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Introduction to Modern Art History (Online Short Course)

Introduction to Modern Art History (Online Short Course)

Central Saint Martins
Taught by
Theo Carnegy Tan


The twentieth century was one of the most important periods of history for the world of art, one so expansive that we still feel its effects today. Many enjoy going to art galleries and are familiar with some of the most famous modern artworks by the likes of Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali and Andy Warhol. If you would like to take your appreciation further by learning how to analyse and understand these works and the art movements they came from then this course is for you.

This short course is designed to give a comprehensive introduction to the field of modern art by studying its most definitive artists and movements. Over four weeks, you will go through a modern art timeline from the Impressionist revolution in the late 1800s to Postmodernist art.

Through paintings, videos, manifestos and writings you will unpick the reasons for and meanings behind each theme in order to gain a good understanding of how such art came about, why it was important and how it contributes to contemporary art today. Each modern art movement is given specific attention and notes are sent out after each class with the corresponding images. You will be asked to read texts before each class and analyse artworks of your choice then present your findings.

By the end of this course, you will have improved your knowledge of the characteristics of modern art and its various movements. You can continue to deepen your knowledge of the topic through your own research, apply ideas to your own creative practices or apply for an art-related degree course.


  • How to analyse an artwork
  • The importance of modern art
  • The foundations of Modernism
  • What did modern art emerge from and what movements anticipated it?
  • Academies of art and breaking the academy
  • Modern art movements from Impressionism to Postmodern art
  • How modern art movements contribute to contemporary art

Course Outcomes:
By the end of the course you will have an understanding of;

  • Influential modern art movements
  • How modern art movements contribute to contemporary art today
  • How to analyse and discuss an artwork
  • The foundations of Modernism

Who is Introduction to Modern Art History (Online Short Course) for?
If you are interested in art and enjoy visiting galleries and would like to deepen your knowledge of modern art then this course is for you. You will develop and shape your understanding and opinions, which could give you a greater appreciation for art that you can apply to your own artwork or to a degree application.

Level: Beginner/Intermediate.

Why choose a CSM Online Short Course
Our online learning short courses allow you to experience Central Saint Martins wherever you are in the world. The real-time chat sessions are fully interactive allowing you to communicate easily with the tutor at the same time as fellow students. Additionally all CSM Online Short Courses include;

  • Live sessions with expert
  • Lesson recordings
  • Practical assignments
  • Personal feedback
  • VLE with course content
  • Forums for support
  • 3 months online access
  • CSM Certificate upon completion

Please note that all courses are taught in UK time. To check and compare times please click here

Please note: This course is for students aged 18 and older
Please note that Online courses are closed to all new bookings 48 hours prior to the course starting.

Tutor Description

Theo Carnegy-Tan is an arts academic from London, and he has taught Short Courses with Central Saint Martins since 2014. Previously has given a number of talks at the Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art, and has worked in the archives of Zaha Hadid Architects and the Mucha Foundation. His writing has been featured in Another Gaze, MAP, and The Quietus among others


Online Short Course Materials

To take part in the Online sessions you will need:

  • An up-to-date web browser (we recommend Firefox or Chrome)
  • The latest version of Java installed on your device
  • Microphone and headphones (a headset with a microphone function is recommended)
  • Webcam
  • Strong Internet connection via WiFi or ethernet; 2G, 3G or 4G will not be sufficient

Course Specific Materials

  • Paper and pen to take notes during live sessions
An extensive reading list will be sent to each student at the beginning of the source recommending works by John Berger, Arthur Danto, Julian Stallabrass and literature by Modernist authors

Available dates