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Exploring Pictorial Space

On-Site / Barnes Method

Tuesdays, May 7 – May 28, 1 – 3pm


Paul Cézanne. Mont Sainte-Victoire (detail), c. 1900. BF654. Public Domain.

$220; members $198
(4 classes)

About the Class

Albert Barnes and Violette de Mazia based their objective method for examining works of art on the plastic means: color, line, light, and space. In this class, we will focus on one of these elements: how artists express space in drawing and painting. We will examine perspectival systems, figure-ground compositional design, and graphic design. We’ll also consider how architects and sculptors plan three-dimensional works on a two-dimensional picture plane.

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