Back to school in the arts: three courses to try this autumn

Diploma and evening classes in Irish and European arts can lead to fine art careers

The Farm at Lezaven, Finistère, 1894 Photograph:   National Gallery of Ireland

The Farm at Lezaven, Finistère, 1894 Photograph: National Gallery of Ireland


Applications are open for the 2020-2021 programme of fine and decorative arts courses run by IPAV, the Institute of Professional Auctioneers & Valuers. Starting in October, the programme of four courses, open to anyone with an interest in the arts, has seen students progress to careers in auction houses, including Adam’s and Bonhams, among others, as well as in art galleries and antiques specialist shops.

Announcing details of the new programme, IPAV’s course director, Roxane Moorhead suggests the courses will suit those who are available during the day as well as those who choose to study at night.

“Many who start with a short evening course progress to further study, which was the trigger for the development of our diploma in fine and decorative arts, which has proved extremely popular,” she says.


The diploma course involves two days a week of lectures (Mondays and Tuesdays) covering subjects such as the history of painting, domestic architecture, interior decoration, furniture, silver, sculpture and the history of costume. There will also be lectures on topics such as interior design, the role antiques play in the decoration of the home, and the history of the garden. Lecturers include James O’Halloran of Adam’s who discusses the current art market and gives a guide to buying at auction. This course will run over three terms coinciding with the academic year.

French Connections is a 10-week lecture series on French painting, architecture, fashion and taste with a focus on the visual art of the the 18th and 19th centuries. This course takes place on Tuesday evenings from 6.30pm to 9.30pm

A new 10-week course, Modernism: Art and Design of the early 20th century, is already fully subscribed but there are still some places available on a 16-week course focusing on Scottish art, architecture and history

Details from or telephone 01-678 5685.