Art Deco and Modernist Posters of the Inter-War Period

Ref: C3741384

This course will consider how European poster design developed in the inter-war period. We will explore the design aesthetic of the Bauhaus years, the Constructivist works of Russian artists such as Aleksandr Rodchenko, and the Art Deco age in France, personified by the poster designs of A.M Cassandre. The role of the war-time propaganda poster will also be investigated. Works shown will be placed in historical and social contexts giving students the opportunity to participate in their own critical analysis of poster images.

Course aim

To explore the development of poster art in the 1920s and 1930s with emphasis on French posters of the Art Deco period, the rise of Modernism in poster design and Russian propaganda posters.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed

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

  • Identify some of the different poster styles relating to the periods under investigation.
  • Demonstrate an appreciation of how historical circumstances and cultural issues contributed to the various poster designs being discussed.
  • Make an analysis of a selection of posters in terms of the historical and / or social narrative.
  • Recognise the works of a number of the artists under discussion.

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?

  • Answers to questions. Responses to observations Informal discussions throughout Opportunities are given to students to participate in their own critical analysis

What else do I need to know?

  • Note taking equipment

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful
  • A reading list will be provided and reference books from the tutor's own collection will be made available for each session. Handouts mapping out the key points and listing the names of artists and designers under discussion will be given.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Participants will be able to use the course content to enhance their own enjoyment of art and design, and to continue studying the subject.

Download full Course information sheet

Art Deco and Modernist Posters of the Inter-War Period


You can 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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