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Modigliani: A Life

Online / On-Site / Art in Context

Wednesdays, October 12 – November 2, 1 – 3pm


Amedeo Modigliani. Young Woman in Blue (detail), 1919. BF268. Public Domain.

$220; members $198
(4 classes)

About the Class

On-site registration is sold out; join the wait-list or register to attend online.

Join us for this book-club–style class held in the Barnes collection and special exhibition galleries. Over the course of four weeks, students will read Meryle Secrest’s acclaimed biography Modigliani: A Life (2011) before gathering for a group discussion in front of the actual paintings led by art historian Matt Palczynski.

Modigliani is one of the most mythologized artists of the early 20th century—"the archetypal accursed artist," as Secrest describes him. This is an opportunity to unpack the stories (and fictions) of his remarkable life and career while looking carefully at his work. The class is a perfect complement to our groundbreaking fall exhibition, Modigliani Up Close.

This course takes place at the Barnes in both the collection and the Roberts galleries but is also available for online enrollment. All students, whether on-site or remote, will have the opportunity to participate in class discussions.

Students should purchase Modigliani: A Life in advance of the class.

On-site capacity: 12
Note: Proof of COVID-19 vaccination is required to attend this class; please check Safety Guidelines for current masking information.


Matthew Palczynski

Palczynski is an art history lecturer, consultant, curator, and educator for academic, corporate, and nonprofit institutions. He regularly leads sessions on innovation at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, teaches art history at Tyler School of Art and the Barnes, and presents lectures worldwide for Road Scholar.

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?