About Our Classes
“As home to arguably one of the world’s most prestigious collections of fine art, the Barnes is a perfect place to take a deep dive into the world of art and artists. Scholarships and the flexibility of in-person, online, or hybrid classes mean just about everyone can explore the details and backstories that lead to a deeper, richer appreciation of artistic treasures.”—The Philadelphia Inquirer
Art education is at the core of what we do at the Barnes, and we’ve been doing it for nearly 100 years. Our founder, Albert C. Barnes, believed that the study of art is beneficial to the human mind and spirit and should be accessible to all members of society. This is why he established the Barnes Foundation in 1922—an educational institution where ordinary people could take classes and learn to appreciate art.
Today, we’re still committed to that educational mission. Taught by an expert group of art historians, curators, conservators, and practicing artists, our classes change monthly and feature a rich array of topics devoted to the study of art and art history. Classes are offered online, on-site, or in an innovative format that allows students from all over the world to participate simultaneously in on-site sessions. You don’t need an art background to enjoy Barnes classes, and even those who are well-versed in art and art history are sure to uncover new and surprising insights.
Recent students have this to say about online learning at the Barnes:
“Well-designed information ... conducted by very knowledgeable instructors.”
“[Classes] at the Barnes are the best I have taken anywhere.”
“Makes my life richer and more enjoyable.”
“Excellent content. Top-notch instructors/curators. Excellent audio-visual quality. Very professional.”
You may be wondering, “Is there homework? ... What if I can’t make it to a live class session?” Check out our FAQs for answers to those questions and more.
Study art history and art appreciation
We offer a rich and ever-changing array of classes devoted to the study of art and art history. Some classes are taught using the traditional Barnes Method; others draw from more contemporary methods of art history; a third category focuses on materials and techniques. Our instructors are professional art historians, conservators, and artists.
Scholarships to Barnes-de Mazia adult education courses are made possible, in part, by generous support from Betsy Z. and Edward E. Cohen and the Dina Wind Art Foundation.