The V&A to offer medieval art courses this fall

London’s Victoria and Albert Museum will be launching two art history courses that will allow students to experience it’s world-class medieval collection like never before.

Students on the V&A’s year-long medieval art history courses get closer to this outstanding collection through exclusive lectures from the museum’s experts and guest lecturers, behind the scenes access to the museum, and day trips to see history in context. Each week of these 36-week intensive courses consists of three one-hour lectures, with additional one-hour gallery talks on certain days. There even will be hands-on sessions with selected museum objects for those taking the certificate option.

“There is no bound to what the study of the medieval period can teach us about the world we live in today,” said Dr Sally Dormer. “There is no better way to study that period than through the infinite richness and fascination of its artistic output. And there is no better place to study that artistic output than at the V&A. I cannot wait to welcome my new students on our journey together.”

The V&A’s medieval collections bring together treasures of sacred and secular art, telling the colourful story of early European art and culture from the decline of the Roman Empire, to the dawn of the Renaissance. Highlights from the collection include the 12th century Gloucester Candlestick, looted from Gloucester Abbey during a fire and taken to France, where it escaped being melted down during the Dissolution of the Monasteries; a late 14th century Sicilian bed quilt that features the adulterous lover Tristan, and an ivory comb made to comb the hair of Emperor Charles the Bald when he was crowned Emperor of the Romans in 875.

The two courses focus on early and later medieval art. You can read the course programmes:

Early Medieval: 300-1250

Late Medieval to Early Renaissance: 1250-1500

Students of the Early Medieval: 300-1250 course chart the rise of Christianity in the East and West, exploring how patrons and craftsmen of the early Middle Ages transformed Classical principles to meet the aspirations of a new world order. Students will interpret objects and buildings in terms of their patronage, materials, techniques, functions and original settings.

Photo: © Victoria and Albert Museum

The Late Medieval to Early Renaissance: 1250-1500 course, explores the visual arts in an era of profound cultural, intellectual and social change, from High Gothic to Renaissance. Topics covered include illuminated manuscripts, gothic cathedrals and stained glass, encountering masters such as Giotto and Van Eyck on the way.

Starting in September, each course is a year-long, taking place on one fixed day per week for three terms. Guest lecturers include experts from the University of Oxford, the Tower of London, Christies Education and many more.

For more information, or to enrol, please go to:

Early Medieval: 300-1250

Late Medieval to Early Renaissance: 1250-1500

You can see other courses offered by the Victoria and Albert Museum by visiting

Photo: © Victoria and Albert Museum

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