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Photography is at the heart of the art world. With so many dedicated art fairs, auctions, festivals, exhibitions, collections and prizes, photography is also at the core of increasingly diverse contemporary art practices. Today, photography collections and exhibitions reach back to historical and modernist traditions and experiments, and forward toward the possibilities of digital technologies and visual communication on the Web.

This course looks at photography as art from the beginning of the twentieth century to the present day. It deals with major artistic movements alongside thematic explorations. Throughout, the course explores the changing markets for photography from the perspectives of curators, dealers, collectors and artists. Including sessions on various integral aspects of the market, it offers an expansive view of photography’s movement from the margins to the centre of the art world through the last century, and considers its place in the global contemporary art market today.

Students learn through lectures and discussions, visits to public, private and commercial collections and exhibitions, and to artists’ studios. Guest speakers include leading market experts, artists and curators. For practitioners and enthusiasts, the course has a dedicated Instagram feed and a historical techniques workshop where we will make our own tin-types.

Please note: course description and “The Details” section below apply to 2017 courses only.

The Details
  • Course Dates

    Course Dates

    27th June - 21st July 2017
  • Faculty
  • Sample Topics

    Sample Topics

    • The formation of canons of art photography

    • Early collections: archives and museums

    • The history of the art market for photography

    • The contemporary art market and the future

    • Processes and preservation

    • Photography at Sotheby’s

    • American and European Modernism

    • Photography and conceptual art

    • Postmodernism and appropriation

    • The Dusseldorf School

    • Landscape photography

    • Portraiture and identity

    • Fashion photography

    • Curating the photograph

    • Photography and globalization

    • Photography and digital culture

    • Mobile photography workshop

    • The Photobook

  • Academic Credits And Assessment

    Academic Credits And Assessment

    Academic Credits
    Four-week summer courses are validated by The University of Manchester. Students completing one four-week Summer Study course are awarded 20 University of Manchester undergraduate credits.

    Students are assessed by a visual analysis test (slide test), oral presentations and a 2,500-word essay submitted one week after the completion of the course.
  • Study Visits

    Study Visits

    London is a centre for photographic activity of all sorts. The course will include faculty-led visits to a range of integral spaces and collections, including:

    • National Portrait Gallery

    • The Photographers’ Gallery

    • Tate Britain

    • Tate Modern

    • Victoria & Albert Museum

    • Victoria & Albert Museum Prints and Drawings Study Room

    • East End Galleries

    • West End Galleries

    • Private and Corporate Collections

    • Artists’ Studios

  • Course Fees And Application

    Course Fees And Application

    £2,850 for one four-week course
    £4,900 for two four-week courses

    The Institute is currently developing the course schedule for Summer Study London 2018. Complete details and registration will be available in late fall 2017. Please contact for more information.
  • Contact And Request Information

    Contact And Request Information

    For further information, please contact:

    Samantha Roberts-Aird, Admissions Officer
    Email: or Request Information
    Tel: +44 (0)20 7462 3251

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