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History of Design and Domestic Culture 1500-present


Admission requirements

Same as admission requirements for the BA Art History.


This series of 13 lectures presents a chronological and thematic overview of decorative art and design from 1500 until the present. The nature of the decorative arts, and their position within artistic production in general, is explored. For each historical phase, a leading centre of production is studied. In addition, the practical function and social and cultural meaning of objects is investigated. Aspects of design, production, marketing and the use of design products are central to the approach adopted in this course

Course objectives

  • Students acquire general knowledge of the principal developments in the history of the decorative arts and design from 1500 to te present.

  • Students learn to understanding the historical and cultural context of works of the decorative arts and design.

  • Students acquire knowledge of the cycle of production and consumption in the decorative arts and design.

  • Students gain insight in the main theoretical debates concerning he decorative arts and design.

  • Students acquire experience in using visual and written sources for the study of the decorative arts.


Please note: for the final schedule refer to Collegeroosters / Timetable BA Art History on the Art History website.

Mode of instruction

  • lectures

  • museum visit(s)

Important: attendance in museum visits is mandatory.

Course load

Course load in summary: 5 ects (140 hrs)

28 hrs: attending lectures (2 hrs weekly x 14 weeks)
28 hrs: lecture preparations (reading texts)
40 hrs: studying the literature (see Reading List)
15 hrs: studying visual resources related to the lecture
25 hrs: exam preparation (reading, writing abstracts etc.)
04 hrs: exams
140 hrs

Assessment method

  • Mid-term exam (50%): written exam on the content of lectures 1-7 (mix of essay questions).

  • Final exam (50%): written exam on the content of lectures 8-14 (mix of essay questions).

Compensation: The weighted average of the (constituent) examinations must be at least 6.0 (= a pass). For both the mid-term exam and the final exam a mark below 5.0 is not allowed.

Resit: A resit/ rewrite can be done for constituent examinations which are failed. As far as applicable all resits/ rewrites take place at the same time, after the final (constituent) examination.

Exam review: How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.


Blackboard will be used to share visual resources and literature material, related to the course, as well as to publish exams for practice.

Reading list

To be announced.

Visual resources via Blackboard

The literature to be studied will be announced during the lecture series.


Via uSis.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Registration Studeren à la carte
Registration Contractonderwijs


Coordinator of studies for the BA Art History Prof. dr. R.J. (Reinier) Baarsen

Or send an e-mail to the study coordinator of the BA Art History / Arts, Media and Society