01/09/2013 08:07 am ET Updated Mar 11, 2013

History Of Art: A Degree For The Elite?

Art. A word that has sat on a gleaming plinth and peered down at us mere mortals for centuries. In the past, the study of art was reserved for the wealthy and educated. Even today, galleries have become an elitist haven for the middle-classes.

Understandably many people go through life purposefully avoiding this terrifying creature, perhaps annoyed by its pretentiousness, or scared off by the people who appear to understand its cryptic language. Whether it's rich aristocrats lounging in gilt frames, or abstract canvases sitting mutely on white washed walls, art can leave us baffled, bemused and squirming under its superior gaze.