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Wednesdays, November 6 – December 4, 2 – 4pm


Paul Cézanne. The Card Players (detail), 1890–92. The Barnes Foundation, BF564. Public Domain.

$250; members $225
(4 classes; no class November 27)

About the Class

The unusual wall arrangements, or “ensembles,” of artworks and decorative elements in the Barnes Foundation have long been a source of interest and provocation. In this class, we will explore the relations between masterpiece and ensemble. Each session will begin with close study of one work of art, followed by consideration of the reciprocal dialogues it sustains with other objects in the ensemble. Our conversation will stay open to possibility and resistant to closure as we seek knowledge and understanding of the Barnes collection.

Capacity: 25

Barnes classes will:

  • Sharpen your observational and critical thinking skills.
  • Improve your ability to communicate about art.
  • Deepen your appreciation for cultures and histories outside your own.

See all classes.


Rika Burnham

Burnham is a leading theorist and practitioner of art museum gallery teaching and a lecturer at Columbia University, New York. She previously served as head of education at the Frick Collection, New York, and project director for the Teaching Institute in Museum Education at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She coauthored the book Teaching in the Art Museum: Interpretation as Experience (Getty, 2011), which won a PROSE Award for best education book from the Association of American Publishers.

Recent Barnes Class Testimonials

“Naina Saligram is the professor everyone hopes to have. She is knowledgeable and open to listening to her students.” The Classical Tradition in Modern Art with Naina Saligram

“I learned so much in this class, especially things I would not have considered or did not learn when taking art history classes in college.” Portraiture at the Barnes: From the 15th Century to Modernism with Laura Watts

“Kaelin is an amazing professor and has so much knowledge about the collection and the Barnes Foundation. She makes the content interesting and encourages your ideas and questions.” The Traditions of Art with Kaelin Jewell

“I love Cézanne’s art. I am a neuroscientist and always use Cézanne as an example of an artist when I teach vision and the art of seeing. This class helped me appreciate Cézanne’s work even more [and] was very engaging.” Close-Looking Immersion: Cézanne’s Ginger Jar with William Perthes

“The instructor was amazing! She was extremely knowledgeable, friendly, funny, and open to questions. She brought in outside resources and made herself available via email for questions between classes. I would take anything she teaches.” The Impressionists: Friends and Family with Caterina Pierre