Tuesdays, 6–9 pm
Enroll for the full year, by semester, or by lecturer (two weeks).
Full year: $1,500; members $1,350
Per semester: $900; members $810
Per lecturer: $175; members $150
Professor Ian Bourland (MICA)
Tuesdays, February 5 and 12: African Art and Colonialism
The Barnes is known for its collection of late-nineteenth-century work, the foundational material of what we know as modern art. But “modern” in relation to what? How did the colonial experience, so central to modernity, affect the concept and understanding of modern art ? These lectures will provide an overview of the "primitive" work that European explorers and museumgoers would have encountered, and will examine the ways in which such work helped give modern art its identity.
Professor Larry Silver (Penn)
Tuesday, February 19: Origins and Types of Landscapes
A discussion of the concept of landscape as a commercial genre, including composite and created landscapes by early Flemish masters such as Bruegel and the topographic and regionally specific landscapes of Constable.
Tuesday, February 26: The Hand of the Artist in the Landscape
A discussion of impressionist and expressionist modification of landscape into optical experience. This session will consider methods such as Turner’sscientific approach to light and the landscape in contrast to artists whose work focused on their emotional stimulus.
Professor Julie Davis (Penn)
Tuesdays, March 5 and 12: Japanese Prints
Japanese ukiyo-e woodblock prints were sources for many of the artists in the Barnes collection. We will examine the most popular topics of Japanese printmakers, including figure studies, landscapes, and the transition to the modern era. These lectures will consider Japanese aesthetics, print culture, beauty, women, the nude, and the landscape, and will investigate the relationship between prints and other media and the domestic and foreign audience and appetite for these images.
Professor Susanna Gold (Temple)
Tuesday, March 19: The Harlem Renaissance
This class will offer an overview of the visual achievements that were part of the New Negro Movement, otherwise known as the Harlem Renaissance, in the 1920s and 1930s. We will investigate important forerunners to this cultural flourishing, such as Henry Ossawa Tanner and Edmonia Lewis, and think about the expanded opportunities for black artists after this turning point in American history, including those artists championed and collected by Dr. Barnes.
Tuesday, April 2: Exhibiting Race
This class will expand on the previous week’s introduction to the art of the Harlem Renaissance and investigate the ideas of influential theorists of this period, including Alain Locke, Langston Hughes, and Dr. Barnes himself. We will consider the art of this movement both through the lens of the period and from current perspectives, and will discuss what role African heritage plays in the Barnes Foundation’s ensembles and history, including a range of recent alternative approaches to culturally specific exhibitions.
Dr. Rebecca Butterfield (Penn)
Tuesday, April 9: Photography vs. Painting: A Case of Sibling Rivalry
“But is it art?” Ever since photography’s inception in 1839, this question has bedeviled photographers, critics and audiences. Anxious to elevate their profession to the status of the fine arts, some photographers, such as Julia Margaret Cameron, tried to emulate the atmospheric style and elevated subject matter of painting. At the same time, many painters, from the impressionists to Gerhard Richter, admired photography’s ability to convey reality with a new sense of immediacy and spontaneity. This lecture explores the connections, influences, and arguments between these two approaches.
Tuesday, April 16: Concerning the Spiritual in Modern Art
Many modern artists have attempted to create pathways to the transcendent in an increasingly materialistic world. Some have used the contemplation of abstract or monochromatic works; some, ritualized performances; and others, religious subject matter. Artists drew upon traditional Judeo-Christian thought, Eastern religions, and more arcane spiritual philosophies such as alchemy or goddess cults. This lecture will explore the various strategies modern artists have used to convey the spiritual in their work.
Professor David Raizman (Drexel)
Tuesdays, April 23 and April 30: Barnes, Design and Philosophy
We will consider the Barnes Foundation in relation to decorative arts, design, and education. Focal points will include the role of the decorative arts in Barnes’s collecting and his broader vision for arts education.
Register online or by calling 215.278.7300.