Mosaics: a history in the British Museum

Ref: C2421260

This introduction session will consider some of the ways the Romans expressed their values through their fine decorative and technical skills in mosaic making. We will look at and seek to understand the function of various mosaics through the examination of their various settings, their meaning in expressing the Roman's outlook on life, how they were made and what they tell us about past and present. We will focus on the Romans in Britiain room 49/50 at the British Museum as well as those on the North stairs. Meeting point is outside the Museum on left of pillars, at the entrance, at least 15 mins before start of session.

Course aim

This half day course provides a brief introduction to the ancient art of mosaics. We will look at examples in the British Museum collection dating from the Roman Empire and assess their relevance for today's audience.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed

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

  • have an insight into the function of Roman Mosaics in Britain and have discussed how they might be seen differently when not in their original setting
  • understand why and how mosaics were made in antiquity, including looking at various techniques and materials used.
  • understand the meaning behind various motifs of Roman mosaics including mythological, religious, economic and political importance
  • gain awareness about an important collection in the British Museum
  • develop further interest in the subject through handouts and practical possibilities

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
  • Handouts Further reading suggestions Practical mosaic courses in Ancient methods

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

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed
  • All materials will be provided

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

What can I do next?

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

Download full course information sheet

Mosaics: a history in the British Museum

Enrolment Conditions

This course is funded by the Greater London Combined Authority but is also open to residents of other areas.

As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2019
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact

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