Introduction 2024-07-08T08:45:18+00:00

Introduction to Art History

Free Art History Summer School at Waddesdon Manor This July

What: Are you interested in Art? History? Visual culture? A career in the art world? In this free course we will be exploring art and identity, gender, and secrets and treasures. Refreshments, lunch and transport to and from local central points will be provided each day.

Who: This summer school is for state-sponsored students who have just finished Year 11.

Where: at Waddesdon Manor (Waddesdon, Aylesbury HP18 0JH).

When: Monday 15th July to Wednesday 17th July (inclusive) from 11am to 3.00pm.

How to apply: please fill out an application form by following this link:

Course Outline:

Day 1 will start with an introduction to the History of Art so there is no prior knowledge of art required for the course.

From there we will dive straight into Waddesdon Manor’s collection looking at portraits of celebrities from the eighteenth century. These famous soldiers and actresses used portraits much like the Kardashians use social media today to shape their public image and ultimately their lives.

Masculinity and femininity may look different in these portraits to our ideas about gender today. We will be exploring how gender has changed over the centuries and how its changing shape has impacted Waddesdon Manor.

After lunch, we turn to look at treasure. Waddesdon Manor has its very own treasury, complete with miniature classical sculptures, early microscopes and lots of jewellery. We will round up the day with students designing their own ideal treasury.

Day 2 will be located at Windmill Hill, down the road from Waddesdon Manor. This old dairy farm has been utterly transformed into a cutting-edge space for art and architecture. We will have the opportunity to explore its collection of 20th-century art by incredible figures such as Anish Kapoor, Richard Long and Angus Fairhurst.

It is also the location of the Waddesdon Manor Archive. The Head of Archives and Records will be giving us a tour of this space as well as an introduction into the workings of an archive.

The cream on the cake of this second day will be a visit to one of the most recent additions to Waddesdon – Wedding Cake by Joanna Vascolcelos. This 12-metre-tall ceramic wedding cake needs to be seen to be believed.

Day 3 will see us returning to Waddesdon Manor to think about the stories that aren’t often told – those about women and people of colour.

We will look at artists that have done groundbreaking work to bring these stories back to life, such as Titus Kaphar and Barbara Walker. Then we will have the opportunity to rescue some stories ourselves through creative writing and art history.

Finally, the summer school will end with a talk about careers in the arts. What jobs and opportunities are out there and how to get on the right pathway towards them?

More information on Introduction to Art History:

Our oversubscribed sixth-form course, Art History for Everyone, proves that there is a strong market for History of Art within that age group. However, too many students find out about the subject too late.

In 2020 we launched a pilot Introduction to Art History course to test if a younger age group (14 to 16) would respond with the same enthusiasm as our sixth-form students. These pilots, supported by the Band Trust, were hosted by the Dulwich Picture Gallery, The National Gallery and The Courtauld Institute, and approached ideas around race, gender and identity through the collections. Our retention rate for all three pilots was nearly 100% and the students showed an incredible aptitude for engaging with complex ideas through art objects. Given the chance, this age group was not only keenly engaged with Art History but extremely good at it.

On the back of these highly successful pilots, The Rothschild Foundation are generously supporting us to diversify our beneficiaries further by engaging with new audiences.

We have been working with Waddesdon Manor in Buckinghamshire to deliver courses based on their collections to local schools. Our latest iteration is courses in the Manor itself, including the free Art History Summer School at Waddesdon Manor this July, more information on this above. More information about Waddesdon Manor:

AHLU’s flagship programme, Art History for Everyone, offers free Art History A level and EPQ courses taught on term-time Saturdays online and in museums and galleries for state students:

Our new Introduction to Art History courses address the need for younger secondary age students, aged 13-15, to find out more about art history and careers in the sector. The short course is intended to give students the opportunities to acquire life-long skills and an awareness of opportunities available in museums and galleries, while having a lot of fun.

Art students will especially love this course, but it’s for anyone who enjoys looking, thinking and discussing – and snacking – while making links across subjects, and linking the past to the present day.

We are so grateful to the Rothschild Foundation and to Waddesdon Manor for their support, and for allowing us to offer young students this opportunity.

APPLY ONLINE: 5 minutes maximum
Waddesdon AHLU July Art History Summer School 2024 flyer
Waddesdon AHLU July Art History Summer School Additional Information flyer
Waddesdon AHLU July Art History Summer School Additional Information flyer
Waddesdon AHLU July Art History Summer School Additional Information flyer

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