Painting by Stass Paraskos

"A revolution is on the way, and it's partly because we no longer take our standards from the tweedy top." - Pauline Boty (1938-1966)

At a Glance

  • Live online course (hybrid)
  • Tuesdays 18:00 - 20:00
  • 20 weeks: October to March
  • Tutor: Michael Paraskos
  • Fees from £252 to £470
Booking link

This course is confirmed to run.

Dr Michael Paraskos invites you to join him on an exciting whistlestop tour of the sometimes bewildering world of modern art, starting with the Impressionists in the 1860s, and ending with art in the mid-twentieth century.

The journey is a facinating one, sometimes tragic, sometimes funny, and always extraordinary - if you have ever wanted to understand the modern art in some of our most well-known museums and galleries, by artists ranging from Monet and Picasso, to Dali and Warhol, then this is the course for you!

Study of this period in art history is extremely enjoyable and rewarding, but you will end the course with a greater understanding of some most significant works of art to be found in museums and galleries across the world today. From discovering how the Impressionists used the latest findings in science to select their colour palette, to how fear of the atomic bomb led to a whole new movement in sculpture, this course will give you a real insight into how modern artists have responded to the modern world, and how that world responded to them.

No previous knowledge of art, history, or art history is necessary, and your tutor is an expert at guiding both novices and the more experienced through the - sometimes shocking and sometimes comic - intricacies of modern art. 

Live Online Course (Hybrid Delivery)

This version of the course is delivered online in the form of a live stream via Zoom of the classroom session being taught at Imperial College London in South Kensington. This is called 'Hybrid Delivery' and you will be able to see the lecturer and the slides being shown, but do be aware that with the online delivery there will only very limited opportunity to interact with the tutor and the class.

You will also have access to recordings of the sessions (T&Cs apply) for up to one month after the final session of the course.

Class Recordings

Where feasible, for this course sessions will be recorded for subsequent viewing


Attendance Certificate


Successful completion of this course leads to the award of an Imperial College attendance certificate


Terms and conditions apply to all enrolments to this course. Please read them before enrolment

Course Information

Course Programme and Additional Reading

Programme (subject to possible modification)

  1. Tuesday 25 October 2022: Impressionism: Modernism before Modernism
  2. Tuesday 1 November 2022: No session
  3. Tuesday 8 November 2022: Alfred Barr’s Four Founding Fathers (and the Great Binge) - Part 1: Cezanne and Seurat
  4. Tuesday 15 November 2022: Alfred Barr’s Four Founding Fathers - Part 2 - Gauguin and van Gogh
  5. Tuesday 22 November 2022: Arts and Crafts, Art Nouveau, and Werkbundismus
  6. Tuesday 29 November 2022: Clearly Modern: Matisse, Fauvism and Anarchism
  7. Tuesday 6 December 2022: Ensor, Munch and Dresden Expressionism
  8. Tuesday 13 December 2022: Expressionist Film in Germany and Its Global Impact (ES)


  1. Tuesday 10 January 2023: Hilma af Klint and the Munich Expressionists
  2. Tuesday 17 January 2023: Picasso and Cubism
  3. Tuesday 24 January 2023: Futurism, Cabaret and the First World War
  4. Tuesday 31 January 2023: Dada, Sex and Surrealism
  5. Tuesday 7 February 2023: Constructivism, Supremativism and De Stijl
  6. Tuesday 14 February 2023: British Sculpture Between the Wars
  7. Tuesday 21 February 2023: Reimann, Bauhaus and Vkhutemas
  8. Tuesday 28 February 2023: Avant-Garde Film Making (ES)
  9. Tuesday 7 March 2023: British Pop and Post-War Design
  10. Tuesday 14 March 2023: Post Second World War Abstraction
  11. Tuesday 21 March 2023: Post Second World War Abstraction
  12. Tuesday 28 March 2023: The New Sculpture in Britain and America
  13. Tuesday 4 April 2023: American Pop and the End of Modernism

Additional Reading

There is no compulsory reading required for this course and there is no set course text, but if you would like to read more on the subject we suggest:

  • David Britt, Modern Art: Impressionism to Post-Modernism (London: Thames and Hudson, 2007)
  • David Cottington, Modern Art: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005)
  • Pam Meecham, Modern Art: A Critical Introduction (London: Routledge, 2004)

Your Tutor

Photograph of Michael ParaskosDr 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 Fees and Discounts

HoursWeeksStandard RateInternal RateAssociate Rate
 40  20 Early Bird: £423  (£10.58 p/h) 
Full price: £470   (£11.75 p/h)
Early Bird: £252  (£6.30 p/h) 
Full price: £280   (£7 p/h)
Early Bird: £333  (£8.33 p/h) 
Full price: £370   (£9.25 p/h)
All fee rates quoted are for the whole 2-term course. Early Bird rates available 1 August to 30 September 2022 only. Part-payments are not possible. Equivalent to hourly rate is shown for comparison guidance only, it is not possible to pay pro-rata hourly rates.

Rate Categories and Discounts

Standard Rate

  • Available to all except those who fall under the Internal Rate or Associate Rate category, respectively.

Internal Rate

  • 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
  • Students, staff and Governors of Woodhouse College and the IC Mathematics School
  • 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 before completing the online enrolment form

Associate Rate

  • Alumni of Imperial College and predecessor colleges and institutes
  • Austrian Cultural Forum staff
  • City & Guilds College Association members
  • Co-operative College members
  • Francis Crick Institute staff, researchers and students
  • Friends and Patrons of the English Chamber Orchestra
  • Friends of Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens
  • Friends of Leighton House/ Sambourne House
  • Friends of the Royal College of Music
  • 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)
  • National Health Service (NHS) employees
  • Natural History Museum staff
  • 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

Late enrolment

It is possible to enrol on many of our adult education courses after the course has already 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.

Friends and Family Scheme

This course is eligible for the Friends and Family scheme, allowing Imperial College students and staff to share their discount with their friends and family.

Term Dates 2022-2023

HoursWeeksAutumn termSpring termSummer term
 40  20 First session is on Tuesday 25 October 2022. The last session before the break is on Tuesday 13 December 2022 (8 weeks)* First session is on Tuesday 10 January 2023. The final course session is on Tuesday 28 March 2023 (12 weeks) n/a
*Term 1 and 2 are separated by the Christmas break 

Enrolment Process

Web enrolment starts 1 August 2022. Early bird discounts are available from 1 August to 30 September 2022.

Enrolment and payment run through the Imperial College eStore. When enrolling:

  • Do check on the drop down menu above called "Course Fees and Rate Categories" to see if you are eligible for a discounted rate and also do make sure you select that rate when enrolling on the eStore
  • If you are a first-time eStore user you will need to create an account before enrolling. You can do this by entering an email address and password. This account can then be used for any future enrolments via the eStore.

When you have enrolled you will be sent the following email notifications:

What is sentWhen is it sentWhat does it contain
1. Payment confirmation Is sent straight away following submission of your online application
  • This is a receipt for your payment and includes payment date, order number and course title
  • Confirmation of your place on your chosen course will follow later as long as the course recruits enough students to run. If not you will receive a refund of your payment.
2. Enrolment confirmation Is usually sent within 10 working days. Please treat your payment confirmation as confirmation that your applicant details and payment have been received
  • Confirms your course choice
  • Shows your course's term dates
  • Confirms the day and time of your course
3. Programme information Is usually sent on Friday late afternoon the week before term starts
  • Contains joining instructions for your course, either online or in the classroom, depending on the course
  • If you need further help with the above information please ring 020 7594 8756 / +44 20 7594 8756.
  • All enrolments are provisional until the course is confirmed to run. This will be dependent on the course reaching the minimum number of enrolments.
  • All enrolments are subject to our Terms and Conditions. It is not possible to join one of our courses without agreeing to be bound by our Terms and Conditions.

Any Questions?

If you have any questions about the academic content or teaching of this course please contact the Course Tutor, Dr Michael

If you have any questions about your enrolment or payment processes please contact the Programme Administrator, Christian Jacobi,