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This five-part online course will examine the artists, artworks and events that introduced a new, socially-conscious approach to art.

From the mid-19th century, certain Victorian artists saw their role less as providers of aesthetic pleasure and more as social reformers, documenting the human toll of industrialisation and promoting social and political change.

Addressing issues like poverty, disease, crime and inequality, these artists believed that the visual arts had the power to solve social divides. The course will explore socially-conscious attitudes to making art, from exhibitions staged in London's slums and the craft industry founded by William Morris as an alternative to factory labour, to Mary Watts' pioneering Art for All programme and the suffrage movement that heralded a new age for equality in both art and politics.

Mon 9 Nov - Victorian Art and Social Movements, Dr Chloe Ward
Mon 16 Nov - Ruskin, Morris, Ashbee: Social Responsibility and the Arts and Crafts Movement, Hilary Underwood
Mon 23 Nov - 'Art for All'?: G F Watts in Whitechapel, Abbie Latham
Mon 30 Nov - Mary Watts and Women's Rights, Dr Lucy Ella Rose
Mon 7 Dec - Art of the Suffrage Movement, Dr Chloe Ward

Please note: the specified price is for five lectures, single lectures are £12 (£10.80 for friends of Watts Gallery). The package price for friends of Watts Gallery is £45.

The event will be hosted online via zoom.

Lecture19th century artSouth EastArt gallery

Watts Gallery – Artists' Village

Down Lane, Guildford, Compton, Surrey, GU3 1DQ

01483 810235


Opening times

Shop and Tea Shop: 10.00am - 5.00pm
Main Gallery: 10.30am - 5.00pm

Closed Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day

Pre-booking admission to main gallery and temporary exhibition is required.

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