About Our Class

As the Art Seminar class, we visit art museums and galleries, go to the traditional places, meet up in the professor’s room for presentations and discussions, and post our experience on our blog while we stay in London. Museums or galleries (and special exhibitions) we go are the British museum, Tate Modern (the Mexican artist Abraham Cruzvillegas’ Turbine Hall Installation), National Gallery (GOYA Portraits Exhibition), Barbican (the World of Charles and Ray Eames and the Forever Loop), National Portrait Gallery (Giacometti Exhibition), Serpentine Sackler Gallery, Princess Diana Memorial, Victorian and Albert Museum, Courtauld Collection (Bridget Riley: Learning from Seurat), Tate Britain (Frank Auerbach Exhibition), Marianne North Gallery at Kew Garden, Saatchi Gallery, and Newport Street Gallery (Damien Hirst art collection). Also we go to the London Eye, Gielgud Theater ( the Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime), the self-guided City Public Art Street Tour, Old Spitalfields Market and Shoreditch Street Art Tour as a class. We have four class meetings at professor’s  flat, and each of us does presentation about British history. We have seven students, and themes of our presentations are 1. pre-historic Britain, Roman Britain, and the middle ages which includes an overview of the early history of the England including the Druids, Romans in Britain (the city of Bath) 43AD-410, the Norman Conquest (French invasion of Britain), the era of the Crusades, 100 Year War, War of the Poses, etc, up to the year 1450, 2. Henry the Eighth and the church of England followed by the Elizabethan age, which explains how and why England broke away from the Catholic Church establishing the Church of England under Queen Elizabeth I, i.e. Shakespeare, beating the Spanish Armada, 3. the industrial revolution begins in England from 1760 to 1850 and Charles Dickens’ London, 4. Victorian England from 1837 to 1901,  5. British Empire and colonialism starting with North America including the U.S. then India, Africa, Australia, 6. England in World War I including the class system in England, what Britain was like before WWI and how it changes after WWI, and 7. England in WWII, what the British went thru, how the US helped Britain, and what England was like after WWII. It is interesting that we can learn the background of British history while we are in London. After some presentations, we discuss about what we see and think about the places we went. On Tuesday January 12, we did a pot luck and brought some British food. I bought caramel & sea salt flavor fudge from Harrods. 20160111_194022443_iOS20160105_130831192_iOS

Let me explain my favorite art works I fond.


Vincent van Gogh, the National Gallery
Sunflowers (1888)
It looks gold from a distance. He used yellow as a color of hope and friendship. He said it was a “idea symbolizing gratitude.” He liked this painting a lot and hung on the wall of the guest bedroom, which his friend, Paul Gauguin, stayed. I was very pleased to watch this painting. It gives me a passion and joy and makes me motivated. I also like how he painted background. It is just a single color, but the direction of the brush stroke is various. It also reminds me an active and positive impression.


Joseph Mallord William Tuner, the National Gallery
The Fighting Temeraire (1839)
It depicts a last journey of the Temeraire, which is a famous warship sold by the Royal Navy in 1838. He contrasts the veteran ship, seen against the setting sun, with the modern stream propelled tug. I the contrast of the united soft color and dark shadows. There is no clear borderline between the sky and sea.

Thank you for reading!

Emi Takeyama is an international student from Japan and Graphic Design major. She is excited to take an art seminar class in London.

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