Skip to main content
Art & Architecture
Holiday Charms in Fairmount Park: Philadelphia’s Historic 18th-Century Neighborhood

Three of the splendid “Charms” of Fairmount Park open their doors for a holiday-season guided tour, offering an intimate look at the lives of well-to-do Philadelphians of the Revolutionary period and the evolution of domestic architecture and interiors as the Federal era began. Bill Keene leads this tour.

Friday, December 14, 2018 - 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
The Divine Michelangelo: His Life and His Works

Rocky Ruggiero, a specialist in the Early Renaissance, examines Michelangelo’s epic life, using milestone works of art and architecture to illustrate the chapters of his artistic biography. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1 credit)

Saturday, December 15, 2018 - 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Christmas with the First Ladies: Decking the Halls at the White House

Spend an afternoon with professional decorator and author Coleen Christian Burke as she covers the traditions of White House holiday decorating. She brings you behind the scenes as the seasonal transformation takes place, and shares how modern first ladies from Jacqueline Kennedy to Melania Trump have lent their distinctive styles and creativity to guiding the annual themes.

Sunday, December 16, 2018 - 2:00 p.m.
A Trio of Museum Gems: An Artful Weekend in New York

The Neue Gallery, Morgan Library and Museum, and the Frick Collection offer a rich array of delights for visitors. Enjoy an escape to Manhattan that gives you plenty of time to take in these distinctive and stunning smaller museums—and a night on the town to enjoy as you like. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Depart: Saturday, January 12, 2019 - 8:30 a.m.
Return: Sunday, January 13, 2019 - 10:30 p.m.
Visual Literacy: The Art of Seeing

Like any language, art has its own vocabulary—one in which you discover more meaning and gratification as your fluency increases. Spend a day with art historian Lisa Passaglia Bauman expanding your understanding of how art communicates, how to analyze and interpret it, and how to see in a cultural context. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1 credit)

Saturday, January 12, 2019 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Four Pivotal American Women Artists

The lives of the disparate Mary Cassatt, Georgia O’Keeffe, Louise Nevelson, and Cindy Sherman share one thing: the desire to ignore society’s dictates and live and work according to their own. Art historian Nancy G. Heller examines how these controversial American creators helped ignite some of the most important and radical developments in modern and contemporary art. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1 credit)

Saturday, January 26, 2019 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.
The Medieval Illuminated Manuscript: Praising God with Exquisite Beauty

Art historian Laura McCloskey examines how the monk-artists who produced sumptuous illuminated books such as the The Book of Kells and the Lindisfarne Gospels created sacred texts that were also remarkable and innovative works of art.  (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Wednesday, January 30, 2019 - 6:45 p.m.
Chinese Art: From the Bronze Age to the People’s Republic

Chinese civilization has given rise to some of the world’s most remarkable artistic creations. Art historian Robert DeCaroli examines how, across the centuries, China’s social, religious, and political life have influenced transformations in its material culture. (World Art History Certificate core course, 1 credit)

Monday, February 4 to March 4, 2019 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. (no class Feb. 18)
Along the Coast of Many Cultures: Art and Architectural Treasures of Croatia

Situated at a geographical intersection of empires, Croatia was coveted by various foreign powers for centuries, with Romans, Byzantines, Venetians, and Ottomans all leaving their mark. Art historian Aneta Georgievska-Shine examines the artistic legacy of this long and tangled history. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Thursday, February 7, 2019 - 6:45 p.m.
Baltimore Museums: A Study in Contrasts

The venerable Baltimore Museum of Art and the whimsical American Visionary Art Museum represent two distinctive and divergent aspects of the city’s cultural scene. Spend a fascinating day visiting both, seeing everything from Matisse masterworks to art by self-trained creators, and enjoying lunch at the BMA’s celebrated Chesapeake-inspired restaurant, Gertrude’s. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Friday, February 8, 2019 - 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Pieter Bruegel the Elder: Humor and Humanism

Brimming with warmth and vivid details of daily life, the paintings of Bruegel are among the defining masterworks of Dutch Golden Age art. Art historian Aneta Georgievska-Shine explores the facets of his creativity and his profound influence on succeeding generations of painters. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1 credit)

Saturday, February 16, 2019 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Earthen Architecture of Africa: Of Buildings and Belief

For centuries in Africa, mud and earthen materials have been used to build monumental and aesthetically innovative structures. Curator Kevin Tervala explores the history behind these buildings, as well as how their architecture expresses the social and religious beliefs of the societies that created them. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Tuesday, February 19, 2019 - 6:45 p.m.
Monuments, Remembrance, and the Slave Past

Art historian Renée Ater draws focus to several monuments to the slave past recently added to the landscape in Virginia, Maryland, and the District as she considers the ways that visualizing, remembering, and engaging with the past may help transform the future. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Sunday, February 24, 2019 - 2:00 p.m.
Piero della Francesca and Sandro Botticelli: Contrasting Visions

Art historian Nigel McGilchrist considers two Italian Renaissance painters whose approach to creating visual images couldn’t have been more dissimilar: Botticelli, with his fluidity, movement, and elegance of drawing; and della Francesca, with his stillness, thoughtfulness, and reassuring solidity of form. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Thursday, February 28, 2019 - 6:45 p.m.
Three European Renaissances in Art: Florentine, Flemish, and Venetian

The Renaissance is conventionally seen as a single, continuously unfolding movement that transformed the thinking and the artistic vision of the West. In this day-long seminar, art historian Nigel McGilchrist traces a rich visual itinerary through a different revolution: One rooted in multiple renaissances sparked in the cities of Florence, Bruges, and Venice. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1 credit)

Saturday, March 2, 2019 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.
The Philadelphia Flower Show

Inspired by the theme Wonders of Water, the 2018 edition of the world’s largest indoor flower exhibition—all 10 colorful acres of it—celebrates the beauty and life-sustaining interplay of horticulture and water. The legendary show is the perfect place for gardeners and flower enthusiasts to spend a day filled with beauty.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019 - 9:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
All Eyes on Pittsburgh

The city of smokestacks and steel has been miraculously reborn as a cultural capital. Join arts journalist Richard Selden for a visit that surveys its art scene (highlighted by the 57th Carnegie International exhibition) as well as the rich ethnic and industrial history of “the ’Burgh.”

Depart: Sunday, March 10, 2019 - 8:00 a.m.
Return: Tuesday, March 12, 2019 - 10:00 p.m.
Edouard Manet: Reluctant Revolutionary

Art historian Bonita Billman discusses the life and career of Edouard Manet, a premier painter of modern life and a trailblazer of the impressionist movement. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Monday, March 11, 2019 - 6:45 p.m.
Fallingwater: An In-Depth Exploration

Fallingwater and Kentuck Knob are prime examples of Frank Lloyd Wright’s distinctive organic architecture. Visit both on an overnight tour to the scenic Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania led by architectural historian Bill Keene—and stay at a Wright-inspired boutique hotel. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Depart: Sunday, March 31, 2019 - 9:30 a.m.
Return: Monday, April 1, 2019 - 8:00 p.m.