Art in 20th Century Europe

Online course

+44 (0)20 7942 2000

From Art Nouveau to Deco, explore one of the most dynamic periods in European art. Discover the contributions made by individual artists and designers, and consider themes such as taste, patronage, and the art market.

  • Learn from our world-class experts wherever, whenever: watch lectures live or view the recording later in your own time.

  • Breadth and depth: more than 40 hours of study over 12 weeks.

  • Consolidate your learning: download lecture notes, copies of the presentations, and additional study materials from our secure Microsoft Teams learning environment.

  • Join the conversation: share your perspective with your fellow students, and support each other in your further enquiries outside of class time.

  • Learn at your own pace: lecture recordings and study materials are available for up to 12 weeks after the course ends, so you'll never miss a minute.
course photo
Portrait of Course Director Dr Kathy McLauchlan

Course Director
Dr Kathy McLauchlan

Dr Kathy McLauchlan is an art historian specialising in French painting and lecturer with the Arts Society, Morley College and Oxford University.

What an inspirational course! Thank you! Previous V&A Academy Student

Course overview

During the first few decades of the twentieth society western society experienced new heights of confidence and prosperity, thanks to a combination of rapid industrialization and colonial expansion. These same developments generated huge tensions both within and between nations, culminating in the First World War and the Russian Revolution.
In the fine arts, ideas of the past were subject to renewed critical examination, and the traditions, techniques and subject matter of art were transformed. To be new was to be avant-garde, and the early twentieth century saw a whole series of art movements, each claiming to be more innovative and radical than the last. At the same time, simplicity, functionality, and the use of new materials characterized advances in architecture and design. The Modernists wanted to reshape the world.


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V&A Academy Online courses are built using the latest Microsoft software. Tune in to expert lectures live, or catch up later on demand. Download handouts and presentations. Join the discussion in a secure, closed class environment, wherever you are.

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Online course: Art in 20th Century Europe

20 April 2023 - 6 July 2023


Call to book +44 (0)20 7942 2000

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+44 (0)20 7942 2000

Open 10.00 - 13.00, Monday to Sunday (closed 24-26 December)

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