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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

Tuesday, September 4 – Tuesday, December 18
This special track offers an immersion in the Barnes method and an introduction to other interpretive approaches.
Art in Context

Painting with Pissarro:
The Journey into Modernism

Tuesdays, January 22 – February 26, 2 – 4pm
Learn about Pissarro’s relationships with his contemporaries and his central role in the development of modern art.
Art in Context

Matisse:
In Color and Light

Tuesdays, January 22 – April 23, 6 – 8:30pm
Study Matisse’s extraordinary life, which itself followed a trajectory from darkness into light and color.
Art in Context

Jewish Art and Artists in the Barnes Foundation

Mondays, January 28 – May 6, 6 – 8pm
Learn about the Jewish artists represented in the collection as well as Barnes faculty members Violette de Mazia and Harry Sefarbi.
Art in Context

Visions of Paris

Mondays, February 4 – March 4, 6 – 8pm
What lies beyond the “City of Light” postcard? This short course will use a variety of media to question Paris’s ever-evolving identity.
Art in Context

Histories of Photography

Tuesdays, February 19 – March 12, 4 – 6pm
Delve into the history and theory of photography through lectures and visits to our special exhibition.
Art in Context

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

Wednesdays, March 6 – March 27, 6 – 8pm
Explore the complex history of the civil rights movement and Dr. Barnes’s role in championing black culture and integration.​
Art in Context

She Persisted:
Pioneering Women Artists Since 1900

Saturday, March 9, 10am – 4pm
This one-day workshop highlights the work of trailblazing women artists, from Georgia O’Keeffe to Marina Abramović and Pat Steir.​​​
Art in Context

Painting with Pissarro:
The Journey into Modernism

Tuesdays, March 12 – April 16, 2 – 4pm
Learn about Pissarro’s relationships with his contemporaries and his central role in the development of modern art.
Art in Context

Exploring the Marvelous: Surrealism

Tuesdays, March 19 – April 23, 1 – 3pm
Journey into the marvelous world of dreams, psychic terror, and liberation from the ordinary in this short course on surrealism.
Art in Context

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

Tuesdays, March 19 – April 9, 6 – 8pm
Archivist and historian Barbara Anne Beaucar shares the history of the Barnes through authentic archival documents—including newly discovered letters.
Art in Context

Hot Art and Cold War:
American Art at Midcentury

Mondays, April 1 – April 29, 6 – 8pm
From abstract expressionism to pop, learn about the art and history of the United States at midcentury, when American artists moved to the forefront of the avant-garde.
Art in Context

Pennsylvania German Decorative Arts

Mondays, April 8 – April 29, 6 – 8pm
Explore the Pennsylvania German artifacts collected by Dr. Barnes and learn about the culture in which they were originally made and used.​
Art in Context

Manet, Impressionism, and Modernism

Tuesdays, April 16 – May 7, 6 – 8pm
An introduction to the work of Édouard Manet, with special attention to his paintings of the 1870s.
Art in Context

Understanding Video Art

Tuesdays, April 16 – May 7, 6 – 8pm
Explore key works of video art and learn about the theories behind them.
Art in Context

The Battle Between Line and Color

Tuesdays, April 23 – May 14, 1 – 3pm
Trace the long-running debate on the relationship between line and color through close looking at paintings in the Barnes collection.
Art in Context

Homegrown Concerns:
American Modernism c. 1900–1950

Tuesday, June 4, 10am – 4pm
This one-day workshop explores key artists from one of the most prolific moments in American history, including Alfred Stieglitz, Jacob Lawrence, and Edward Hopper.
Art in Context

Bill Viola in Context

Saturday, August 17, 10am – 4pm
A look at the artist’s innovative contributions to video, sound, and installation art as well as the provocative themes that inspire his creations.