Day School:Moscow and the Art of the Metro

Ref: C3744282

This course explores the rich culture of Russia and Moscow, and how their artistic and design expertise was bought together by Stalin with unlimited human and material resources to produce the world's most famous and most palatial Metro system. We study how the 20th century became a turbulent period for Russia of revolution, world wars and Communist suppression, yielding a harvest of creative excellence in fine art and design with a unique range of new art movements and architectural styles. By the 1930's, having gained the power of an absolute dictator, Stalin conceived the idea of building a Metro system beyond compare, using their expertise in design to create a shining legacy to his "enlightened" rule. The resulting Metro, built as a showcase for Russian achievements in construction, architecture and decorative design, is still rapidly expanding and an essential element in the transport system of this congested city.

Additional information about this course

This course is not supported by the Education Skills Funding Agency and does not have a fee waiver but concessions may be available - contact the Branch for further details.

Course aim

To explore the 20th century art and architecture of Moscow as evidenced in the design and decor of the magnificent Moscow Metro, embracing both the splendour of the past imperial culture and the socialist propaganda of the contemporary Soviet period.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed

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

  • Name the first three leaders of communist Russia, ruling in turn over the period 1917 to 1964.
  • Name the Metro line built in the most "decorative" period of the construction of the Moscow Metro.
  • Describe the most celebrated station on the Moscow metro, the stage for many of Stalin's war speeches.
  • Identify the leading artist of the Socialist Realism period, producing both fine art and Metro art, in particular for the station in "outcome" (3) above.
  • Name the deepest station on the Moscow metro, and the Russian general, the hero of the Napoleonic Wars, that it honours.

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

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
  • It would be helpful to students with no knowledge of Moscow to look through a travel guide before the course to start to understand its layout and gain an outline of Russia's history and culture.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member
  • This course provides an excellent grounding for going to Moscow and better appreciating the city and all it has to offer.

Download full course information sheet

Day School:Moscow and the Art of the Metro


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

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