WEEK ONE: 14-18 July 2014

Course 4: Dr Paula Henderson

Shakespeare’s London: Art, Architecture and Places of Pleasure


This course is now FULL

William Shakespeare lived in London during the decades before and after the turn of the 17th century, a ‘golden age’ for the city. While London had become overcrowded, increasingly squalid and plague-ridden, it was also the epicentre of wealth, opportunity and fashion.  Courtiers and aristocrats, aware of the benefits of royal patronage and the amusements of the metropolis, acquired grand mansions, which they complemented with fine gardens and orchards.  Although very little survives, we will try to create a vivid picture of the ‘flower of Cities all’ by analyzing the earliest maps of the city, portraiture, decorative arts, costume, architecture and finally the larger urban landscape.  We will also consider the many ‘places of pleasure’ that were enjoyed by Londoners from all strata of society:  sporting grounds, the theatres visited by an estimated 15,000 Londoners each week, the arenas used for the brutal spectacles of cock-fighting, bear- and bull-baiting, and, finally, the public spaces that were so rapidly being swallowed up by development. Visits will include the National Portrait Gallery, the Victoria and Albert Museum, Charterhouse, The Globe, The Museum of London and Middle Temple Hall.

WEEK TWO: 21-25 July 2014

Course 12: Dr Ayla Lepine

Art and Architecture in Victorian London from the ‘Battle of the Styles’ to ‘Art for Art’s Sake’


Victorian art and architecture had an immense impact on London, leaving us with such diverse structures, collections and art movements as the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and the Red House, Leighton House and the Aesthetic Movement, St Pancras Station, Goldsmiths’ Hall, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Houses of Parliament and the Albert Memorial.  Examining all of these legacies closely, this course will encourage students to look afresh at nineteenth-century taste and innovation, and question to what extent Victorian art and architecture relied on old traditions to convey modern values. Both in the classroom and in a series of visits to London buildings and art collections, students will consider different approaches to this important period in British history.

Students will have unique opportunities to engage first-hand with the forms and functions of buildings and objects, using collections held in the Victoria and Albert Museum, Tate Britain and the RIBA to gain in-depth understanding of nineteenth-century art and ideas. Decorative arts, interior design, fashion and the popular press will also be taken into account. By looking closely and applying an array of art historical methodologies, we will engage with fundamental ideas about beauty, labour and commerce when London was at the centre of the world’s largest empire.

WEEK THREE: 28 July - 1 August 2014

Course 23: Professor Alan Powers

Émigrés: the Impact of Outsiders on English Art, Architecture and Design, 1910-40



The course takes the theme of émigrés in the development of early English Modernism, assessing the relationship between their individual stories and the influence they had on England, disrupting and challenging national conservatism.   We will discuss architecture, sculpture, painting, design, graphics, photography and film, since there were explicit links between these fine art and commercial activities. Internationally famous figures, including Epstein, Gropius, Breuer and Moholy-Nagy will be put into a wider context among lesser-known individuals and a broader picture of émigré activity will be presented, from perspectives of assimilation, and economic status.

This was a phenomenon with recognizable phases and groupings, beginning with individuals who catalyzed indigenous artists. The course proceeds chronologically, starting with the dramatic changes in 1910 linked to Epstein and Ezra Pound. It continues with anglophone artists from the USA, Australia and New Zealand who were important in the late 1920s, especially in architecture and graphics. The final phase of immigration in response to the Nazi threat to life and artistic freedom, is probably the best known, although not always well understood. The diverse factions within Modernism related to different visions of a better future, which were fiercely contested between themselves, engaging both local and émigré critics.

WEEK FOUR: 4-8 August 2014

Course 28: Dr Lucy Jessop

A Vision of a New City: Architecture in London, 1660-1715


In 1661, John Evelyn described London as having a ‘Congestion of misshapen and extravagant Houses’, set in a labyrinth of narrow and busy streets, full of smoke and smell. It was not what Charles II and his court were used to, returning to London after many years of foreign exile, nor was it what his people, released from the traumas of the Civil War and the strictness of the Commonwealth, demanded. This course will examine many of the projects for making London and its environs a suitable residence for the restored Stuart monarchy, for rebuilding and developing the Cities of London and Westminster, and for creating religious and public buildings which responded to the dominant issues of the age. These projects were mostly overseen by the vision of one man, Sir Christopher Wren, with the assistance of several close colleagues, including Robert Hooke and Nicholas Hawksmoor. Through contemporary texts, drawings and visits, this course will look at some of London’s best-loved buildings - possible visits include Hampton Court Palace, St Paul’s Cathedral, some of the City Churches, and the former Royal Hospital for Seamen at Greenwich.