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We offer an exceptional range of history and culture courses, including; family history and genealogy, art and music appreciation, literature, architecture, religion and philosophy. Our tutors are experts both in their subjects and in drawing parallels with our lives today. Our history and culture classes are active, and you will have opportunities to get involved and develop your research skills. We also offer trips and day schools. (See also – languages and writing)

A Russian Journey Taster View details

Russia features frequently in the news nowadays, but Russia is not only about politics. Who can imagine ballet without “The Nutcracker”, the Proms concerts without “1812 Overture”, or the classical novel without “War and Peace”? All these, and more, were created in Russia by Russians. The taster course will introduce learners to Russian culture, and give learners the opportunity to consider a longer course about Russian geography, art, music, language and religion, all in a historical context.

An Introduction to Modern Art View details

How modern is modern art? Actually, not very! Not to be confused with 'contemporary art' the majority of commentators agree that the term 'modern art' describes artistic works produced during a period extending very roughly from the 1860s to the late-1960s or 1970s, denoting the various avant-garde styles and philosophies of the art produced during that time period. The term is also usually associated with art in which the traditions of the past have been rejected in a spirit of experimentation and innovation, now frequently identified as Modernist (or, Modernism). As something of a taster series, this five-week course offers an opportunity to situate the emergence and evolution of modern art within a historical and cultural context and to identify a range of its characteristics, influences, developments, art movements and major practitioners.

Ancient Egypt - An Exploration of New Kingdom Tombs Online with John Billman View details

This course is fully online accessing the course through Canvas our virtual learning environment and zoom, a video conferencing software. You will need reliable internet connection and internet-linked device with camera and microphone. We will email you links to canvas, please accept these to access the course, the sender will show as “instructure”. What makes up the decoration on Ancient Egyptian tomb walls? This course will introduce New Kingdom case studies such as the tombs of Paheri and Rekhmire discussing and explaining the tomb scenes painted or carved on the walls. We will study both so-called 'daily life' scenes as well as depictions of the funeral ritual and the duties in life of the deceased and seek to discern the meaning of these scenes and understand why the deceased chose to include such representations.

Art History - Pioneering Women Online with Abi Kremer View details

This course is fully online accessing the course through Canvas our virtual learning environment and zoom a video conferencing software. You will need, reliable internet connection and internet-linked device with camera and microphone. We will be email you links to canvas, please accept these to access the course, the sender will show as “instructure”. Take part in this stimulating illustrated art history presentation, looking at the role of influential women artists, who often had to overcome huge barriers to achieve success in their time. Become involved in the fascinating back-stories, and gain knowledge and understanding of art history covering selected periods from Renaissance to contemporary art.

Art History: Artemisia Gentileschi View details

How Artemisia Gentileschi became established as an painter in the 17th century and why she and other great women artists were disregarded for centuries, until they began to be rediscovered in the 20th century. We'll look at the problems encountered by aspiring women artists over the years and how many of them were helped and encouraged by a father who was also an artist. We'll examine Gentileschi's life and work and what made her stand out as a painter at a time when most artists were men. We'll find out why it was generally assumed that women could not be artists - the lack of equality of opportunity and the social conventions of the times. We'll also look at other women artists from the 16th century until the turn of the 20th century, particularly those whose work was groundbreaking.

Art of Garden's: People's Paradise View details

To explore a selection of examples by artists inspired by the themes of people in gardens. The examples featured are mostly from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Fully illustrated with discussion

Artists and the Thames View details

The Thames, its bridges, embankments, and the monuments standing alongside it are world-renowned symbols of London. Over the centuries, artists have represented the river from many different viewpoints, for all sorts of occasions, and in a variety of artistic styles. We will start on the South Bank, by the Westminster bridge opposite to the Houses of Parliament, and we will then walk along the river to the Golden Jubilee bridges, where we will cross the river and walk toward Trafalgar Square where we will finish. Along the way, we will discuss works by Claude de Jongh (1631) and Andre Derain (1906), Canaletto (1747), Watts (1849-50), Gustave Dore, and many others. Our meeting point is the top of the steps by the South Bank Lion on Westminster Bridge.

Atkinson Grimshaw: Scarborough and Whitby by Moonlight View details

This session will explore aspects of the work of Atkinson Grimshaw, with a particular focus upon the work he produced in Scarborough and Whitby placing it within that wider context. Fully illustrated with opportunities for discussion.

Australia: A Poetic Introduction View details

Poetry is often a marginalised art in contemporary Western societies but those involved in it tend to believe in its value passionately. This derives from the belief that poetry is the deepest form of human expression. This course is designed to increase students' understanding of Australian culture and identity through an examination of the poetry produced since white settlement . The course explores Australian poetry alongside the relationship this form of literary production has had to the social, aesthetic and cultural values of their period, and the way in which the perception of these poems have changed over time. Each week a different theme will be discussed and will include topics such as the building of an Australian identity, Bush Ballards, Australia at war, Indigenous Australia and Australia today. Student will also have the opportunity to bring poems they have found independently to the discussions to share with others on the course.

Beginners Conversation class (Entry Level 1) View details

A short course to help people to improve speaking and listening skills and to increase in confidence.