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Wednesdays, October 9 – October 30, 1 – 3pm


Pablo Picasso. Harlequin (Léonide Massine) (detail), 1917. Museu Picasso de Barcelona. Gift of Pablo Picasso, 1919. Photo Credit: Manuel Cohen / Art Resource, NY

$220; members $198
(4 classes)

About the Class

It is remarkable how many famous modern artists also worked as designers for the stage. We will begin in 18th-century Europe, looking at painters like François Boucher, who was chief decorator for the Académie Royale de Musique in Paris, before fast-forwarding to the early 20th century, when the art world saw a burst of collaborative activity between painters and the theatrical arts. Sergei Diaghilev, of the Ballets Russes, commissioned artists such as Pablo Picasso, Natalia Goncharova, and Joan Miró to work as designers for the stage. Salvador Dalí created the decor and costumes for a 1919 ballet; and in Norway, Edvard Munch designed haunting stage imagery for a 1910 production of Henrik Ibsen’s Ghosts. We will then turn to the United States, exploring the stunning collaboration between sculptor Isamu Noguchi and dancer-choreographer Martha Graham, as well as the artists who worked with Merce Cunningham and John Cage in the 1950s and 1960s.

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

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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.


Pablo Picasso. Harlequin (Léonide Massine) (detail), 1917. Museu Picasso de Barcelona. Gift of Pablo Picasso, 1919. Photo Credit: Manuel Cohen / Art Resource, NY


Caterina Y. Pierre

Pierre is professor of art history at the City University of New York at Kingsborough Community College and visiting associate professor at the Pratt Institute, New York. She has taught about art and crime at CUNY Kingsborough, Pratt, and Sotheby’s Institute of Art, New York. She is currently preparing a book on cemetery sculpture as political art in the late 19th century, as well as a book on Ernest Durig, a forger of the sculptor Auguste Rodin.

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