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Artists in Depth at the Barnes Foundation: African Art

Morning Lecture/Seminar

Thursday, December 9, 2021 - 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. ET
Code: 1NV098
This program is part of our
Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.
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Materials for this program

Explore African sculpture, metalwork, and decorative arts (The Barnes Foundation)

Drawing on what is considered one of the greatest post-impressionist and early modern art collections in the world, Barnes Foundation educator Penny Hansen guides a series of live virtual tours that examine in depth the paintings of artists who helped shape a truly revolutionary period in the history of art.

Using high-definition Deep Zoom technology developed by the Barnes, she leads participants through the Philadelphia museum’s galleries and provides astonishingly close-up views of the canvases, revealing their paint surface, brushstrokes, and details in ways that bring the art and the artist vividly to life. This program provides the chance to interact with Hansen in a Q&A session.

This Virtual Tour's Focus

African Art

Although the Barnes Foundation is widely known for its post-impressionist and early modern art, its African collection has long been central to the museum’s progressive educational mission. One of the first people in the United States to collect and display African objects as works of art rather than ethnographic specimens, founder Albert Barnes considered African art the purest expression of three-dimensional form and ranked it among the world’s great art traditions.

Barnes built his African art collection between 1922 and 1924. It includes numerous figural sculptures, ceremonial masks, and domestic objects such as heddle pulleys, cups, tobacco mortars, stools, and headrests. Barnes arranged the assemblage of more than 120 works in the galleries amid art of all periods and cultures to highlight its formal aesthetic properties and the connections between African art and art from other places.

World Art History Certificate elective: Earn 1/2 credit*

Additional Artists in Depth at the Barnes Programs

Patron Information

  • If you register multiple individuals, you will be asked to supply individual names and email addresses so they can receive a Zoom link email. Please note that if there is a change in program schedule or a cancellation, we will notify you via email, and it will be your responsibility to notify other registrants in your group.
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*Enrolled participants in the World Art History Certificate Program receive 1/2 elective credit. Not yet enrolled? Learn about the program, its benefits, and how to register here.