A profile with Kate Gordon, founder of London Art Studies
London Art Studies offers a series of short lecture courses on various art topics, ranging from classical to contemporary art. To make these ‘art bites’ more digestible, each seminar takes place over brunch, lunch or cocktails at The Berekeley and Bulgari Hotels, respectively.
We asked founder of LAS, Kate Gordon, a few questions on her initiative.
Why did you decide to set up LAS?
I was inspired to set up London Art Studies back in 2011, due to the huge interest in the arts over the past 10 years – as well as the desire to make learning about art exciting.
How do you select your lecturers?
We select lecturers from both Tate’s, the National Gallery, Sotheby’s, and Christie’s – amongst others, and try to find lecturers with an accessible and engaging teaching style. We do think we have one of the finest groups of lecturers to be found in London; we’re also not bound to only one institution.
How does LAS try to be accessible? How do you bridge the gap between amateurs and connoisseurs?
Our aim is to take some of the mystery out of the art world; our courses manage to appeal to both curious beginners, as well as more knowledgeable art-lovers and collectors. Our approach is to put together compelling, on-trend content in a sophisticated and convivial environment. We curate the courses carefully: we aim to be both topical and relevant to what is going on in the art world. We offer a variety of courses – from Contemporary Photography to our Collecting series, from “The Insider’s Guide to Frieze” as an evening class, to day courses on Modern British Art.
What differentiates you from a) other courses of this type and b) ‘official’ art schools and universities?
London is the arts capital of the world and I wanted to provide art lectures for people who don’t have time to sign up for lengthy courses, but who still want access to the very best teaching. Our fun and sociable formats range from In Focus lectures over morning coffee, to the LAS Evening over wine at the Bulgari Hotel. We also hold lunches at The Berkeley Hotel, where Iectures take place before and after a delicious two course meal, specially prepared at Michelin-starred restaurant, Koffmann’s.
Favourite London galleries?
I’m involved with both the Tate and the RA, and am also a huge admirer of the Victoria & Albert museum.
What are your thoughts on the intersection of art and fashion? Where do you draw the line between the two?
Art and fashion have long shaped and inspired one another. Both are such hugely visual forms of creativity– from how we present ourselves to the world, to what an artist wants us to see —and both are rooted in creativity and self-expression. Museums are now waking up to the fact that fashion sells as art (see the record-breaking McQueen show now at the V&A), and fashion designers themselves have long been influential patrons of the arts. The new Prada foundation, and the Louis Vuitton foundation have captured attention for their world-class art collections. Art and fashion are inextricably intertwined, which is why we’re adding fashion lectures (starting with The Story of Haute Couture in September) to our series of art lectures.
For more information or to book a course visit http://londonartstudies.com/