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Rococo to Modernism 1720-1920

Every year the V&A Museum offers three part-time year courses. These three separate year courses form a coherent survey of the fine art, architecture, design and decorative arts in Europe from the late Middle Ages to the First World War.

This course is a chronological survey of the fine and applied arts in Europe from the early eighteenth century to the early twentieth century. It was a period of widespread political and social change. In 1720, countries like Britain and France were expanding nation states but many other regions of Europe were still parts of empires and only emerged as independent countries during the nineteenth century. Gradually European nations became industrialised and their capitalist economies depended increasingly on mechanisation at home and colonial expansion throughout the world. Finally, there came the conflagration of the First World War.

Against this historical background, the course will explore the diversity of artistic ideas and styles. It offers a unique perspective by covering not only the fine arts – painting, sculpture and architecture – but also design, the decorative arts and popular visual culture. Many of these areas are well represented in the V&A’s own collections, particularly in the new British Galleries and the course themes reflect this.

The course attempts to account for the ‘Why’ as well as explaining the ‘How’. Within the format of a chronological survey, lectures embrace certain general themes and stylistic trends, as well as the works of some individual artists or particular materials and art forms. The programme is designed to
demonstrate that different branches of the visual arts have not shown the same trajectory of change in this two hundred year period. We consider the relationship of the different arts to the wider political, economic and cultural context of the period and explore themes such as taste, patronage and the art market. Although we concentrate on developments in western Europe, we also look at Russia and the USA.

Full course: £1525, Concessionary rate(V&A members and patrons): £1375

Per Term: full rate: £525, senior citizens, V&A members and Patrons: £475, Students, disabled and ES40 holders £132.

Certificate Option: £350 (in addition to full course fees and payable in full before commencing the course, no concessions).

Day Rate: Full rate:£45, senior citizens, V&A members and Patrons: £41, students, disabled and ES-40 holders £11.

Morning coffee/tea is included. Full course students and term students also receive a term lunch.


Angela Cox | talks


Date and Time:

15 September 2005 at 11:00 am


Full Day



Victoria and Albert Museum (learning)
Learning and Interpretation
The V&A Museum, Cromwell Road
+44 20 79 42 21 89

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Please see above

Available from:

To book call the bookings office at 0207 942 2211 or e-mail bookings.office@vam.ac.uk

Additional Information:

This course takes place on Thursdays throughout the year. The autumn term begins on 15 September and ends on 9December 2005. The Spring Term is from 12 January to 30 March 2006 and the Summer term is from 27 April to 6 July 2006.

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