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Overview

Foundations of Western Art is an intensive introduction to Art History for those aspiring to work in a variety of Art World Professions.

The course is both academic and vocational. Students will learn about key stylistic developments, materials and techniques in the western world from Ancient Greece to contemporary art while also acquiring a range of vocational skills through the diverse assignments.

First-hand encounters with art works and buildings are an integral part of the learning experience and the course includes a wide variety of faculty-led visits to museums and galleries in London, Cambridge and Rome.

In addition to the art historical content, the program includes a series of sessions entitled ‘Talk To The Professionals’ during which students have the opportunity to meet museum curators, auction house specialists, fine art dealers, art restorers, art educators and press and PR managers who will share their own experience of these roles and the paths that brought them there.

The program requires no prior knowledge of the field.

On successful completion of this course, you’ll walk away with:

  • A skillset that can be applied to a broad range of art works enabling you to analyse and date objects that you might be encountering for the first time in galleries and Art Fairs.
  • The knowledge to contextualise works of art within their broader social, political and cultural contexts.
    The ability to communicate about art orally and in journalistic and academic writing styles.
  • An introduction to the practical and theoretical issues of curating through an Exhibition Project.
  • A strong understanding of Western Art History that prepares you for a postgraduate program at Sotheby’s Institute of Art if your undergraduate degree is in a subject other than Art History.

The program requires no prior knowledge of the field. Download the Semester Prospectus.

The Details
  • Course Dates

    Course Dates

    Spring 2019:  January 21, 2019 - May 3, 2019 
    Fall 2019: to be announced.


    Students can join the program for Unit 2 (Rococo to Contemporary) starting on 05th November, 2018.

    For more information please contact Benjamin Stephenson, Admissions Officer: b.stephenson@sia.edu or call T +44 (0)20 7462 3221.




    "The course not only provided me with an extensive and profound foundation in Western art but fostered my aim to apply for a postgraduate course in art history."
    —Natascha Reihl (Student)

    Hear from previous students about their experience with the course.
  • Structure, Teaching Methods And Assignments

    Structure, Teaching Methods And Assignments

    The program is divided into two units taught consecutively across the semester. The first unit explores developments from Ancient Greece to Baroque and the second unit moves from Rococo to Contemporary. Students are able to take one of the units only, if preferred, or to take both units across different semesters.

    The teaching approach emphasizes object-based learning, enabling students to gain confidence in analyzing and identifying a wide range of art objects, both in a classroom setting and through numerous study visits to London’s world-class collections. The unique opportunity to study objects close-up enhances students’ critical and visual skills.

    The teaching is intensive and supportive, with an emphasis on individual and small-group learning.

    The course assignments are not limited to essay writing but are also designed to assess a diverse range of skills that reflect a variety of art world professions. For example, assignments include an exhibition review and a group project in which students curate an imagined exhibition.

    Click here to download a printable version.
  • Sample Topics

    Sample Topics


    • Greek Sculpture

    • Hellenistic Art

    • Roman Republican Portraiture

    • Byzantine Art: Christian Spirituality in Icons and Images

    • Gothic Architecture

    • Early Renaissance Painting in Florence

    • The Business of Art in the Renaissance

    • Splendour and Cross-Cultural Connections in the Renaissance: Italy and the East

    • Baroque Painting in Italy and Spain

    • Romantic Painting in Britain: Turner and Constable

    • Pre-Raphaelites and Victorian Painting

    • Landmarks in 19th Century Decorative Arts

    • Women Artists: A case study of Impressionism

    • Abstract Expressionism

    • Pop Art

    • Performance ArtClick here to read ‘Talk To The Professionals

  • Field Trips And Study Visits

    Field Trips And Study Visits

    First-hand encounters with art works and buildings are an integral part of the learning experience that enable students to gain a direct understanding of the artistic styles and movements dealt with on the course.

    A four-day field trip to Rome features visits to a large range of major monuments and artworks. Recent trips to Rome have included a visit to the Sistine Chapel outside of public opening hours and an exclusive visit to the Vatican Museum’s ancient marble and paintings restoration laboratories.

    London is a major center for the western art; therefore the course includes a wide variety of faculty-led visits to museums and galleries, such as:

    • British Museum

    • National Gallery

    • Tate Britain

    • Tate Modern

    • Victoria and Albert Museum

    • Wallace Collection

    • Westminster Abbey

    • Courtauld Institute Gallery



    There is also a day trip to Cambridge which includes a handling session at the Fitzwilliam Museum. 


    Click here to see the photos from some of our study visits.
  • Credits And Validation

    Credits And Validation

    The program is validated by The University of Manchester, one of the UK’s leading universities. Students who complete the program successfully will gain 60 University of Manchester undergraduate credits.

    This generally translates to 16 undergraduate credits or 12 graduate credits in the US system and 30 credits in the European (ECTS) system. Students currently enrolled at other colleges or universities should be aware that transfer of credit is always made at the discretion of the accepting institution. Therefore, applicants should confirm the feasibility of credit transfer with faculty advisors at their home school in advance of registration.

     
  • Faculty

    Faculty

    Dr Antonia Gatward Cevizli – Course Leader
    Rachel Barnes
    Jane Gardiner
    Angus Haldane
    Dr Jonathan Woolfson

    Contributing faculty from Sotheby’s Institute of Art include:
    Dr David Bellingham – Program Director, MA Art Business
    Dr Chantal Brotherton-Ratcliffe –MA Fine & Decorative Art and Design
    Dr Lis Darby – MA Fine & Decorative Art and Design
    Dr Juliet Hacking – Unit Leader, Photography, MA Contemporary Art
    Anna Moszynska – Consultant Lecturer, MA Contemporary Art

    Visiting speakers in previous semesters have included:
    Dr Sabina Jaskot-Gill
    – Associate Curator, Photographs, National Portrait Gallery
    Dr Stefano Casu – Italian Old Masters Expert, University of California, Florence Study Centre
    Flavio Gianassi – Fine Art Advisor
    Dr Victoria Avery – Keeper, Applied Art, The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge
    Richard Charlton-Jones – Old Masters Specialist
    Dr Francesca Marini – Art Market Expert, ISI Florence

     
  • Admission To The Program

    Admission To The Program

    There are no formal admission requirements except a good level of English language competence (a minimum IELTS score of 6.0. or TOEFL score of 78 IBT). Although no prior knowledge is required, the Institute offers places to motivated students with a passion for art and the art world. Applicants are interviewed in person or by phone. Our students are of all ages and come from a wide variety of educational and professional backgrounds. The international make-up of the student body at Sotheby’s Institute of Art generates a rich and dynamic learning environment.

    Click here
    to read student stories.
  • Program Fees

    Program Fees

    Spring 2019:
    Full-time: £8,250
    Part-time: £4,225
    Trip Abroad: £950

    Fall 2019:
    Full-time: £8,500
    Part-time: £4,400
    Trip Abroad: To be announced


    Click here to read Terms and Conditions.

    Click here to apply.
  • Contact And Request Information

    Contact And Request Information

    For further information, please contact:
    Benjamin Stephenson Admissions Officerb.stephenson@sia.edu or Request Information
    T +44 (0)20 7462 3221

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