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Wednesdays, November 6 – December 4, 2 – 4pm


Unknown artist. Dolls’ house of Petronella Oortman (detail), c. 1686–1710. Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. Public Domain.

$220; members $198
(4 classes; no class November 27)

About the Class

In the Netherlands in the 16th century, sculptors carved entire altarpieces no taller than a can of soda. In 1918, Marcel Duchamp made a version of his Nude Descending a Staircase only three inches high. In 12th-century Cairo, painters created minuscule manuscripts small enough to be concealed in the palm of one’s hand. What compels artists to make works on such a tiny scale? And why are these objects so fascinating to look at? From ancient Egypt to Alexander Calder, Dutch dollhouses to Daumier, this class will use deep-zoom technology to shine a spotlight on the smallest art—including works from the Barnes collection and other notable museum collections around the world—and help us discover why miniatures can feel like magic.

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

Already registered? Log in to Barnes Learning.

Barnes classes will:

  • Sharpen your observational and critical thinking skills.
  • Improve your ability to communicate about art.
  • Deepen your appreciation for cultures and histories outside your own.

See all classes.


Julie Steiner

Steiner is a museum professional, writer, speaker, and practicing miniaturist. She has a degree in art from Smith College and studied art history at the Sorbonne. A longtime member of the Barnes staff, Steiner has worked in museums in education, curatorial, and operations departments. She is the author of A Short Biography of Paul Cézanne and Birds in the Barnes Foundation. She has been awarded Artisan status with the International Guild of Miniature Artisans and shares her miniature-making on Instagram under the name @ridiculoustinythings.

Recent Barnes Class Testimonials

“Naina Saligram is the professor everyone hopes to have. She is knowledgeable and open to listening to her students.” The Classical Tradition in Modern Art with Naina Saligram

“I learned so much in this class, especially things I would not have considered or did not learn when taking art history classes in college.” Portraiture at the Barnes: From the 15th Century to Modernism with Laura Watts

“Kaelin is an amazing professor and has so much knowledge about the collection and the Barnes Foundation. She makes the content interesting and encourages your ideas and questions.” The Traditions of Art with Kaelin Jewell

“I love Cézanne’s art. I am a neuroscientist and always use Cézanne as an example of an artist when I teach vision and the art of seeing. This class helped me appreciate Cézanne’s work even more [and] was very engaging.” Close-Looking Immersion: Cézanne’s Ginger Jar with William Perthes

“The instructor was amazing! She was extremely knowledgeable, friendly, funny, and open to questions. She brought in outside resources and made herself available via email for questions between classes. I would take anything she teaches.” The Impressionists: Friends and Family with Caterina Pierre