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Wednesdays, July 7 – July 28, 6 – 8:10pm


William James Glackens. Landscape–Factories (detail), c. 1914. BF590. Public Domain.

$220; members $198
(4 classes)

All classes in Eastern time. We encourage you to watch live, but classes can be streamed once the live session ends. See our FAQ.

About the Class

Landscape painting in the United States has always been political, from its origins in the 19th century to more recent works depicting the rise of cities and new technologies. For more than 200 years, American artists have relied on the landscape to express ideological beliefs in manifest destiny, to forewarn against rapid industrialization, to show the evils of nuclear warfare, and to shed light on environmental racism. This course will discuss the genre of landscape art, from Thomas Cole to Cauleen Smith, to reveal how American ideologies, sentiments, aspirations, and fears are found rooted in the earth.

Each week, the 90-minute lecture is followed by a 30-minute discussion session that allows students the opportunity to ask questions and exchange ideas with the instructor and classmates.


TK Smith

Smith is a Philadelphia-based writer, art critic, and curator. He is also a PhD candidate in the University of Delaware’s American civilization program. Smith received an MA in American studies and a BA in English and African American studies from Saint Louis University. His research interests lie in American art, material culture, and the built environment, and his writing has been published in Art Papers, Burnaway, and ARTS ATL.

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?