Skip to content Skip to footer

Online Class: Light in the Dark Ages

Online / Art in Context

Tuesdays, July 13 – August 3, 1 – 3:10pm


Shoulder-Clasp, late 6th–early 7th century. Gold inlaid with garnet cloisonné and glass. From the Sutton Hoo Ship Burial in East Anglia, UK. © The Trustees of the British Museum #1939, 1010.4.a

$220; members $198
(4 classes)

All classes in Eastern time. We encourage you to watch live, but classes can be streamed once the live session ends. See our FAQ.

About the Class

Historians often regard the centuries between classical antiquity and the Middle Ages as a low point in human creativity. However, a closer look at art during the so-called Dark Ages shows a visual culture bursting at the seams with complex ideas achieved through light and color. This course explores more than 600 years of this gold- and gem-filled world, with a focus on devotional objects and soaring sacred architecture in Europe, the Mediterranean, and neighboring lands.

Each week, the 90-minute lecture is followed by a 30-minute discussion session that allows students the opportunity to ask questions and exchange ideas with the instructor and classmates.


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.

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?