Fine arts diploma offered


It may be, as Keats put it, the “season of mists and mellow fruitfulness”, but autumn also seems to inspire a rash of mid-life crises and a consequent demand for career changes and courses catering to self-improvement.

If you’re dreading the long, dark days and evenings ahead, have an interest in fine arts, have time on your hands and, crucially, have the financial wherewithal, then you may be interested in the courses offered by the Institute of Professional Auctioneers and Valuers (Ipav).

According to the institute, despite the economic downturn, “sound and well-informed investments in the world of

fine and decorative arts continue to retain their value”, and “many people continue to turn to the world of fine arts for security where a love of a hobby can also be financially beneficial.”

The Diploma in the Fine and Decorative Arts is a full-time course run in association with the Irish Antique Dealers’ Association. Lectures take place on three days of the week (Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday) for one academic year beginning on Monday, October 8th. Ipav says the course is “suitable for all age groups” and the syllabus is a “broad and flexible one, with the emphasis on identifying art objects in their historical context”.

Lecturers are drawn from the commercial art world as well as from the universities and art colleges. Topics covered include the History of Furniture, the History of Painting, the History of Architecture, the History of Silver and Art and Investment. Students also go on study trips during the year to some of the main museums, art galleries and historic houses in Ireland; a guided weekend trip to the UK – visiting famous galleries, museums and stately homes – is also offered.

Students are required to prepare and submit a written dissertation on an agreed topic and receive the personal supervision of an individual lecturer. The impressively eclectic range of subjects tackled by former participants includes dissertations on Glasnevin House and its 18th-Century

Stucco Work (Sue Lundy); Influence of the Grand Tour on 18th/19th century Irish houses (Jacqueline MacNearey); The Evolution of the Tea Caddy 1740-1840 (Ben Blackwell); and Chinoiserie (Marguerite O’Doherty).

The course fee is €3,550 and the cost of the various trips is extra.

The Certificate in Fine and Decorative Arts course is part-time and runs one evening per week (Tuesday) from October to May, and begins on October 9th. This is essentially a condensed version of the diploma course and is described as “ideal for people who have an interest in the field but who cannot attend the day course”. The fee is €1,250.

The venue for all lectures is Ipav’s head office at 129 Lower Baggot St, Dublin 2