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Wednesday, July 24, 10am – 4pm


Horace Pippin. Giving Thanks (detail), 1942. The Barnes Foundation, BF990. Public Domain.

$170; members $153
(one-day workshop)

About the Class

The Harlem Renaissance refers to the remarkable explosion of Black art and culture in New York City during the first decades of the 20th century. This lively one-day workshop is a sampler of some of the great artists of the period—writers, poets, musicians, painters, and sculptors.

We’ll read excerpts from Zora Neale Hurston’s short story “Spunk” and Nella Larsen’s novel Passing, and delve into the poetry of Langston Hughes and Countee Cullen and the writings of Alain Locke. Through the artworks of Horace Pippin, Elijah Pierce, Aaron Douglas, Jacob Lawrence, Elizabeth Catlett, James Van Der Zee, and Romare Bearden, we will explore a range of African American expression. We will also discuss the sociocultural conditions that led to this flourishing and the important role played by Albert C. Barnes in championing what was then known as the “New Negro” movement.

The class is online-only. More about online classes.

Already registered? Log in to Barnes Learning.

Barnes classes will:

  • Sharpen your observational and critical thinking skills.
  • Improve your ability to communicate about art.
  • Deepen your appreciation for cultures and histories outside your own.

See all classes.


Michael Williamson

A member of the Barnes faculty, Williamson studied at Yale University and the Milton Avery Graduate School of Bard College. He taught art history and studio art for nearly 30 years at Germantown Friends School in Philadelphia. Williamson has an active art practice and has shown his paintings locally.

Recent Barnes Class Testimonials

“The teacher was so smart, and knowledgeable about everything: art history, architecture, interior design, and literature! What a breadth of knowledge!” Paris in the 1920s: Art, Design, Fashion, and Literature with Caterina Pierre

“The instructor was first-rate. Poised, professional yet also inviting and comforting. She set the perfect tone for this event, and her spirit opened up beautiful connections and conversations.” Being Present with Art: The Retreat with Roksana Filipowska

“The professor was highly engaging, facilitated excellent discussions, and [was] very knowledgeable. I learned a lot about teaching art history from watching her.” Matisse and Picasso with Martha Lucy

“The instructor [was] very empathetic and knowledgeable [and] created moments of sharing across students who participated actively in discussion.” Art and Literature of the Harlem Renaissance with Michael Williamson