City Lit Courses about Arts in the Islamic World and the Indian Subcontinent

The City Literary Institute in Holborn, London, popularly known as theCity Lit is one of those wonderfully democratic institutions founded in the early part of the 20th century. It offers a wide range of non-vocational courses to anybody who wishes to attend, for whatever reason, regardless of background. The courses are top-quality, well-researched, well-resourced and well-taught, at affordable prices.

Inscription on Quvvat Al-Islam, Qutb complex, Delhi.

In September 2017 I was invited to join the faculty of Art History in order to extend their portfolio of courses about Asia and the Middle East. With the support of my lovely manager Julia Musgrave, I have been working hard to put in place a comprehensive range of courses throughout the academic year – and we are still adding more. We have a number of short courses coming up as part of the Summer School, and places are still available – some are classroom-based at the City Lit, Keeley Street, Holborn, London WC2B 4BA, and some are at the V&A museum. If you click on the bold titles, you will be taken to the City Lit website with full course descriptions and instructions on how to register.

Thumb Ring, c. 1650, © Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

Summer Lates: Designs of India at the V&A  Friday 13th July,  6.00 – 8.00 pm at the Nehru Gallery (gallery 41 on the ground floor). We shall be looking mostly at paintings and textiles, and also at some of the stunning decorative arts in the gallery. Price: £29, Senior fee £23, Concession £18.

Think Like an Artist: in Early Mughal India – the formation of the early Mughal atelier, how artists trained and worked, and a look at the work of some of the leading artists. Thursday 19th July, 10.30 a.m. – 4.30 pm, starting at the City Lit, Keeley Street, Holborn, with a gallery visit later in the day. Price: £69, Senior fee £55, Concession £42.

Making Illuminated Manuscripts in the Islamic World A 2-day course with theoretical and practical components (you get to do some layout, designing and painting) , Monday – Tuesday 30th – 31st July at the City Lit, Keeley Street, Holborn. Price: £149, Senior fee £119. Concession £91.

Quran on indigo dyed parchment c. 900 c.e., Tunisia. © David Collection, Copenhagen.

For the longer or more in-depth courses, we have so far in place Islamic Art in the Medieval World, a 10-week Autumn Term course about the development of Islamic Art and Architecture from its formative beginnings in the 7th century to the devastating Mongol invasions of the 13th century – the next one begins on the 1st October 2018, Mondays 2.00 pm – 4.10 p.m. . This is followed by a 10-week Spring course, also on Mondays 2.00 p.m. – 4.10 p.m., called Arts of the Empire Builders: Timurids, Safavids and Mughals which begins on the 21st January 2019. Each of these courses costs £249, Seniors £199 and Concession £152.

Then we have some shorter courses during the year: The Arts of the Book in the Islamic World on Sunday 25th November, 10.00 a.m. – 4.30 p.m. traces the development of layout and calligraphy, the visual grammar of book-design from the earliest medieval Qurans to the sophisticated productions of the Safavids and Mughals. Price: £69.00, Senior fee £55, Concession £42.

Mughal hunting coat c.1620 – 30© Victoria and Albert Museum, London. .

Focus on Mughal Court Fashion in the 16th and 17th Centuries is on Sunday 17th February 2019, 10.30 a.m. – 4.30 p.m. I shall be covering the development of court fashion under Humayun, Akbar, Jahangir and Shah Jahan, using documentary and visual sources and my own experimental research. Price: £69, Senior fee £55, Concession £42.

Finally in the Summer Term there are two 5-week courses.

Asian Art: India and the Middle East on Tuesdays 10.30 – 12.30 30th April – 28th May 2019, and Islamic Art in Medieval North and West Africa on Tuesdays, 10.30 a.m. – 12.40 p.m. from 4th June – 2nd July 2019, both costing £129.00, Senior fee £103.00, Concession £79.00.

Please do get in touch via my Contacts page of you have any questions about any of the courses. And do consider subscribing to my Newsletter to get updates on more courses, events or products.