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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

Introduction to Contemporary Art: Critical Explorations

Tuesdays, October 15 – November 19, 6:30 – 8:30pm

What makes art “contemporary”? How do we decide what’s “good” in the art of our time? The answers to these questions are complex—much like contemporary art itself.

Art in Context

Inside the Mind of Matisse: The Artist’s Tour

Saturday, October 19, 10am – 4pm

Using examples from the collection, we will explore the art and objects that mattered to Matisse at the different phases of his career in this one-day workshop.

Art in Context

Van Gogh

Mondays, October 21 – November 11, 6 – 8pm

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

Art in Context

Rhythm in Chinese Art

Tuesdays, October 22 – November 12, 10am – 12pm

This course explores how Chinese artists have expressed rhythm in sculpture, painting, calligraphy, and ceramics.

Art in Context

A Jewish Perspective: Pissarro, Modigliani, Soutine & Pascin

Tuesdays, October 29 – November 19, 1 – 3pm

These four painters were central to the avant-garde scene in early 20th-century Paris. How did their faith influence their outlook and their artwork?

Art in Context

30 Americans: Black Art Across Time, Space, and Practice

Tuesdays, October 29 – November 19, 6 – 8pm

Inspired by our fall exhibition, this class explores the dynamic intersection of race, identity, and sexual politics in the work of several influential black artists featured in the show.

Art in Context

African Art in the Barnes Foundation: Context and Meanings

Saturday, November 9, 10am – 4pm

Learn the traditional meanings and uses of the African sculpture collected by Dr. Barnes while considering the impact of colonialism and imperialism.

Art in Context

Inspiration and Impact: The Art of Paul Cézanne

Tuesdays, November 12 – December 17, 2 – 4pm

What was it about Cézanne’s work that inspired early modernists like Monet and Bonnard and continues to influence painters today?

Art in Context

Painting with Pissarro: The Journey into Modernism

Tuesdays, November 12 – December 17, 6 – 8pm

Learn about Pissarro’s relationships with his contemporaries and his central role in the development of modern art.

Art in Context

The Ancient World: Treasures from Egypt, Greece, and Rome

Mondays, November 18 – December 9, 6 – 8pm

This class takes an in-depth look at the major artistic and architectural moments of the ancient world.