Art and Science: 1750-1900

Short course

+44 (0)20 7942 2000
Sold out

Explore the connections between art and science, and learn how artists from the 18th century onwards drew on discoveries in optics, anatomy, photography while also contributing to our understanding of the physical world.

Get up-close with objects from the collections of the V&A, the Science Museum and the National Gallery through object-handling sessions and gallery tours. Participate in group discussion and receive individual contact time with course tutors. Enjoy in-depth lectures with expert speakers. Led by V&A Course Director Dr Kathy McLauchlan, guest lecturers include Justine Hopkins, Martin Barnes, Natasha McEnroe and Nick Veasey.

Please note that places on this course are limited to 30.

Read more
course photo
Portrait of Course Director Dr Kathy McLauchlan

Course Director
Dr Kathy McLauchlan

Graduated at Oxford University and the Courtauld Institute. In 2001 she completed a PhD thesis on French painters in Rome during the 19th century. A lecturer specialising in 19th-century art history, she is currently a course director at the Victoria & Albert Museum, where she organises courses and study days on the history of art and design.

I signed up for this course as a one-off purely because of my interest in the subject but was so impressed by the lectures that I'll be looking to do further courses in the future. Previous V&A Academy Course Attendee

Course overview

We tend to assume that artists and scientists operate within quite separate spheres. This is a misconception. In reality art and science are interconnected. This course is a chance to explore the importance of their relationship over the last few hundred years.

Starting in the late 18th century, each day introduces a different aspect of scientific research – from geology and anatomy to photography and X-rays – finishing with the work of conservators in the present day. We explore some of the ways in which artists have drawn inspiration from the work of scientists, and we also examine the role of artists in expanding our understanding of the physical world and our place within it. We look at areas, notably photography and anatomy, where the boundaries between science and art are blurred, and we consider the contributions of scientists today, working behind the scenes in museums and galleries to reveal much that is invisible to the human eye and provide new insights into the materials, making and dating of works of art.


Bring your learning to life

Being up close with treasured objects from the V&A's collections brings your learning to life. Get precious time with incredible exemplars, as well as with our expert tutors and your fellow learners.

Enrol now

Short course: Art and Science: 1750-1900

22 January 2024 - 26 January 2024


Sold out

Need help enrolling? Talk to the admissions team:

+44 (0)20 7942 2000

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