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Wednesdays, June 8 – June 29, 1 – 3pm


Caravaggio (Michelangelo Merisi). Medusa (detail), 1595–98. Uffizi Gallery, Florence. Public Domain.

$220; members $198
(4 classes)

About the Class

A familiar character from Greek mythology, Medusa has not always been depicted as the snake-haired woman that we know today. In this course, we will explore the transformation of Medusa from her earliest iterations as a terrifying and unrecognizable monster to a beautiful (yet dangerous) woman through Greek and Roman art and into the larger western art historical canon. Beyond the appearance of Medusa, we will delve into questions about what her image may have meant through the centuries, where she may have come from, and how her role as a female monster influenced her reception in both antiquity and modern art historical, psychological, and feminist spheres.

This course takes place at the Barnes, in the Comcast NBCUniversal Auditorium, but is also available for online enrollment. All students, whether on-site or remote, will have the opportunity to participate in class discussions. More about online classes.

On-site capacity: 80
Note: Proof of COVID-19 vaccination is required to attend this class; face masks are welcome but not required.


Caravaggio (Michelangelo Merisi). Medusa, 1595–98. Uffizi Gallery, Florence. Public Domain.


Madeleine Glennon

Glennon is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Barnes Foundation studying the Greek and Roman antiquities collection. She received her MA and PhD in art history and archaeology from the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University; she has taught at NYU and Virginia Wesleyan University and was a curatorial fellow at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Her research interests include depictions of myth in ancient art and the phenomenological relationship between image and viewer in antiquity.

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?