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Saturday, May 4, 11:30am – 2:30pm


Unidentified photographer. Violette de Mazia, Angelo Pinto, and others under Seated Riffian. c. 1930s. Violette de Mazia Collection. Barnes Foundation Archives

Free; registration required

About the Event

This event is sold out, but we will be live-streaming our talks and panel discussion. Join us online!

The 2019 Violette de Mazia Lecture will focus on the life and legacy of Ms. de Mazia herself. Educator, author, and guiding force behind the Barnes Foundation’s art education program for more than 30 years, Violette de Mazia came to define the Barnes for generations of students. Presentations from a biographer, a former student, an archivist, and a historian will shed light on this remarkable woman. Former students are encouraged to attend. There will be an opportunity to record thoughts and memories of Ms. de Mazia.

Please join us after the lecture for a reception in memory of Barnes scholar Richard J. Wattenmaker.

What's On

11:30am – 1pm

Talks and Panel Discussion

Violette de Mazia: A Biographical Sketch
Serena Skwersky

Learning to See: How Violette de Mazia Taught a Reluctant Student to Appreciate the Art in Painting
Marilyn Bauman

Traces of Violette: Highlights from the Violette de Mazia Collection
Amanda McKnight, presenting on behalf of Bertha Adams

Ms. de Mazia and Art Education in the 20th Century
William Perthes

Panel Discussion

1 – 2:30pm



Serena Shanken Skwersky, PhD
Swersky is a Mellon Fellow, writer, and researcher. She is the author of Knight of Philadelphia, The Life and TImes of Albert Monroe Greenfield.

Marilyn Bauman
Bauman is a writer, educator, and artist. For ten years, she was the director of education for the Violette de Mazia Foundation, where she developed the foundation’s aesthetic education program and expanded its classes from the galleries of the Barnes to more than ten venues throughout the tristate area.

Bertha Adams
Adams is an associate archivist at the Barnes, where she is processing the Violette de Mazia Collection. She earned a BA in art history from Hunter College and an MA in history from Temple University and worked as a project archivist at the Philadelphia Museum of Art for 13 years.

Amanda McKnight
McKnight has been with the Barnes since 2011 and currently manages the Archives, Library, and Special Collections. She holds a BA in art history from the University at Buffalo and a master’s in library science with a concentration in archival studies from the University of Maryland.

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.