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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.

The courses required for the certificate program are the following:

  • The Elements of Art (14 weeks)—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 (14 weeks)—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 (14 weeks) —The Barnes Method
    This class looks at certain aspects of the collection ranging from specific artists like Renoir or Cézanne, or broader topics like the ensembles in the collection or movements like modernism.

The three Barnes Method classes are offered on a rotating cycle. Each semester, at least one class will be offered online and at least one class will be offered on-site in the Barnes galleries. The classes are 14 weeks and three hours each. If you are pursuing the certificate, students must attend classes live and complete four to six written assignments (number of assignments varies based on the core class) and a written final project.

In addition to the traditional Barnes Method courses, those pursuing the certificate must also complete:

  • One 4-week course in Understanding Materials and Techniques
    Taught by conservators and artists, classes in this category explore the physical aspects of how art is made. You will look closely at artistic materials, techniques, and processes, all of which are essential to understanding how art produces meaning.
  • One 4-week course in Art in Context
    These courses connect works of art to history: What was happening politically, socially, and culturally at the time a piece was made? How did these circumstances shape the artist’s formal choices?

These courses are offered at varying times. Generally, there are no formal assignments for these classes.

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

Students interested in pursuing the Barnes–de Mazia Certificate can declare their intent in any of the three Barnes Method classes.

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 superviser, 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 semester-long courses as well as individual short courses. Apply here.

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.