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Pillars of the Collection

On-Site / Barnes Method

Wednesday, December 11, 10am – 4pm


Édouard Manet. Laundry (detail), 1875. The Barnes Foundation, BF957. Public Domain.

About the Class

The Barnes Foundation is home to some of the most iconic paintings by Renoir, Cézanne, Matisse, and Picasso—artists often referred to as the pillars of the collection. But also hanging our storied galleries are important works by artists like El Greco, Manet, Rousseau, and Van Gogh. In this one-day workshop, we’ll spend time in the galleries looking closely at paintings by all of these renowned artists and discuss their aesthetic qualities to better understand their role in the history of art and in Dr. Albert C. Barnes’s educational philosophy. This workshop is ideal for both newcomers and seasoned Barnes students.

Capacity: 25

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.

Paintings We’ll Discuss

Pierre-Auguste Renoir. The Artist's Family, 1896. The Barnes Foundation, BF819. Public Domain.

Paul Cézanne. The Card Players, 1890–92. The Barnes Foundation, BF564. Public Domain.

Henri Matisse. Le Bonheur de vivre, also called The Joy of Life, 1905–06. The Barnes Foundation, BF719. © 2024 Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Pablo Picasso. Composition: The Peasants, 1906. The Barnes Foundation, BF140. © 2024 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

El Greco (Domenikos Theotokopoulos). Apparition of the Virgin and Child to Saint Hyacinth, c. 1605–10. The Barnes Foundation, BF876. Public Domain.

Édouard Manet. Laundry, 1875. The Barnes Foundation, BF957. Public Domain.

Henri Rousseau. Scouts Attacked by a Tiger, 1904. The Barnes Foundation, BF584. Public Domain.

Vincent van Gogh. The Postman, 1889. The Barnes Foundation, BF37. Public Domain.


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 Institute of Art and Design 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.

William Perthes

Perthes is the Bernard C. Watson Director of Adult Education at the Barnes. He has taught courses at the Barnes as well as the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and West Chester and Villanova Universities. His scholarship focuses on American modernism and the abstract expressionist painter Robert Motherwell.

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