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The Elements of Art

On-Site / The Barnes Method

Tuesdays, August 30 – December 13, 1 – 4pm


Paul Cézanne. Ginger Jar (detail), c. 1895. BF23. Public Domain.

$550; members $495; with accreditation through PAFA $1,475
(14 classes; no class Sep 27 and Oct 4)

About the Class

This class is sold out; join the wait-list.

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. Through an object-based approach, learn more about the aesthetic principles that underlie art and discover its communicative power.

Capacity: 18

Note: Proof of COVID-19 vaccination is required to attend this class; please check Safety Guidelines for current masking information.

Through our partnership with the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Barnes can offer students 3 college credits for The Elements of Art.


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.

The Barnes Method

Courses in the Barnes Method 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.