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Discovering the National Collections: Sculpture of the World

Course Times & Enrolment

Thursdays from 19th January 2023 (Code AA182-204) Add to Basket Thursdays from
19th January 2023 11:00am - 1:00pm • (5 classes)
National Museum of Scotland • Tutor: Karen A Clulow BA MA FSA Scot
£77.00 Concessions and discounts

Course Summary

Using the collections of the National Museum of Scotland, discover first-hand how to look at sculpture. Following major periods and styles this course will enable you to extend your visual skills along with knowledge of materials and methods of construction which underpin the creative process.

Please meet at the Information Desk in the National Museum of Scotland entrance hall.

Course Details

Pre-requisites for enrolment

No previous knowledge required. Consulting the course text book is recommended. 

Special Information

A notebook is advisable and a sketchbook for those who wish to make visual notes.

Content of Course

This programme may be subject to change due to changes in display and/or items being on loan to other galleries or in conservation.

1. How to look at sculpture: The materials and techniques of sculpting.

2. Antiquity to the middle ages.

3. Renaissance to the present day.

4. Religious sculpture.

5. Indian.

6. African.

7. Asian.

8. Middle Eastern.

9. Japanese.

10. First Nations.

Teaching method(s)

Teaching will be predominantly gallery based, by focusing on the collections of the National Museum of Scotland. There will also be handouts given and time for group discussions.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  • Engage with the original sculpture work in their gallery setting;

  • Compare and analyse sculptures in the collections of NMS;

  • Gain a better understanding of the work an artist has to do creating sculptures;

  • Enhance historical knowledge of sculpture.


Core Readings


  • Finn, David., 1989. How to look at Sculpture. New York: Abrams, Incorporated.


  • A more detailed reading list will be provided by the tutor at the start of the course.

Web Sources

Class Handouts

At the start of the course you will be given a reading list that will give you background and specific information on artists, techniques and processes. You will also be given handouts as the course progresses.


If you have questions regarding the course or enrolment, please contact COL Reception at Paterson's Land by email or by phone 0131 650 4400.

Student support

If you have a disability, learning difficulty or health condition which may affect your studies, please let us know by ticking the 'specific support needs' box on your course application form. This will allow us to make appropriate adjustments in advance and in accordance with your rights under the Equality Act 2010. For more information please visit the Student Support section of our website.