American Art and Artists - Epsom & Ewell Branch

Ref: C3745777

A review of art in the USA from the time of the earliest European settlement to the first half of the twentieth century, this course will explore the role of art in recording and framing changes in the ways of life and the development of ideas of nationhood. We will discuss art from colonial times, the emergence of the new nation in the late eighteenth century, the importance of landscape to American national identity, the ideas of the frontier and westward progress in the nineteenth century, and the celebration of and anxieties about the emergence of modernity in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. (Note: this course does not include Native American art.)

Course aim

To consider a range of works of art from the region, linking them to their social, political and historical contexts, and investigating their role in recording and shaping contemporary debates.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • You will need your own personal email address so that you’re able to login to the WEA’s digital learning platform: WEA Canvas. You will need to be able to understand how to follow URL links to pages on the internet. If you want to understand more about Canvas please visit: http://bit.ly/WEAonline
  • You will need to be able to follow links to join our WEA live video learning platform: WEA Zoom. If you’d like to understand more about our video learning platform, Zoom please visit: http://bit.ly/WEAonline and http://bit.ly/ZoomSpec
  • This is a live lecture delivered by a subject specialist in an online webinar video learning platform. You will need to be able to access the internet on a device with speakers or earphones. There will be opportunities to take part in discussions and chats. If you’d like to know how to use Zoom please visit: http://bit.ly/ZoomSpec
  • No skills or experience needed

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

  • think critically about and discuss artworks from America within a broader historical context.
  • describe some of the ways in which American artists engaged with ideas of nationhood and an evolving society.
  • look at examples of art by American artists and comment on them.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA’s digital learning platform, Canvas will be used to provide resources or to support lessons, enable assessment, provide learner feedback and for other activities for individuals away from the course. If you want to understand more about our digital learning platform please visit: http://bit.ly/WEAonline
  • 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?

  • There will be informal verbal feedback as appropriate.

What else do I need to know?

  • What you need: You will need an internet connection, speakers, a microphone and a webcam so that you can use our video learning platform, Zoom. If you’d like to understand more Zoom please visit: http://bit.ly/ZoomSpec
  • You will also need access to the internet outside of your sessions. You could do this using a smart phone, tablet, laptop or a desktop computer (at home or through a library etc.).
  • You will need a personal email address to join the WEA’s digital learning platform, Canvas so that you can receive resources, record your progress and achievement and to work with others and share ideas. If you want to understand more about our digital learning platform please visit: http://bit.ly/WEAonline
  • Nothing else is needed

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No preparatory reading is required, but some suggestions for general reading include: David Bjelajac, American Art: A Cultural History (2005) Robert Hughes, American Visions: The Epic History of Art in America (1997)

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

Download full course information sheet

American Art and Artists - Epsom & Ewell Branch

Enrolment Conditions

As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you enrol. Please check the details below to ensure you meet the basic eligibility critiera:

  • 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 2020
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

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