The Beauty of Materials: Japanese Art from the Collections

Ref: C2419232

This course will discuss Japanese crafts and design, focussing on the materials, techniques and motifs used. Their aesthetic and historical contexts will also be introduced and examples from UK Japanese art collections will be used.

Course aim

This course aims to provide a basic knowledge of Japanese crafts and design with reference to the collections in UK art institutions, particularly those of the V&A and British Museum.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Have a basic knowledge of Japanese crafts and design.
  • Be able to visually identify Japanese craft and design works.
  • Be better able to discuss Japanese crafts and design.
  • Recognise some of the important issues in Japanese art and culture in general.
  • Gain easier access to some relevant art and cultural organisations in the UK to further develop interest in the subject.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • Viewing many images of Japanese craft and design works is an achievement in itself. Questions and answers, classroom discussions and informal feedback will provide you with the opportunity to measure your progress. There will be no formal assessment.

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre-reading is required; however, the below will be useful reading. Gregory Irvine, ed., Japanese Art and Design: The Collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum (London: V&A Publishing, 2016).

What can I do next?

  • The Japanese cultural organisations such as the Japan Foundation often provide lectures and events of the relevant subjects. Sometimes relevant courses are held by adult educational organisations, and some universities run academic courses.

Download full course outline

The Beauty of Materials: Japanese Art from the Collections Course Outline

Enrolment Conditions

You can enrol online if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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