Past Projects - The Courtauld Institute of Art

Past Projects

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Past Projects


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Past Projects

The Courtauld Public Programmes works with local schools, colleges and community groups to offer a variety of experiences and opportunities for young people outside of formal education. We aim to engage students with the research and academic thinking that personifies The Courtauld Institute of Art.

Featured below are details about focussed workshops taking inspiration from aspects of the temporary exhibitions at The Courtauld Gallery.

Speaking About Art

In February and March 2020 14 Young ESOL learners (aged 16-18) from New City College (Poplar) took part in a Speaking About Art ESOL project, including college-based workshops, and a half-day visit to the National Gallery.

The project piloted a new approach for young ESOL learners, using practical activities to explore art history and the multitude of career roles within the gallery/museum field. Learners were given the opportunity to pose questions, via postcard, to Courtauld staff of all levels about their role.

This project was support by National Lottery Heritage Fund.


Between November 2019 and December 2019, year 8 students from the London Nautical School, South Lambeth, took part in a Cityscapes project, exploring the architectural heritage of the South Bank, the legacy of the Festival of Britain and the role of community activism.

Students took part in architectural walks and workshops on drawing, collage and printmaking, with a follow up workshop to help them curate a display of their work. The students had the opportunity to visit Somerset House and the Conway Library.

This project was supported by National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Critical and Contextual Studies: Digital Engagement

The Courtauld Gallery has a longstanding partnership with BSix Sixth Form College in Hackney. Over the past three years projects have focused on using the Gallery as a resource and tool to support learners in developing knowledge and skills for the contextual studies component of the BTEC Extended Diploma in Art and Design. Projects utilising The Courtauld Gallery collection are now embedded at each level of study.

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First Story

In November 2016 we were delighted to collaborate with First Story, a charity who change lives through creative writing. We welcomed students from years 7-9 from Acland Burghley School in Camden and Raine’s Foundation School in Tower Hamlets, who joined us on our quest to combine art history and creative writing. The day started with an exploration of the Gallery with Courtauld Tutors, followed by creative writing workshops using the collection as inspiration. The day was a huge success and culminated in each of the student groups giving fantastic performances in the Institute Lecture Theatre.

Victory Over the Square

In partnership with Pushkin House, London Students from Maria Fidelis Convent School in London explored the early 20th Century (pre 1917) Russian Art collection on display at The Courtauld Gallery with academic Dr Natalia Murray and artist Yelena Popova to produce their own groups Manifesto and artworks.

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The Old and the New: Creative Contrasts

18 students aged 6 to 11 from Heronsgate Primary School participated in a project The Old and the New: Creative Contrasts from the 11th – 25th November 2013. Students explored a wide range of drawing techniques through workshops in the gallery and back at school, inspired by the exhibition The Young Dürer: Drawing the Figure and Richard Serra: Drawings for The Courtauld.

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Painting Performance

Students from Heronsgate Primary School in south London participated in Painting Performance, an exciting art and curating project, at The Courtauld Gallery during the summer term of 2013. Across 6 sessions delivered in school and at the gallery pupils worked with both an art historian, Meghan Goodeve, and an artist, Ashley Davies to explore the relationship between painting, drawing and performance in innovative and unusual ways.

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Making Art History Contemporary

Sixth form students from Trinity Catholic High School engaged with art history as a means of investigating both traditional and contemporary art works from The Courtauld Gallery and the Pipilotti Rist Eyeball Massage exhibition at the Hayward Gallery. Working on details, scale and the idea of artistic influences, the students went on to create their own photographic responses to the exhibitions

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Building Blocks: London

For this project we worked with National Diploma art and design students from BSIX Sixth Form College in Hackney. The project was produced in response to the The Courtauld Gallery’s exhibition, Frank Auerbach: London Building Sites 1952-62.

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The Big O Gallery

A year 5 student committee from the Oasis Academy Shirley Park Primary Phase in South London worked with The Courtauld Institute of Art Public Programmes Department during the spring and summer terms of 2011 to put together their own online exhibition.

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Beyond Bloomsbury: The Omega Project

To accompany the Beyond Bloomsbury: Designs of the Omega Workshops 1913-19 exhibition, The Courtauld Gallery education department worked with year 7 and 8 students from Cumberland School in Newham and artist Gilly Hatch to produce hand printed linen bags that were sold in The Courtauld Gallery shop. All proceeds from the bags were then donated to the art department at Cumberland School.

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Animating Art History is a new widening participation partnership between The Courtauld Institute of Art and University of the Arts London. 28 young people aged 16 – 19 took part in the innovative course which combines art history and animation.

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Hospital and Special Schools

The Courtauld Gallery has provided students with special educational needs and Hospital School students with an opportunity to engage with and explore artworks from the Courtauld collections, through site-based sessions and outreach workshops.

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The Courtauld Cezannes

A poetry project inspired by the Courtauld Cézannes, working in conjunction with Ruth Padel, writer-in-residence at Somerset House (2008-9) and Year 10 students from Cranford Community College, Hounslow.

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