About the Class
Many of the world’s most recognizable images were shot for fashion magazines. During the 20th century, illustrious photographers lent their eyes to glossies, including Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and Vanity Fair, challenging conventional taste with their avant-garde visions. Thanks to image-makers such as Irving Penn, Richard Avedon, Louise Dahl-Wolfe, and Alexey Brodovitch—the subject of Alexey Brodovitch: Astonish Me—the line between fine art and commercial photography blurred, forever changing print media.
This course surveys the key photographers—and the editors who dared to hire them—who elevated the field of fashion photography to an art. With an emphasis on the 1930s through 1980s, this course will chart how artistic movements like surrealism influenced fashion and editorial creative direction at large. An examination of the work of today’s preeminent photographers will further illuminate the profound legacies of their predecessors.
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.
Lillian Bassman. Across the Restaurant, 1949, printed 1994. International Center of Photography, New York. Gift of William A. von Mueffling in honor of Willis E. Hartshorn’s 25th Anniversary at ICP
Sporn is an award-winning arts journalist, fashion historian, and author based in New York. Specializing in the intersection of fashion, art, and design, she writes for Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, W, Architectural Digest, and Artnet, among other publications, as well as auction houses and art fairs. In 2024 she will launch her first art and fashion column and present research about the cape’s role in early cinema at the Critical Costume conference at UCLA.
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