By the time we had reached November in 2020, and with the prospect of a winter in lockdown because of Covid restrictions, I was looking for something to lift the darkness of life, and I found it in the National Gallery’s (London) online course Stories of Art, a modular introduction to art history.
Each module consisted of six weekly two hour sessions, presented by different experts in the period being discussed. All the presenters were excellent and were ably assisted by the host, Christina Bradstreet, and a host of technicians and other art historians who were answering participants’ questions behind the scenes. At one point we were told that there were more than 1000 people attending the course, from all over the world.
Each two-hour session was split in the middle by a 10 minute break and the last 10 minutes of each hour was reserved for questions, although, as mentioned already participants could have their questions answered throughout the session, by experts in the background. Each two hour session provided not only a wealth of content, but also many, many stunning images. We were also provided with handouts and a slide list, with many links to where we could find the images referenced. The handouts also included links to videos, references and texts for further study, and suggestions for homework, the results of which participants were invited to post on Padlet. Interactivity was also encouraged through polls during the session, in which we were asked for our opinion or tested on our knowledge.
If for some reason we could not attend the live session, a recording was made available for one week from a few days after the session.
After each session I typed up my notes and then at the end of the module shared these here on this blog. These notes do not cover anything like the amount of content covered, but maybe will give an idea of what the course was like and how excellent it was.
I have finally just completed the entire course. When I started I thought I would try one module and see what it was like, but then I was hooked. I didn’t find out about the course until the start of Module 2, so I worked through to the end of Module 7, and then returned to the start of Module 1 in September of this year (2021). This course will now run until August next year (2022). Details of the course, which seems to run annually, can be found on the National Gallery’s website.
Here are the links to all the posts I have made