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Queen's University

Venice Summer School

The Venice Summer School was a truly once in a lifetime experience! The interactive small class environment, the incredible professors and the opportunity to meet students from Queen's and around the world, all while getting to live in one of the most spectacular cities in the world make this a life changing experience! I highly recommend it to lovers of art, travel and adventure!!

Claire Pierce, Second-year Art History Major

ARTH 245 (Art and Architecture in Venice) - 6.0 credits

Art History and Art Conservation is pleased to offer an annual Queen’s Summer School in Venice, which is held during the month of May. The 45th Venice Summer school will run from 1 May 2015 - 27 May 2015. This course examines the art and architecture of Venice and its region with a focus on the Middle Ages and Renaissance. There is no classroom for this course: lectures take place exclusively in the field, as do many of the unique class assignments. There are morning study tours of churches, palaces, public buildings, and museums, plus full day-trips to sites in the lagoon and on the mainland. Most afternoons and all weekends are yours to explore the island, or to even venture beyond the confines of the lagoon. Take advantage of experiencing architecture, sculpture, mosaic, and painting in their original settings in order to study how the structure of Venice as a city built on the water affects its art, the subtleties of colour, and the rich varieties of materials and techniques. By exploring the complex workings of this incomparable Renaissance city, which survives largely intact, we also examine the political, religious, and social contexts for art. In particular, we study the works of the Bellini, the Lombardi, Giorgione, Titian, Tintoretto, Veronese, and Palladio, among others.

ARTH 380 (Venice and Its Biennale) - 6.0 credits

  In June 2015 Art History and Art Conservation will launch a brand new study abroad experience in Venice focused on the international contemporary art fair held in this city every two years since 1895. This program will run for the month in June (1-27 June, 2015), immediately following ARTH 245. Instruction in Venice will be based on daily study visits to the Venice Biennale and sites of display for modern and contemporary art, such as the Peggy Guggenheim and Francois Pinault collections. This course includes a lecture and seminar component, as well as a Biennale internship. Students will leave with an appreciation for Venice’s rich historical past and vibrant present, knowledge of the global politics of art, the phenomenon of the art biennial, the dynamics and challenges of display, as well as a critical understanding of the pros and cons of cultural tourism. They will achieve an understanding of Canada’s relationship to this event and the history of its participation in it, as well as a sense of why its participation is important, and how issues of nationhood and identity manifest themselves in the context of the Canadian pavilion, and the broader context of the Biennale in general.

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ARTH 245 and ARTH 380 are part of the Continuing & Distance Studies (Spring/Summer) Calendar and can be used as a full course credit toward any degree in the Faculty of Arts and Science.

Students may not take any other course for credit concurrently with ARTH-245 or ARTH 380  .

Details of the application procedure and fee structure are posted in the form of downloadable pdf documents below.


 Please find the ARTH 245 FAQ here

Please find the ARTH 380 FAQ here

Registration for the both ARTH 245 and ARTH 380 begins in September 2014and will run on a first come, first served basis until the courses are full.  Please contact Dr. Allison Sherman ( for more information. 


I was so inspired and learned not only about art history, but about Venice itself. It was an experience that I will never forget and has changed the way I look at art, as well as the way I approach my own art.

Felicia Yong, BFA student, University of Western Ontario

Images from 2012 Venice Summer School:  Villa Rotunda at Vicenza and Island of San Giorgio Maggio overlooking Piazza San Maro
Photocredit: Allison Sherman, Left:  Students visit Villa Rotonda at Vicenza; Right - Students visit the Island of San Giorgio Maggio overlooking Piazza San Marco

Between the instructors, location and fellow students, it's nearly impossible to not have an amazing, once in a lifetime experience in Venice.

Kyle Penfound, Second-year Philosophy Major




Kingston, Ontario, Canada. K7L 3N6. 613.533.2000