Three figures looking at a drawing i F Bartolozzi after Guercino, Allegory of Art, 1764-76, etching, The Courtauld, London (Samuel Courtauld Trust)

Showcasing Art History


As the programme name implies, our evening lecture series Showcasing Art History shares the latest art-historical thinking and The Courtauld51ݶ excellence in research and teaching with the wider public. The lectures aim for a lively delivery and are given by members of the Courtauld faculty, by associates and alumni of our college, and by other eminent scholars.

Each new season of Showcasing Art History offers three free-standing terms. Lectures delivered on campus at Vernon Square are recorded and made available to our online audience, who will be given their own live Zoom discussion sessions. There will be extensive course materials on the VLE for both in-person and online learners.

Lectures are given live on campus at 19:00 on Tuesdays and Zoom discussions for our online audience members take place on Wednesday at 20:00 [London time]. Terms may be booked in isolation or in combination, and discounts apply if more than one term is booked.


Course delivery details

You can opt to attend these lectures either on campus or online. If you attend on campus and have to miss one or more lectures, please send us an email requesting a recording of the relevant lecture(s) (for one week).

On-campus course delivery: lectures are at our Vernon Square campus at 19:00, followed by discussion and drinks, pre-course and further reading, and handout materials on our Virtual Learning Environment.

Online course delivery: this online lecture series consists of pre-recorded lectures, released weekly over 10 weeks (Autumn and Spring terms) or 5 weeks (Summer term), and each lecture viewable for a fortnight; pre-course and further reading, handout materials and a discussion forum on our Virtual Learning Environment; live Q&As for each lecture, delivered via Zoom on Wednesdays at 20:00 (London time).

Ordinary People: Paintings and Prints of Everyday Life from Bruegel to Hopper

Autumn term
Tuesday 3 October – Tuesday 5 December 2023, 19:00
On campus
Wednesday 11 October – Wednesday 13 December 2023, 20:00 [London time]

This series of lectures explores the representation of everyday life in Western art from the sixteenth to the early twentieth centuries. Possessing considerable ideological heft, such art contributed to wider contemporary debates about the poor, the place of women in society, ‘modernity’, industrialisation and urbanisation, and other important contexts to be explored by our lecturers.

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A drawing of a nude woman sitting on a red sofa atop a beige cushion, drying herself with a white towel. Her left arm is raised and her face obscured from the viewer. The background is fully red, and the sketch is an unblended charcoal, creating unusual graphic rhythms. i Edgar Germain Hilaire Degas (1834-1917), After the Bath - Woman Drying Herself, circa 1895, The Courtauld, London (Samuel Courtauld Trust) © The Courtauld

Antiquity, Taste, and the Self: Revisiting the Discoveries of the Grand Tour

Spring term
Tuesday 9 January – Tuesday 12 March, 19:00
On campus
Wednesday 17 January – Wednesday 20 March, 20:00 [London time]

This lecture series explores the cultural phenomenon of the Grand Tour, one of the most significant rites of passage in early modern history. Our focus will be on Italy, the culmination of that extensive Continental journey, on the Grand Tour51ݶ heyday in the long eighteenth century, and on its most numerous cohort, the British.

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People look at and discuss art in a grand room filled with paintings and sculpture i Johann Joseph Zoffany, The Tribuna of the Uffizi, 1772-7, Royal Collection Trust, UK. Image: Wikimedia Commons

Re-Framing: Modern and Contemporary Art by Women 1870s to Today

Summer term
Tuesday 23 April – Tuesday 21 May 2023, 19:00
On campus
Wednesday 1 May – Wednesday 29 May 2023, 20:00 [London time]

Based on selected case studies drawn from relevant current and recent exhibitions, such as Berthe Morisot: Shaping Impressionism (Dulwich Picture Gallery) or Action, Gesture, Paint: Women Artists and Global Abstraction 1904-70 (Whitechapel Art Gallery), our Summer term lectures explore some of the theoretical and curatorial approaches underpinning the framing and staging of the work of women in the visual arts.

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A drawing of a Young Woman with long hair reclining on a chaise lounge, propping up her head with her hand i Berthe Morisot (1841-1895), Young Woman reclining (Jeune Femme au Repos), 1889, The Courtauld, London (Samuel Courtauld Trust) © The Courtauld