The Golden Age of 17th-Century Dutch Painting

The Golden Age of 17th-Century Dutch Painting

7 mornings, Friday 1 June – 13 July, 10am – 12pm
The University of Auckland City Campus
Presented by Linda Yang 
$260.00 incl. GST

The 17th century was the ‘Golden Age’ of Dutch painting. Artists such as Johannes Vermeer, Rembrandt van Rijn and Franz Hals produced masterpieces that capture daily life, give insights into the morality of the time, show the self-confidence of politicians, scientists and prospering merchants. Join us as we explore the genres of portraiture, still life and landscapes and discover the symbolism and allegories contained in these exquisite works of art.

Course Outline

Dutch painting flourished during the Golden Age of the 17th century, when Dutch trade and science were among the most acclaimed in the world. This course will discuss the major painters of the period – Rembrandt van Rijn, Johannes Vermeer, Pieter de Hooch and Franz Hals – and their sponsors. The question of how their art was socially and politically embedded in the 17th century will steer the progress of the course as well as critical analysis and discussion of the different genres (historical/biblical painting, landscape and cityscape, portraiture, still life and genre painting).

Different genres such as portraiture, still life or historical paintings often included allegories which carried symbolical meanings (e.g. a skull, an hourglass, a candle to symbolize death). Genre paintings of activities undertaken by people of all classes and social ranks give not only insight to the daily life of this time but also show a new confidence of the painters who regarded these themes worthwhile capturing. Nevertheless, these paintings often also contained a moralistic message or even illustrated Dutch proverbs and sayings. Large historical or Biblical scenes were produced less frequently than in other countries, where religious and noble patrons of art often sought to overwhelm the viewer.

Our study of Dutch art will be embedded in comparative studies of the other great centres of this time, from Bernini’s powerful commissions in Papal Rome, Anthony van Dyck’s portraits in Tudor England and Velazquez’ Spanish court portraits.

Dutch painters aimed to invoke emotion by letting the viewer to be a bystander at a scene of profound intimacy. Portrait painting in particular – mostly commissioned by wealthy tradesmen, politicians, etc. – thrived during this time. While portraits at the beginning of the 17th century were quite formally composed, the composition changed and became livelier during the second half of the century. In addition to portraiture, landscape painting was a major genre. While 16th century paintings were painted mostly in the artist’s studio, by the 17th century artists now started to capture landscapes more realistically with drawings made on site.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the course, students will be familiar with the key themes and major artists of the Dutch Golden Age. Students will be able to identify and differentiate major artists of this period. Students will demonstrate the ability to critically analyse these paintings in the social and political context in which they were produced.

Who should attend?

This course is designed for anyone interested in art history and those particularly interested in Dutch painting of this era. No prior knowledge is necessary.

About the presenter

Linda Yang completed a Professional Teaching Fellowship in Art History at the University of Auckland, where she previously attained her Masters in Art History. Linda has also completed an internship at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, and is part of the Education team at the Auckland Art Gallery.

Imperial Russia from the Beginning to the End

Imperial Russia from the Beginning to the End

4 mornings, Thursday 5, 12, 19 and 26 April, 10:00am – 12:00pm
The University of Auckland City Campus
Presented by Judith Bassett
$185.00 incl GST

Find out about the powerful personalities of Peter the Great, Catherine the Great, Alexander l and Alexander ll. Discuss significant themes such as the relative importance of personalities and historical forces; the tension between East and West in Russian culture, and the role of the Orthodox religion. The course ends with the downfall of the Romanov Tsars in 1917.

Course outline

This course will explore the following themes: the identity of the Russian people; the ‘East/West’ dichotomy in Russian culture; the role of the Orthodox religion in imperial Russia; Russia’s relations with Europe and the efforts of the Tsars to shape their society and strengthen their empires.

Topics covered:

  • The Romanovs: The ‘gathering of the Russian lands’ and the nature of the Russian state before 1698.
  • Peter the Great and St Petersburg, 1698 – 1725. A dramatic acceleration of interest in Europe and the building of a new capital to express Russia’s identity as a European empire
  • Imagery of Power: Catherine the Great 1761 – 1799 Social structures and contradictions in 18th century Russia
  • Alexander 1: ‘the Saviour of Europe’ 1801 – 1825
  • Russia against Europe: Nicholas l, 1825 – 1855
  • Nineteenth century Perestroika: Alexander ll, 1855 – 1881
  • Russia’s ‘silver age’ cultural flowering and economic expansion under the last Tsars, 1881 – 1917
  • The end of imperial Russia, Reflections on the main themes

Learning outcomes

On completion of the course students will be able to: identify key personalities and major themes in Russian history from the 17th to the 20th centuries critically read and discuss recent historical writing demonstrate an understanding of major economic, social and religious movements in imperial Russia and their interaction with political developments.

Who should attend?

This course is designed for those want to increase their knowledge of European/Russian history and culture; people with an interest in art and architecture as well as history and those who may be intending to travel in Europe/Russia. Potential students who wish to have a ‘taste’ of university experience before embarking on a degree in Arts may also find this a useful course.

About the Presenter

Judith taught Early Modern European History at The University of Auckland for many years. She is a graduate of the University of Auckland in History and Law. Her interest in European History includes Russia and France as well as a deep appreciation of the court culture of England in the 16th and 17th centuries and the popular culture of England in that time.

Colour and Light: The Art of Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin

Colour and Light: The Art of Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin

6 mornings, Friday 16 February – 23 March 2018, 10am- 12pm
The University of Auckland City Campus
Presented by Linda Yang 
$230.00 incl. GST

Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin are among the most well-known and admired artists of all times. Their work significantly amplified Impressionist developments in terms of their use of colour and the search for symbolic depth. This course will introduce you to the art of both painters by tracing the development and stages of their artistic style. We will explore the ideas they used as stimulus for their paintings, the people who influenced their style and the places which were sources of inspiration.

Course outline

The work of Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin drew on developments and achievements by Impressionist artists such as Claude Monet, Edgar Degas and Camille Pissarro, but it also significantly amplified Impressionist developments in terms of their use of colour, the search for symbolic depth, and an art that communicated emotions and mood.

This course will introduce the art of Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin by tracing the development of artistic style through several stages beginning with Jean-Francoise Millet’s influence on Van Gogh and the ways in which Van Gogh’s palette and range of motif changed after moving to Paris and meeting impressionist and post-impressionist painters. Gauguin was also influenced by folk art. The exposure to the rural and rustic life in Brittany, an area in the North of France where he spent some time, prompted the use of bold colours and unusual perspective. Van Gogh’s time in Arles, a town in the south of France, was one of the most productive times in his career. Here he planned to form a brotherhood of painters – the Studio of the South”. Van Gogh’s vision of this studio was greatly influenced by his perception of Japan. The impact of Japanese woodblock prints as a source for inspiration will be discussed as well as the ways van Gogh and l Gauguin influenced each other. Gauguin created some major works during the “Studio of the South” and his decision which would lead him to live and work the South Pacific originated here. After moving to Tahiti in the search for a less artificial life the myths stories life-style and culture of Tahiti was the source for his work. Questions of how he comprehended and interpreted this indigenous culture will be examined. The last two years of Van Gogh’s life were extraordinarily productive. Swirls and spirals characterized the work characteristics of one of his most famous paintings “Starry Night”. The confusing number of interpretations and explanations of this part of Van Gogh’s work will be a further topic of critical discussion.

Learning outcomes

On completion of the course learners will be able to: discuss the oeuvre of Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin identify characteristics of French 19th-century art describe the ‘roots’ of modernism and demonstrate an understanding of Art Historical methodologies.

Who should attend?

This course is designed for adult learners who are interested in learning about 19th-century art.

About the presenter

Linda Yang completed a Professional Teaching Fellowship in Art History at the University of Auckland, where she previously attained her Masters in Art History. Linda has also completed an internship at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, and was an Educator at the Auckland Art Gallery.

Hollywood’s America: 20th Century US History through Film

Hollywood’s America: 20th Century US History through Film

4 evenings, Wednesday 15 November – 6 December, 5:30 – 7:30pm
The University of Auckland City Campus
Presented by Jennifer Frost 
$85.00 incl. GST

‘If you want to know about the USA in the 20th century, go to the movies.’ – Historians Steven Mintz and Randy Roberts

This course is designed to provide participants with the opportunity to examine the production and reception of Hollywood feature film as historians, within the larger context of twentieth-century United States social and cultural history.

Course outline

Topic 1: Movies and the ‘American Century’

Discusses the intersection of US film and US history at the start of the 20th century and how film can serve as a primary historical source about the time period in which it was made.  Films include: The Great Train Robbery (1903) and Birth of a Nation (1915)

Topic 2: The American Dream on Film, 1920s and Hollywood and Hard Times, 1930s

Hollywood movies contributed to the new, modern America of the ‘Roaring’ Twenties, soon dashed by the Great Depression.  Films include: The Jazz Singer (1927), Public Enemy (1931), and The Grapes of Wrath (1940)

Topic 3: World War II at the Movies, 1940-1945

Hollywood movies projected the idea of World War II as “the good war,” in which the USA fought abroad for democracy and against fascism, while wartime disruptions unsettled domestic relations.  Films include: Bataan (1943) and Mildred Pierce (1945).

Topic 4: Film and Cold War America, 1945-1960

During the Cold War, US film vividly showed how the benefits of the postwar economic boom intertwined with fears of communism and nuclear war.  Films include: Red River (1948), On the Waterfront (1954), and Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)

Learning outcomes

On completion of the course participants will be able to: demonstrate greater knowledge of 20th century US history generally and Hollywood film specifically. analyze US film as a historical primary source, with attention to historical context and content.

Who should attend?

Those interested in the USA and in Hollywood film in the 20th century. About the Presenter [wp-svg-icons icon=”user” wrap=”i”] Jennifer Frost, PhD Jennifer is a United States women’s historian, focused on social, cultural, and political developments in the twentieth-century United States.  Her first book, An Interracial Movement of the Poor: Community Organizing and the New Left in the 1960s, was published by New York University Press in 2001, and named a Choice Outstanding Academic Title.  Her second book, Hedda Hopper’s Hollywood: Celebrity Gossip and American Conservatism, came out in 2011, also from NYU Press, and was named one of the Five Best Books on Hollywood and Politics in the Wall Street Journal.  Jennifer’s research very much informs her teaching, and courses on the USA in the 1960s, the African American Civil Rights Movement, and Hollywood history and film.

Angels and ambition: art of the Italian Renaissance

Angels and ambition: art of the Italian Renaissance

7 mornings, Friday 6 April – 18 May, 10am – 12pm
The University of Auckland City Campus
Presented by Linda Yang 
$260.00 incl. GST

Art was very much part of the fabric of public and private life in the Italian Renaissance. This course will consider how painting, sculpture and architecture was used to exert power and influence, aid prayer and reflect private ambitions. Our examination of art will be embedded in the socio-political context of the time, considering patrons, motivation, and audiences.

Course outline

Art was very much part of the fabric of public and private life in the Italian Renaissance. This course will consider how painting, sculpture and architecture was used to exert power and influence, aid prayer and reflect private ambitions. Our discussions will cover the great masters of the Italian Renaissance such as Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Donatello, and Bellini among many others. We will examine their art in context, consider the patrons for whom they worked, their motivations and audiences. Different settings required different approaches, from the quiet sanctity of Fra Angelico’s frescoes in the San Marco monastery to the grand pomposity of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling. We will also travel between Florence, Venice and Rome to compare how cities used art to aggrandise themselves, and proclaim their status to their citizens and rivals. We will look at how architecture and public sculpture was used to great effect, such as Ghiberti’s famed Baptistry doors and Michelangelo’s David in Florence. Power struggles and displays of piety were not only the domain of city states, but also played out through powerful families and private citizens. Ambitious patrons commissioned portraits to proclaim their status, and family chapels sought immortality for future generations.

Learning outcomes

On completion of the course participants will be: familiar with the key themes and major artists of the Italian Renaissance able to identify and differentiate major artists of this period demonstrate the ability to critically analyse artworks in the social and political context in which they were produced

Who should attend?

This course is designed for anyone interested in art history and those particularly interested in the Italian Renaissance. No prior knowledge is necessary.

New Zealand, the United States, and the Challenge of President Trump

New Zealand, the United States, and the Challenge of President Trump

Thursday 9 November, 10am – 12pm
The University of Auckland City Campus
Presented by Associate Professor Stephen Hoadley
$35.00 incl. GST

Course outline

The Trump presidency has posed new challenges to New Zealand and the world, Join Associate Professor Stephen Hoadley as he explores what this means for New Zealand.

New Zealand and the United States have interacted for almost two centuries. The relati

onship intensified during World War II and has become one of New Zealand’s most important since then. A series of geo-political, economic, and diplomatic disputes troubled the relationship but adaptive NZ diplomacy, and some US concessions, have resolved most of them. This course explains how. More recently, the Trump presidency has created uncertainties around the world and posed new challenges to New Zealand. Understanding Trump and his impact on geo-politics in Europe and Asia, and figuring out how New Zealander can best respond, will be focal points of this course. Participant views will be welcomed and debate will be encouraged.

Who should attend?

This course is suitable for anyone interested in current affairs, particularly those interested in US politics and foreign policies, the unorthodox presidency of Donald Trump, and how New Zealand can adapt to Trump’s disturbing initiatives. Learning outcomes Information about how New Zealand makes foreign policies information about how the United States makes foreign policies understanding of why New Zealand has had disputes with the United States and how they were resolved awareness of how the Trump presidency has posed new challenges to New Zealand and the world consideration of options for New Zealanders’ response speculation about future geo-political changes in Europe and Asia precipitated by the Trump presidency and their possible impact on New Zealand.

About the presenter

Associate Professor Stephen Hoadley, BSc (Purdue), MA (California State), PhD (California) Stephen Hoadley is Associate Professor of Politics and International Relations.

He has studied and lectured on international affairs in California, Missouri, Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, Britain, Sweden and Germany.  He regularly comments on radio and TV, talks to public and Continuing Education groups, and conducts Defence Force officer courses. Among his nine books is Asian Security Reassessed (2006) and he is currently working on a book on New Zealand United States Relations and a chapter on security threats facing New Zealand in Europe and the Middle East. Recommended Reading  Stephen Hoadley, New Zealand United States Relations (NZIIA, 2016), available in the University Book Shop for $35.00 or by mail order from New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, c/o Victoria University, PO Box 600, Wellington 6140 for $40.00