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What Is Beauty?

Online / Art in Context

Wednesdays, September 7 – September 28, 3 – 5pm

#SeeingtheBarnes

Henri Matisse. Le Bonheur de vivre, also called The Joy of Life (detail), 1905–6. BF719. © 2022 Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

$220; members $198
(4 classes)

About the Class

This course introduces some of the key ways in which ideals of beauty, in nature and in the arts, have shaped human experience since antiquity. Beginning with a discussion of the sources of aesthetic experience in human biological evolution, we will consider beauty as a force in cultural evolution, with particular focus on the fine arts. We will also address the politically charged dialogue about beauty’s roles in modernist and postmodernist art and criticism, and conclude the course by considering how aesthetic experiences of art and nature offer not only a proverbial escape from the ills of modern life but also powerful creative resources for addressing global problems of the 21st century.

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

 

Henri Matisse. Le Bonheur de vivre, also called The Joy of Life, 1905–6. BF719. © 2022 Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Instructor

Casey Haskins

Haskins is associate professor of philosophy at Purchase College, State University of New York, where he teaches courses on the philosophy of music, film theory, and environmental philosophy. He is also a jazz musician. He has published widely on the history of aesthetics, specializing in John Dewey’s philosophy of art.

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?