These university level visual arts classes are completely free, and right from your couch.
Reading, binging Netflix shows, and copious amounts of food have been involved in our daily #StayHome routines thus far. Some of our favourite hobbies, like art and design, have had to take the back seat due to lack of supplies and the inability to go out and get them. But if you’re anything like us, you’ll appreciate getting to learn more about the world of art, all its history and media, even without a canvas at hand. These nine MOOCs, (massive open online courses) range from comic art, Islamic calligraphy, the avant-garde, and the ancient wonderment of Egypt’s very own artistic heritage.
PYRAMIDS OF GIZA: ANCIENT EGYPTIAN ART AND ARCHAEOLOGY AT HARVARD UNIVERSITY
Taught by Harvard Egyptology professor Peter Der Manuelian, this 8 week class discusses Egypt’s most iconic landmark and the only surviving wonder of the world, the Giza pyramids. To enrol, visit EDX.com.
COMICS: ART IN RELATIONSHIP AT CALIFORNIA COLLEGE OF THE ARTS
The complex relationship between text, images, page layouts and panels are explored in this five-session course led by Matt Silady, chair of California College of the Arts’ MFA in comics. Visit Class Central’s website to enrol.
PHOTOGRAPHY BASICS AND BEYOND: FROM SMARTPHONE TO DSLR AT MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY
If you’re looking to graduate from iPhone photography, this four-module course arms aspiring photographers with the fundamental skills they need. Composition, lighting, exposure and all the core pillars of the art are taught in this thorough introduction to photography, which you can access on Coursera.
CHARTING THE AVANT-GARDE: FROM ROMANTICISM TO UTOPIC ABSTRACTION AT SCHOOL OF THE ART INSTITUTE OF CHICAGO (SAIC)
This course, comprised of four 13-hour sessions, dissects the history of avant-garde art throughout a 200-year period. Taught by the dean of faculty at the Art Institute of Chicago, Lisa Wainright, the course takes a deeper look into movements like Cubism and Romanticism which paved the way to pure abstraction by later artists. Access the class on Class Central’s website.
ISLAMIC CALLIGRAPHY: AN INTRODUCTION TO THE ART OF HANDWRITING AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MALAYA
Long admired for its methodical form and line work, Islamic calligraphy is a core entity in the artistic heritage of Arab, Persian, Ottoman and South Asian cultures. This course teaches basic lettering and an introduction into the complex writing tools required to master the delicate writing craft. Access this course on Class Central.
TOURING MODERNISM: FROM FRENCH AVANT-GARDE TO AMERICAN POP AND BEYOND AT SCHOOL OF THE ART INSTITUTE OF CHICAGO (SAIC)
The history of modern and postmodern art throughout the 19th and 20th century are revisited in this eight-week class. Painting, sculpture, photography and other forms of media are placed within a larger socio-political context, while you dissect how art and human experience are intrinsically connected. Enrol in this course on Class Central.
WARHOL AT THE UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH
The life and work of one of the most renowned artists in history and the godfather of Pop Art, Andy Warhol, is introduced through analytical analysis of artistic movements of the 20th century. The course explores the construction of artistic worth, and the themes addressed in Warhol’s major creative innovations. Sign up for the class on Coursera.
AN INTRODUCTION TO INDIAN ART: AN APPRECIATION AT VISVA-BHARATI UNIVERSITY & NPTEL
With a treasured art history dating back to more than 10,000 years, this course discovers the world of Indian art, both ancient and modern, in all its forms. Architecture, sculpture, and painting are some of the media discussed in this four-week course, which you can access on Class Central.
A HISTORY OF ROYAL FASHION AT UNIVERSITY OF GLASGOW
A look into the wardrobes of British royalty throughout five dynasties, including the Tudors and Victorians; this five-week class grants exclusive access to the Royal Ceremonial Dress Collection and will be taught by professor Sally Tuckett. You can enrol for this course through Class Central.