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The Language of Painting

On-Site / Barnes Method

Wednesday, June 26, 10am – 4pm


Georges Seurat. Entrance of The Port of Honfleur (detail), 1886. BF942. Public Domain.

$180; members $162
(one-day workshop)

About the Class

How do paintings connect with us? How do artists use paint and canvas to create transcendent experiences and provide insights into our world? In this one-day workshop, held on-site, we’ll spend time considering these questions. Through careful study of works in the Barnes galleries, students will learn to understand the language of painting and how artists throughout history have used the formal elements of color, light, line, and space to communicate with viewers. Students will come away from this workshop with strategies for more nuanced engagements with works of art.

Capacity: 18

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.


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.

Barnes Method

Barnes Method courses 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.

Recent Barnes Class Testimonials

“The teacher was so smart, and knowledgeable about everything: art history, architecture, interior design, and literature! What a breadth of knowledge!” Paris in the 1920s: Art, Design, Fashion, and Literature with Caterina Pierre

“The instructor was first-rate. Poised, professional yet also inviting and comforting. She set the perfect tone for this event, and her spirit opened up beautiful connections and conversations.” Being Present with Art: The Retreat with Roksana Filipowska

“The professor was highly engaging, facilitated excellent discussions, and [was] very knowledgeable. I learned a lot about teaching art history from watching her.” Matisse and Picasso with Martha Lucy

“The instructor [was] very empathetic and knowledgeable [and] created moments of sharing across students who participated actively in discussion.” Art and Literature of the Harlem Renaissance with Michael Williamson