May 10, 2017
History of Art from Oxford University
Introduction to Wester Art History from Saylor Academy
Moder Art in MoMa: 1180 - 1945
Women in Art and Art History from Tate
Modern Russian Art from Universaruim
I have deliberately chosen the short course “Women in Art and Art History” created by Tate for the review due to its briefness.
Women have always been doing art, however a long time had to pass before their work was acknowledged. The online course of Tate tells about the challenges women artists had to face: from learning to selling, about fighting for their rights, about feminism in art in general. It introduces us to the works of Barbara Hepworth, Francoise Gilot, Beddi Peppi, Lora Simpson and others, and questions of gender, equality, freedom and democracy that are reflected in it.
The content of the course is divided into three major sections: a brief history of women in art, stories of famous women artists and women’s issues in art. The structure is amazingly clear and easy to follow, the content absolutely accessible to everyone and doesn’t require any background in art. It is most likely that the initial aim of the project is not so much an academic education, but rather general public enlightenment. I have watched the whole course; it didn’t take much of my time and felt more of an entertainment. Each lecture from the section women as artists is a biographical and critical narration with injections of interviews from artists themselves and art experts, and each of these stories is fascinating and inspiring.
The biggest advantage of such kind of online courses is that it is accessible to everyone, every time and everywhere. I don’t believe that online learning can replace the whole range of activities that are a part of conventional model of education, and I don’t believe that classical student-teacher communication will ever die out. In almost all fields (programming is the only big question mark for me) being psychically present and going through the full circle to education is a part of building professional identity. However, MOOCs can be a great step into the subject. Without any pressure one can try and play with a field. It is also a great opportunity for people who for some reason were disappointed in conventional university and school to restore their interest and to find their own way of doing things. I appreciate availability and feeling of independence that MOOCs give to a student.