American Art & Artists

Ref: C3747220

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 America, 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?

  • This course is for beginners and improvers

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
  • describe some of the ways in which American artists engaged with the evolving nature of society
  • look at examples of art by American artists and comment sensibly on them

How will I be taught?

What kind of feedback can I expect?

What else do I need to know?

Nothing is required.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

What can I do next?

View full course information sheet

American Art & Artists


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 2021
  • You declare that the address you provide is correct and that you will provide evidence of this and your eligibility to live and work in the UK
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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