Day School: Art History - The Art of Captain Cook's Voyages
Captain Cook’s expeditions to the Pacific were notable for including professional artists among the crew. This session will explore why this happened, how these artists dealt with the novel surroundings they encountered, and the impact of their work in Europe.
Additional information about this course
This course is not supported by the Skills Funding Agency and does not have a fee waiver but concessions may be available - contact the Branch for further details.
To consider the art produced on Captain Cook’s voyages in its own right, and as an example of how artists from one culture engage with and shape understanding of another.
Who is the course for?
What topics will this course cover
The course will provide an overview of the historical and intellectual context of Cook’s voyages in the 1760s and 1770s, and explore how his artists engaged with the themes of people, places, European exploration, and natural history.
What will it be like?
WEA classes are friendly and supportive. You will be encouraged to work together with your fellow students and tutor. You will be asked to share your ideas and views in the class and work with the group to give and accept feedback in a supportive environment. The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you to be actively involved in your learning. You may be asked to undertake work to support your course outside of your class.
By the end of the course I should be able to:
1. Look at examples of the art produced on Captain Cook’s voyages, and comment on the different aesthetic approaches and stereotypes underpinning them. 2. Explain some of the ways in which the travelling artists shaped European understanding of the Pacific. 3. Explain some of the ways in which the art from the voyages was a product of the artists’ own European background and preconceptions.
How will I know I'm making progress?
Verbally in response to questions and discussions in class.
What else do I need to know, do or bring?
Reading and information sources
No preparatory reading is required. Some initial suggestions for general reading include: Bernard Smith, European Vision and the South Pacific (1985). Nicholas Thomas, Discoveries: The Voyages of Captain Cook (2003).
What could the course lead to?
Further study of historical or art historical subjects.