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Cubism and Its Impact

Online / Art in Context

Wednesdays, January 5 – January 26, 1 – 3pm


Pablo Picasso. Glass and Packet of Cigarettes (detail), 1911–1912. BF200. © 2021 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

$220; members $198
(4 classes)

Registration opens December 9 at 10am; member presale begins December 7 at 10am. Join now.

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About the Class

The class is online-only. More about online classes.

Simply put, there is art before cubism, and art after it. In the early 20th century, Picasso, Braque, and other artists deconstructed traditional imagery—drawn from the observable world—and reconstructed it into the celebrated cubist “grid,” a series of interlocking geometric lines that harmoniously held together a cacophony of competing shapes. On their canvases, various shapes—recognizable or not—seemed to be in motion, kinetically fluctuating between different perspectives and moments in time. Here an ear; there a guitar string. Eventually these artists began introducing objects from the real world (newspaper clippings, wallpaper) into their compositions. Cubism dominated the early 20th-century vanguard. Its impact lingers, even today.


Pablo Picasso. Glass and Packet of Cigarettes, 1911–1912. BF200. © 2021 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York


Matthew Palczynski

Palczynski is an art history lecturer, consultant, curator, and educator for academic, corporate, and nonprofit institutions. He regularly leads sessions on innovation at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, teaches art history at Tyler School of Art and the Barnes, and presents lectures worldwide for Road Scholar.

Art in Context

Art in Context 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?