Understanding Art: Joy of Art
Virtual journeys around some of the world's most famous and not so famous artists
At a Glance
- Live online course
- 1 hour a week
- Tuesdays 19:00 - 20:00, or Wednesdays 11:00 - 12:00 (live repeat)
- 10 weeks: October to December
- Tutor: Michael Paraskos
- Fees from £60 to £105
- Imperial College attendance certificate (T&Cs apply)
Have you ever wanted to enjoy the art exhibitions in London with more insight and knowledge of the work you see? Taught online by the highly experienced adult education tutor Dr Michael Paraskos, this 10-week course is designed to offer you a chance to discover the work of some of the world's most famous, and not so famous, artists currently on show in London.
Each week we will look at the work of a different artist or group of artists with work currently on show in London. Some will be contemporary artists, others will be historical ones, and Michael will place their work in the context of the times in which they lived and consider the work in terms of the artists' biographies and make connections to other relevant artists. If you want to, after each session you will be able to visit the relevant exhibitions on show in London with additional insight into the art on display.
This course is aimed at complete beginners and those more experienced in art who want to gain greater fulfilment from visiting art museums and galleries when they reopen, or who want to progress to further study in art and cultural history.
If you cannot visit some (or any!) of the related exhibitions, don't worry, the course is also a great way of discovering the work of diverse artists, and does not require you to see the exhibitions recommended each week.
Online Access to Course
This is a taught live online course which means you will be taught alongside other students on the course by a tutor at a specific time on a specific day of the week. To take part in the course you will need a suitably equipped and internet-enabled device. Please find full details and instructions below under 'Course Delivery'.
Those who attend at least 80% of the course sessions will receive an attendance certificate from Imperial College London upon completion of the course.
Provisional Course programme - may be subject to change
Each week we will look at some of the themes relating to exhibitions currently on in London or about to start. You do not need to visit the exhibitions (or intend to visit the exhibitions), as the classes will be complete in themselves, but you can use the talks as introductions to the exhibitions if you want to. The exhibitions are given in the brackets in the list below.
Please note this course starts on 28 September (Tuesday session) or 29 September. (Wednesday session)
- Painting Today (Mixing it Up: Painting Today at the Hayward Gallery, South Bank Centre)
- Roman Art (Nero at the British Museum)
- Poussin (Poussin and the Dance at the National Gallery)
- Helen Frankenthaler (Helen Frankenthaler at Dulwich Picture Gallery)
- Modernist Sculpture (Noguchi at the Barbican Art Gallery, Barbican Centre, London)
- William Hogarth (Hogarth at Tate Britain)
- Childrens' Comic Book Art (The Beano at Somerset House)
- John Constable (Late Constable at the Royal Academy)
- Russian Decorative Arts (Fabergé in London: Romance to Revolution, V&A Museum)
- Carrbean British Art (Life Between Islands: Caribbean British Art - 1950s to Now at Tate Modern)
All sessions are delivered live online via Zoom.
There is no requirement to undertake specific reading for this course.
Dr Michael Paraskos is a very experienced adult education tutor, having taught for over twenty-five years. He holds a Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy, is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and also teaches art history to undergraduate students at the City and Guilds of London Art School.
He is a writer of both fiction and non-fiction and has published very widely on art of this period, as well as reviewing exhibitions and novels for BBC Radio 4’s Front Row and The Spectator magazine. His first novel In Search of Sixpence was published in 2016 and his second, called Rabbitman, was published in 2017.
Course Delivery: Live Online Taught Courses
All our online courses are taught live which means you will be taught alongside other students on the course by a tutor at a specific time. To take part in the course you must be able to attend the online session at the time stated for the course description.
All times stated are British Standard Time.
To take part you will need a computer, or laptop, or tablet computer, connected to the Internet. The device you use will also need to have a camera, microphone and speakers. Most devices now have these built in, but if not you might have to buy them from a computer shop and to connect them to your device.
This course will use Zoom as its online delivery method. Zoom is very easy to use and you do not need to set up a Zoom account to use it. Near the date of your first online session you will be sent an email with a web address (or URL) that will allow you to access the course. This is called the Course Link. All you need do is click on the Course Link in the email and you will be asked to enter your name. This is the name that will be seen by your tutor and other students in the class.
Once you have entered your name you might be asked to enter a password to enter the class. The password will be included in the email sent to you. Once you enter the password you will either be taken directly into the class, or asked to wait in a virtual waiting room until the tutor is ready to let you into the class.
We have also produced a Handy Guide to Zoom [pdf] which gives you basic information on how to use it.
Course Fees and Rate Categories
|Hours||Weeks||Standard Rate||Internal Rate||Associate Rate|
|* There is no Early Bird rate available for one-term courses starting in October|
Rate Categories and Discounts
- Applicable to all except those who fall under the Internal Rate or Associate Rate category, respectively.
- Current Imperial College students and staff (incl. Imperial NHS Trust, Imperial Innovations, ancillary & service staff employed on long-term contracts at Imperial College by third-party contractors)
- Individuals enrolling under our Friends & Family scheme
- Staff of the English Chamber Orchestra
- Current Centre for Languages, Culture and Communication (CLCC) staff, current CLCC PhD students, Science Communication (Sci Comm) postgraduate students, and students enrolled on an Imperial College 'Language for Science' degree programme should contact firstname.lastname@example.org before completing the online enrolment form
- Alumni of Imperial College and predecessor colleges and institutes
- Austrian Cultural Forum staff
- City & Guilds College Association members
- Francis Crick Institute staff, researchers and students
- Friends and Patrons of the English Chamber Orchestra
- Harrods staff
- Historic Royal Palaces staff
- Lycee Charles de Gaulle staff
- Members of the Friends of Imperial College
- Members of the Kennel Club
- Members of the London Zoological Society
- Members of the South London Botanical Institute (SLBI)
- Members of the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP)
- Natural History Museum staff
- National Health Service (NHS) employees
- Residents of postcodes SW3, SW5, SW7, SW10 and W8
- Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Council staff
- Royal College of Art and Royal College of Music tutors and other staff
- Royal Geographical Society staff
- Science Museum staff
- Staff of Exhibition Road Cultural Group (Discover South Kensington) organisations
- Students (non-Imperial College)
- Teachers and other staff of UK schools
- Tutors and other staff of institution members of the Association of Colleges
- Tutors and other staff of other universities and higher education institutions
- Victoria and Albert Museum staff
It is possible to enrol on many CLCC Evening Class and Lunchtime Learning programmes after the course has started. For non-language courses this is subject entirely to agreement by the tutor. For language courses it is subject to agreement by the language Coordinator conducting level assessment. If you want to join a course late do bear in mind there might be work you will need to catch up on, particularly in language courses.
Applicable terms & conditions
Please read the Terms and Conditions [pdf] before enrolling on any course.
|Hours||Weeks||Autumn term||Spring term||Summer term||Summer School|
|10||10||11 Oct - 18 Dec 2021 (10 weeks)*||n/a||n/a||n/a|
|* This is a one-term course|
Web enrolment starts 2nd August 2021
Enrolment and payment run through the Imperial College eStore. Please click on the blue booking link on the relevant course page noting below instructions:
- Our rate categories are explained on the course page and your applicable rate category must be selected on the eStore
- First-time eStore users please create an account by entering an email address and password. These credentials should also be used for future bookings. Imperial College users please note the eStore is not a single-signon College system
- The booking process involves entering payment details after your course choice and applicant details are collected via an in-built questionnnaire
- The following email notifications are sent:
|What is sent||When is it sent||What does it contain|
|1. Payment confirmation||Is sent instantaneously following submission of your online application||
|2. Enrolment confirmation||Is sent within 10 working days. Please treat your payment confirmation as confirmation that your applicant details and payment have been received||
|3. Programme information||Is usually sent on Friday late afternoon the week before term starts||
|If you need further help with the above information please ring 020 7594 8756
- Questions regarding the content and teaching of this course should be sent to the tutor, Dr Michael Paraskos at email@example.com
- Questions about your enrolment and payment should be sent to the Programme Administrator, firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have enjoyed this course, why not look at other arts and humanities evening class courses at Imperial College. This includes courses on the history of western art from ancient Greece to the nineteenth century, Understanding Modern and Design, the history of film and cinema and Greek and Roman mythology in art. We also run practical courses in art and photography and creative writing classes, and a growing programme of science based evening classes.