The Artist and the Garden – a FREE course to help people learn about art history

Explore your passion for art and gardening during five-week course at the Paul Mellon Centre

John S. Muller, A General Prospect of Vaux Hall Gardens, Shewing at one View the disposition of the whole Gardens, Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection


For countless thousands of us in the UK, our appreciation and understanding of the myriad forms of art often comes through reading books, newspaper articles or watching TV programmes by the country’s leading academics and critics.

The likes of Waldemar Januszczak, Andrew Graham-Dixon and Janina Ramirez do much to explain art history to those who have not previously studied the subject – but for those who want to find out more, the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art is offering a completely free Public Lecture Course (starting on 27th September).

Exploring the theme of The Artist and The Garden, this five-week course will run every Thursday evening at the Paul Mellon Centre (in Bloomsbury, London) and has been designed for people with little, or no background in art history.

“The Artist and The Garden will explore the different ways in which artists have impacted upon our understanding and perception of the British garden from the 17th Century to the present day,” says Dr Martin Postle, Deputy Director for Grants and Publications at the Paul Mellon Centre.

“Through a series of related talks, expert speakers will explore not only the ways in which artists depicted gardens but how so many of them were active as gardeners themselves – whether formulating grand landscape designs or cultivating private domestic spaces.”

Among the team of guest lecturers will be Christopher Woodward, Director of the Garden Museum, the noted academic, Joy Sleeman and landscape architect, Todd Longstaffe-Gowarn.

“We are offering ‘The Artist and The Garden’ to the public, for free, as part of our core ethos of promoting the study of British art and architecture,” adds Mark Hallett, Director of Studies at the Paul Mellon Centre. “The Paul Mellon Centre is committed to supporting lifelong learning, whilst also funding scholarship, academic research and the further dissemination of knowledge of art and architecture. ‘The Artist and The Garden’ is a great example of that and I’m sure it will be very popular.”

Booking for the course opens on 20th August, but numbers are limited, so art lovers are urged to mark this date in their diaries as a priority and book now via the Events page on to avoid disappointment.

For more information about the course:

The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art is an educational charity committed to promoting original, world-class research into the history of British art and architecture of all periods. We collaborate closely with the Yale Center for British Art and are part of Yale University. The Centre, based in Bedford Square, London, is a thriving hub of research.

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