About the Class
By arranging his collection into groupings called “ensembles,” Albert Barnes disrupted traditional historical and geographic boundaries to focus on the commonalities between fine art and everyday objects. In the ensembles, paintings, metalwork, furniture, ceramics, and textiles are placed side by side in unexpected and surprising ways. Dr. Barnes designed these groupings as teaching tools—and they are still as enigmatic and enlightening to us now as they were in the early 20th century.
Perthes is the Bernard C. Watson Director of Adult Education at the Barnes. He has taught courses at the Barnes as well as the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and West Chester and Villanova Universities. His scholarship focuses on American modernism and the abstract expressionist painter Robert Motherwell.