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Thursdays, April 13 – May 4, 2 – 4pm


Fern I. Coppedge. The Road to Lumberville (detail), 1938. James A. Michener Art Museum. Gift of Ruth Purcell Conn and William R. Conn.

$220; members $198
(4 classes)

About the Class

In 1915, a prominent American art critic identified the paintings produced by a group of artists working in and around New Hope, Pennsylvania, as “our first truly national expression.” Later known as Pennsylvania Impressionists, these artists—William Lathrop, Edward Redfield, Daniel Garber, Robert Spencer, Fern Coppedge, and Mary Elizabeth Price, among others—were celebrated for their expressive depictions of the Delaware River Valley and its environs. This class will explores the social, economic, and environmental contexts behind the growth of the New Hope art colony and the popularity of Pennsylvania Impressionism in the early 20th century. Using artwork from the Michener Art Museum’s collection, we will take a close look at the affiliated artists and the aesthetic approaches and philosophies they embraced.

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

This course 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.


Laura Igoe

Igoe is chief curator at the Michener Art Museum in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. She specializes in art and material culture of the late 19th century and has held curatorial and research positions at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Princeton University Art Museum, the Harvard Art Museums, and the Barnes. At the Michener, she curated Impressionism to Modernism: The Lenfest Collection of American Art (2019) and Rising Tides: Contemporary Art and the Ecology of Water (2020) and co-curated Through the Lens: Modern Photography in the Delaware Valley (2021) and Daring Design: The Impact of Three Women on Wharton Esherick’s Craft (2021–22).

Art in Context

Art in Context courses connect works of art to history: What was happening politically, socially, and culturally at the time a piece was made? How did these circumstances shape the artist’s formal choices?

Recent Barnes Class Testimonials

“[The] professor was highly engaging, facilitated excellent discussions, and [was] very knowledgeable. I learned a lot about teaching art history from watching her.” Course: Matisse and Picasso with Martha Lucy

“Every single second of the course was a productive, valuable, and interesting use of my time. The instructor's enthusiasm and reference to outside resources sparked a greater interest in me as a learner and resulted in me exploring even more on my own. I couldn't have enjoyed the experience more.” Course: Salvador Dalí: Surrealism and Beyond with Jonathan Wallis

“I am not an artist and prior to this course I had not thought about what an artist might be 'thinking,' as opposed to 'feeling.' I loved this course and plan to immerse myself in color theory.” Course: Visualizing Memory with Lucas Kelly

“This course is equal to or exceeds art history courses I have taken at several major universities in terms of syllabus and quality of instruction.” Course: The School of Paris with Joseph Tokumasu Field