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Learn to connect works of art to history. What was happening politically, socially, and culturally at the time the piece was made? How did these circumstances shape the artist’s formal choices?

Art in Context / Understanding Materials and Techniques / The Barnes Method

The Barnes-de Mazia Certificate Program


This special track offers an immersion in the Barnes method and an introduction to other interpretive approaches.

Art in Context

Building the City of Light: Impressionism in Haussmann’s Paris

Mondays, February 3 – March 2, 6 – 8pm

Trace the evolution of one of the most famous urban planning projects in European history.

Art in Context

Cézanne’s Card Players in Focus

Mondays, February 3 – March 2, 6 – 8pm

Join us for an intensive study of one of the greatest masterpieces in the Barnes collection. Learn why The Card Players is so important in the history of modern art and how it fits into Cézanne’s broader career.

Art in Context

Art Deco Fashions of the 1920s

Tuesdays, February 4 – February 25, 1 – 3pm

Learn about how influential fashion designers blurred the traditional boundaries between commerce and fine art. Inspired by our Marie Cuttoli exhibition.

Art in Context

The Art and Architecture of Ancient Egypt

Tuesdays, February 4 – February 25, 2 – 4pm

Explore major monuments of architecture, sculpture, and painting from ancient Egypt in this class taught by our new postdoctoral fellow.

Art in Context

Black American Culture and Albert Barnes: Spirituals, Integration, and Social Justice

Saturday, February 8, 10am – 4pm

In this one-day workshop, explore the complex history of the civil rights movement and Dr. Barnes’s role in championing black culture and integration.​

Art in Context

Indigenous and Native American Arts: Albert Barnes and the Spirit of Santa Fe

Saturday, February 22, 10am – 4pm

Look closely at the influence of Native American art on Dr. Barnes and on modern art as a whole.

Art in Context

Van Gogh

Tuesdays, March 3 – March 24, 11am – 1pm

Delve into the life and work of one of the greatest—and most mythologized—painters of the modern era.

Art in Context

“Dear Barnes”: Letters Between Albert C. Barnes and His Artist Friends

Tuesdays, March 3 – March 24, 1 – 3pm

Archivist and historian Barbara Anne Beaucar shares the history of the Barnes through authentic archival documents—including a few newly discovered letters.

Art in Context

Ab Ex to Pop: American Art of the 1950s and 1960s

Tuesdays, March 3 – March 24, 2 – 4pm

Get a better sense of why artists like Jackson Pollock and Andy Warhol took the art world by storm in the decades after World War II.

Art in Context

Consumed by Color: Bonnard and Matisse:
A Friendship in Paint

Tuesdays, March 3 – April 7, 6 – 8pm

Learn about the long and fascinating relationship between these two celebrated painters.

Art in Context

Holy Faces and Sacred Spaces

Mondays, March 9 – March 30, 6 – 8pm

Explore the complicated relationship between spiritual belief and artistic production. What does religious art tell us about the people who made it?

Art in Context

On the Run: European Artists/Intellectuals Flee WWII

Saturday, March 21, 10am – 4pm

Examine key artists and intellectuals who fled Europe during the Second World War as well as the work of those who stayed behind.

Art in Context

Marie Cuttoli: The Modern Thread from Miró to Man Ray

Tuesdays, March 31 – April 21, 10am – 12pm

In conjunction with our spring exhibition, survey the career of Marie Cuttoli, the pioneering entrepreneur who introduced leading modern artists to textiles and tapestry.

Art in Context

Threads of History: European Tapestry from Medieval to Modern

Tuesdays, March 31 – April 21, 4 – 6pm

Trace the history of tapestry from its princely beginnings in the Middle Ages to its revival by modernist painters and patrons in the 20th century.

Art in Context

Albert C. Barnes and the Harlem Renaissance

Mondays, April 6 – April 27, 6 – 8pm

Learn about Dr. Barnes’s dialogue with several key figures of the Harlem Renaissance and how this dialogue impacted his approach to education.

Art in Context

Old Masters at the Barnes Foundation

Mondays, April 6 – April 27, 6 – 8pm

A close look at the old masters in the collection and an introduction to earlier painting traditions more broadly.

Art in Context

Afrofuturism: Introduction to the Multiverse

Saturday, April 18, 10am – 4pm

Artists and activists from across the African diaspora are imagining new myths and radical visions into reality. Learn about them in this one-day workshop.

Art in Context

Painting Time: Monet and the Pace of Modernity

Mondays, April 27 – May 18, 6 – 8pm

Is it possible to paint time? Join us for an investigation into how Monet articulated a new cultural understanding of time in some of his key landscapes.

Art in Context

3-D/4-D: Sculpture 1850 to the Present

Wednesday, June 3, 10am – 4pm

Inspired by our summer exhibition on Elijah Pierce, this workshop details the various modes of modern and contemporary sculpture.

Art in Context

Matisse and His Palette of Objects

Tuesday, June 9, 10am – 4pm

Curator Ellen McBreen brings to light the deeply personal objects that so often found their way into Matisse’s paintings. What is the relationship between 2-D and 3-D in Matisse’s work?

Art in Context

Art History is a Gated Community: How to Open the Discipline to Elijah Pierce and His Peers

Tuesday, August 4, 10am – 4pm

How can art historians, museums, collectors, and critics include artists like Pierce in a fuller and more expansive story of American art?

Art in Context

Modigliani, Pascin, and Soutine

Monday, August 10 – Wednesday, August 12

In this three-day workshop, investigate the intersecting lives and contributions of these three key modern painters.