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How does a work of art become an integral part of art history? Art History: 1860 to Today offers an introduction to the histories of Western modern and contemporary art and provides a foundation in the knowledge and skills of art history.

Focusing on critical figures including Manet, Cassat, Picasso, Duchamp, and Koons, as well as essential styles and movements such as Cubism, Surrealism, Pop Art, and Minimalism, this course moves from charting the rise of Impressionism in nineteenth-century Paris to examining the impact of globalization on art practice in the twenty-first century. Each week’s online discussions and activities lead students through the relevant themes of a particular period, so students can develop their visual analysis skillset and practice writing and discussing art with specific and essential terminology.

This Premier Online Course features weekly recorded lectures and faculty-guided discussion boards to maximize flexibility and deliver an engaging and interactive digital experience.

Students will learn:

  • To identify and define essential terminology used in art historical practice and scholarly research.
  • To recognize and describe styles and periods in Western art history from the 1860’s to the present day.
  • To define and implement vocabulary to communicate confidently and effectively about art and artists.
  • To synthesize compelling analytical arguments around artworks and artists.
  • To evaluate evidence from a range of scholarly sources relating to art.
The Details
  • Course Dates & Fees

    Course Dates & Fees

    March 10 - May 4, 2021
    $1,860 ($1,685 if registered by February 2, 2021)
    Tuition includes eight weeks of instructor guidance and an additional 90 days to review the course at your leisure.
    We offer this online course throughout the year with sessions starting approximately every four months. Contact us for more information.
  • Getting Started & How It Works

    Getting Started & How It Works

    SIA Online Community, our learning and networking space, opens two weeks before the course begins. This space provides an opportunity to familiarize yourself with the learning platform and introduce yourself to fellow students from around the world.
    Visit our How It Works page to learn more about the online learning experience.
  • Sample Topics

    Sample Topics

    Week 1: Impressionism and Postimpressionism

    • Manet and Degas: The Birth of Modern Art

    • Impressionism

    • Post-Impressionism and Symbolism

    Week 2: From Curves to Cubes: Art Nouveau to Cubism

    • Arts & Crafts and Art Nouveau

    • Fauvism and Expressionism

    • Speed, Time and Space: Cubism and Futurism

    Week 3: The Heroic Avant-Garde

    • Dada’s Protest

    • Surrealism

    • Building the New World: Constructivism and the Bauhaus

    • Focus: The Surrealist Object

    • Geometric and Kinetic

    Week 4: Moderates and Extremists

    • New Classicism

    • Art for the People

    • Photojournalism

    • Focus: Art Deco

    Week 5: The Post-War World

    • Art, Trauma, and Post-war Europe

    • The New York School

    • International Modern

    • Focus: Sculpture as Totem

    Week 6: The Birth of Contemporary Art

    • Pop and Postmodernism

    • Minimalism and Art Beyond the Gallery

    • Conceptual Art vs. Contemporary Art

    Week 7: The 1980’s

    • Painting and Heroism

    • Objects and Commodities

    • Spectacular Pictures

    • Focus: Art and Activism in the 1980s

    Week 8: The Global Contemporary

    • Post-Colonialism and Globalization

    • Relational Art

    • Everyday Life

  • Faculty


    Course Leader: Morgan Falconer
    Ph.D., University College London; M.A., Courtauld Institute of Art; B.A., University of Leeds
    Morgan Falconer is a critic and art historian. He has written about contemporary art for publications including The Times(London), The Economist, Frieze, The Village Voice, and Art in America. His recent books include Painting Beyond Pollock (Phaidon, 2015), a history of painting after 1945, and The Art Lovers’ Guide to New York, a guide to the city’s art collections (Rizzoli/ Thames & Hudson, 2011).
    Course Instructor: Stephan Pascher
    MFA, California Institute of the Arts; BA, Oberlin College; BFA, Cooper Union

    Stephan Pascher is an artist, writer, and educator whose work has been exhibited and collected in the US and abroad. Recent writings appear in Afterall, Merge, Springerin, Metropolis, The Museum as Arena (König), Institutional Critique (MIT), October Files, et al. He has lectured and appeared on panels including the Santa Monica Museum of Art, ARCO (Madrid), and Bard College, and has taught at Cooper Union, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Columbia University, Malmö Art Academy, among others.
  • Certificate Of Completion

    Certificate Of Completion

    For each course successfully completed, you receive a verified Certificate of Completion from Sotheby’s Institute of Art.
    Our digital certificates allow you to share new skills with various social media platforms, including LinkedIn. Successful completion is defined by each instructor in the course syllabus and consists, at the least, of regular, thoughtful participation in online activities and timely submission of assigned papers or projects.
  • Register


    Click here to register.
    This course is listed under the Premier Course option in the online application. Premier Online Courses are open to anyone 18 years of age and older. Registration takes approximately 5 minutes to complete.
    View Terms and Conditions
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