Skip to content Skip to footer

Collection Concentration: Medieval Modern

On-Site / The Barnes Method

Tuesdays, August 30 – December 13, 6 – 9pm


Left: Vincent van Gogh. The Postman, 1889. BF37; Right: Unidentified artist, Greek. St. Nicholas, 17th century. BF2055. Public Domain.

$550; members $495; with accreditation through PAFA $1,475
(14 classes; no class Sep 27 and Oct 4)

About the Class

This class is sold out; join the wait-list.

Vincent van Gogh’s The Postman is one of the most recognizable works in the Barnes collection. Painted in the South of France in 1889, the portrait presents its subject—a local mail sorter—as a kind of saint. With its rigid pose and penetrating gaze, the painting might even be understood as a modern version of a medieval icon. In this class, we’ll explore medieval art (c. 300–1400 CE), with all of its distortions and exaggerations, to better understand its profound impact on some of the most well-represented modern artists in the Barnes collection, including Van Gogh, Giorgio de Chirico, Paul Cézanne, and Henri Matisse.

Please note: The fifth session of this class will take place Monday, October 10 (there will be no class on Tuesday, October 11).

Capacity: 18

Note: Proof of COVID-19 vaccination is required to attend this class; please check Safety Guidelines for current masking information.

Through our partnership with the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Barnes can offer students 3 college credits for Collection Concentration.


Kaelin Jewell

Jewell is a senior instructor in adult education at the Barnes. She holds a PhD in late Roman and early medieval art history from Temple University and has worked as a field archeologist. In addition to her work at the Barnes, Jewell is the art historian for an underwater archaeology project near the Sicilian town of Marzamemi.

The Barnes Method

Courses in the Barnes Method follow the teachings of Albert Barnes and Violette de Mazia. Classes focus on rigorous formal analysis and direct visual engagement with works of art. In this method, close looking at art helps build critical-thinking skills that can be carried beyond the gallery walls.