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About the Program

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

The Barnes–de Mazia Certificate Program is appropriate for anyone interested in a structured learning experience in the arts or a credential representing the completion of a rigorous course of study from a respected educational institution. The program is also ideal for anyone interested in pursuing a certificate for professional or personal growth. A college degree is not required, and a majority of our students with degrees have completed them in fields unrelated to the arts.

Students may finish the certificate program at their own pace: there is no deadline for completing it, and courses can be taken in any order. Students who take one course each semester can earn the certificate in two years, although some take several classes at once, completing the certificate sooner. It is possible to complete the certificate program completely in-person or online, or through a combination of in-person and online courses.

The following courses are required for the certificate program:

  • The Elements of Art—The Barnes Method
    One of the oldest forms of expression and communication, art is more enjoyable when you understand its visual language and more meaningful when you appreciate its relationship to everyday experiences. Learn the aesthetic principles that underlie art, and discover its communicative power by studying directly in the Barnes galleries.
  • The Traditions of Art—The Barnes Method
    Art is a visual record of artists’ perceptions throughout time. Focusing on developments in the art of Western Europe, this class explores how traditions influence one another, how artists learn and adapt traditions, and how modern art evolved in the 19th and 20th centuries.
  • Collection Concentration—The Barnes Method
    This class focuses on particular aspects of the Barnes collection, ranging from specific artists like Renoir or Cézanne to broader topics such as our unique ensembles or artistic movements like modernism or impressionism.

The three Barnes Method courses are offered on a rotating cycle. Each semester, at least one will be offered online using our ultramodern VXP (visual experience platform) and at least one will be offered on-site in the Barnes collection galleries. These courses meet weekly for 14 weeks, and each session is three hours long. If you are pursuing the certificate, you must complete three to six written assignments (number of assignments varies based on the course) and a written final project. Certificate students are strongly encouraged to attend online sessions live, but options are available for those who need to take the course asynchronously.

In addition to the traditional Barnes Method courses, those pursuing the certificate must also complete three 4-week courses outside that category.

These 4-week courses explore other interpretive approaches to works of art and cover topics that focus on our special exhibitions, artist materials and techniques, and what was happening politically, socially, and culturally at the time an artwork was made. These courses are offered at varying times. Generally, there are no formal assignments for these classes.

Prices are subject to change; the current cost for a 14-week course is $550 ($495 for members), and 4-week courses are $220 ($198 for members).

Students interested in pursuing the certificate can declare their intent in any of the three Barnes Method courses.

Scholarships for the certificate program are offered in the fall and spring and require a written statement from the applicant about why they are interested in pursuing the certificate scholarship, as well as a letter of support from a mentor, former teacher, work supervisor, or colleague in the field. If awarded the certificate scholarship, students will be automatically enrolled in the required courses each semester. It is also possible to apply for individual class scholarships and complete the program by applying each semester for another class.

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Have questions? Email us for more information.

Barnes–de Mazia Certificate Program Scholarships

The Barnes has received important support to establish the Violette de Mazia Scholarship Program and the Richard J. Wattenmaker Scholarship Fund. We are most grateful to the donors who have made this possible.

Scholarships are available for the certificate program, semester-long courses, and individual short courses. Apply here.

Scholarships for 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.

Recent Certificate Program Testimonials

“I have completed all three Barnes Method semester classes and found them well worth the time and cost. I found them informative as well as inspiring. The trend in museums nowadays seems to be so heavily, and sometimes solely, focused on concepts and causes [that] aesthetics and craftsmanship [are ignored]. It was refreshing to look at and discuss works for their aesthetic purpose and merit.” Barnes-de Mazia Certificate Program

“This class opened up a world for me that has deepened my understanding and appreciation of art, both medieval and modern.” Collection Concentration: Medieval Modern

“The instructor, through an impressive teaching ability and deep knowledge of the subject matter, expanded my understanding of art more than I had hoped for.” The Elements of Art

“Fascinating and challenging. I learned so much and am now getting much more out of my encounters with art. I found myself excited to do the homework and to come to class. Loved the in-person format—more opportunity to learn from classmates. Can’t wait for my next class!” The Traditions of Art