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The Elements of Art

Online / Barnes Method

Wednesdays, September 11 – December 18, 6 – 9pm


Chaïm Soutine. The Pastry Chef (Baker Boy) (detail), c. 1919. The Barnes Foundation, BF442. Public Domain.

$550; members $495
(14 classes; no class November 27)

About the Class

One of the oldest forms of expression and communication, art is more enjoyable when you understand its visual language—and more meaningful when you appreciate its relationship to everyday experiences. In this course, we’ll use an object-based approach to learn more about the aesthetic principles that underlie art and discover its communicative power.

Please note:
The fourth session of this class takes place on Monday, September 30 (there is no class on Wednesday, October 2).

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.

Educators in Pennsylvania can receive 75 Act 48 credits for the Elements of Art.

Students at Saint Joseph’s University can receive college credits for The Elements of Art through our ongoing partnership.


Kaelin Jewell

Jewell is a senior instructor in adult education at the Barnes and has been teaching art history for nearly 15 years. She holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in photography and art history from the University of Louisville’s Hite Art Institute and earned her PhD in ancient and medieval art history from Temple University’s Tyler School of Art. In addition to her work at the Barnes, Jewell is trained as an archaeologist and has worked on archaeological projects in the American Midwest and on the island of Sicily.

Barnes Method

Barnes Method courses follow the teachings of Albert Barnes and Violette de Mazia. Classes focus on rigorous formal analysis and direct visual engagement with works of art. In this method, close looking at art helps build critical-thinking skills that can be carried beyond the gallery walls.

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