• University of York

Modern Sculpture: An Introduction to Art History

Grow your visual analysis skills as you learn how to describe and learn from public sculpture artworks at the University of York.

6,495 enrolled on this course

(c) John Houlihan - Image of students walking at the University of York campus

Modern Sculpture: An Introduction to Art History

6,495 enrolled on this course

  • 4 weeks

  • 4 hours per week

  • Digital certificate when eligible

  • Introductory level

Find out more about how to join this course

Dive into art history through an exploration of public sculpture

Public sculpture is everywhere – in our parks, squares and city centres, as well as galleries and museums.

On this course, you’ll explore material, conceptual and theoretical questions around 20th-century sculpture.

Using University of York campus examples, you’ll interrogate the notion of ‘modern’ sculpture and address issues like art conservation and the role of the institution in purchasing new artworks.

You’ll explore Yorkshire’s rich history as the epicentre of contemporary sculpture, including sculpture galleries like the Henry Moore Institute and the Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 5 seconds Public sculpture surrounds us in our everyday lives in our parks, town squares, city centres and from local galleries to national museums. Have you ever wondered who made them? What they’re made from? Or the stories behind them? In this course, we try to answer those questions by studying a variety of sculpture from the picturesque University of York campus. Many of these works are examples of the dramatic change that the medium of sculpture underwent during the twentieth century. Over this four-week course, we will explore how and when sculpture arrived on York campus, delve into historical, theoretical and material debates surrounding modern art, and reveal the usefulness of sculpture in our everyday lives.

Skip to 0 minutes and 57 seconds We also explore Yorkshire’s rich history as the epicentre for modern and contemporary sculpture. The region boasts internationally recognised galleries such as the Henry Moore Institute, the Hepworth Wakefield and the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. The University of York plays an important role in the story of sculpture in Yorkshire from its foundation in the 1960s to the present day. In a world that’s increasingly visual, learning to look at and analyse objects is an important and valuable, lifelong skill. Art history teaches us how to look and see the world from an informed perspective. So, join us as we explore the new forms, philosophies and debates that produced the greatest artists and sculpture of the twentieth century.

What topics will you cover?

  • Sculpture in the Built Environment
  • Modern Sculpture: Histories, Ideas & Theories
  • Twentieth-century Art in Yorkshire
  • The Challenges of the New

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Identify a range of sculpture from the University of York campus and the work of key British sculptors
  • Develop the visual analytical skills to identify and describe sculpture using accurate art historical terminology
  • Engage critically with some of the material, conceptual and theoretical concepts related to sculptural practice
  • Reflect on the integral role that sculpture plays in shaping our suburban and urban landscapes

Who is the course for?

This course will be of interest to anyone who visits museums and galleries or who is interested in culture, conservation, and heritage subjects.

The course will also be helpful for those considering further study in art history, particularly A-Level students.

Who will you learn with?

I'm an associate lecturer in the History of Art department at the University of York. I'm proud to call Yorkshire home - it's one of the best places to look and learn about art!

I became fascinated by modern art as a young person and have spent my career researching the most absurd, controversial and bizarre aspects of it. I'm fortunate enough to do that for a living!

Who developed the course?

University of York

The University of York combines the pursuit of academic excellence with a culture of inclusion, which encourages everyone – from a variety of backgrounds – to achieve their best.

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Ways to learn

Choose the best way to learn for you!

Subscribe & save

$349.99 for one year

Automatically renews

Develop skills to further your career

  • Access to this course
  • Access to 1,000+ courses
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Tests to boost your learning
  • Digital certificate when you're eligible

Cancel for free anytime

Buy this course

$134/one-off payment

Fulfill your current learning need

  • Access to this course
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Tests to boost your learning
  • Printed and digital certificate when you’re eligible

Limited access


Sample the course materials

  • Access expires 17 Jul 2024

Find out more about certificates, Unlimited or buying a course (Upgrades)

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