The Courtauld Institute of Art, which conceived and built the Art and Architecture web site, was founded in 1932 and is a major centre in Britain for the study of the history of Western art and has an outstanding international reputation. Since 1 August 2002 it has been a separately incorporated body as a College of the federal University of London.
The Courtauld has a teaching staff of approximately thirty, including six conservation teachers, who among them cover a very broad spectrum of the arts and architecture of the Western world from classical antiquity to the present day. Teachers at The Courtauld have a wide range of approaches to the study of the history of art. Close examination of individual works is important, but the teaching also engages with the many broader historical and theoretical issues raised by the discipline. Throughout, the making and viewing of art and architecture are treated as a branch of history, and are explored in relation to many other aspects of the history of the periods studied.
Our teaching standards were most recently reviewed by the Quality Assurance Agency in 2005 in an Institutional Audit, which confirmed that ‘confidence can be placed in the soundness of the Institute’s current and likely future management of the quality of its academic programmes and the academic standards of its awards’, while in the national Research Assessment Exercise we have consistently achieved the highest rating, demonstrating that the quality of our research is world-class.
The Courtauld was fourth nationally in the 2009 National Student Survey confirming that the quality of the teaching and the breadth of resources at The Courtauld continue to match the high expectations of our undergraduate community. 93% of all students said they were satisfied with the quality of their course.
Approximately 400 students are currently at The Courtauld: roughly one third of these are undergraduates, and the rest are taking taught postgraduate courses or are working toward a PhD. Many graduates of the Institute occupy prominent positions in museums, universities, conservation laboratories and the art trade throughout the world. The current directors of many of Britain’s national art museums are Courtauld graduates. The Courtauld has a world-renowned collection of Western art from the medieval period to the first quarter of the 20th century as well as book and photographic libraries of equal renown. The Courtauld Institute of Art is also home to research centres and survey projects. It is housed in the distinguished North Block of Somerset House, built by Sir William Chambers in 1776-80 as a home for the Royal Academy of Arts, the Royal Society and the Society of Antiquaries as well as government offices including the Navy Board.
Professor Deborah Swallow is the Courtauld's Director. She was formerly Director of Collections and Keeper, Asian Department of the Victoria and Albert Museum.
More information about the The Courtauld Institute of Art, its courses and collections is available at www.courtauld.ac.uk