At Close Quarters: The English Country House and its Collections – a new MA option

The School of Art History and World Art Studies, University of East Anglia, and The Attingham Trust are collaborating on a new option within the School’s History of Art MA degree, starting in September 2013.

At Close Quarters: The English Country House and its Collections provides a unique opportunity for the sustained and in-situ study of English country houses and their collections. Applications are now invited for entry in September 2013, with four scholarships of £1,000 available towards the cost of the fees for students who enrol in At Close Quarters (details below).

The History of Art MA consists of four modules and a dissertation. The MA and this option can be pursued full-time (in one year) or part-time (over two years). At Close Quarters is an option for two of those modules (both taught in the Spring semester) and consists of:

  • One three-hour seminar per week for ten weeks taught by members of the School’s faculty, including leading historians of British, Italian, French, Spanish and Netherlandish art and architecture, and
  • Five days’ intensive and all-inclusive residential study at Houghton Hall, with visits to other country houses in Norfolk. This period of study will be led and organised by Dr. Andrew Moore, a Director of the internationally-renowned Attingham Trust Summer School for the study of historic houses and collections in England. At each site, students taking At Close Quarters will learn about significant aspects of the house’s creation, contents and curating from visiting tutors, including experts who teach on the Summer School.

At Close Quarters therefore offers students an unrivalled opportunity to immerse themselves in studying this topic for an entire semester, during which they will learn about the history, collections and management of English country houses, in-depth, on the spot and with the resources provided by the School and the Trust, two organisations renowned for academic excellence in the study of art history and cultural heritage. Topics addressed during the module will include aspects of the history of British portraiture; Grand Tour collecting and the taste for Old Master paintings; the production, display and conservation of tapestry hangings; the relationship between form, function and meaning in furniture design; the architectural treatise and the Italian villa; the history of gardens; the city, the country house and early modern sociability, and the presentation and display of the country house as a visitor attraction.

For the two additional modules in the History of Art MA degree programme, students can choose from the range offered within the School. Recent MA modules have addressed the arts of ancient Egypt, Byzantine Rome, medieval England, early modern Europe, Britain and its empire during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, early twentieth-century America, and late twentieth-century modernism. Students will also research and write a 15,000-word MA dissertation, which will be supervised by a member of faculty within the School and which may concern a topic arising from At Close Quarters.

Full-time tuition fees for students taking the MA in the History of Art including At Close Quarters during the academic year 2013/14 will be in the region of £7,000 for Home/EU students and £13,900 for International students. This includes a supplement to cover all accommodation, meals, transport and entry fees during the residential component of the module.

The Attingham Trust and the School of Art History and World Art Studies have agreed to offer four £1,000 scholarships towards the cost of the fees for students enrolled on At Close Quarters. These scholarships will be awarded on the basis of academic merit and financial need. Applicants wishing to be considered for a scholarship will be asked to supply a short statement of financial need.

Further details about the MA in the History of Art (full-time and part-time), postgraduate fees and scholarships, and how to apply for the MA can be found here. Entry requirements are typically a BA Hons 2:1 or equivalent in a humanities or social sciences discipline.

Places on At Close Quarters are limited and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. At Close Quarters will be run subject to enrolment. Contact Dr Daniel Rycroft or Dr Sarah Monks for further information.