Short Courses

New! Art appreciation series: How to appreciate and understand art so you can be a smarter collector

The growing interest in art – painting, sculpture and architecture – has led to a corresponding interest in learning how to appreciate it. As more public art appears on our streets, and an increasing number of people visit art galleries and exhibitions, the need to better understand what they are looking at plays an important role.

Art appreciation may be approached in many different ways, and ideally gained over many years. Art appreciation concerns learning how to look at and understand art through the context of history and culture, how it evolved and developed over time, and how it reflects the different cultures in which it was produced.

The course will focus on explaining and outlining how art developed in the context of economy and business, and to a lesser extent, politics. Given the instructor’s own art history background and experience, the course will initially focus on European art from the Renaissance onwards. With the advent of globalisation, beginning with the 15th century’s voyages of discovery and later colonisation, the impact of cultural contact on expanding art markets is important. The course will conclude by briefly outlining the changing role art played in developing/newly developed economies in Asia.

This is part of the art appreciation series which includes the following topics:
●    Art appreciation series: Art and NFTs: What does the future hold?
●    Art appreciation series: Collecting art: How to appraise the value of artworks
●    Art appreciation series: Should we collect art for investment?

About the trainer
With a Doctorate in Anthropology from the University of Oxford and a Master's in Political and Economic Anthropology from the London School of Economics, Dr Sian E Jay’s career has spanned a wide range of areas including research, teaching and publishing. Having worked as a researcher at the British Museum (Departments of Ethnography and Oriental Antiquities), she embarked on doctoral research in Indonesia.

After working as a commissioning editor and contributor to Macmillan’s Grove Dictionary of Art, Dr Jay moved to Singapore 30 years ago to work as senior editor for the Indonesian Heritage Series of Encyclopedias. Since then, she has written on art and culture for a wide range of publications, including The Straits Times, before being invited to teach a course on Art and Anthropology at LASALLE College of the Arts by the late Brother JosephMcNally.

Dr Sian has taught a range of Short Courses at LASALLE, including theatre, art, design and architecture, and has run short courses for the public with Corcovado Arts. She also teaches courses on the Creative and Cultural Industries and Sustainability at NTU, and she runs an undergraduate module on Cultural Anthropology for the University of Buffalo (SUNY) and the SIM Campus in Singapore.

Note: Course trainers are, on occasion, subject to change with short notice.


No. of classes Days Date Time
1 Wed 30 Aug 2023 7:00pm – 10:00pm

Application Information

Course materials

Notebook and writing materials.

Who should attend

Docents, art enthusiasts, art students and anyone with an interest in this subject.

Eligible schemes / subsidies:


Note: Course fee not inclusive of application fee and GST.