The Art of Trade

Ref: C3741397

Trade follows the flag and empire builders brought luxuries home to decorate castles and cottages. This course looks at pigments, textiles and spices from Central Asia, India, China and South America and how they affected us in Europe. Fashions, home decorative fabrics and exotic items were collected all over the world to influence Britain, Spain and Portugal and the Netherlands from their expanding empires

Course aim

to discover how trade in luxuries such as spices, textiles and ceramics from Asia, India, China and South America influenced art and design in Western Europe

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed

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

  • 1. identify the main trading centres of the world for luxuries
  • 2. describe how pigments and textiles influenced design in the home
  • 3. account for the trade in spices, tea and coffee
  • 4. explain how the cultures of Western European empires were influenced by the lure of their trade with the East

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?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed
  • a notebook is always useful a visit to the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford is planned at an extra cost

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required
  • Books will be recommended as appropriate throughout the course

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider

Download full Course information sheet

The Art of Trade


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
Visa Credit payments supported by RBS WorldPay Visa Debit payments supported by RBS WorldPay Visa Electron payments supported by RBS WorldPay Mastercard payments supported by RBS WorldPay Maestro payments supported by RBS WorldPay JCB payments supported by RBS WorldPay Solo payments supported by RBS WorldPay
RBS WorldPay Payments Processing