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Member Appreciation Courses

Members / Online

Throughout December


Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Still Life with Melon (detail), c. 1905. BF966. Public Domain.

Free for members; registration required

Thank You!

December is Member Appreciation Month at the Barnes! This month, members are invited to take a free online class. This is a great way to sample our online class offerings or to catch up on a topic you missed earlier this year. Register for one class from the list below. Each class is a series of four prerecorded lectures, so you can take it at your leisure.

Once you register, you’ll receive information by email about on how to access your lectures and digital classroom.

Limit one class per member.

Free Classes

Art in Context

Art and Splendor in Ancient Rome

From the spectacles held in the Colosseum to the lavishly decorated villas of Pompeii, the ancient Roman world has been inspiring art for centuries.

Using Dr. Albert Barnes’s fascinating and often-overlooked collection of antiquities as a starting point, this course will explore the major artistic and architectural moments of the Roman Empire. We'll focus on the social function of buildings and objects in both the capital city of Rome and the empire’s outlying provinces, ranging from Hadrian’s Wall in the north to art and architecture of the merchant cities of Palmyra and Petra in the south.rom

Art in Context

Garden of Earthly Delights: Art and Nature

This class presents several possibilities for how we might define “nature” in art. We will explore nature as an age-old subject (from da Vinci’s rocks and Bierstadt’s soaring vistas to Brancusi’s abstracted bird); as iconography (Caravaggio’s luscious fruits); as medium (the earth in Smithson’s jetty and the elephant dung in Ofili’s Madonna painting); and as concept (Viola’s ocean).

Albert Bierstadt. Mount Corcoran, c. 1876–1877. Courtesy of the National Gallery of Art

Art in Context

Matisse and His Palette of Objects

Ellen McBreen, co-curator of the acclaimed exhibition Matisse in the Studio (Boston and London, 2017), brings to light the deeply personal objects that so often found their way into Matisse’s paintings. Furniture from Tunisia, an Andalusian vase, figural sculpture from the various African traditions that he admired—all were key elements in Matisse’s diverse “palette of objects,” and many can be seen in canvases at the Barnes. What happens when Matisse translates his favorite 3-D objects into paint? Why did he combine all these seemingly disparate cultural traditions?

Henri Matisse. Studio with Goldfish, 1912. BF569. © 2020 Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Art in Context

Medieval Art in the Barnes Collection

Discover the world of medieval art at the Barnes! We’ll study some of the under-explored treasures of the collection, including paintings, architectural sculpture, and decorative arts made in Africa, Europe, and Asia from 300 to 1500 CE. How, and by whom, were these objects made and used? In what ways did they foster connections between different regions and cultures? How did they make their way to the Barnes, and what kinds of discourses do they form with modernism?

Unidentified Maker, Spanish. Keyhole Escutcheon, 16th century. 01.01.63. Public Domain.

Art in Context

Protest, Politics, and the Public Monument

Public monuments are under scrutiny like never before, especially when they are connected to racially charged moments in American history. What should we do with controversial public works of art? How do we balance the desire to preserve history against the more pressing demand for social justice? Examine the full range and intent of such monuments, from works designed to commemorate abolition efforts, emancipation, and civil rights activism to the post-Reconstruction memorials erected to bolster the “Lost Cause” mythology of the Jim Crow era. At the close of the course, we will consider public installations by contemporary African American artists whose work powerfully challenges the legacy of the Confederate monument.

A protester at the base of the Robert E. Lee Monument in Richmond, VA. Photo by John Moserp