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Wednesdays, March 6 – March 27, 1 – 3pm


Horace Pippin. Giving Thanks (detail), 1942. BF990. Public Domain.

$220; members $198
(4 classes)

About the Class

Between 1870 and 1970, the United States experienced one of the largest population shifts in its history. As the Reconstruction era waned and Jim Crow laws took hold, many African Americans left the rural South, moving north and west for safer conditions and social, economic, political, and cultural opportunities. Artists, writers, and thought leaders of the time created a rich legacy of cultural expression, especially in the visual arts. We will examine the works of some of these important artists and thinkers, including Aaron Douglas, Horace Pippin, Romare Bearden, Alison Saar, Betye Saar, and Glenn Ligon.

The class is online-only. More about online classes.

Barnes classes will:

  • Increase your understanding of art-related concepts.
  • Increase the ways you think critically about art.
  • Improve your ability to communicate about art.
  • Deepen your appreciation for cultures and histories outside your own.

See all classes.


Michael Williamson

A member of the Barnes faculty, Williamson studied at Yale University and the Milton Avery Graduate School of Bard College. He taught art history and studio art for nearly 30 years at Germantown Friends School in Philadelphia. Williamson has an active art practice and has shown his paintings locally.

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