:
Caroline Levisse
Course code:
Q00017464
How you'll learn:
Online
Availability:
10+ places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £88.00

Art Practical: Landscape painting

This course gives students - from beginners to improvers - the opportunity to explore different landscape painting approaches and techniques in a relaxed and supportive environment. It explores a range of styles, from the conventional and representational to more experimental and avant-garde approaches. Our highly experienced tutor, who is a practicing artist, provides practical and supportive advice on colour mixing, tonal variation, acrylic techniques, mark-making and composition, encouraging students to explore their own personal enthusiasms to make individual and original paintings. Source photographs will be provided online but students may use their own photos and other sources.

Course Information

Dates:
Thu 26/09/2024 -
Thu 05/12/2024
Times:
2:30pm - 4:30pm
Duration:
10 sessions
Location:
Online
Tutor:
Frank Ferrie
Course code:
Q00017771
How you'll learn:
Online
Availability:
9 places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £84.00

WEA Membership

For just £15 a year, you can:

  • Join our popular, award-winning weekly lecture series,
  • Access an 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’ annual conference.

Just add us to your basket to sign up today!

Membership Information

Duration:
12 months
Fee:
WEA Membership

Art Appreciation: Painters of the Venetian Renaissance

In five short weeks we will look at and talk about the outpouring of talent which happened over a few years, one talent encouraging another. Venice was the most powerful city state in Italy. It was the richest city and the premier port because its position dictated its links to the vast trading wealth of the East. The power this wealth gave them and their privileged access to trade goods also led to an extremely stable political system which lasted for 1,000 years and it was known as “La Serenissima”.

Course Information

Dates:
Mon 30/09/2024 -
Mon 28/10/2024
Times:
10:00am - 12:00pm
Duration:
5 sessions
Location:
Online
Tutor:
Kate Phillips
Course code:
Q00017437
How you'll learn:
Online
Availability:
1 place remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £37.00

Art Appreciation: Being Seen: British Women Artists 1900-1970

The changing social, cultural and political scenes in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries afforded new opportunities and a chance for women artists to emerge from the shadows of their male counterparts. This course will consider the impact of British women artists in the twentieth century, from the early part of the century when artists such as Vanessa Bell and Winifred Nicholson began to make their mark, to post- war artists such as Bridget Riley and Pauline Boty, and will include some of the key women artists of the twentieth century.

Course Information

Dates:
Tue 01/10/2024 -
Tue 26/11/2024
Times:
10:00am - 12:00pm
Duration:
8 sessions
Location:
Bedhampton Community Centre (Havant)
21 Bedhampton Road
Bedhampton
Havant
PO9 3ES
Tutor:
Michaela Cranmer
Course code:
Q00016861
How you'll learn:
In venue
Availability:
10+ places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £67.20

Art Appreciation: The Art of Diplomacy: Behind the Doors of the Government Art Collection

Go behind the scenes of the Government Art Collection, a less well-known national art collection, with Chantal Condron, a former curator at the Collection. Discover the fascinating origins of its history, and the people and events that have shaped its past. Explore how and why artworks are acquired or commissioned and discover some of the locations where they have been displayed. We explore works across a range of media from paintings to film, by artists from the 16th to the 21st centuries, including Marcus Gheerhaerts the Younger, Thomas Phillips, Bridget Riley, Michael Armitage and recent Turner Prize winner, Jesse Darling

Course Information

Dates:
Thu 03/10/2024 -
Thu 21/11/2024
Times:
2:00pm - 4:00pm
Duration:
6 sessions
Location:
Wesley Hall (Barnet)
High Barnet Methodist Church
9 Stapylton Road
Barnet
EN5 4JJ
Tutor:
Chantal Condron
Course code:
Q00017287
How you'll learn:
In venue
Availability:
8 places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £60.00

Art Appreciation: Victorian Art - Town and Country

The Victorian years saw unprecedented industrialisation which changed the face of Britain but also attitudes. Industrial developments were perceived as both positive and negative, but the countryside was viewed as a tradition, community and continuity. Yet images of the country, as well as the town, reveal the complexity of a society adapting to the modern world. Depiction of idyllic country scenes and grimy urban life reveal deep tension in Victorian society. This course will reveal that complexity and the contradictions which characterised the years 1837 to 1901 by examining paintings, engravings, photographs cartoons and the literature of the period.

Course Information

Dates:
Fri 04/10/2024 -
Fri 13/12/2024
Times:
2:30pm - 4:30pm
Duration:
10 sessions
Location:
The Minster (Grimsby)
St James Square
Grimsby
DN31 1EP
Tutor:
Tim Stimson
Course code:
Q00017916
How you'll learn:
In venue
Availability:
10+ places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee:
Free

Art Appreciation: Isolation, artists and paintings

Isolation includes solitude (choosing to be alone for contemplative or other good reasons) and social isolation (real or psychological separation from others, which can result in loneliness). Some artists need solitude to explore the world around them or to remove external pressures. Others use their work to express feelings of loneliness, whether from societal causes, unrequited love, illness, or other circumstances. Our speaker, Roger Wotton, will discuss a range of paintings that express, for example, the solitude found in nature, or the loneliness in urban living. He will consider, too, the most common example of isolation shown in art: the Crucifixion of Christ.

Course Information

Dates:
Mon 07/10/2024 -
Mon 21/10/2024
Times:
10:30am - 12:30pm
Duration:
3 sessions
Location:
Friends Meeting House (Berkhamsted)
289 High Street
Berkhamsted
HP4 1AJ
Tutor:
Guest Speaker
Course code:
Q00017711
How you'll learn:
In venue
Availability:
10+ places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £30.00

Beauty and Coherence: with particular attentions to Ancient and Modern sculpture and painting.

This exciting new course in art appreciation provides close attentions to particular works of art from ancient and modern periods. Ancient art from Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece and Rome; the European Renaissance; the Enlightenment and its derivations; twentieth-century Modernity; the present day. The focus will be upon the specific and often connected comprehensions of beauty and coherence through understanding specific works of art in relation to these concepts. The course will present a range of work each week and will select one part of the subject for a Close View for detailed attention. The focus will be upon works of art in relation to their sometimes specific and often varied concepts of beauty. This will encourage a range of attentions from ideal sculptures to presentations of works with planned proportions as well as incidental measurements. This will also involve attentions to both forms directly from the natural world to objects representing different aspects of humanity.

Course Information

Dates:
Tue 08/10/2024 -
Tue 12/11/2024
Times:
10:30am - 12:30pm
Duration:
5 sessions
Location:
Leominster Community Centre (Leominster)
School Road
Leominster
HR6 8NJ
Tutor:
Allen Fisher
Course code:
Q00016845
How you'll learn:
In venue
Availability:
10+ places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £42.00