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Summer Study in London

European Decorative Arts: From Baroque to Art Nouveau

Beginning in the seventeenth century with the rise of the Baroque and culminating in Art Nouveau at the end of the nineteenth, this varied and exciting course provides a comprehensive understanding of key stylistic developments in Western European design and the decorative arts. The course focuses on furniture, ceramics, glass and metalwork, explored within the context of architecture and interiors and the broader historical and cultural forces that have influenced the production and consumption of decorative art objects. It seeks also to provide students with a basic knowledge of materials and techniques.  

A diverse programme of lectures is complemented by visits to leading museums, galleries and houses and relevant auction house previews. 

Students are taught by a range of in-house tutors and visiting experts from the art world. 

The course is introductory and requires no prior knowledge.  

The teaching approach is object-based and enables students to gain confidence in analyzing and identifying a wide range of art objects, and promotes skills that will be useful for working in the art world. It also serves as a bridging course for further study.

Read more about what past students have to say about Summer Study.

Sample Topics
  • Louis XIV and the influence of Versailles
  • Trade with the Far-East in the 17th century
  • Rococo interiors
  • Neo-classicism
  • Arts and Crafts
  • The impact of Japan in the 19th century
  • Aestheticism
  • Art Nouveau

Study Visits
London is a major centre for design and the decorative arts and a wide variety of faculty-led visits to museums and galleries forms an integral part of the learning experience and enables students to gain a direct understanding of the design movements dealt with in the course. 

London visits typically include:
  • Victoria and Albert Museum
  • British Museum
  • Geffrye Museum
  • Wallace Collection

Visits further afield may include:
  • Hampton Court Palace
  • Red House, home of William Morris
  • Syon House
  • The Royal Pavilion, Brighton

Students are assessed by a number of short written assignments and a final slide test. These are intended not only to assist students in their understanding of the subject matter of the course, but also in developing a range of transferable skills in the research, analysis and interpretation of objects.

Course dates

Session 1: 27th May- 20th June 2014


Jane Gardiner – Course Leader
Helena Pickup – Course Leader
Dr. Lis Darby
Anne Ceresole
Daniel Packer
Elisabeth Bogdan

Course fees

Course fees: £2,650


Click here to apply now. Payment by credit or debit card only.

Click here to download an application form. Payment using the application form is by credit card, cheque or wire transfer. 

Click here to download Terms and Conditions.

Academic Credits

Summer courses are validated by the University of Manchester. Students completing one full-time Summer Study course are awarded 20 University of Manchester undergraduate credits.


 Download Essential Questions about Summer Study

Suggested Reading

Gere, C. and M. Whiteway. Nineteenth Century Design from Pugin to Mackintosh. 1993
Riley, N. (ed.). The Elements of Design. 2003
Snodin, M. and J. Styles (eds.). Design & the Decorative Arts: Georgian Britain 1714-1837. 2004
Thornton, Peter. Seventeenth-Century Interior Decoration in England, France and Holland. 1981

Online Application

Click here to apply now. Payment by credit or debit card only.

Further Information

For further information on Summer Study in London courses, please contact Sarah Coppard Tel: +44 (0)20 7462 3251 or click here to send an email.

Please note, details are subject to change.

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